Sad and frightening news from the US…Cable TV is down in the hotel…

Wow! Wow! Wow! Tom took this photo from the 124th-floor observation deck of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa with a total of 163 stories in Dubai on this date in 2013. 

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.
No more old videos will be posted at this time although past photos will continue until such time as we have new photos to post.
Today’s photos are from May 31, 2013, from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Many more photos are available at this post. Please click here for more details.


As we sit here in lockdown in Mumbai, India since March 24, 2020, for a total of 69 days and nights, we’re dependent upon both online and TV news broadcasts to keep us informed of world affairs. There are a few English speaking newscasts here in Mumbai that we supplement with news we read and videos we watch online.


Yes, we know about the unreliability of news as being precise and accurate in its representation with sensationalism being the primary objective to attract more readers and viewers. But, this is all we have to go by at this point like many of you in lockdown scenarios throughout the world.

The most intentionally crooked skyscraper in the world in Abu Dhabi, Capital Gate, built at a full 18-degree angle. Oh.

Although, we must admit, at times we may post a somewhat sensationalized headline to our stories to attract more readers, the content of our stories is definitively truthful and concise. (Oh, yes, the media claim to do the same thing!).


That’s one of the reasons we feel our readers have stayed with us for so long. We tell it like it is, although being upfront and vulnerable at times, may prove to be a little revealing and embarrassing.

One of the entrances to the Emirates Palace Hotel.

We wish the media felt the same way. But, they don’t. And as we remain in lockdown in Mumbai for these 69 days and nights, we try to decipher from the available media, what is truth and what is an exaggeration or possibly untrue in its entirety.


There’s no doubt in our minds what happening in many cities in the US right now; the rioting, the violence, the ravaging of businesses, the thievery, and the resulting risk to life and limb.

Looking up, as we stood in the main foyer of the Emirates Palace Hotel.

We won’t get into a political stance here, as we’ve promised in the past. For us, the reality remains: we’re worried about our family members and friends and the state of our country.


Many cities in our former home state of Minnesota and Tom’s birthplace of Minneapolis is in ruins right now and becoming worse each day. And for many of our readers in the US, their own cities are being ravaged by this seeming uncontrollable situation.

Happy to sit in the air-conditioned comfort of the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Adding to our concern is the fact that cable TV in the hotel is down today since early this morning. With skeleton staff during the lockdown, it could be days until we can watch the news on the TV which we do each morning upon awakening.


Instead, this morning we listened to US news videos on my phone before and during breakfast, horrified by what we were hearing and seeing. Gee…isn’t Covid-19 enough?

This looks similar to an ATM but its actually a gold dispensing machine, not an ATM.

Of course, there are many exaggerations and untruths flying around Facebook, Twitter, and other media right now, many of which are scare tactics only inspiring more disharmony and hysteria. 

In a time when harmony and collective caring for neighborhoods and fellow human beings can be highly instrumental in reducing the risks for Covid-19, the nation is its knees in disharmony with elements of civil war.

Our final stop that day on Palm island, in Dubia the renowned Atlantis, The Palm Hotel & Resort that doesn’t allow tourists to visit except when dining or as a booked guest.

May we all pray for our health, our safety, and our freedom, as a nation, as a world, and as an individual. God speed.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2019:

A portion of the Twelve Bens mountains. For more photos from Connemara, Ireland please click here.

Part 2…British Day…Language, slang and expressions as we’ve traveled the world…

A female lion who’s not looking well, seen at the Verhami Dam in Kruger National Park.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site in a few months, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you.

Today’s photos are from May 29, 2019, from Connemara, Ireland.  Please click here for more details.

After a positive response from yesterday’s post about Australian’s use of the English language including slang expressions, we looked forward to posting more of these commonly used by British people, not necessarily including those in other parts of the UK, such as Ireland, Wales and Scotland each of which has their own languages.

