Saturday, May 2, 2015

A,B,C,D - Avonside, Barcin, Cruise, Dinner

So a day that began with baklava for breakfast ended with a post-dinner hot chocolate and a chat about Miss McGahey, Miss Cree and Miss Moir with another AGHS old girl in a rooftop bar overlooking the Bosphorus. I take these things for granted now.

It was the last day of our Insight Vacations tour of Turkey, sadly. We did 2,850km on good roads, in a comfortable coach, with an excellent guide and saw so, so much that even though 10 days is nothing for such a huge country (especially with two of them spent at Gallipoli) I feel that I’ve got a good feel for the place now and can consider it properly visited, if not actually done.
Apart from the usual comfort stops and lunch at a service area (much pleasanter than it sounds), most of the day was spent driving from Ankara to Istanbul, listening to Barçin tell stories, or snoozing, or web-surfing – or, indeed, looking out of the window at farmland, forest, industry and suburbs. The first real event of the day was a Bosphorus cruise back to the Old City – yes, we did that before the tour began, but this was on a fancier boat and, really, you’d have to be a total curmudgeon not to enjoy looking again at castles and palaces, beautiful waterfront residences old and new (and all expensive – one recently sold for USD 125 million), tankers, ferries, fishing boats and launches, and crowds of people enjoying waterside restaurants.

The last thing today was our farewell dinner, all five Insight coaches together (there’s usually only one at a time on this route, but everything was different this time because of the Gallipoli centenary). It was jolly, the food was pretty good, and there were splendid 360-degree views right around from Galata Tower to the Suleymaniye Mosque as the sun lowered and set, before everything was lit up after dark. And finally there were drinks at the hotel’s rooftop bar, and goodbyes to all the nice Kiwis and Aussies we’ve got to know on this trip, some heading home, some on to further travels. It’s been a pleasure sharing their company. Thanks, Insight.

1 comment:

World traveler said...

I love cruises, no matter if they last for an afternoon or two weeks. Sailing is awesome!

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