Antalya & Istanbul Turkey

                                                               7 - 20 May 2010

                         To pause the national anthem click here

 

Sharon and I went to a NATO conference that I attend twice a year. This time it is being held at the Adora Golf Club Resort in the south of Turkey.  Adora is located approximately 30 minutes to the east of Antalya (see Antalya on the map above the word "Cyprus") At the outset, Sharon and I would like to thank Wolfgang Reitschmied and his wife Maria from Vienna whose companionship and contagious laughter made this a memorable conference. Also, thanks to people like Ray Raymond, Tom Little as well as Pedro Jooren and his wife DoLinda and countless others.

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On 7 May 2010 at 1000 hrs, Sharon and I departed Ottawa airport for Turkey. Our first stop was Frankfurt but it was an experience just getting there. The cloud of volcanic ash has been spewing from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano since April 14. We were delayed 2.5 hours and therefore, once we arrived in Germany, we had to get re-routed and ended up taking Turkish Air (instead of Lufthansa Airlines) .

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8 May: We arrived, finally in Istanbul at 1700 hrs (local time), tired and ready for our hotel. We took the Radisson Blu near the airport (had a feeling that the trip was going to be tiring). We had supper in the hotel. Here are some of our pictures. You will notice that there is a military guard near the airport.

Sharon seemed to like the view

That is why- we saw the airport from the room and a guard overlooking the security of the airport

This picture I took because of the three section bus. Amazing-As amazing is seeing aircraft take off and land with Istanbul in the background

That night we had supper at the hotel. We were tired and hungry. This was our meal

The flower on the table is a real flower. A tropical anthurium plant identified by John Dickhute. Thanks.

And this is me eating the meal

This is a picture from within the hotel. There was a great hole (for lack of a better word) and at the bottom was this beautiful pool.

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9 May: The next day, Sunday, we left for Antalya.  Here it was a two hour flight and then it was a 35 min taxi ride to the ADORA GOLF RESORT.  Sharon and I have been to many conferences during my NATO taskings and this is `the`nicest by far. (as a note, Sharon is still reluctant to call it the nicest as she really enjoyed Garmisch, Germany-but she does admit that it is up there for competition :) We walked around ADORA and familiarized ourselves with resort. Sharon placed her feet in the Mediterranean Sea and we viewed the sensational roses that were lining the center of the resort. Sharon found a turtle (go figure). In our room we angled ourselves for a rare "internet wireless" connection. Those who were in contact with me know, that during this time, the internet connection facility was the Resort's critical failing. Then again, for those trying to stay away from the office, it could be one of those high points. I have some photos of our room, its view (not of the sea-the picture you see of Sharon here is from a restaurant on top of one of the buildings).

 

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10 May-Our first day (Sunday was a blur)- really Monday is more solid in our memories. We visited, found our way around the resort and enjoyed the elaborate meals. Those who loved to drink and eat, well, this was nirvana for them. The one thing we did notice though is that there were lots of foreigners. Thought I would throw that in for a laugh for you, the reader-of course lots of foreigners, we are in Turkey-there are no Turkish people that would come to ADORA for a holiday...Well ADORA, it seems is the favourite get-a-way for Russians. Now, how does that fair? More pictures of the roses-Sharon comments that she could never get me to stop to smell the roses, and now she can't get me to stop taking pictures of flowers. Thanks here to a guy named Richard Moller who helped me in developing this ability. For (let me translate that for you people who text a lot- "4") supper that evening we had Turkish food and also had a Baked Alaskan Cake. (Sharon will vouch, I was very careful during that time to only have limited sweets-only one cake at a time! Later that evening that night, we went to the "SEHRAEAT AMPHITHEATRE" for some "belly dancing". The theatre was packed!

There will be three different web galleries

Day

 

Supper

 

 

Entertainment

A video of the dancers (ensure that the Turkish National Anthem is paused)

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11 May: We (I say we but Sharon went swimming –the beach, the pool-I went to work at the conference). We also had our meet and greet that evening so there are more pictures of the people that helped make this conference a success.