Tom had to duck his head to enter the house at the Connemara Heritage and History Center.
English people, on the other hand, speak English and as we know, don’t necessarily use another standard language in their repertoire. Although, England, like many other countries has had an influx of immigrants from all over the world resulting in a melting pot of languages spoken.
Today, like yesterday, we are focusing on England’s English speaking language which consists of many slang expressions we’ve found endearing and humorous, especially over the past several years as we’ve traveled the world.
This twin-size daybed is located in the main living area, although there is a bedroom as shown in the photo below.
Overall, we’ve probably communicated more frequently with Australians and British folks we’ve met along the way, many on cruises and some in other areas in which we lived for a month or more. 
Many, including Afrikaans/English speaking South Africans, seem to use the English language in a way similar to the slang expressions used by Australia and England, although most are of Dutch descent. We’ll save their distinct slang expressions for a post, hopefully sometime down the road when we’re back in South Africa.
The one bedroom in the house was most likely where Dan and his wife slept.
Our close British friends, Linda and Ken, and many more, who live in South Africa but, are from England, possess an adorable mix of both English and South African expressions that always make us smile. 
There’s no doubt, we’ve picked up some of this lingo along the way but as mentioned yesterday, we avoid going overboard in using such expressions when years ago, the singer Madonna, was bashed by fans for suddenly speaking with a British accent after living in England for a few years. 
Spinning wheel in a corner of the bedroom.
Many immigrants retain their origin-based accent as many as 40 or 50 years since they left their homeland. We won’t be so presumptions as to acquire a dialect or accent other than that which we learned growing up.
So here are some expressions used by the British, many of which are used with their special tongue-in-cheek sense of humor which we adore for this site:

