Apr
15
2019
0

Team Collymochon Day 5 – Istanbul to Turunc

26So today started at the ungodly hour of 4am as we had an airport pickup at 4.40am. We ended up having a night easy transfer and then breezed through domestic departures at the new Istanbul Airport.

We were met by a driver who had a whole minibus for the 8 of us and we had a twisty, turny hour and 45 minute drive to get to the little fishing village of Turunc.

We are staying in one of the Holiday Property Bond (HPB) places and as usual it is of s lovely high standard. `we have our own (cold!) swimming pool and access to a couple of heated ones.

We went out for a super early tea as we have eaten at funny times and have 4 tired children and 4 tired adults.

Looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation now after the hard sightseeing over the last few days!

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Written by Anna Williams in: Team Collymochon | Tags: ,
Apr
15
2019
1

Team Collymochon Day 4 – Istanbul

Well our tour guide (Emma) had a another very day planned for us.

20We started with a good breakfast and then we headed out… into the rain! It was pouring just before we left and there were rivers of water running down through the park.

We walked through the park and streets to the grounds of the Topkapı Palace. It is an amazing palace which housed the many Sultans over the years along with all his concubines and children. It is the most beautiful structure with rooms filled with gorgeous tiles, fabrics and windows. Absolutely wonderful to look at but I am quite sure that it wasn’t the nicest place to live.

After a quick lunch in the square to avoid the showers we queued in the rain for the Hagia Sophia Museum – also known as the Aya Sophia.A truly beautiful mosque which is no longer used as a place of worship but contains some staggeringly beautiful pieces of art work and architecture. For the first 500 years or so it was a church and then ended up as a mosque. It was beautiful – especially the mosaics which were gold and seemed to sparkle in the light. Gorgeous.

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We then dragged the children to the Basilica Cistern which is a huge underground cavern built in the 6th century which could hold 80,000 cubic metes of water. It is beautiful and a little bit eerie and right at the end are two columns featuring intricately carved heads of Medusa.

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By now the children were flagging so we pushed on towards to Blue Mosque. Still a working mosque meant that we were required to remove our shoes and Emma and I were obliged to cover our heads. A beautifully decorated building it was a little hard to see the scale of the inside due to extensive scaffolding to undertake repair work to the fabric of the building.
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We ended our day with a walk back through the small roads and had dinner before returning to the hotel at a sensible time. We had to pack as we have a 4am airport pickup in the morning. Ouch!n My legs are definitely aching after 28,000 steps.

Istanbul has been such a delight – it has impressed me more than I could have imagined. The people have been pleasant, not pushy at all and a pleasure to interact with. The city has felt pretty safe and there has been significant, obvious security at all the major tourist attractions, even the Grand Bazaar. I would love to come back again.

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Written by Anna Williams in: Team Collymochon | Tags: ,
Apr
15
2019
0

Team Collymochon Day 3 – Istanbul

Today we have had a brilliant and exhausting day.

We started with an exceptional buffet breakfast which served everything from bread rolls, to pastries, to sweeties, to chocolate cereal and eggs every way possible. The Mister ate his way though an impressive selection of different types of breakfasts.

32We then headed off to explore the streets of Istanbul. As expected it was heaving with people and got busier and busier as the day progressed. We had thought ahead though and had purchased useful wrist straps for the children – it might seem a little like overkill but we were grateful of the fact that it mean we could tether ourselves on child to one adult and to know that we couldn’t lose them!

15We headed for the Grand Bazaar – an absolute warren of shops and stalls selling jewelry, clothing, Turkish tat and any manner of other stuff. It was an amazing place, full of smells and sights that the children have never seen.

16The Little Miss has turned out to be s proper little tourist attraction! Her blonde curly hair means that the locals are fascinated by her and are often chucking her under the chin or touching her cheek. Twice today I have had complete strangers stop her her and take a selfie with her. It’s rather hilarious but also useful as stallholders were reducing their prices when she was with us!

After that we went to the Spice Market – probably my favourite as I love buying spices and the sights of all the sweets like baklava and other dried fruit etc – it’s such a treat to see overthinking displayed so beautifully.

