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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Istanbul, Play it again

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 9:59 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2010

It may have been 5am when we stopped for the last time,  in Istanbul. The taxi guys were all over it. I told them no taxi,  Metro, they tried to tell me no metro… I knew the train didn’t start til 6 or 630 but also knew the hostel I was going to was not going to answer the door til 7.  I was happy to hang about in the bus station until the metro started.

I went looking for a potty and found an internet cafe sign.  The silliness which ensued when I asked if my computer would work..it was pretty funny 4 youngish Turks doing all they could to get my computer to login. In the end we all decided they didn’t have the magic code to the wireless,  I would use one of their computers. There was some wackiness here as well and something about cops and ya have to go upstairs…it made zero sense to be but hey I have time and if there is a functioning computer upstairs then all the better.

Two of  the four guys went upstairs with me..one of them got the internet working and punched in a web address. It was translation software. That guy wanted to say ‘You are very beautiful” to me so badly he went looking for software  to do it.  We had a short conversation, he would type, I would reply the computer did the rest…up until someone down stairs yelled for him.

I finished reassuring people by email I had not been in the Turkish earthquake and  Syria was not any kind of dangerous, just little to no internet.

I popped back down stairs to pay the man and get  two tokens,  one for the metro and one for the tram. The translation guy showed up, sorted the money and the tokens then walked me to the metro, he even asked the security guy which platform I needed to get to where I was going. Nice kid!

Sunrise on my old stomping grounds… whew but its nice to be back in a familiar place.

I was asked out for dinner by some delightful people who had found my blog… I had a visit to the Taksim area of Istanbul and a wonderful fish dinner.

The guy with hands behind his back had eight dogs following him. They all seems happy enough to do it.

I like the leaf less trees in the light.

This place never sleeps!

Right then, other than a mad mad dash through JFK on the way back the flights were comment-less. Wait, the gal sitting next to me was from nowhere, Oklahoma.

Antakya, Turkey

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 9:28 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2010

The easiest, fastest way to get from anywhere in Syria to Turkey is to take the over night bus to Antakya. I purchased  the ticket two days early so I had a better chance of being given seat four. After laughing and drawing pictures for the bus guy and having my request confirmed by English speaker on the phone..I had seat 4 all to myself.

The bus left at 10p, I was told to be at the bus station at 9p. I spent most of  the after noon with the owner of the hotel and a young gal staying there chatting. It was a nice afternoon. he had a corner in the lobby he would pray in. Just before the call to prayer started he came around the counter, placed his rug on the floor and did his thing.

I arrived in Antakya far to early to go anywhere, I found an internet connection at the bus station so I played online for a few hours before going to look for some place to sleep.  The taxi guys again told me there was no dolmus into town, it was a new bus station and very early so I decided not to argue and went with him. He also told me the hotel I wanted had closed and took me to a different one. That place wanted far to much money..nice place but who need to spend oodles of cash for a bathroom?

I set off walking in a random direction in search of a bed and bath for a price I was willing to pay. Sadly,  I found out rather quickly the mid range clean spots were full, by the time I found a place that had space I was whipped and was not as concerned about the clean factor as long as there was hot water.  9.50 nit a bad price, not a great place but not a bad price. I did have a huge window with fresh air while I had a nap before going in search of food.

Well looky here what Wikipedia has to say: “In ancient times the city was known as Antioch and has historical significance for Christianity, being the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the very first time. The city and its massive walls also played an important role during the Crusades.”

I knew this place was different…

No covered heads and color.

I also found this….

Funny shape  huh?

Canal of some sort, I thought it went to the sea but I am no longer sure. They do have some mountains.

Right then… I think I had to be at the bus station at 9 the next morning.  I went to one of the bus stops I had seen on the way in with the taxi guy and waited for one which said Otogar on it.  I was confused when the attendant had to ask the driver if he was going to the otogar.  Maybe there was more than one on town..happens alot. I spoke up “Otogar, Istanbul”. The attendant waved me onto the bus.  There were maybe 4 people in the bus… they all got off, the attendant guy removed all the signs for where he was going save the otogar one.  The bus driver stopped just past  the bus station I am come into the day before, the attendant told me how to get to the doors, I pulled my money purse out of my pocket to pay him..he shook his head, then said good bye twice.  What was that all about? Cost me ten lira to get into town and nothing to get out. Hospitable they are, consistent they are not.