1. Ace
‘Ace’ – a British slang term that means something that is brilliant or excellent. It can also mean passing something with flying colors.
For example, ‘Jenny is ace at the lab experiments’, or, for the latter definition, ‘I think I aced that exam’.
2. All To Pot
Slightly more of an outdated version, this British slang term is still used, and its meaning remains relevant today. ‘All to pot’ refers to a situation going out of your control and failing miserably.
For example, ‘The birthday party went all to pot when the clown turned up drunk and everyone was sick from that cheap barbecue stuff.’
3. Blimey
‘Blimey’ is used as a way of expressing surprise at something, often used when seeing or looking at something surprising or impressive instead of shocking or upsetting.
For example; you might say ‘Blimey! Look at that!’
4. Blinding
‘Blinding’ – a slang term that is far from something that physically causes someone to lose their sight. ‘Blinding’ is a positive term meaning excellent, great, or superb.  For example, ‘That tackle from the Spanish player was blinding.’
The Dutch door to the barn next to the house.
5. Bloke
Bloke is an extremely common term denoting a man, usually, it is used in reference to an ordinary man, akin to the US ‘average joe’, but it is not uncommon to hear it used to describe a man generally. As such, you can use it like this, ‘That bob is a good bloke.
6. Bloody
You probably don’t need me to describe this, out of all British slang, this is by far the most popular and most commonly used. In the past, it was regarded as a swearword but now, due to its common usage, it is generally acceptable. It is often used as an expression of anger or is used to emphasize a comment.  In anger, you might say, “Oh bloody hell!” Or to use it as emphasis, ‘That’s bloody cool!’
7. Bob’s your uncle/Fanny’s your aunt
The first form of this is far more common and is sometimes used internationally. For those unaware, the expression essentially used at the end of a series of basic instructions. The origin of the expression is unknown, and is quite old, but is still in general use. In context, ‘Get the food, put in the microwave, heat it up, then bob’s your uncle, ready to eat.’
8. Bollocks
Perhaps one of the most internationally famous British slang terms, ‘bollocks’ has a multitude of uses, although its top ones including being a curse word used to indicate dismay, e.g. ‘Oh bollocks’; it can also be used to express derision and mocking disbelief, e.g. ‘You slept with Kate Upton last night? Bollocks…’; and, of course, it also refers to the scrotum and testicles. For example, ‘I kicked him right in the bollocks when he wouldn’t let me go past.
9. Bollocking
Very different from the ‘bollocks’ of the previous suggestion, a ‘bollocking’ is a telling-off or a severe or enthusiastic reprimand from a boss, co-worker, partner, or anyone you like, for a misdemeanor.  For example, ‘My wife gave me a real bollocking for forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning on my way home from work.
10. Brass Monkeys
A more obscure British term, ‘brass monkeys’ is used to refer to extremely cold weather. The phrase comes from the expression, ‘it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” For example, ‘You need to wear a coat today, it’s brass monkeys outside.
Note the small size of the barn.
11. Brilliant
‘Brilliant’ is not a word exclusively in the British lexicon, but has a very British usage. Specifically, when something is exciting or wonderful, particularly when something is good news, ‘brilliant’ can mean as such. For example, ‘You got the job? Oh, mate, that’s brilliant.’ Sometimes brilliant can be shortened to just “brill” to give it a more casual feel.
12. Bugger All
‘Bugger all’ – a British slang term used to be a more vulgar synonym for ‘nothing at all’. For example, ‘I’ve had bugger all to do all day.’
13. Butchers hook
This is the cockney rhyming slang version of having a gander, to look at something. Though it may seem strange at first, it’s pretty simple, it is constructed out of the expression’s second word, in this case, the way ‘hook’ rhymes directly with ‘look’ however, perhaps contrary to expectations, the word ‘hook’ is often removed, so you may hear someone say ‘have butchers at this.’ But like most things cockney, it’s becoming less popular.
14. Car Park
One of the more boring and technical terms on this list, a ‘car park’ is in effect, the place outside or attached to a building where people park their cars. The British equivalent to the American ‘parking lot’ or ‘parking garage’. For example, ‘I left my car in the car park this morning.’
15. Cheers
‘Cheers’ doesn’t quite have the same meaning that it does in other counties – of course, it still means ‘celebrations’ when toasting a drink with some friends, but in British slang, it also means ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’. For example, ‘Cheers for getting me that drink, Steve’.
This breed of white horses is indigenous to Connemara.
16. Chuffed
Chuffed is used more or less all over the UK, it seems to be decreasing in popularity, but is still in relatively common usage. Essentially, it is an expression of pride in your own actions or achievements. For example, you could say ‘I’m feeling properly chuffed I won that.’ If you’re talking to someone else you can use it as such, ‘I bet you’re pretty chuffed you won!’
17. Chunder
Not a wonderfully melodic word, ‘chunder’ is part and parcel of British slang terms. Meaning ‘to vomit’ or ‘to be sick’, ‘chunder’ is almost always used in correlation with drunken nights, or being hugely ill and sick.  For example, ‘I ate a bad pizza last night after too many drinks and chundered in the street.’
18. Cock-Up
‘Cock up’ – a British slang term that is far from the lewdness its name suggests. A ‘cock-up’ is a mistake, a failure of large or epic proportions. For example, ‘The papers sent out to the students were all in the wrong language – it’s a real cock-up.’ Also, ‘I cocked up the orders for table number four.’
19. Damp Squib
More of a usual term, a ‘damp squib’ in British slang terms refers to something which fails on all accounts, coming from the ‘squib’ (an explosive), and the propensity for them to fail when wet. For example, ‘The party was a bit of a damp squib because only Richard turned up.
20. Do
A “do” is essentially a party, to my knowledge, it doesn’t refer to a particular form of party, so feel free to use it as you like. For example, you might say ‘I’m going to Steve’s birthday do tonight.’
A shed used to store peat moss which may often be used for heating as well as: “Gardeners use peat moss mainly as a soil amendment or ingredient in potting soil. It has an acid pH, so it’s ideal for acid-loving plants, such as blueberries and camellias. For plants that with more alkaline soil, compost may be a better choice.”
21. Dodgy
In British slang terms, ‘dodgy’ refers to something wrong, illegal, or just plain ‘off’, in one way or another. For example, it can be used to mean illegal – ‘He got my dad a dodgy watch for Christmas’; it can be used to mean something food-related that is nauseous or nauseating – ‘I had a dodgy kebab last night and I don’t feel right.; and it can also be used as a pejorative – ‘He just seems dodgy to me.
22. Fortnight
‘Fortnight’ – a British slang term more commonly used by virtually everyone in the UK to mean ‘a group of two weeks’. For example, ‘I’m going away for a fortnight to Egypt for my summer holiday.’
23. Gobsmacked
‘Gobsmacked’ – a truly British expression meaning to be shocked and surprised beyond belief. The expression is believed by some to come literally from ‘gob’ (a British expression for mouth), and the look of shock that comes from someone hitting it. For example. ‘I was gobsmacked when she told me she was pregnant with triplets.’
24. Grockel
This is cheating, it is almost exclusively used in the English county Devonshire, but I’m including it as its fun to say. It is used as a derogatory word for tourists. For example, ‘I don’t go over there anymore, it’s full of jokes these days.’
25. Gutted
‘Gutted’ – a British slang term that is one of the saddest on the lists in terms of pure contextual emotion. To be ‘gutted’ about a situation means to be devastated and saddened. For example, ‘His girlfriend broke up with him. He’s absolutely gutted.’
View of the creek running through the history centre’s grounds.
For another 25 of these fun British slang expressions, please click here.

