This was a very different day for me as I am usually irreverant about most things and take very few things in life too seriously. However, as all Australians & New Zealanders know the events of the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign are drummed into us annually from an early age and I knew I would be facing the day ahead with some solemnity. I was also curious as to how our young Turkish guide was going to handle the events of the day. We started at the memorial overlooking the various landing beaches of the fateful day. He began by finding out where we were all from and we were surprised to find out that out of the 16 or so of us there was an elderly American couple. He then proceeded to make some light hearted banter to break-the-ice before showing us a map of the area and giving us an outline of the campaign. Now of course I can’t say if everything he stated that day was true but he seemed to posess an encyclopaedic knowledge of the events. For each side he knew each local commanders’ name and precisely what time they attacked which objective and the result. […]
Now we are in Turkey. A change of scenery and thank goodness temperature – a drop of nearly 30 degrees but still warmer than Sydney! Wow shopping heaven. Ladies – rows and rows of of many different types of shops under the one roof. Jewellery, amazing ceramics, silver, woodworl tc Also typical tourist stuff and would you believe we found siddurs and mezzuzahs!! The Blue Mosque – another mosque. Totally different than the mosques we saw in Egypt. This structure dominates the Istanbul skyline both day and night. Poor Mikey took half an hour to get the fountain at the right level to take this night shot. The fountain was set on a timer and just when he was taking the shot the fountain shot high in the air obscuring the mosque. played the photography widow as per usual. Our friends Lynette and Gerald happened to be in Istabul on a stopover on their world cruise and we spent a wonderful day together sight seeing. Lynette & I had to garb up to enter the Mosque. Inside the Mosque – amazing. The interior is magnificent. The underwater Basilica cistern. This was built in Roman times and supplied the city with […]
Well one could mistake this person for the hunchback of Notre Dame! Alas its me all dressed up for the mosque – yes yet another mosque. We are starting to suffer not from ABC disease but ABM disease (another bloody mosque for those of you who require explanation) Riding a caleche along the corniche at Luxor on our way to Luxor Temple. Another friendly driver trying to con us to go to yet another market full of touristy stuff. Poor Jase didnt suffer too well as he’s allergic to horses. Did he complain??? well…….some things don’t change Queen Hapshetsut’s Temple was unbelievable. Cut into the side of a mountain, an amazing site. Valley of the Kings – Awesome and overpowering. Unfortunately we couldn’t photograph inside the tombs. The tombs were something we will never forget, such amazing art on the walls in great detail and amazing colours. The heat was oppressive 50 degrees, but as we left so early (5.45am) we missed the mid day heat thank goodness. Mikey in his “cool” (NOT) hat. Colossus Of Menmon. More huge monuments of the great Egyptian leaders of the past Entering a tomb at Valley of the Artisans. When you go inside […]
On our first morning in Aswan we were picked up early by our guide Saidz for our tour to the High Dam, unfinished Obelisk & the Philae Temple. He spoke beautifully and was quite knowledgeable about the sites we were visiting. As he had let us know he was Coptic (Christian) we felt comfortable asking some questions we perhaps would not have asked our muslim guides, all in all quite interesting. We came back to our hotel fur a short break and then were picked up by our Nubian guide for a tour of a Nubian village on an island in the middle of the Nile and joined his family for an authentic lunch. We had already learnt in Cairo that the Nubians originally came from present day Sudan and are black in skin colour. Although the feeling we got in Cairo was that everyone was Egyptian here in Aswan it was quite different. Nubians proudly identified themselves as Nubians and so did the Egyptians though it appeared more as points of pride rather than any racial overtones. After lunch and a walk around the village we hopped back on his small motorboat and cruised around the Nile islands of […]
