Exhibition: Doctor Who at Earl's Court.

On Saturday, Stephen and I decided to go to the Doctor Who exhibition at Earl's Court. As is plainly obvious from the very first picture, I was in Mandy-heaven. I took a picture of just about every monster and hero and I am going to blame the very last pictures on the batteries failing in my camera. They had nothing to do with me jumping out of my skin and squealing like a little girl when the Daleks came alive and started shooting at me.

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

A collage of Tenth Doctor photos *Sigh* Isn’t he lovely?

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Zu-Zana (of Trine-E and Zu-Zane fame) [Bad Wolf]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

The future Jack Harkness: The Face of Boe [The End of the World, New Earth and Gridlock]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Big Ben as destroyed [Aliens of London]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Eek! A Slitheen [Too many to mention and a favourite in Sarah Jane Adventures too]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Evil, evil Sycorax [The Christmas Invasion]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

One of the Sisters of Plenitude or Cat People [New Earth and Gridlock]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

The excellent Zoe Wanamaker as Lady Cassandra [The End of the World and New Earth]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Abzorbaloff (he who absorbed Moaning Myrtle) [Love and Monsters]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

The absolutely terrifying Empress of the Racnoss [The Runaway Bride]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

The telescope [Tooth and Claw]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

My darling little K9 - first seen in 1977 [School Reunion and Journey’s End]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

A Witch or Carrionite [The Shakespeare Code]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

One of my favourites - a Clockwork Repair Droid [The Girl in the Fireplace]

From my absolute favourite Doctor Who episodes ever (the episodes responsible for introducing me to the talented and lovely Harry Lloyd.

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

The Scarecrows [Human Nature and The Family of Blood]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

A Cyberman [The Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel, Doomsday]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Judoon [Smith & Jones, The Stolen Earth]

Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink. Good Luck.

Blink was one of my favourite episodes ever.

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Weeping Angel [Blink]

From the episode where David Tennant met his girlfriend Georgia Moffett who is literally young enough to be his daughter. Wait, she is his daughter. Yuck. (She plays the Doctor's daughter and is the real life daughter of the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison).

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Hath [The Doctor’s Daughter]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Sontaran [The Sontaran Strategem and The Poison Sky]

The two pictures were taken immediately before and after the Daleks began shouting and shooting at me. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the period of time I spent cowering on the floor.

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008


Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Eek! There are three of them! EXTERMINATE!

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

A Heavenly Host [Voyage of the Damned]

Doctor Who Exhibition Earl's Court 2008

Bannakaffalatta [Voyage of the Damned]

Turkey: Bitez Beach

Saturday was our last proper day of holiday as the next day would involve checking out and travelling home.  We decided to take a walk down to Bitez beach and we accessed the beach via Halilim Cd.  At the bottom of the road was the most amazing sports bar and restaurant offering free beach loungers, a relaxation area between the beach and the restaurant and nice, inexpensive Western food and drinks.  The Yorkshire couple we had met on Thursday night had recommended it as they basically leave you alone the entire day and let you run a tab as you alternate between swimming in the sea, lounging by the beach or in the shade or eating in the restaurant and watching a bit of sport.  We even fell asleep for almost an hour in the relaxation area!

Turkey will always look like this to me

The View From the Shaded Relaxtion Area

They must have enjoyed making these!

Stephen looking relaxed after pizza and drinks

And all too soon our holiday rushed to an end.  After an amazing day relaxing on Saturday, it was back to business on Sunday as we packed, checked out, had one last Turkish breakfast and lunch and took the coach to the airport.  Our plane was delayed by two hours (which is the bane of package tours) but the airport was comfortable enough and we just read and played Sudoku.  The flight home was appalling and Stephen promised that he would never, ever fly cattle class again.  It's a pity our next trip is a long-haul flight to South Africa then!  The cost will be astronomical!

End of Turkish part of holiday updates - Manchester still to come.

Turkey: A Village Experience

On Friday night we went on a "Village Experience" to a village called Sazköy near Bodrum.  We found this experience far more valuable than the night before.  Firstly, we had our awesome guide Orhan from Peninsula Tours (that took us to Ephesus) and I have to say that I have never met a more knowledgeable tour guide before.  He also has great empathy with local Turkish life and told us a lot about how every day Turks might struggle to make ends meet and so on. 

The tour started inside a mosque.  It was a tiny village mosque and Orhan explained a lot of the traditions and rituals of the local Muslim people.  Then we went to the local coffee shop had awesome apple tea.  I became popular amongst some Irish children as I encouraged them to use my water to cool down their tea!  They were also serving the bitter black tea that Turkish people like to drink but the apple tea was definitely a good choice.  I had two glasses.  The temperatures were in the late 30°c's (over 100°f) but strangely enough the tea cooled us down.