On another note, we’re saddened and devastated by the police brutality in our home state of Minnesota and the subsequent riots causing further injury and loss of lives, loss of businesses, and subsequent further loss of jobs. We live in challenging times and pray for the well-being of the citizens of Minnesota and all over the world.


Stay safe wherever you may be.
______________________________________
Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2019:
This is the tiny house Dan O’Hara, his wife, and seven children lived until they were forced to vacate when they couldn’t pay the rent during the potato famine. For more details, please click here.

Ephesus Turkey ruins, history, and a very odd touch of modern day…What?…A fashion show!…

Here we are, in front of more historic ruins, Ephesus.  This photo is rather similar to the photo of us in front of Petra in Aqaba, Jordan.
Note:  Today, our ship was scheduled to arrive in Piraeus, Greece with many tours scheduled to go to Athens. We had decided to travel on our own while there.  Last night during dinner, the captain announced that we werenot going to Greece after all. Apparently, as of yesterday, there was a massive strike in Greece resulting in a standstill of all public transportation and services including all port facilities. 
The view from our balcony as we entered the city of Izmir, Turkey.

Many passengers, bound and determined to see the Acropolis and other ruins are sorely disappointed. We chalk it up to all a part of the adventure, especially when tomorrow morning, we’ll be in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the historic walled city. Dubrovnik was not a part of the planned Ports of Call.

Time for cattle herding time to Ephesus. Moo.
Actually, we’re enthused for the opportunity to see Croatia after hearing so much about it from many passengers on our previous cruises, as a favored stop.
At sea today, we have no option but to use the ship’s WiFi to post the many photos today from our visit to Ephesus yesterday. 
Tom reminded me these are called “containers” not “cartons” as I erroneously referred to them.

Fact about Ephesus:

·    Ephesus is considered one of the greatest outdoor museums in Turkey.

Ephesus is the most well preserved classical city of the eastern Mediterranean, allowing visitors to soak in the atmosphere of Roman times.
Ephesus was once a seaport is now six miles from the sea.
The ancient city continues to be restored in a manner of fitting pieces of a massive puzzle in place.  It could take hundreds of years to complete it.
The Celsius Library in its day was the third largest library in the world with a capacity of 12,000 scrolls.  The facade of the library has two stories, but the interior has three stories due to its origi
The toilets in Ephesus were arranged side by side (photos below) with no privacy.  The toilet stones were heated by the slaves for their masters in the winter.
The Grand Theatre in Ephesus had a seating capacity of 24,000, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
There is an underground passage to the brothel on Marbel Street in Ephesus.

 

The  first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary is in Ephesus.  The 3rd Ecumenical Council was held in Ephesus was held at the Church of the Virgin Mary and is known as one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse.  Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life in Turkey, in a small cottage near Ephesus, visited by Pope Paul, the 6th and Pope Jean-Paul
.
St. Paul, the Apostle gave lectures in the Tyrannus Hall and the synagogue in Ephesus for two years in his third missionary journey.
Seven Christians who fled Ephesus are believed to have slept in a cave nearby for 200 years.
Cleopatra spent her honeymoon with Antonius in Ephesus in the winter of the year 188. 
Izmir is an older city with its buildings less modern than other major cities we’ve seen.

 

The hillside on the drive to Ephesus could have been any hillside in any part of the world with no defining Turkish markers.
The vendors were ready for us as our bus pulled into the Ephesus parking area.

Our safety in Izmir, Turkey was of utmost concern. Apparently, Norwegian Cruise lines felt the same way, instructing all tour vehicles to avoid the dangerous areas of the city as they made their way to various points of interest, most of which was the one-hour bus ride to the ancient city of Ephesus.

Once on the road, we felt safe except for the few minutes when we departed that our
bus driver couldn’t find his way out the parking lots at the port.  


