Explore Discover Inspire

Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Good News /Bad news

Filed under: Travel Plans — she_travels at 9:47 pm on Thursday, November 10, 2011

The bad news is…due to my blind faith the the Geek Squad the remainder of the Swamp Search pics are gone. I take complete responability for this…should, coulda woulda ya know.  Windows updates had a hand in the calamity.  Ahh well, one lives, one learns.

The good news …. drum roll please.. I bought tickets to India. Yes indeed, a new far off land to experience. Mom is going to join me so travel will be a but more posh..woohoo.  The plane leaves our fair land Feb 9 and returns March 1st.  I am building an itinerary for the Rajasthan area cause Mom wants to see the Taj Mahal… I pretty much agreed.  🙂

If I can talk myself in to a second ticket I may have a go at Roatan from March 2nd returning March 22nd.

Deep South Bound

Filed under: Road Trip,Travel Plans — she_travels at 8:35 pm on Friday, May 6, 2011

Or at least deeper than I have been in the past. For all the flight time I log I have never been to the southern shores America.

Mom and I are considering a bit of a road trip to the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuges. From what I understand there are eight separate refuges in the area. Seems a grand time of year to go, not to hot and sticky, maybe the water levels will be higher than  mid summer.

Figure I will hop in the car with  a camera and a credit card, start south and see what happens.

I have never been to a swamp…why not  give it a go,  huh?

Not to worry, Mom is a good egg, she copes pretty well with my no plan, plan.

Back Again

Filed under: Colorado,Travel Plans — she_travels at 8:43 pm on Monday, April 11, 2011

I arrived  in Colorado March 17th, whew,  just in time for Spring Break… I survived..woohooo! There was much going on less the snow of the past few years. It all worked out swimmingly. The week after Spring Break was a bit of a killer as well.

I am happily down to two properties all of five minutes apart with three horses and three dogs.

I am expertly avoiding my taxes by making cupcakes for a friend’s birthday and sorting photos to take to Washington State the 14th. I friend has invited me to her social event of the season, a scrap booking retreat…should be good fun if I can just decide what to do with the pics I am taking.

Right then ,fast update you have.

Good Golly Miss Molly!!

Filed under: Colorado,Travel Plans — she_travels at 3:23 pm on Friday, December 24, 2010

51 degrees and sunny tomorrow…. Holy Hannah is it NICE here. Not so much a white Xmas but if ya drive about an hour west there are plenty of fluffy flakes to play in.

I can tell you, with the job being what it is, I am pleased as punch the weather is not like past weeks of December 25th. Last year there was enough snow for a day or so to almost bottom out my car. In 2006, I had my mother driving my 4×4 F250 cause I had to DIG into every property. Twice a day Mom would drop me at the drive, she would find a place on the road to wait while I dug my way to the house or barn to feed animals. The snow was over knee deep and the wind would fill in the tracks I dug. That was a rough winter, every other day digging the car out of the snow.

2006 was the holiday season we had so much snow here the trucks hauling food were locked out cause all roads leading to Denver were closed. Milk, cheese and butter shelves were pretty much empty for a few days.

Ah but I often tell people I can do anything for 10/12 days. I generally take a trip to some far off land in February, getting through the two weeks of Christmas house and pet sitting is easily done.

On a related matter: Slight change of plan regarding Feb/March 2011, I was considering a visit to parts of South America. For what ever reason I was having a hard time sitting down to buy the ticket, in the end I decided to listen to that little voice in the back of my head. Instead of eight weeks of adventure learning a new culture I will be hanging about in a beach front cabana with amazing sunsets across the Caribbean.

Yes, gang I am going back to Roatan. I have been fighting menopause, with mood swings, headaches and general all around yuckiness for the past couple of months. Seems to be a vacation is what is in order.

February/March 2011

Filed under: Travel Plans — she_travels at 11:51 pm on Sunday, November 14, 2010

Right then, it would seem I am bound for South America.

