Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.
Today we’re visiting a country that sits in two continents, a wilderness oasis, and we’re going to Africa – or are we?
We visited beautiful Turkey early in our married life and whilst we remember the holiday really well, we cannot remember the name of the place we stayed. It was well away from all the touristy areas and we even had to travel part of the way on a dirt road, but the small village was fabulous. We stayed in a lovely pension (small hotel) which was just across the road from the beach, we had breakfast on an open air patio, and there was a swimming pool.
This is the view from the beach which we spent a lot of time on – me protecting my snow-white skin under an umbrella, and my beloved soaking up the sun.
One of the insane things we did was hire a car and travel along the coast to visit the ancient city of Myra. Insane because Turkish roads are a bit of a free for all and for part of the journey the road didn’t really have any edge – it was road and then sheer drop into the sea. People were passing whenever they liked, whether there were cars coming or not. I was freaking out and ended up in tears as I was terrified – the only other time I’ve experienced fear like that was on the roads in Saudi Arabia. Thankfully my beloved is an excellent driver and we survived unscathed.
Myra was the capital of the Lycian region and the above theatre was once covered with intricate carvings. We also discovered an ancient necropolis, a city of the dead carved into the rocks and it has been dated back to the 4th century BC.
Myra is also where the real Saint Nicholas was a bishop in the 4th century AD. Known for his kindness and charitable nature, he was the inspiration for Santa Claus.
I took this picture because they have outrageously left Tasmania off the map!!
When on holiday we like to eat in restaurants that locals eat in, not the ones that are full of tourists, and we found a fabulous one just a short walk from where we were staying. When we walked in, the owner, Fatima, got very excited and dragged us into the kitchen to choose which fish we wanted cooked, and were given more food than we ordered which was all delicious. Whilst we ate, Fatima often came and stood at the end of the table watching us eat, and the other diners were keeping a close eye on us as well. When we’d finished eating, Fatima asked if she could sit with us, and we ended up sitting there for ages communicating in a mixture of english, arabic, and turkish.
Fatima insisted on putting a headscarf on me, which she gave me as a gift, she also gave me two evil eye bracelets and I gave her two of the bracelets that I was wearing. Pictured below is my beloved (I’m not sure why he’s so red, he’s not really that red in person) showing off the incredible meal we had, and me with Fatima, wearing the head scarf she put on me.
If you ever go to Tasmania, then the Tahune Airwalk is a must do experience. It is 88 km southwest of Hobart and is an elevated walkway 30 metres above the forest floor which gives such an incredible view of the beautiful world heritage wilderness.
There are also lots of walking tracks through the forest which is incredibly beautiful and relaxing. The rivers that meet in this area are the Huon and Picton, where the water is brown due to the tannin that leaches out of the peat and into the water.
The forest you walk through has some very old trees, and my beloved took the opportunity to molest a few of them.
This cantilevered section of the airwalk is 50 metres above the river and it took quite a bit of convincing to get my beloved, who is scared of heights, to go out there – if you look closely you can see how tightly he is holding on.
When I first came to the UK I discovered a very strange phenomenon in that when people ask me where I’m from, instead of Tasmania, they hear Tanzania. This didn’t just happen once or twice, it happened a lot. For the less travelled amongst you, Tasmania is the island state of Australia and has a population of 541,071, whereas Tanzania is a country in east Africa which has a population of 57,797,000.
After this had happened a few times I began to expect it, which helped when a doctor at work said to me, “you don’t sound like you’re from Tasmania?” I looked at him and asked if he thought I came from Africa, and his response was, that’s where Tasmania is, isn’t it.
The most recent episode was just a few weeks ago when I was talking about walks with a lady and hers was Mount Kilimanjaro, which as we all know is in Tanzania, and when I said mine was in Tasmania she got very excited and then said, isn’t it amazing that our walks are in the same country.
Interestingly this is a phenomena that happens around the world. I found a story from 1988 where a Pakistani cricketer was sent to Tanzania instead of Tasmania – read here. So no we haven’t actually been to Tanzania, just in some people’s minds.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.
Stay safe and have a wonderful day.
Previous A to Z posts:
2018 – T is for Travel