Turkey: Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore – continues..


I am finally getting back to finishing my travelogue of my Lycian trip….
We are now at the most eastern and southern part of our journey into Lycia; ancient Sura. In ages past the river flowed through the valley and the seaport was on the edge of the Temple to Apollo. Now it is marshland, but the temple remains along with the ruins of a Byzantium Basilica. The temple was famous for its “fish oracle” – yes just like Paul the Octopus (Soccer World Cup 2010) – people would ask a question and then throw food to the fish, and the answer was favourable (or not) depending on how the fish liked the food..
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Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 2

dsc06473It’s time I returned to my travelogue of the Turkish Lycian Shore…..
We continued our exploring by travelling up the Xanthus valley from our mooring in Kalkan to ancient Pinara.  In the Lycian Federation, Pinara was one of six major cities with the most voting power, hence a dominant force in Lycia.  Pinara is situated on a high plateau with strategic views across the valley and towards the spectacular White Mountain range. These White Mountains look over the White Sea,  otherwise known as the Mediterranean sea… An interesting note; the Black Sea is on the north-eastern side (opposite) side of Turkey..

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Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 1


Back to the past .. in Turkey again!  I’ve started another Peter Sommer Travels (PST) Archaeology trip, this time with a focus on Walking the Lycian Way (Likya Yolu) – a hiking path that follows ancient roads, goat trails and village paths over remote rocky, stony and very prickly ground. It sure was hard work; but combined with amazing scenery and ancient history and ruins, it was another fantastic trip.  Travelling 2 weeks on a Turkish Gulet, slowly meandering along the south west coast of Turkey in endless sunshine and warmth was a glorious way to spend a few weeks.

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My Italian Grand Tour: Lake Maggiore


My time in Italy has rapidly drawn to a close. I’ve had wonderful Autumnal weather and in the short time I was here I’ve seen just a glimpse of the very many beautiful Villas and Gardens.  It’s a place you can easily do on your own (as in not needing a tour guide), however it is really convenient (and relaxing) to have someone else organise travel and other matters….

So my last few days/nights were spent in Pallanza on Lake Maggiore.  Our garden visits concentrated on the western edge of Lake Maggiore, with the first day on the Borromean Islands, between Stresa and Pallanza.

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My Italian Grand Tour: Villas of Lombardy


We left Lake Como and travelled through Lombardy into Piedmont to Lake Maggiore; visiting some special villas along the way. Our first stop was Villa Cicogna Mozzino, in a village north of Varese. It was a home originally built as a hunting lodge for the Mozzoni family in 1400!. It has remained with the Mozzoni family until this day.

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My Italian Grand Tour: Lake Como


Hello Everyone from Italy! I am now in Bellagio, Lake Como starting a Gardens & Villas tour with Martin Randall Travel (MRT). The weather was mild and warm, with misty mornings across the lake. I visited Lake Como many years ago, in another life, during a work/supplier meeting. I always remembered a wonderful Villa I saw on a boat trip then that perched on a peninsula strutting out onto Lake Como.  This time I got to visit it – Villa Balbianello…

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Netherlands: Amsterdam and North Holland


After many recent trips to Europe, I am finally visiting Netherlands again, arriving and departing via the lovely Amsterdam Centraal Station. Two of my de Gooyer cousins now live in Amsterdam, which allowed for easy exploration of Amsterdam and beyond. I also visited my Mother’s (de Jong) side of the family in Den Haag. We had a lovely dinner at my cousins there, along with the obligatory bicycle ride around the city to see places where my parents lived. It was wonderful to re-acquaint myself with them and especially 2 of my Tantes – now 95 and 94! Continue reading “Netherlands: Amsterdam and North Holland”