Sunday, 1 April 2012


We’ve been in Turkey the last couple of weeks. 

We departed Australia in mid-November, coming out of a Canberra winter. While winter in Canberra is mild compared to this seemingly endless Moscow epic, it does get quite cold and snows occasionally. Minus 5 is not uncommon.  So having had two consecutive winters, we felt the need for some warmth and sunshine.  

One of the things I like about living in Moscow is its proximity to so many interesting places. Istanbul is only a couple of hours flight away. The Turkish Aegean coast just 60 minutes further. 

Getting anywhere from south east Australia (other than New Zealand – which is a lovely place) is a very expensive undertaking. In order to travel overseas, people save for ages and then psych themselves up to endure lengthy flights. 

A photo of New Zealand with no purpose other than to show off scenic New Zealand. The mountain is Mount Cook, the highest peak. Below it, and feeding into the lake, is the Hooker Glacier. And, of course, there's Wendy, enjoying the sun.

From Moscow,  a few hundred dollars and a few days is enough for a complete change of scenery.
Ironically, during our four days in Cappadocia it snowed. The first time, we were assured, there had been snow in mid-March for 20 years. To makes amends, the Aegean coast was lovely.

Uchisar, in Cappadocia. The peak is a called a castle, but it is really just a small mountain full of excavated tunnels and chambers which could be used as a defensive position. The landscape of Cappadocia is so dotted with excavated holes that I'm surprised it doesn't completely collapse.

We returned to Moscow last weekend. Sunday it snowed all day. Looking at the European weather map, spring seems to have arrived in almost every major European capital, with temperatures in the mid-teens. Except Moscow.

 One of the things that puzzles me is why, many hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago, people first settled here. I mean, you’ve arrived with your donkey cart, presumably in summer. Very nice. Build a little hut out of sticks, skins and whatever. Grow a few vegies. Then winter comes. 6 months of snow and minus freezing degrees. Stuck in a draughty hut going bonkers. Surely at the first sign of spring a sensible person would load up their donkey cart and head south to the Black Sea?

Perhaps the donkey had died of the cold.

Cappadocia police station. Outside Goreme.
The Spice Bazaar. Istanbul

The Blue Mosque. Istanbul.
This is more like it!  Gulluk, on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

1 comment:

  1. Dead donkey made me laugh :)))
    You must visit Crimea in summer!