14We had lunch in the shadow of one of the mosques with the sounds of the call to prayer echoing around us.

1312After lunch the kids were pretty tired so we took a 90 minute trip up the Bosphorous River. It was amazing how much fabulous architecture we could see from the river and on our return we walked over the Galata Bridge to the Asian side of Turkey before getting the tram back to near our hotel.

Despite it being early we decided to go for dinner before we went to the hotel as the kids were flagging. It was a disaster. We went to what looks like a niceish restaurant that had an OK menu and we ordered a couple of pizzas and 4 different types of kebabs and chips and some drinks. Two bottled of water arrived and then we waited and waited. Finally two pizzas arrived, brazenly delivered to the booth at the back in a pizza takeaway box before being slid onto plates by the useless waiting staff. Five minutes later to kebabs and chips arrives on plates covered in cling film from another establishment elsewhere. We never received the other food and never received the drinks. Emma channeled her teacher persona and gave the waiter a loads of grief in English before giving him enough money for what we had received and leaving. We then headed to the hotel where we bought more food and drank wine.

Emma and I are now sitting in companionable silence in the bar, drinking wine; me writing my blog and she writing her travel journal about our splendid day. Istanbul is a delight.

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Written by Anna Williams in: Team Collymochon,Uncategorized | Tags:
Apr
15
2019
0

Team Collymochon Day 2 – Heathrow to Istanbul

7Another reasonably early start as we anticipated carnage at the airport. Turkish Airlines have been a nightmare to deal with before today but actually on the day they have been brilliant.

We had a really good 4 hour flight and the food was pretty decent and we each had an entertainment system so 8all the kids were happy. We arrived at the new Istanbul airport which opened just last week. It is slick and shiny and has some beautiful internal architecture. The queues for passport though were pretty tricky and no-one seemed to really know what they were doing.

We had arranged an airport collection and found them before heading to the hotel an hour away. By this time it was about 9pm UK time and ewe still had to feed the children, so we headed across the road from the hotel to a kebab place and ate a huge amount of bread and meat. It was delicious.

Tomorrow we have a busy day of sightseeing, if only these horrible children would go to sleep!

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Written by Anna Williams in: Team Collymochon,Uncategorized | Tags:
Apr
11
2019
0

Team Collymochon Day 1 – London

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So, the day of the much anticipated Williams/Worthington holiday to Turkey has arrived.

1After about 4 hours sleep we met at the airport in Guernsey to fly to Gatwick on the red eye for a day out in London. Originally we had planned to fly to Gatwick, leave all our luggage at the Premier Inn and travel into London for a day of sightseeing before returning to Gatwick to sleep before travelling the next day. Unfortunately Turkish Airlines buggered up our plans by cancelling our flights and rescheduling so we flew out of Heathrow. So, we had to take our luggage and leave it in left luggage and then we had a lovely day out.

3Our first stop was The Natural History Museum. The boys absolutely loved the dinosaur exhibition and eagerly trawled their way through the exhibits. The Little Miss however was absolutely traumatised by the animated T-rex. They enjoyed the earthquakes and stuff like that, but the mammals section was looking tired and dates because the exhibits are all so old and (quite rightly) they will not replace them with new stuffed animals.

5We had a quick lunch before heading to the British Museum where we looked at more Egyptian artefacts and as usual I marvelled at the truly glorious roof.

By now the kids were starting to revolt so we decided to walk to Covent Garden and on the way we found a small play area where they burned off some energy for half an hour or so and then we went to watch the street performers in Covent Garden. We finished with dinner at Wagamamas – unfortunately The Little Miss forgot she was sitting on a stool and fell backwards and now has a huge egg on her head!

2We then collected the luggage from Victoria and headed to Heathrow but Martin missed getting on the train so Emma went back to find him and left us with all 4 kids. The Little Miss sobbed all the way to Heathrow, both because she was missing Martin as well as being too tired to cope.

Finally we reunited and got the kids to bed and the boys went to drink beer in the bar and I drank wine in the bath. Onwards…. to a flight tomorrow to Turkey. Wish us luck

Written by Anna Williams in: Team Collymochon,Uncategorized | Tags:

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