Monday, July 11, 2011

Journey to Safranbolu.

This morning my alarm rang at 04.30. Outside it was still dark, what in the mane of God am I doing. I got up before the rest of them and put on the kettle. My travelling partners were not amused by the idea of having to be in the airport by 06.00

Once the kettle was boiled and the toast was on I called them.  I had some hope of a civil response if I could get some coffee into them. Once they were moving I went across and called Metin. He was up, dressed and ready to go. As we left the site the dawn was breaking. The view was breathtaking, the yachts silhouetted against the sunrise. Unfortunately there was no time to stop to photograph it. Note to self: get up at 5 o'clock some morning to photograph the view.

An uneventful journey brought us to the airport. We were on our way to Safranbolu, a UNESCO heritage town in the Black Sea region. We were flying to Ankara and from there driving to our destination. Both men wanted window seats and got them. Metin could identify the local landmarks from the air. We flew over his hometown and he excitedly pointed out his home as the plane headed for Ankara. There it was easy identify Ataturk's Mausoleum as we passed over the city.

We met the car rental man. They wanted 200tl deposit for the car, refundable on safe return of the car.
He learned the extent of my Turkish. He was told in no uncertain terms this was not stated on the internet and he had our credit card details. Enough! A quick phone call later he agreed this would be ok.
TomTom was connected and programmed and we were off. It was surprising easy. We skirted around the city and soon were on the road for Karabut. A quick stop for tea, an encounter with a Turkish loo and we were off again. Even though I was wearing three quarter length trousers it is hard to keep them out of the wet. How on earth do the Turkish women who wear fitted long coats over trousers manage to squat and stay dry. I'm missing out on a lesson somewhere!

Metin was driving, he doesn't get much opportunity and Sean had handed him the keys. It was a good job that the roads weren't crowded  as he tended to wander from one lane to the other. Then TomTom died. The car charger was not working. If we had known we would have spared the battery.

The directions we received did not seem to match up with where we were going. We drove or should I say revved our way through the narrow streets. The smell from the clutch was becoming worrying. It would help if Metin knew how to use the handbrake. Tempers were getting frayed,  time to turn up the air conditioning. We pulled in to ask the way. The traffic policeman was making frantic signs at us, we could not park there. However when asked for directions he pointed us in the right direction. This was after he had practised his english by asking us where we were from.....or had some of my blog readers tipped off the police that there was an Irishwoman with murderous intentions on the loose.

We returned the way we came, leaving the old town behind us. Metin was trying to read the map and drive the car at the same time. End result, he hopped the car off the pavement. It was the last straw for the passengers in the back. No amount of air-conditioning could cope with the heat radiating from the back seat.

After stopping for directions at least twice more we found our hotel. It is a beautiful old konak loving restored by its owner. We sat to drink coffee while the rooms was prepared. We were upgraded to the stone suite for one night......bit of a nuisance in one way as the room I had chosen was allocated to Sis-in-Law. It will be interesting to see what kind of room we will get tomorrow.

We took a few minutes to cool down , literally and figuratively and arranged to meet at reception. As we arrived in reception we saw film crew outside. They came into the reception area and wanted to film us sitting and chatting. My fame has spread. Now everyone has heard of the crazy Irish woman. I'll have to forget about murder, at least while in Turkey. Charlie of Charlie Nitric has advised me that a million is the going rate to make it worthwhile to commit murder. As there is only 10,000tl on offer and I have been reminded of the film Midnight Express, I have decided to shelve this option for a later date. We sat sipping fresh plum juice as we chatted. It was freshly squeezed and absolutely delicious.

We then headed out to get something to eat and to find our way back to the old town.


  1. PIctures! We want pictures!
    Josie x

  2. And the adventure continues! I had fun reading this and mainly I'm surprised that even as you travel with two males, you guys managed to stop to ask for directions!! WOW! You must be one strong woman indeed! The XX wins!! ;-)

  3. Pictures are coming don't worry. Joy, I too am continually amazed that my Turkish male asks for directions, and Hubbie has such a hopeless sense of direction, he has learned to stop and ask. He gets lost going 100m for a carton of milk!

  4. Yes to the pictures. I love reading these as the adventure continues. I bought a GPS so I wouldn't have to ask for directions - male that I am.

  5. We had the GPS too Thom but as it is called TomTom and it is Aonghus that speaks to me I assume it is male. Sometimes he loses his way, new roads confuse him and on this occasion he died as the charger in the car wasn't working and he hadn't enough life in his battery to get the women to their destination. Typical!!

  6. From my experience, driving in Turkey is not for the faint I admire you for such a ride. As for me, our driver was so careless that I had to pretend I was sick and I took the wheel.
    So, where are the pics?

  7. The practical aspects of getting from one place to another, and the difficulties therein, often are what make a trip interesting! I'm so with you on the Midnight Express deterrent! I'm glad you restrained yourself! ;p

  8. Hi Mary -

    Always always always 1 million and nothing less will suffice. You have your honor to keep Mary, in spite of the fact you always seem to have hunky handsome men carting you to and fro, lol. Where are all those 'Mazing' Mary photos???

  9. A fun post. Can just see Metin weaving from lane to lane and not knowing how to get where you were going, plus the awful smell of an overheated car. Can understand if people in the back seat rather than you might have had murderous intentions. Did he drive back?

  10. Penelope, he drove the last leg of the journey back, through Ankara.....but that's another story:-)

  11. I won't hold not posting photos against you this time, since I sometimes have to post without them too. What adventures you are having! I do look forward to photos though, since your description of the dawn you saw. :D
    ~cath xo


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