So you think you know Turkey? - We had no idea that many of the household names we have learned since childhood really come from Turkey:
Waterfalls - Over the weekend we drove to a park on the north side of Antalya, and joined hundreds of locals wander through streams and under waterfalls as mountain water cooled the shady park by a delicious 20°. Just outside the park we had lunch at a delightful restaurant that served only fish (naturally, from their own fish farm) and had tables that appeared to float on the cool river. The fish was delicious and we will have to return to this spot. Later we followed the Duden river to the coast where the cold water poured directly into the Mediterranean at another beautiful restaurant site
Planning Travel - Now that our feet are firmly planted on shore (we have removed all sails and stored them on shore), we have started to look at travel and are contemplating a trip to Britain in a couple of weeks - stay tuned!
Instant Survey - Our insurance company has been reminding us to have the yacht surveyed for a while, and finally put their foot down, and so we set about to find a surveyor in Turkey. The first ones we talked to spoke little English, and wanted a large fee for what appeared to be a large ship survey. Finally a Canadian who lives 300 km away, was coming to Antalya in a couple of days so we agreed on a price. At the appointed time Richard showed up and did the in-water portion. Next morning we scheduled to pull the yacht for an hour to do an out-of-water portion. This is when it got interesting:
Travel Plans - We have decided to keep the boat stationary for the rest of the summer and do some land traveling now that we are in (or near) to Europe. The 95F heat in Turkey makes us dream of northern climes, so we started looking at northern Europe and Scandinavia. Finally we have settled on a trip to England (and probably Wales and Scotland) with a short detour to Amsterdam. As we were making the plans, via email we have discovered that Europe is a popular place so we will:
With all of this socializing, we will barely have enough time to stop by Westminster Palace and see the Royals or visit the cliffs of Dover - so much to see, so little time!
Travel to the UK - At a reasonable time we popped down to the airport at Antalya, through a lax security system with hundreds of sun-burned British tourists, and flew the 4 hours to Stansted airport. A short taxi ride, and we were safely ensconced in the Great Hallingbury Manor, a cute bed and breakfast, with a pond, swans, (we discovered that all swans in England belong to the Queen, our host is merely the current custodian), geese, ducks and wonderful breakfast menu! We spent a day, on the quaint streets of Bishop's Strotford, a typical small English village and in the evening, on our stroll to the local pub, a lady stopped us on the country road, and chatted for an hour about the wide variety of flowers and vegetables she had in her garden. It was a wonderful introduction to England
Amsterdam - We took a £6 flight on Basiq Air that landed us at Schipol Amsterdam airport in 30 minutes - the gateway to this beautiful Venice-like city. We planned to meet Peter and Jeanette from Voyager who were returning to Thailand. and had a great time, eating too much, walking through museums and other sights, and sharing a brew or two at the Hard Rock Cafe. After 4 short days, we hopped back across the Channel to London, and Peter and Jeanette diverted to Israel to see family in that war-torn country.
Sex, Drugs, Torture - These were 3 of the many museums we missed while we were in Amsterdam, but we did make it to:
London Again -
Something Old and Something Blue - While in Turkey, a friend offered to let us 'have' his car, drive it around, and trade it in if we decided to buy a vehicle. So we chased down his brother-in-law, sussed out the blue 1987 VW Golf, and picked it up as we were about to leave London. Of course the vehicle inspection had expired, so it took £280 to get it back on the road, but finally we were mobile and made our way south to...
Ringwood - Where we met up with our good friends Rory and Sandra from Pacific Voyager in New Zealand who were visiting family in the English countryside. It has been great to catch up with them, and we anticipate sharing a few stories and brews with them over the next week. Their family kindly has invited us to stay in their guest quarters as we look for a...
Seeking a van - We have decided to buy a campervan or motor-home, drive it through England and Europe to Turkey, and return it to England in about 16 months. So the last few days have been consumed with visits to used campervans dealers. As we look, our price target moves up^ as our requirements become more demanding. Hopefully by next week, all will be settled.