The one and only pic from 17 hours on a bus.

I liked the colors.

By the by I was in seat 4, the bus was FULL. The lady next to me was French Canadian/Lebanese with a small about of English. She was entertaining for some of  the trip but I didn’t have the brain power all night to pull a ton of effort in to communication.  We stopped about every 4 hours for potty and food. With all the other buses and people about you would have though the world had shifted to dark during daylight hours.  I didn’t sleep.

Mardin, Turkey to Aleppo, Syria

Filed under: Syria,Turkey — she_travels at 11:57 am on Sunday, May 2, 2010

Couple of things about Mardin… I spent the better part of a day snapping pics and wandering through the walkways in the old city. I saw few people until  closer to the main street.

The Ptt (postman) noticed me while he was talking to someone in a car. I thought he was going to come across the street to say some thing but he didn’t.  About forty minutes later I was standing in a mud patch above the new city looking for a way down the hill (I had taken the bus up)..when I saw the path people had been taking for ages I turned…to find the Ptt guy looking right at me.  His English was only slightly better then my Turkish. He wanted to know where I was from where I was going who I was with and if I was going to walk down the hill. I answered all his questions while showing him the camera so he understood I had stopped for the photos.  One becomes accustom to this sort of encounter in this place, everyone is so darn friendly they just wanna have a chat with ya.

When I was half way down the hill I realized I was almost in the parking lot of an honest to goodness store, I was not sure if  they were selling only clothes but figured if there was food to be had I could go for a hunk of cheese.  I walked through the automatic doors to be completely dumbfounded, I was standing in the veggie/bakery section of a Safeway, ok it was Megg-something or other but dang it looked like Safeway to me.

One truly should not pass up a bakery in any country… the two gals behind the counter were all kinds of chatty, “Where are you from, What is your name, Are you here alone”  We decided I would have a bit of several of the offered items,   she cut them in bite sized bits and I was on my way.  These two gals were the second I had spoken with, the 1st being the ladies on the bus in Anamur, the German chick doesn’t count, she is German.

On to the border…

Right then, one can get to about anywhere from anywhere in this part of the world, the only snag is how many transfers, at what price,  to what mode of transport you might have to take.

Mom and I did a day in Thailand(2008) , maybe I will remember all of it, here goes..  walked to the river boat, river boat to the skytrain, skytrain to the last stop,  bus to the airport,  a plane to Phuket,  bus to the ferry dock, ferry to Ko PhiPhi, and walked to the accommodation.  I have a vague memory of Mom saying “Let’s don’t do that again.”

I took a big bus from Mardin to Nusaybin, the driver kicked me out in a parking lot with a couple fruit sellers and what looked like taxi drivers.  I thought I could see the way to  “town” but that didn’t really mean I had any idea where the border gate was so…. to any of  the men willing to listen, I said “Dolmus? Syria?” They (maybe 4 guys) collectively said “no Dolmus, Taxi” I replied “Aww come on, Dolmus?”  I was rewarded with smiles and more negatives than the 1st time. I tell ya there must be something in my voice that brings the men in this country out of the wood work.

Ok, no dolmus….. “How far to Syria?  Walk?” as I mimed walking.  The 1st response was 2k… shezz I can do 2k easy…then someone behind me said 10k.  We, all the men and I,  chatted a bit about just how far it was when someone had the for thought to go get one of the cars they use as taxi. In the end with all of us laughing and me saying “ok , ok, ok,  I tossed my bag in the little truck,  gave the guy 10 lira and let him take me where he would.

As we approached the border I realized I could have walked it but I may never have found the actual border. The giggles alone where worth the 10 lira.

The border looking toward Turkey.

Looking toward Syria. Yeah, I really am the only one out here… I was just as surprised as you.

When crossing borders there is always a bit of confusion. They are all kinda the same, or the ones I have been through are but ya still get a case of the “where, who, should I”‘ going on in your head.