The old rickety bus bounced along on the hour drive, stopping once for a pit stop at a shopping area where overly zealous vendors watched our eyes for interest in any of their wares.  We kept our sunglasses on as we waited in the line to use the facilities in an effort to avoid eye contact, which we were warned was a dead giveaway. 
Ephesus required a two-hour walk on extremely uneven stones, slippery chunks of granite
and marble and a mixture of odd-shaped rocks and surfaces.  Tourists everywhere added to the difficulty of the walk, some tripping, some falling and many lagging behind our well
informed but difficult to understand tour guide, Nadia.
As our long walk began with a series of similar ruins.

 

Never miss a photo op at the ruins.

Wearing two-way radios on strings around our necks with an earpiece, we were able to adjust the volume as we walked through the area, losing the connection if we were too far ahead or behind.  Tom and I preferred to work our way through the crowds and stay ahead most of the time, although we didn’t miss anything.

Ornate rock.

Having seen Petra in Aqaba, Jordan, in May, our expectations were high. Had we not seen Petra, we would have been enthralled with Ephesus. Interesting? Yes. Profoundly so?  Not as much.

No more than 20 minutes into the tour, we both acknowledged that touring in a bus-sized group was not our thing. In the future, we decided that we are willing to pay more to either tour in a
small group of six or less, with our own guide or on our own. This “group thing” is not for us,
missing so much of the personal experience in the process.
  

Varying stones were used to avoid a slippery surface. 
The ridges on the marble were etched to reduce the slippery aspect to provide traction for the iron wheels on the chario

 

The original medical insignia.

 

Another well-preserved work.

 

Perhaps, the craftsmen spent their lifetime creating these works.

 

Its hard to imagine the lives of the citizens during this era.

 

This piece was one of the most appealing having survived for centuries.

 

Decorative archway.

 

Decorative pillars and structures.

 

 

Ornate design.

 

The crowd was so thick at times it was hard to walk.

 

It was hard to believe how many people were there.

 

Some ornate design remains.

 

Check out this handiwork!
Its amazing this is still here!

 

Work yet to be completed.
The trough at the toilets.
Yes, these are toilets but with not much privacy!
The Celsius Library.

 

The crowds.
More ruins to be restored.
More work yet to be completed.

  

It was hard to find a good spot for our photo.

 

Feeling well again, the long walk was easy.

 

It was difficult to take photos without including other unknown tourists.
Lots of people.

 

The Celsius Library bears some resemblance to the Treasury in Petra.  But it is not nearly as magnificent.

 

At the Celsius Library.

 

It could be centuries before they piece together these stones.

 

In a way, we’re becoming a little bored with ruins, having seen so many in our travels.

 

More impressive ruins.

 

 

What was the purpose of these narrow spaces?

 

It will take many years to complete the piecing together of the ruins.
This is the road Cleopatra traveled while on her honeymoon in 188.

 

 Steps from the Great Theatre to the road below.
These original roads led to the Great Theatre.

 

Another view of the Great Theatre.

 

The Great Theatre view.
 The Great Theatre.
Oddly, as we began the bus ride back to the ship, we stopped at a local leather purveyor, expecting a primitive factory with workers pounding away on leather products. Instead, we were herded into a newer fancy pillared Greek styled building to a darkened room to be seated in
comfy theatre seats surrounding a t-shaped stage. 
The tree lined walk back to the bus.
Alas, a grouping of professional good looking, well-dressed models began parading the neon
lighted “catwalk” in what proved to be a contemporary fashion show, as one would see in Paris or Milan, all wearing expensive leather jackets, fur coats, and other leather goods.  


We were given a checklist on which to mark our numbered items of interest. Loud popular music blared in the background as the models, both female and male pranced down the runway, one after another, to quickly change backstage to yet another enticing outfit. 

Models prancing the runway in leather jackets.

How ironic.  Here we were, our brains wrapped around a classic Roman lifestyle from over 2000 years ago only minutes ago to a pop fashion show.  After the show, two large wooden doors opened to a huge showroom where the leather goods were displayed in a manner one would expect in an exclusive store.

There was no way out!  All 40 of us were trapped in this showroom while the owner tried to convince us, extolling the quality of their handmade laser leather products, to purchase their expensive products many upwards of US $1200.

How odd, that we were sitting there!  We just left a historical site and now we’re at a mandatory fashion show.  We’ll surely be writing the cruise line about this!

We couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. The captive audience listened while Tom and I sought the most available exit to hurriedly make our way out the door, relieved to be outside at
last. I must admit I enjoyed the fashion show so out of place in our historical day, but the trip inside the showroom made me want to scream.
 