Jackson the wonder dogs parents have decided on  Ecuador for three weeks returning Jan 23. My parents, who dearly want me to go with them are departing from Salt Lake city to Santiago, Chili, over nighting then hopping another transport to a place called San Carlos de Bariloche. Google maps says that place is in Argentina. Then there is talk of Buenos Aires with a stop at a time share along the coast of Uruguay on the way back to Salt Lake long about the middle of Feb.

If the parent people go back to the states the middle of Feb I am left deciding what to so with the weeks between the middle of Feb and Spring Break starting about March 18th. So..the question becomes, sit on my favorite beach on the isle of Roatan or…. wandering about some new place..perhaps have a peek along the coast of Brazil….maybe see what Peru has to offer? Choices, Choices.

By the by ~ I landed myself in the home on Elvis and Gracie this evening, going to allow them to entertain me for a few days.

This and That

Filed under: Colorado — she_travels at 7:13 pm on Sunday, October 17, 2010

Summer is pretty much over,  finally cooler evenings, and rain tomorrow!!  Woohoo!

Penny and Naiya, two labs with different owners came back into my life this summer. I think Mad Mad Mattie Mat is back as well, might have to pop by to collect her for a hike one day soon.

I was able to spend time with many dear fuzzy friends in Boulder this summer. Rollie, a huge fuzzy hoot of a Newfoundland believes me his very own chew toy. Scruffles, ever the clown dog, entertained me for many days in August. Jack and I hung out for a few weeks walking and selling wine for his parents.

New friends include Wheeler (an aussie) and his sister Lucy (Miss Pug) who live next to a golf course with  trails and ponds among the homes, truly delightful walks. Emma (golden) and her brother Motek (greyhound) also became friends this summer.

Sadly  two of my oldest and dearest fuzzy friends died this summer. Ali, the most wonderful yellow lab left us at thirteen, I had known her from age eight months. She spent a lot of time at my house years ago. Great fun we had out hiking and horse back riding with Penny, a chocolate lab, who also died this summer at age thirteen.

Man!  did those dogs loved water. I remember hot summer days standing in Boulder Creek pitching a ball for the both of them. We were all soaked and happy.

My very most favorite horse friend died this summer as well. I bought him at age three, we had ten adventure filled years to play before he was hurt beyond repair at thirteen. I retired him to my parents place, 80 acres and two other horses to play with. They said he was fine one evening and gone the next morning. As sad as it is, I am thankful there was little suffering involved. I tell ya I have ridden nine zillion horses and he truly was the coolest four hooved critter I ever had the pleasure to spend time with. Many years of fun soaked memories he gave me.

I think I have Jackson’s parents pinned down to plans in January.

My mother has wanted to to see Patagonia for some amount of time. I may do part of her trip with her husband with them and add a few bits here had there on my own.

So, it is looking like parts of South America February and March of 2011.

Note to self ~ renew passport.

Day Eight ~ Feb 8th

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 1:41 pm on Monday, February 8, 2010

I woke up late..someone opened a window last night so it was much cooler in the room..whew! I had been waking up at 4am soaked from sweat..thank goodness someone finally saw the light. That someone would be the chick sleeping next to the window.

Being I was up late I got to have breakfast with several other people. The list goes like this, I was sitting with a British guy, a chick from Texas, and a guy from Switzerland, there was a Turkish lady playing with the TV and asking a guy from Morocco to help.  Truly this is one of  the reasons I travel.  By the By ~ we were all going separate directions today.

I hopped a tram to the ferry dock across the bridge to catch a ferry to the Prince Islands…yes, I finally got it done. We thought maybe the sun would be out for a spell today…it tried and tried, in the end the wind and rain won out.

2.8.10.1

I had seen during my waiting on ferries, docks and bridges this place has many a jelly fish in the sea.