When I got down to the building with the rust-ish roof you can just see,  there was a  group/line of about six people. Some discussion was had about where and to whom I was to give my passport, being American it goes to someone other than the guy having a peek at the Turkish/Syrian passports.  While I was waiting for the guy to give it back a heavy set older lady in a dark long coat and scarf over her head walked right up to me, took my coat collar on both sides and with a smile showed me in no uncertain terms I was to zip my coat in an attempt to hide my breasts.  Mind you, I was wearing a shirt under my coat which covered all of my skin. This was my introduction to Syria, cover as much as possible weather and heat be damned.

With the Turkish exit stamp I walked to the closed gate beyond the building, one of the two  guards asked for my passport when I gave it to him he walked off.  I started to follow my passport through  the gate when the second guard stopped me. One tends to listen to anyone in a military uniform,  as with many borders these guys were carrying automatic weapons… one truly respects anything these guys have to say.   I was not overly concerned about getting through cause of pass port issues, I had sent my passport to Wash DC to get the visa before I left the states . Now, it was all about waiting to see what happened next.

The passport stealing guard  came back but without my passport, he motioned me to follow him. We were headed to a building marked “Welcome to Syria”.

Most of  the people who were in the Turkey exit line were in this room with a counter and passport guys on the other side. The gate guard said something to one of the men behind the counter. This new guy  asked my name, I think just to make sure I was the American he was looking for,  I was the only one around for miles. This was were something very strange happened, the passport guys starting talking to me, I mean conversation talking, they were laughing and smiling, it was a little unnerving cause most border guys, shezz,  if you can get them to look at you, you are doing well.

At some point they became serious asked me my name again, where I was going, where I was coming from, what my travel plan was, they asked both my mother and my father’s names.  When they had all the answers they wanted I was rewarded with smiles, waves  and chorus of “Welcome to Syria” from all of them, including some of the people waiting to  get their passports back.  Friendly doesn’t even come close to describing with these people are.

There was one more guard who stopped me to ask where I was going.  While I was looking for the answer in my note book ( I wanted to tell him the town name not just Syria) he waved me past..I think he got tired of waiting on me to find the answer.

One more gate and I was,  yet again,  in the middle of a flock of men (taxi guys).  There was some discussion about where I was going (hotel, bank, bus station) and how much it was going to cost.. I think I was taken (for to much money) but there are days ya just can’t keep track of everything.

The taxi guy took me from the border through the town of Qamishle to the bus station. He showed me the correct place to buy  a ticket to Aleppo.  I didn’t know it at the time but the bus guys in Syria not only want your passport but take it away…I was a tad concerned but decided I best go with the flow. I paid for the ticket, was told which bus and what time (10 minutes) but my passport had not come back yet. When it did the guy said “The police want to speak with you.”  Right then, what is a gal to do but go see the police.

Come to find out the guy who had taken my passport was the only English speaker around, he ended up being translator between the cops and me. The questions were the same as the border.. my name, where I was going, where I was coming from, what my travel plan was, they asked both my mother and my father’s names. Once the police guy had written down all my answers I was given my passport back and ushered to my assigned seat on the bus.

Enough of the text…pics comin at ya.

I know its fuzzy, I was not in the front seat. Adobe home on all that green field.

One can tell exactly where the water runs.  Yes, those are sheeps.

It felt like a check point but I am not clear on what was up.

I think that black sticky up plant out there is for fire fuel to cook with.

No, help with  the man/female signage for bathrooms, thank goodness the ladies on the bus adopted me.

This says male. They look darn close to me.  In most of the areas I was in, larger towns they had WC signs like Turkey.

Th edge of one of  the towns we rolled past.

Grain elevator? Gotta get the seeds from all these green fields to someplace.

We found a lake…ya know I think that trip was five hours or so…I know it was dark by  the time I arrived in Aleppo.

Much like in Turkey, trees to harvest.

A bit closer to Aleppo. This looks to be the last of  the trip, ahh yes I remember this is why….

Trees along  the road.

Next up… Aleppo.

Mardin

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 1:40 pm on Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I do not remember what time it was when I arrived in Mardin, I do remember it was raining and it may have been dark.  There was a hotel very close to where the bus stopped so instead of slogging through the rain I decided to pay what ever the price was…I was prepared for a fair scary number being they had a lift, bell boys and a sitting room with fish in the lobby. It ended up being the most expensive place I stayed in Turkey at 50 lira a night. The good news, it was a very comfy room.

I was so excited when I got up the next morning…would you believe SUN… more sun than I had seen in what seemed days!