Due to the surprising amount of requests the on-going CohenRosenberg Adventures continues. After a great week in Manchester catching up with all the cousins (thanks again Mark & Ruth) we found Jason at London airport & continued on to Cairo. The first day was spent settling in and browsing the main bazaar, later that evening we went to a fantastic show called ‘the whirling dervishes’ consisting of all male musicians & dancers. Day 2 found us at the Egyptian museum where no photos are allowed inside but basically it just holds all the stuff that has been found inside the various pyramids & temples that hadn’t already been looted by thieves or other countries (I’m looking at you, Napoleon!). Day 3 was always going to be the most anticipated – a camel ride to the Pyramids of Giza. Certainly one of the highlights of any trip, I am unable describe how overwhelming these structures are. They are certainly difficult to photo up close and the area containing the 3 big pyramids & the Sphinx is quite vast and right on the outskirts of the city. These puppies only date back to around 2500BC, unlike the 7000 year old Sakkara pyramid […]
Unlike most of the other towns we have visited Phonsavan has not reached a level of friendliness to it’s tourists. The locals are alright but the tour operators are arseholes. There are some great things to do here but it is overshadowed by a darker side. There are quite a few aid agencies based here with many expat personnell and we got talking to them about some of the local issues. It seems Laos is the most bombed country in the world (per capita) and around 30% of all the stuff dropped didn’t detonate. This is collectively known as UXO and there are many signs advising tourists to keep to marked safety areas when moving around the countryside. At 1st I thought it quite humorous that the locals had taken to turning the UXO into everything from furniture, decorative art & even BBQs….I assumed the stuff had all been diffused and made safe by the various agencies. However, in my conversation wth staff they informed me that very little of the displays around town had in fact been diffused and it is only a matterof time before there is a major accident. As it is there were around 350 lives […]
Abandoning the number headings ’cause it’s too hard to remember what day it is. Deb last wrote about our final day in Chiang Mai, next we spent 9 hours on a bus heading to the north until we hit the Mekong river which at this location forms a border with Laos. We went through the usual customs & immigration and caught a ferry (small leaky dinghy) across in the rain. On the Laos side was a small border town with a few small hostels & cafes and many backpackers. That night we found a cafe on the river and had a steamboat BBQ (delicious) and made some new friends, a frenchman named (naturally) Jean-Luc and his chinese wife of 6 months, Pauline. I was next informed by my intrepid leader that we would be spending the next 2 days on a boat going down (up?) the Mekong into central Laos to visit the old capital of Luang Prabang. The 1st day was pretty uneventful and a little uncomfortable as it rained most of the day. The boat wasn’t too bad (’cause I was expecting worse) but after 8 hours and sharing with 40 odd backpackers (mainly french) we had enough. […]
OK so I said I wouldn’t blog…..but it’s early and the hostel is great and has FREE internet, so…. Day 1 The boss has me racing to catch skytrain to get to the river so we can go up and down get off get on…etc. Her first scheduled stop was some palace but the place is crawling with tourists who are only out numbered by the scamartists offering to get you in privately if you pay now but meet them later. Luckily we had been forewarned. We find the official entrance but they stop me because I’m wearing shorts and say no problem just go in ‘there’ and you can borrow long pants. ‘There’ is a small building with a very long queue trailing out of it and it is 200 degrees and 400% humidity. I couldn’t get my pants off if Angelina was trying, everything is just stuck to me. So I say forget it – what’s next and Deb pouts but on this occasion I win and we grumble back to the boat. ‘Next’ was a flower market but I wasn’t the only flower melting in the now midday heat. So a “short” walk to Chinatown ended up […]
Our last stop and what a land. Way up in the Guatemalen highlands a volcano collapsed and created a lake of some 120 sq klms. Over the centuries small towns have emerged around the lake and we spent 5 days exploring most of them. Each town is very individual and we thoroughly enjoyed each visit. We stayed in a luxury hotel up the side of a mountain and were given the best room in the house which had a huge window overlooking the lake and its remaining 3 volcanos. Each morning would start off warm and sunny but by 2>00pm each day the clouds would roll in and the temp would get quite cool often creating spectacular thunderstorms. This will be the last post in this blog ….hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have…well almost….thanks for coming.
This town is like a large Trinidad, Cuba..in that it is full of wonderful old Spanish colonial buildings and very touristy…but in a good way. Heaps of Cafes and restaurants but not much live music. The town is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains and on the 4th side a volcano dominates the skyline, giving the town a great atmosphere. Of course we just HAD to climb the volcano….and what an experience…too much to note here but will make great dinner stories for our return.