2.8.10.2

2.8.10.3

2.8.10.4

2.8.10.5

I have no idea how this little fishing boats kept from getting squashed by the ferries, cruise ships and container ships.

2.8.10.6

Topkapi Palace and Sophia Mosque

2.8.10.7

Topkapi Palace,   this was not about the birds….

2.8.10.9

This one is about the birds, they have learned to follow the ferries cause people throw them bread.

2.8.10.10

2.8.10.11

While the ferry was docking at the 2nd stop I noticed several cats on the dock, then I saw many more coming toward the ramp. I was very confused being I had been on many ferries and never seen cats act like this. It occurred to me they must  think food is to be had….but who would feed a cat off a ferry.  Then I noticed a lady standing next to the gate, she had just come off the ferry and was spilling something yellow.  She did this in two different areas. There was prolly  25 cats and maybe two dogs all clamoring for the food she left.

2.8.10.12

The lone dog didn’t have a chance with all those cats.  There is another bunch out of camera range.

Ya gotta wonder, do the cats do this only with the 12-ish ferry cause this woman is aboard or do they do it with every ferry not being sure which one she will be on. Do they do it daily, or only twice a week the day they know she will be around. They sure seemed to know exactly what they were doing, and on the return trip we stopped a second time, no cats.  Maybe the cats only gather for the ferries coming from Istanbul and not the other direction.

2.8.10.17

Cafes on the second island.

2.8.10.15

2.8.10.16

So, the cats were on the 1st island, the second island I only saw one cat, but there were at least six dogs.

I thought about getting off at the 3rd stop but wanted to see the last stop. The reminder of the folks on the boat bailed at the last stop.

2.8.10.19

Seems the birds like the fishing boats as well.

2.8.10.20

I found myself on a island with no cars, there were horses and buggies, horses with carts and bikes. It was a lovely place.

I only had two hours to roam about before the boat I came in on was leaving, the next ferry was at 5p but  the wind had come up and I was concerned the weather was going to turn..it did.

2.8.10.21

2.8.10.22

2.8.10.24

2.8.10.25

2.8.10.26

2.8.10.27

2.8.10.28

2.8.10.29

2.8.10.30

2.8.10.31

2.8.10.32

2.8.10.33

So the bikes do not get run over my the horses with carts.

2.8.10.34

This is the ferry building, I am thinkin this is the park and ride.

While waiting to board the boat I was asked, as  I am often am “Where are you from?”  I was not sure if he was American or not, I replied as I have been with most people, “The middle of the States, place called Colorado.”  Shezz, I should have listened better, the guy had lived in Denver for ten years and driven Baseline Road twice daily for work. I think he said he lived in Arizona now and was visiting his son who lives in Istanbul. I tell ya, ya travel long enough ya realize just how small the world it.

By the time the ferry arrived on the starting dock it was raining, COLD and windy. I was pleased I was still far enough away to take the Tram back. Oh, by the by, the tram tokens are the same price if you are going one stop or ten stops down the line. This morning the turnstile was not ON, no green light so I didn’t pay for a token to use. Maybe before 630 the tram is free.

If tomorrow works out according to the current plan I will be in a place called Canakkale along the north coast of Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea. Or I think that is where Canakkale lies.

Day Three ~ redux

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 11:43 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where was I?

More pics from yesterday morning.

2.3.10.8

Empty snow dusted streets.

2.3.10.9

Blue Mosque in the background.

2.3.10.11

Sophia a bit later in the day once the snow had stopped.

The Hagia Sophia is not only Constantinople’s most famous landmarks, it is arguably one of the most famous buildings in the entire world. It was the city’s cathedral and the site of a church originally built by Constantus, son of emperor Constantine the Great. The original church was burned down in 532 and the present church was built between 532 and 537 under the supervision of Justinian I. The original dome fell after an earthquake and the current dome is evidently slightly different.