I walked up yet another hill between buildings to get….

Pics like this….that is Syria out there.

It was truly a glorious day to be on a hill looking at the view!

Homes on one side, view on the other.

The buildings seemed pieced together from what ever was around.

I was walking in and about the old city, this is the new city down the hill toward Turkey.

Just to the right of the new city. The wire is from a military base at the very top of  the hill I am walking up.

Come on! It’s just cool!

This was as far up the hill as I could get.

This is to the left of the pics of  the huge view. I would have gone a bit farther around the bend but I had disturbed 14 dogs (yes, I counted) sunbathing, one was very concerned I was there. I chose to go back the way I had come instead of insisting they let me pass. No matter, I wanted to see town which was down the hill the other way anywho.

At some point  I started snapping pics of doors,  all kinds of doors!

Bit O town, nothing seems to be going on here….maybe it was to early still.

This was father up the street a bit.

Found the market, the white is cheese.

The shop keepers drink tea, all day long…someone has to bring it to them, thus the dude in blue.

Up next, crossing in to Syria. I don’t think those pics are uploaded yet so it may be a few days.

Urfa to Mardin

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 11:10 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mardin was suggested to me by someone on trip adviser after I said I had been lost twice in the maze of a bazaar in Urfa. She suggest I wander the alleys of the old city of Mardin and to take time to enjoy the view.

Quickly, a story about a guy in the bus station in Urfa, the third time I was there. 1st from Adana, then on the way to Harran and now on the way to Mardin from Harran.

The new bus station (otogar) in Urfa is two levels, the mini buses arrive and depart on the lower level and the big buses arrive and depart on the upper level. I had already been in and out of  the place several times. Instead of being rude to the guy,  who met me at the top of the stairs,  to tell me what counter to go to for a ticket to Mardin, I just told him where I was going and followed him. Come to think if it I did alot of that, follow “the guy” to here, follow “the guy” to there. They are a helpful bunch.

As I remember the bus was going to leave very soon indeed but “the guy” suggest I have tea with him, I have a vague memory of him saying some thing about his brother’s office. Now, up until this point there was not a single time I followed “the guy” to a place that was not public. I have no idea why I did it this time, I was not thinking straight or tired or….just who knows. Anywho, the brother’s office ended up being a tiny room between the restroom door and the token guy for the rest room, it was all windowed. I told “the guy”, hmm I think he may have been 2o-something I had to use the ladies. He asked if I wanted tea before I went through the door. I said yes please but I do not want to miss my bus. He seemed to understand.

When I got back there were two cups on the bench next to him, I picked one up as he said “They are just so big.”  I ignored him sniffing  the cup, coffee. I put that cup down and picked up the other one, coffee. So, between two cups of coffee, no tea and him talking about the size of my breasts, this was over,  three strikes. I picked up my bags and headed out the door..I could hear him staying “Oh my god. Oh my god” but I didn’t much care.

I plopped myself down in a seat to find by bus ticket so I had a much better idea of what was going on, when I looked up I realized “the guy” was in the seat next to me pointing at a bus just outside the door. Seems he knew which one was mine. He musta said some thing to the attendant guy outside in a way I did not see cause he looked back at me and said ten minutes. Cool, ten minutes and they all know I am going on that bus, every one is on the same page, I can relax a little.

The guy and I talked of Harran, my journey thus far and my plans to see Mardin then zip on down to Syria.  The two gals sitting next to me started to give me looks, its was kinda strange twice in the same day… holy hell, now  wonder if it was the same two girls from before..prolly not. Anywho, I have no idea if they were worried about me or disgusted I would talk to a male stranger.

When it was time to load my bag “the guy” took it from me..I followed him outside but soon realized it was pouring rain and I was not going to stand in the rain waiting so I let “the guy” and the attendant take care of it, the guy handed me the ticker to get my bag back, shook my hand and suggested I come back to visit him another time. He was a nice enough dude once he understood talking about my breasts was not something I was going to put up with.

I think I have mentioned several times the bus trips are very civilized in that they offer you a beverage once everyone is seated and things are rolling along. On this bus, I was the only one other than the driver offered a beverage and the attendant didn’t say “what would you like?” he said “Would you like chi?” I said yes. I tell you this cause it occurred to me several days later…maybe “the guy” with the two cups of coffee, asked the bus attendant to give me tea once aboard cause he had messed up.  I did enjoy the tea!