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12 May: This day there were very limited pictures. I went to the Belek, The National Golf Course where they just held the Turkish Women's Open. Let me tell you-it is not an easy golf course and it is all I will say of this eventful day. Click Here

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13 May: This was a normal day (ie I was in conference and Sharon was at the pool). That evening we had a Turkish meal hosted by our Turkish National Representative. It was a huge success. Here are some pictures of that evening and the fun at the amphitheater thereafter. I separated the day into three different web galleries:

Other

Supper

Entertainment

 

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14 May: This day (Friday) we had a half day conference as we departed to visit some historical sights (Aspendos and Perge) surrounding Belek, Turkey. Here is our day

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15 May: This day, though a Saturday, was filled with work. Sharon was able to enjoy the poolside (again) as I enjoyed the conference room. We finished around 4pm so I was able to enjoy the sun and the final day ADORA had to offer. You will notice a MINI BUFFET in one of the photos this is where the children could go for their meals.

For pictures of the day

The children had a lot of fun and here is a video of them enjoying themselves

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16 May: We left ADORA with Ray Raymond (Fellow Canadian) for the airport at 0530 am. We left early since we were on holidays and Ray offered us a seat (well two) in his taxi. At a cost of $75 (CAN) or 100 TL for the taxi ride, we gratefully accepted. At the airport, there was a young Turkish boy with his father that took a liking to me. He was all of 5 or 6 years old and would follow me around and want to sit with me. I gave him (well his dad) a CANADA pin before we left. On arrival in Istanbul, we made our way to the Best Western Citadel Hotel and began having a a Turkish Tea (the Turkish Coffee) was just too strong for us). While sitting on the patio, we noticed something in the water and I immediately ran for the NIKON while Sharon followed the pod of Dolphins. I have included a few pictures of our day.

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17 May: We went for breakfast where we met two nice people from the USA (San Diego)- Cathy and her husband. They were very nice. We left around 0930 hrs and headed to the “German Fountain” where the Hop-On Hop-Off bus was waiting to depart. We spend the better part of 2 hours going from start to finish. Once we had done the loop, we return to the Taksim Square for some visiting and, of course, a STARBUCK coffee. We saw a few of the hotels that I had seen on the web, but, as a note, we are very pleased with where we ended up.

click here for our day

That night we went to the Orient House for a traditional Turkish meal and songs and dance. It was where Sharon got chosen as Miss Canada in a Belly Dance competition. Here are a few pictures to wet your appetite

 

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18 May: I started the day off by taking a nice picture of a few of the roses that were in front of our room at the hotel.  After our great breakfast, we went to the Blue Mosque where we were guided by a “salesman” who showed us the nuances of the Blue Mosque as long as we went back with him to his carpet shop. We agreed. We enjoyed the tour of the Blue Mosque (he was very knowledgeable) we went through the mosque, through the Arasta Bazaar and then were brought to his store. Mevlana rug store At the store, his nephew showed us many carpets (but first, we had some Turkish tea) and then they laid out at least 20 different carpets. We went from there (still had not bought a carpet) and went to the Grand Bazaar. That place is really a city within a city! Once there we shopped and then shopped and then found ourselves on the water. I wanted to see the stores on the base of the Galata bridge, so we ventured towards that bridge. Once in the area, I noticed that we can go on a tour boat up the Bosphorus where we saw some predominate and very wealthy-type homes. On our way back we walked and walked and Sharon said, if there was a way to take a detour back to our hotel---you take a prize! Finally we made it back (Lucky me). Tonight we are having supper at the hotel since we have one day left tomorrow to do some visiting and a few purchases.

Here is our day into four parts:

Blue Mosque tour click here

Boat Tour click here

Grand Bazaar click here

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19 May:This was our last day and not less hectic. We were up and away early. So many last things to see and do coupled with the preparations for our return home. There is also a weeping pillar. You will see Sharon inserting her thumb.

Breakfast at the Citadel click here

Hagia Sophia Click Here

Our Last Supper Click Here

Other pictures of the day Click Here

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