Over 900 years the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, but when the Ottomans captured the city they turned it into a mosque. Minarets were added and the rich frescos were covered over (because of Islamic prohibitions against depicting human figures). Thus it remained for over 500 years until the Turkish government decided to turn it into a museum and tourist attraction in 1935.

At this point I realized I had not attempted to get money from an ATM with my new card, so I turned around and headed for the row of machines I had seen near the Tram stop. Marble steps, nearing killed myself or at least had visions of cracking open a knee.  I tried all three machines, no joy.  Note to self ~ check the expiration date of all your money producing cards before leaving America.

Breakfast is included in my accommodation price so I popped back to the hostel for food.  When I walked in the guy behind the counter asked “Do you need the luggage room key?”  I said “No, I had thought to stay another night cause I am still having bank issues.”  He said “Yes, but we are booked this evening with a group.”  I am sure I looked confused, it is low season and the middle of  the week, what he hell. Deep Breath, Deep Breath, “Is there another place, close you recommend?”   “Yes, Eurasia Hostel just across the street and up a little, I saw you past it this morning.”  “Thank you, breakfast first?”   He nodded.

Dang, Bank issues and now I am getting kicked out….did ya ever have a rougher start to a holiday?

Breakfast in hostels is usually something local-ish and or cornflakes and milk if you choose.  The buffet both mornings I was there was delightful chunks of bread, tomato, cheese, cucumbers, and boiled eggs. I saw many people making sandwiches.  They offer tea, coffee and something yellow to drink, I decided it was a version of lemonade.

Breakfast over I popped across the street to find Eurasia Hostel, indeed it was rock throwing distance from where my bags currently were.  I had been in a chilly 4 bed dorm with cats fighting out the window (11euro) , I was offered a very warm 12 bed mixed dorm for 10 euro. I asked what the single price was he said “26 euro”. Ahh, dorm it is then.  He asked if I needed help with my bags, I told him no, paid him and was off to pack my bag.

Alrighty, bed for the evening sorted, back to the bank boggle. Oh by the by I decided between the bank issue and the weather I would hang here in Istanbul a bit longer.

On my way back into town I noticed many people about the Blue Mosque, perhaps this is the time to go inside. It is free,  though one has to go through the correct door, take your shoes off and cover your head, this last bits no problem do to the cold temps.

2.3.10.12

Inside the courtyard.

2.3.10.15

Sophia from inside the Blue Mosque courtyard.  The people, Asians from a bus I saw on the other side of  the building.

2.3.10.16

Inside the interior courtyard. I saw a guy shooing people away from what looked like a door toward an exit through the courtyard, I followed suit before he had to tell me as well.

2.3.10.17

It would see many a person from many a place come to see the Blue Mosque.

2.3.10.18

It is impressive from many angles. Not my best pics due to the low light but you can see all the blue tiles…thus, Blue Mosque.

2.3.10.19

Plenty of stained glass in the place.

2.3.10.20

The vastness of it is overwhelming.

2.3.10.21

2.3.10.23

2.3.10.24

2.3.10.26

2.3.10.27

2.3.10.25

2.3.10.29

From the exit side of the building.

2.3.10.30

Tis tough to get a pics which truly show the huge-ness of  the place.

2.3.10.31

I thought maybe if I found another bank’s ATM my card would work so… random street roaming, tis one of my favorite things cause ya never know what  you will come across.

2.3.10.32

Do you even believe how old this building looks.

2.3.10.33

Brick work of the Grand Bazaar.  This place feels like an indoor mall but far far HUGER and no doors to the stores, so think a cross between a flea market with vendors and a mall.  I didn’t wander much being I was enticed to have tea, food and conversation, see previous post.  I may have to go back….or not being I am not a shopper.

2.3.10.34

From the coffee shop were we had tea, apple tea, yummy.  Later it was suggested I taste rose-hips tea, yeah cool, it’s good too. One of the beverages they offered at lunch was  a yogurt, water and salt something… it takes some getting used to but I bet it would be yummy on a hot day. I was also offered dang, I can’t remember what flavor of baklava it was, but it is mandatory to have tea when one eats sweets on this part of he world.  Truly, a delightful day.

