28 April 2011

A modern stone-age family [Turkey Part III]

I arrived in the city of Goreme fairly early. I don't remember exactly what time as I had travelled about 1000kms in the previous 24 hours... But it was definitely early! Thankfully I was able to check into the hostel, so I had a shower, chilled out for a couple of hours and recharged.

Cappadokia generously spreads out before visitors an extraordinary and lavish bouquet of natural wonders exceeding their wildest imagination and elegantly graced with works by the hand of man... or so my brochure says. It felt more like stepping out on to the set of the Flinstones. I would not have been surprised if a few dinosaurs wandered on by. Rather than trying to explain, I think I will just show you...

23 April 2011

Talkin' Turkey [Turkey Part II]

Leaving Pamukkale I had my first positive bus experience. Well, I cannot complain about the frequency and punctuality, but my travelling companions have been less than ideal. The bus from Pamukkale to Selcuk was slick - leather seats, TV screens in the headrests... they even had a guy bring around snacks and coffee! And no huge smelly dude sitting beside me... win!

I had been recommended a hostel that was out of the city center, but apparently worth the hassle. And I must agree. Atillas Getaway is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in. The facilities are fairly average, and the location is... well, crap. But it has a great atmosphere. There is a huge outdoor area with an awesome bar, pool table, nice couches to relax in... And the owner, Atilla, is just a freakin cool guy. At night he lights a big fire and people just hang around, chat and have a drink. Good times.

19 April 2011

The Icing on the Cake... [Turkey Part I]

I have arrived in Turkey! As the ferry got close I felt as though I had arrived in Jurassic Park. Huge mountains covered in massive, green trees. It looked untouched, pristine. Beautiful even.

I arrived in Marmaris about an hour later than I thought I would due to a slow ferry. I didn't even really want to be in Marmaris! I had planned my first stop in Turkey to be Bodrum, but because Peter and Nina (hosts in Athens) convinced me to visit Rhodes, I had to go - there are no direct ferries to Bodrum. When I got to the border I was expecting to have to buy a visa, but I thought they would have a cash machine or let you pay by card, so I used all my Euros in Rhodes. But there was nothing, you could pay by cash only. I looked at the list of countries that require a visa and New Zealand did not appear. I thought it was strange as Australia was... But I did not put much stock in the list as Canada wasn't on it either, and I saw a group of Canadians get turned around and made to buy a visa... I thought I would give it a shot... I am not sure weather it was because the woman was a rookie, or if I genuinely didn't need a visa, but she stamped my passport and I went straight through! I guess I will find out if I needed one when I try to exit the country.

15 April 2011

I once had a bad experience with a Sea Cucumber [The Greek Islands]

You may have noticed my lack of posts over the last week or two. Want to know why? I have been chilling the f*** out! Want to go somewhere warm? Somewhere spectacularly beautiful? Somewhere where there is nothing much to do other than drink beer and lye on a beach? The Greek Islands are the answer.

5 April 2011

This. Is. Spartaaaaa! - Athens [Greece]

I guess I should really have a bit of a recap of Italy, seeing as I spent the best part of three weeks in the country. Clich√©, but it really was amazing. Amazing people, food, sights, architecture, beaches... I could go on. Sure, I had my ups and downs, and a few 'interesting' experiences along the way, but it was all part of the journey.

So this was my last view of Italy as I sailed into the night, and the first views of Greece in the early morning.

The last time I wrote I was settling in for my huge journey across to Greece. Things went relatively well. I met a cool Argentinian guy called Alex, who I am now going to cruise the Greek Islands with. Other than that I just chilled out and watched a whole season of Entourage (I forgot how much I love that show!). My accommodation for the evening was a row of two seats in a room containing a couple of hundred, surrounded by coughing, snoring,and just generally loud people. I managed to get a decent amount of sleep, considering. What was great was the announcements that kept coming over the loud speaker, especially at 5am. Highlight of the journey.

3 April 2011

A trip to the brothel in Pompei (and Sorrento) [Italy]

I arrived directly to the Pompei ruins before midday, ready for a full on afternoon getting in amongst it. It costs a rather expensive €11 to get in, but it gave me a chance to get rid of one of the rolls of 2c pieces I have been carrying around (don't know what I'm talking about?)... the woman at the ticket desk didn't look too happy!

2 April 2011

See Naples and DIE! [Italy]

I arrived into Naples to miserable, grey weather. Stepping out of the main station I was surrounded by about 10 African guys all trying to sell me an umbrella. I have seen these guys all over Italy, but in Naples they are like a swarm of locusts. I think they also have some kind of telepathic ability, because before the first drops of rain appear, their fake D&G sunglasses disappear and out come the umbrellas.

After a bit of confusion I met up with my host, Guglielmo, who lead me up a massive hill (OK, it was a small hill, but I had my big backpack on!) and put me on a bus to his place. Guglielmo is an awesome Italian guy studying at the University in Naples. He and his flatmates are great hosts, really helpful and and just cool people to hang out with and chat to.
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