Monthly Archives: April 2012
I just spoke to a colleague who participated in an Earthwatch program in 2011. Each year, National Australia Bank sponsors 20 employees to participate in an expedition to Mongolia as a part of our sustainability agenda. In this instance, participants worked in the Ikh Nart nature reserve to support the nesting process of the Cinereous Vulture – considered the largest bird of prey in the world.
Checkout the link to their WordPress site below – it really is an interesting read that will give you a good idea of life in a Gerr and some of the great work Earthwatch do as part of the program.
A link to the nature reserve is http://www.ikhnart.com/home.html
After burning through most of Europe, Turkey will be the first country where we can start to take our time and get the hang of the place. It’s going to be a long arse haul – nearly 3,000km, through a country credited with the highest petrol prices of any EU nation (1.90EUR litre-ish – yew!)
We have allowed ourselves six days, so with any luck there will be a lay day or two for us to enjoy a few Raki’s and a late night Kebab or 2 with the locals.
Country #9 – Turkey
- Currency – Turkish Lira (TRY) $1 AUD = 1.86 Lira
- Big Mac Index – $3.07 USD or 5.55 Lira / Mac (USA = $4.20USD / Mac, Australia = $4.94USD / Mac )
- National Poison – Raki, distilled from grapes and around 45%
- National Brew – Efes Pilsen (according to some literary genius, is described as having a “tangy malt and hops aroma, rich malt in the mouth, and a bitter-sweet finish that becomes dry and hoppy”)
As we say goodbye to Bulgaria, it will be a b-line for Istanbul, the nation’s capital, for our first night in Turkey. Over the years every man and his god turned up for a slice of this joint, turns out this is a huge win for us. Every new mob had to build a bigger and better monument than the last. More for us to gander at. One bugger even renamed the place.
After one night in Istanbul/ Constantinople and we have an important pilgrimage to make. Gallipoli. Fair to say this is going to be a highlight of our trip – and must for any Australian.
The road after this will lead us to the south coast and along the water visiting Izmir, Antalya and Mersin before heading back up to Van for a night. Here we empty the chariot of all our grog, pornography and pork products in readiness for the much needed detox that is Ramadan.
What to Do
Open Travel have pulled together a mad list of the ’25 Best things to See in Turkey’, we ripped off a couple of them below for your enjoyment:
- Get lathered up, beaten to a pulp and rinsed off in a Hamam (traditional Turkish bath). In the same vein, Pamukkale Thermal Baths look mad and could be well worth a look.
- Checkout the Ephesus ruins near Selcuk, Izmir
- Head to the old site of Troy, near Cannakale
- Have a coffee and smoke some Turkish Tobacco in a Nargile Bar (Hookah pipe style – mad)
- See the Yerebatan Sarayi, a massive underground cistern featured in the Bond movie ‘From Russia With Love’ (probably full of nerdy plumbers)
- Mount Arrarat near Igdir. At least once Noah pulled up in his boat, he was close to a Kebab?
- Lake Van – A spectacular looking lake and close to the town that will be our last night in Turkey
Did you know (cause I didn’t)
- 70% of the world’s hazelnuts come from Turkey.
Only 84 days to go, game on!