Sunday, 20 November 2011

A Little Turkish Sunshine

The View from Grand Newport Hotel in Gumbet

I began blogging at Emm in London in July 2008 and our trip to Turkey was the very first trip I blogged about.  We had only arrived in London a year before but by July, we certainly needed a beach holiday.  So it was that we headed off to the Grand Newport Hotel in Gümbet, near Bodrum, for an all-inclusive holiday.

This was the view that greeted us when we arrived at the hotel at about 7am in the morning.  The hotel overlooked a bay which lead to the Aegean Sea. 

The Aegean Sea from Grand Newport Hotel

For seven long days, the temperature soared into the early 40°c (which is very hot in Fahrenheit) and it was still hovering around 30°c at midnight each evening.  Suffice to say, I was in heaven.

I am pleased to say that we didn’t spend every day by the pool and we managed to take an excursion to the ancient city of Ephesus.  Ephesus is a photographer’s dream and it really helps to have a knowledgable guide like we did because I found it just fascinating.

Pillars in Ephesus

The photo above shows some columns from the temple of Hadrian and the next photo shows the breath-taking, exquisite Celsus Library.

Celsus Library Ephesus

We like to maintain a good mix of culture and relaxation on holidays like this, so in addition to our day trip to Ephesus, we went on an excursion to a Turkish village, sampling their food and seeing how they make their famous Turkish carpets, and we also went on a Turkish night, complete with belly dancers and traditional food.

The last day of our holiday was perhaps the best as we left the hotel and spent the day in a beachside bar at Bitez Beach.  Well, not inside the bar, exactly, but beside the sea. 

Bitez Beach

I definitely want to return to Turkey but I think we’d head out for Istanbul next time and try to see something new.  I’m really keen to see the Bosphorus Strait and bridge.

Bitez Beach Turkey

As far as beach holidays go, I am planning a trip to Croatia in around September next year and I have promised that it will include at least 2 or 3 days lying on the beach at Split or Hvar.  I cannot wait.

This past week was so successful in terms of getting things done! I have worked for four days, studied for 3 nights and a day, gone out twice to meet up with London bloggers and I even squeezed in breakfast with my family today and three taxation mock exams.  I didn’t pass them all so I guess I’ll be even busier in the next 36 hours as I take a day of study leave and write the exam on Tuesday.  Fingers crossed!


Melizza 20 November 2011 at 19:53  

Mmm...that sunshine looks so yummy. I've been wanting to visit Turkey and your photos have definitely convinced me of that.

Good luck on studying and on your exam.

Spiderdama 20 November 2011 at 20:01  

Oh, how nice to see this very blue sky and it looks so hot. Lovely pictures!
Turkey was my favorite place to visit before Israel, hehe. I`v been in Turkey 8 times:-) Before I use my Canon so very much..
Hope you have a wonderful week!

Spiderdama 20 November 2011 at 20:02  

Forgot to say good luck with the reading!

Kathy Amen 20 November 2011 at 22:03  

That blue sky sure does make a great background for the pix!

Hels 20 November 2011 at 22:43  

Oh Emm, I am in love.

Your photos remind me of Lawrence Alma Tadema, famous and rich artist of the late 19th century. He often painted leisurely women, surrounded by white stone and pink flowers, backed by the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky. Have a look at Expectations 1885

I have been to Ephesus and loved it, but it takes someone else's photos to catch the details I missed.

-DoNaH- 20 November 2011 at 23:11  

Just wow... Will definitely love that vacation... Getting misty and chilly in Britain now...

Agnes 21 November 2011 at 04:58  

Have never been to Turkey, used to have a Turkist friend when I worked in Oxford many years ago, we have since lost contact after I left the UK.

Very scenery of Turkey, a place worth visiting..

Good luck in your exam. Are you taking ACCA course?

Ashwathy 21 November 2011 at 07:13  

Lovely! :-) Reminds me of my trip to Turkey last year.
We went to Istanbul and a couple of other places

Spear The Mighty 21 November 2011 at 12:12  

The sunshine is always great but it does get too much. I miss the rain here in the Middle East. I wish it could rain just 1 day every week. :)

Ola 21 November 2011 at 13:53  

I am also thinking about Istabul, I was there as a kid and I only remember that I was totally impressed with the city!

Ivanhoe 21 November 2011 at 15:28  

I'm all warm and fuzzy now :) Reminds me of Greek islands a lot. Beautiful!

Rob 21 November 2011 at 15:53  

A joy to travel and view the world and it's cultures. Good luck on your exams.

Victoria 21 November 2011 at 22:25  

Wow!! Fab-U-Lous!! beautiful Emm!!

☆ Rià ღ 23 November 2011 at 10:16  

the pics are just amazing!!

John 23 November 2011 at 13:55  

The ruins of Ephesus are beautiful :-) Would love to see some more photos...

withinireland 26 November 2011 at 15:08  

It's decided. Turkey has made my list.

Ancient Digger 28 November 2011 at 16:12  

What could be better than Sunshine, Turkey and archaeology? My favorite place on earth. Love the pics Emm and good luck with your studies.

Emm 10 December 2011 at 08:33  

@ Melizza: Turkey is definitely worth a visit. It is inexpensive, there is loads to do and or is a vast country so worth a couple of visits.

@ Spiderdama: I can see why it was your favourite! It is full of history!

@ Kathy: the constant blur sky certainly made it a phoyographer's heaven.

@ Hels: I love that artists work!! It almost looks like a photograph and the setting is so beautiful!

@ Donah: yeah, the more grey London becomes, the more we need to escape! Although we are having the mildest winter ever!

@ Pierre: I agree!

@ Agnes: it is certainly worth a visit. I am only at AAT level currently. It is silly, I have a degree and should have gone straight to CIMA or ACCA but I needed to get a firm idea of the basics for my job.

@ Ashwathy: I am reading about the Byzantine empire so definitely want to visit Istanbul too!

@ This is Belgium: thank you!

@ Spear the Mighty: I can imagine you might miss the rain (you're in UAE right?). I could do with somewhere like Singapore I guess, with just the hot and humid seasons.

@ Ola: I bet you would love it as an adult!!

@ Ivanhoe: I cannot wait to visit the Greek islands!!

@ Rob: it was, and thank you! Just a few more days and the exams are over.

@ Victoria: thank you!

@ Ria: why thank you!

@ John: if you click on the Turkey link at the top of the blog, you will see all of my Turkey posts, including a massive one on Ephesus!

@ Within Ireland: go! You won't regret it!!

@ Ancient Digger: thank you! It is certainly an archaeologist's dream.

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