Ended with a bit of sun…

2.3.10.36

For a very nice sun set..

2.3.10.38

It would seem the people in this place are not early risers. The heat in the dorm woke me before call to prayer, holy hannah was it HOT.  I sorted myself, with flashlight in hand went to the terrace to see the weather and post more pics. I was not joined by others until 830a.

The sun may be going to come out today, it is still  cold, ice on the outside tables.

Oh yeah, I called the bank two more times yesterday. Once while I was with my new friends in the grand bizarre, they insisted. Nice people! Anywho the bank said to call back after 3, I did to the tune of 59 minutes and 14 bucks.

They decided to send yet another card, to the new hostel, so.. I wait. I may have a visit to the Asian Side of Istanbul. I am still not at all sure why they call it the Asian Side. Perhaps I will learn today.

Day Two ~ Feb 2nd

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 7:38 pm on Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It was cold, blowing and WET yesterday. I was whipped out and decided to research my next move and take a nap,  I was very surprised when I woke up at four in the afternoon, the good news is the sleep killed my raging headache. (side note ~ Did I ever mention plane travel is hard on me….I do this for the  getting there part not the going part. ) This place is far quieter in the day time (better for sleeping) cause everyone is out and about. That, and the cats were not fighting against my window.

The weather report for the next few days is a bit gloomy, 30’s with rain and or snow. This place is not like Colo where you are sure the sun will be back any minute, it more like Seattle were you are surprised if the sun makes an appearance.

I had planned to hop a ferry tomorrow bound for Bandirma then catch a bus to Cannakkale but I am not convinced I want to be in any bit of water in this weather.

I may hop a bus from here headed to a place called Bursa, the town is at the base of a mountain and being they are calling for snow it may be more impressive white.

I do hope my body and mind sort out the time change soon. Perhaps the fresh air tomorrow will help.

My new temp ATM card showed up about five pm but dang, it was pouring rain with wind gusts, not at all pretty.  I will test the card in the morning.

The Adventure Begins

Filed under: Beginings — she_travels at 7:02 am on Sunday, January 31, 2010

I was sorted, packed and out of Otis’s house about 4:30 Friday. I dropped my car off with the mechanic so he can tinker while I am away. Had a friend pick me up, spent the night with her, packing and repacking several times.

We had been trying to see Avatar for weeks but could not sort it out until Sat. I told her if I had my head on straight and was close enough to being packed we could head to the theater Sat am..the film is almost three hours and ya add travel times, its pretty much and all day affair. I had to be back at her house for a friend from Denver to pick me up, I would spend Sat night with her so we could be to the airport, she is part vampire so late night,early morning runs to DIA are easy for her.

Indeed we did get out to see Avatar, 3D, Imax…the theater was packed and the movie was amazing…the story line was predictable and a old one but the magical place called Pandora had a huge WOW factor. I was pleased as punch we manged to find time to see it.

I had lovely chats with friends in Denver last night, slept ok for a few hours, got up at 3am to shower and repack one more time. I finally removed a few items from my bag. I will pick then up when I get back.

So, here I am at DIA, it’s 5:52. My plane leaves here at 7:45, I have connections through Detriot and NY, landing in Istanbul at 9:55 am. I decided to book accommodation in Istanbul for 2 nights, I have directions from the airport on the tram and walking directions to the hostel in the old city, very close to the Blue Mosque.

I understand the weather in Turkey at the moment is much like the Boulder weather, you can have 60 degree days and then snow. I was told it will be snowing Thursday, I have packed accordingly, two pairs of shoes, a huge “no, no” in my world but I pretty much had to if I wanted to keep my feet warm and dry.

I have my little netbook with me and an hoping to post pictures and stories as I go. We will see if I actually pull it off.

The Adventure Begins.

Next Page »