One more tale of hospitable Turks on the bus ride from Urfa to Mardin; at some point along the way many people got ff the bus, I was in a seat more than half way to the back. I heard a commotion toward the front of the bus, when I looked up the driver was waving his hands in my direction. Two men where next to him asking some thing about the front seats, I know this cause they were pointing at the seats. The driver looked hard at me and motioned again with his hands. I finally understood, he wanted me to go to the front, he gave me the front seat next to the door. I sat down, clapped my hands like a silly school girl and thanked him.  The two men who had asked were on the opposite side of the bus three rows back. I am not at all sure why the driver decided to move me but I as pleased as punch he had.

K then, on to Mardin.

Harran

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 10:08 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Harran is a tiny little town south of Urfa with bee hive houses. The gals from Oregon I met in Anamur suggested I have a look….so I did.

This was one of those times I think the drivers call ahead. “Yeah, I have a tourist on my minibus, ya might wanna met us, see if maybe you can make a buck.”

The mini bus was met by a very nice young guy who lived in Harran and seemed to know a fair amount about the history of the place, he did not ask for any money. He simply said “I would like to show you.” took my larger backpack and walked off. My bet is you have been reading this long enough to know I just followed the guy.

If your interested Wikipedia has a few thoughts on the place…in the mean time…pics!

My young guide told me the fence is to keep the live stock out. By the by ~ young being 20 something not 12.

They do live in, around and among the history.

From what I understand this is the last of  the beehive houses still being used as living space. It was my guide’s grandfather’s home, now they show it to tourist and sometimes those tourist spend the night. Most of the buildings like this are just for live stock.

The round-ish thing in the background is what is left of a castle.

The ceiling…tis truly wacky!

Castle wall from above.

History right there in front of your eyes!

Water tower for  the whole village, my young friend was very excited about it and the water project for the fields…at one time this place was dry dry desert…now look at the Green!

It amazes me these places are still standing.

I had only planned a few hours in Harran cause I wanted to get to Mardin. While the young guy and I were waiting for the minibus,   to get me back to Urfa to get on a bigger bus to Mardin,  I noticed two girls giving me dirty looks.  Now up until this point I never noticed much of any lady types about…I am still not sure if  they were upset cause I was talking with a male person, if I was enjoying talking with a male person, cause they are not allowed to talk to guys or if  they were concerned about my safety.

By the by ~ The kid never did ask for any money so I gave him some anywho.  Shezz! taxi drivers could learn a thing or two from this kid.

Right then, on to Mardin.

Urfa

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 6:53 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

K then, Mom asked me in an email where all the ladies were. There were times when it was tough to know but the place I was staying in Urfa had a set of stairs with a wall. That first morning I sat on the wall watching people and snapping pics for a short time.

Th person in gold is a lady, the person in violet is male. I asked someone the following day if there was some significance to the violet, he said “New Fashion.” I had to work hard not to laugh.

I truly loved the food in this part of the world cause it was all fresh, right off this guy’s cart.

Not only did this lady not have her head covered, she got off the motor bike.

There ya have it the diversity of this part of  the world, a lady showing only her eyes walking in front of two ladies without their heads covered.

This would be one of the reasons people visit Urfa….Park! About center pic you can see a flag…remember it. The park is banked by seven mosques, the songs at prayer time are just this of side give me a headache.

The famous fish pond.

I decided to exit the park space to the right and go up the hill, I was looking for a way to the flag. The park in this pic is to the right.

I kept going up looking for a way to the flag but was having a hard time finding a way through the buildings (homes) to the left.

I finally decided to just walk up and to the left…I mean how lost could a person get with the cliff of the park on one side and the road I was on..on the other. I had not peaked the hill when I found a cemetery.

Woohooo! the flag I had been chasing.

I had existed the park sorta by the tents to the far right just above the fence. See directly to the left…there is a walkway…that was what I was looking for and did not find.

From above the mosque in the 1st pic of  the park.

The fence in the foreground is the edge of the wall from below. It’s a hell of a view. I sat for a spell, was offered tea and a cushion from a guard? in a shack.