Passengers were brought onto the stage “to perform.” Not us!

With no practical way in which to avoid the crowds in these historic spots, at least in the future, we can go at our own pace.  In Turkey, with the dangers surrounding the rioting, it seemed to make sense to travel in a large group. Returning back to the ship by 5:45, we were anxious to shower and head to dinner in the Windows Dining Room.

The leather showroom where we were herded to make purchased. Not one passenger on our bus made a purchase.

We dined with a fabulous couple last night, Deanna and Wally, having the time of our lives, finally clearing out the dining room after 10:00 pm. Tonight, we’ll meet up with them again for yet another expected evening of incessant laughter and endless storytelling.  What a social cruise this has been for us!

The sky began to cloud over on our return to the ship.

After a long and event-filled day, we languished in our cabin, blissfully tired and pleased with another great day. 

Older buildings lined the highway.
For the first time on this entire cruise, now on our 10th day, we had rough seas last night as winds howled in the 55-60 MPH range, the ship rolling to and fro. Now, as more experienced cruisers, especially after the 50 foot waves on the Norwegian Epic in late April, we gave it little
thought to allow the rocking to lull us to sleep.
It began to rain shortly before we arrive at the pier to board yet another shuttle to get us closer to the ship.
Today, a sea day on our way to Croatia, we look forward to our last few days on the Norwegian Spirit and then of course, in three days, beginning our half-day drive to our future home in Tuscany for the summer.  Ah, life is good.

 

Izmir, Turkey excursion today…Off to see Ephesus…Rioting in the area…

For news on Izmir, Turkey, please click here.

 

Last evening, as our ship the Norwegian Spirit, pulled away from the pier in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkey’s interesting architecture.

At 11:30 am this morning, Turkey time,  which is eight hours later than the US Midwest, ten hours later than the West Coast, our ship will dock in Izmir.

Feeling a bit concerned about visiting Istanbul, Turkey we stayed behind yesterday planning to visit Izmir, Turkey today on a prepaid excursion, feeling an organized excursion would be safer than wandering around on our own.
We took these photos facing the sun as it set yesterday in Istanbul.
Our new friends, Nicole and Gerry had called yesterday, asking if Nicole could join Tom and I since Gerry sprained his ankle and won’t be able to go on the tour to Ephesus after all. Of course, we’d love for Nicole to join us. We planned to meet at the designated meeting area at 11:45 this morning. 
The excursion is scheduled to depart around 12:15 pm, returning to the ship at 5:30 pm. 
A haze obstructed the view as the sun was setting, a combination of heat and pollution, a result of the big city along the sea.

Last night, after attending yet another Latitudes members cocktail party in the Galaxy of the Stars venue at 7:00 pm, later dining in Windows Dining Room, another wonderful evening was behind us. Dining alone for a change we chattered on about our experiences thus far and our dreams for the future, albeit some of which is uncertain which much to our surprise, is fine with us.

The spires of the many mosques dotted the skyline in Istanbul.
Returning to our cabin around 10:00 pm, typical for us since we awaken quite early, we found these two items on the bed:
This adorable frog was sitting on our bed last night when we returned from dinner, made from one of our beach towels and a few washcloths!
This letter was on our bed last night when we returned from dinner.

Feeling committed to our non-refundable tickets and our plan to meet up with Nicole for the excursion, we decided to forge ahead. When in the future with so much “world” left to see when would we ever return to Turkey?

Most likely we’ll be safe. Wouldn’t it be great if our Uzi welding, security guard, Mohammad from Egypt, was riding on our bus and following us around! 
Ironically, there I was writing yesterday, providing all the reasons to avoid risk and here we are today, walking right into it.  So off we go today, camera in hand, ready to shoot what we hope will be better photos of our expedition as we explore the ancient city of Ephesus.

It’s a one hour drive each way to Ephesus, where we’ll spend approximately three hours.  I’m hoping it’s as exciting as Petra minus the difficult three-hour walk uphill half of the way.  In any case, if we prove to be safe, I’ll crawl through mud to return without incident (and take photos of that as well).

We’ll be back tomorrow with our story, hopefully safe and sound and grateful for yet another enriching experience as we continue on in our worldwide adventures.

Ancient buildings at every juncture.

 

Goodbye Istanbul.  May your citizens (and visitors) be safe from harm.