That is only half of the park….ok it’s not like Central in NY but dang it’s only the second one I have seen in this part of the world.

I was half heartedly looking for a way down..or around, I started to wonder if this was once upon a time a moat. Cool shot though   huh?

Sure looks like a moat.

Alright, seems there is a set of stairs  I missed while playing in the moat.

I found the way I wanted to come in.

The hill I walked up looking for the flag. The buses are from Iran, tourists, all the ladies are in black.

Yep, right in the middle of town, gotta get your goods to where they can be sold.

-+I wandered down to a market,  bought an orange and was thinking I was headed back to where I started but as I often do I got side tracked by a bazaar. Ya gotta love the bazaars, masses of people buying and selling everything you can imagine…so I start wandering through. It’s a rat maze of a place, even when you think you have a pretty good idea of where you are…you are so wrong. When parts are covered and ya can’t see the sun….your really going to be lost. My plan at these points, and it usually works, is to keep walking until I see something I recognize.

So, I am still walking when I come upon lots of children playing then realize they are being let out of school. Upon seeing the silly American they start saying “Hello”, but that is as far as the conversation goes. I was still thinking I had an idea of where I was when I turned to a little girl and said “Centrum?” Pointing down the street…she shrugged her shoulders but behind me I hear someone shout. When I turned there was a boy pointing to a guy across the street who was looking at me. With more purpose than most people can muster he walked right up to me,  took my hand walked back across the street. What was I going to do? dig in my heels? I went with him.

If I had thought the centrum was north,  he was taking me east…guess that is not so bad.

He stopped on the other side of  the road with a small road/path going up a hill. He looked me right in the eyes to get my attention then waving his arm, without words he told me to go up this hill, lean left and go up the other hill. Cool then, up it is. I shook his hand, said thank you and waved to the children giggling in the street.

I didn’t get four steps when an older guy was at my should waving for m e to follow him…..imagine my surprise when I realized where  I was…in the cemetery at the top of the hill where the flag is. The old man went to the stairs I had missed the first time.

This was at the bottom of the stairs in the park, the mosque is just to my right.

From my 2nd time through the bazaar.

Lots of Gold!

Men every where sitting, chatting and drinking tea.

Hmm something wacky with this pic…. I will look into it.

Looks like that is the last of Urfa. Next Harran!

Adana ~ Urfa

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 5:49 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You would be so impressed how much I manage to entertain the people around me.

Once on firm ground in Adana I was ambushed by a guy selling sweets, he was adorable and kind but I had to go to the bath room. When I came back around the corner he asked me where I was going..I am not sure I knew at that point but I must have answered cause he told me to pop about one more corner just before he said he was leaving for the day. I tell you this cause two weeks later (yesterday) I was in the Adana Otogar again. I was trying very hard to remember when and why the place looked so familiar while walking to the bathroom. I thought I had come up with the answer and remembered I had chatted with (“Hi, do you remember me? I remember you..”) Yep, this was the place with the sweets guy. Once out of the bathroom he told me he works in Side during the summer and asked about home prices in the states. I was very firm about not needing to buy a home in Turkey when he said the prices there were far less.

When I got around the corner I found a place to sit.   I had forgotten the name of the place I thought I was going (the gals from Oregon suggested a place) and needed the bit of paper to give the otogar guys.

When I had the bus ticket guys  understanding I wanted the front seat next to the door I started looking for my money purse. Could not find it, I went through all my pockets nothing, in the end and a panic I dumped all my stuff out of my little backpack…mind you,  the four otogar guys were having a grand time watching me freak out. I think they understood the problem cause I kept muttering “no money, no money”.

Ya would have thought I cured cancer the way they reacted when I found my cash. The stern looking fellow in the back of the space even cracked a smile. The guy next to him said he was the driver of the bus. We all laughed a bit more before the stern guy gave me a “get your ass moving” look. One of the guys on my side of the counter pointed me in the correct direction, it looked like one of the guys on the inside of the counter said “Take her to the bus.” I do not know how the guy on my side got out of it perhaps with a “She is an adult and can read.” Who knows but I managed to find the correct bus in plenty of time. I knew I would get to Urfa after dark but things in Anamur went so well I was not worried.

This was the first time I had seen three guys on the bus…two drivers? One attendant…hard to say.

One hears lines about men and women who are not family or married not sitting together…this makes it a bit tougher on the otogar guys, if there is a single female they have to find a way to either give her two seats or another single female.

I was a bit taken aback when the stern fellow from in the bus station plopped down in the seat next to me. Now, this is not the first time a male asked where I was from and wanted to chat with me but this was a bus guy…did he not need to follow the rules. Guess not…

When the bus started moving he smiled at me and said hi. He didn’t know much English and my Turkish is very small. I replied with a smile. At some point he took my camera so I helped him get to the stored pics..he snapped a couple shots, one of the driver.

I figured if he was interested in the pics on the camera I sure had plenty to entertain him on the computer, I pulled it out of my bag and fired it up.

I didn’t get very many pics of the areas we were traveling cause I was showing him the computer pics. I do not remember when or how it went from, easy going friendly fun to him taking my hand a placing it on his crotch. Ya gotta wonder what is going though a guys head, when does he decided his best course of action is to move a complete strangers hand to his private area in public during working hours..what the hell was he thinking.

I suppose I could a thrown a fit and made a scene but what was that going to do so instead I just removed my hand away from where he wanted it. We played this game off and on until the next stop..I was not getting off here but did need a visit to the rest room.

When I came back the attendant asked me to move from seat four in the front to a back seat. I showed him the ticket which said seat four and flat refused to move. I had a feeling something was up before he asked but when his reaction was to smile and wave me off,  I knew… The stern guy had told him to ask me to move. Now this is the wacky bit…did he think I didn’t want my hand on his privates cause we were so close to the driver, did this guy actually think if he got me in the back seat I was going to morph in to a compliant female willing to do what ever he wished?  Please do tell me..what the heck?

I started thinking I had done well to foil his plan then realized he had more artillery, he could easily ask one of the otogar guys from this bus station to come up with some excuse to move me….not long after it occurred to me the guy showed up. I pulled out my ticket again and said no, it says right here seat four. They decided not to argue with me anymore.

When the bus started moving again the stern guy sat next to me..he tried to get me to move to the back, I repeated many times I was given seat four. At one point he looked behind to the next row and said something to them…I have no idea what it was..I mean how is he going to explain he wants some physical attention and I am refusing to move to the back of the bus to give it to him.

In the end he gave up…it was sad cause I thought we were having a grand time clicking through my pics.

Men! Ya can’t live with them and it’s illegally to shoot them.

Anywho  a few pics….

Those hills back there are Rock!

I got to thinking the bus guys drive like they own the road and in the end being there are so very people out driving…they are  right.

That is pretty much it from the road…next Urfa!

Day 29 ~ Goreme to Urfa

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 3:42 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oops my mistake, this is the last of  the Cappadocia pics, I took it the morning I left. They say one of the best ways to see the land scape is by hot air balloon, the price was a tad out of my range.

It was trying to clear up but not having much luck at this point.

You can just see the tunnel ahead, there were  total of 7 as I remember it.

Plenty of rock about.

Hidden snow caps as well.

And the the weather changed. The driver pulled off the road a bit, I noticed the other bus before he did. The two attendants of each bus met in the middle to exchange a parcel. I am thinking someone for got to “mail” the parcel at the right place so this other bus picked it up on the way back to where it belonged. Ya gotta wonder what  these guys did before cell phones.

Man!  did it get GREEN!

Reminds me a bit of Ridgeway, Colorado.

Yet another castle, I am telling you this place is chock a block full of  them!

I had to switch buses in Adana…more soon, I gotta go feed the horses.

Day 28… times three?

Filed under: Turkey — she_travels at 7:54 am on Saturday, April 24, 2010

OK , these pics were uploaded from a computer other than mine, I am feeling like they are a bit different. No matter..pics are pics.

You can kind tell here where the erosion has been, cause it s flat on the top.

Flat-ish, valleys with the wacky rock and hills above. Truly an odd bit of land.

Who is the only one on the road, again. Though this time I am on my feet.

I was headed to where the rocks are red but by the time I got to where I could see the road it was some distance off. I thought about going back to town to rent a scooter, sadly it was starting to rain before I was at the scooter place. Not to worry, I wanna visit again either in the fall or the spring.

These are the last of the Cappadicoa pics…next up a bus ride from Goreme to Urfa.

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