The Coffee Shop

Me in the coffee shop

Local Men in the Coffee Shop

Our host was on the far right.  Women don't customarily enter coffee shops as it is a place for men to play games and drink coffee.  Some men do work or have their own businesses but many of the men are retired or unemployed.

We then took a long leisurely walk through the village.  It is hard to explain the Turkish countryside.  In many sense, it reminded us of a very dry South Africa.  A lot of the plants and scenery were similar to what you would find in Sabie for example.  But whereas we experience a lot of rain in summer in Johannesburg or the Lowveld, it is completely dry and arid in Bodrum. 

The Sazköy Countryside


We absolutely delighted in identifying all of the different trees.  I remember olive, fig, plum and lemon trees but I am sure there were more. 

Orhan then took us to a lady who was making carpets.


The making of a work of art


What distinguishes Sazköy carpets from others is that the carpets are double-knotted and are extremely durable and strong.  They are all hand made and the average time for completing a carpet is three months.  Like the ceramic bowls, no template is followed and therefore each and every single carpet is a one off unique piece of art.

Village Living

Although standards of living are more modern these days, they have preserved a little cottage to show how people used to live.  I could not help myself by that stage - I had to take a bit of a rest.

The road to our host

Thankfully it wasn't too much further and then we were invited into the home of a villager and served the most delicious meal I have eaten in years (excluding Stephen's Sunday roasts of course).

This patio was part of our host's house

We sat cross-legged on the patio to eat our meal and drink iced-tea.  It was really fabulous and with Orhan explaining all of the food to us, it was a real treat and introduction to Turkish culture.

After the meal we were given a show of all of the different types of Turkish carpets, explaining the different pigments and materials as well as some of the pictures on them.  It was lovely.  Here is a link to the finished products:  Sazköy Carpets.  Stephen and I were so conflicted because we really, really wanted a carpet in natural colours (I think it would have been €100) but we just did not think we could put it anywhere in our home.  With two dogs and two cats it is not always easy to keep our house clean, never mind adding lovely, expensive carpets to the equation!  Of course, we had no idea that the credit crunch would lead to our landlord giving us notice when we got back from holiday.  Still- I might just arrange to buy a carpet through Peninsula Tours once we settle in the new house.

Turkey: A Turkish Night

As can be expected, we got home on Wednesday evening (after travelling all day to see Ephesus) and we passed out.  We barely managed to eat dinner!

We spent the whole day on Thursday by the pool (bliss) and got ready later to go on a Turkish Night.

As we were waiting for the coach to arrive, we took in the beautiful sunset over the bay.  I don't think I have ever seen such an interesting coastline before (with my own eyes that is).

Bitez Bay, Bodrum, Turkey

Bitez Bay, Bodrum, Turkey

Bitez Bay, Bodrum, Turkey

It was really lovely and even now, a couple of weeks after my holiday, it just brings a smile to my face and peace to my mind to remember it.

Onwards then to the Turkish Night.  The tour consisted of a short coach trip to a restaurant on the outskirts of Bodrum town.  All of the seating was outside and was situated in semi-circle around a central stage.  The food was a self-service buffet of all sorts of Turkish foods.  The entertainment included four dances.  Unfortunately, not many of my photos came out for the evening even though I tried to use the sports setting on my digital camera!

First, there was a traditional folk dance from a more northern or central part of the country - perhaps the Black Sea region. 

Turkish Night, Bodrum, TurkeyTurkish Night, Bodrum, Turkey

This was followed by a traditional knife dance and then a dance by a male belly dancer.  He was really excellent and he really managed to whip the whole crowd up into a frenzy. 

Alex the Male Bellydancer, Bodrum, Turkey

Finally, there was a traditional female belly dancer but she wasn't very good and she certainly didn't entertain like Alex.

All in all, I would have to say that the evening was a great disappointment.  For a Turkish Evening, there should have had a better master of ceremonies to explain in detail what we were eating and (most importantly) the history behind the various types of dances.   I had known of the knife dance beforehand but was none the wiser after attending the Turkish Night.  The dances were very intricate and it would have been lovely to know some of the meaning behind them.

In the end, when we went into a village the following evening, we were able to come much closer to Turkish culture and to understand more about how people eat and live.

For an amazing evening experience, I would have to say that the Arabian Night we took in Dubai in 2005 was a million times better than this.

Before I leave you thinking that we were miserable, we weren't.  We had a great time and even met a nice couple from Yorkshire to share it with. 

Turkey: The Ancient City of Ephesus

"Ephesus ... was a city of ancient Anatolia. During the period known as Classical Greece it was located in Ionia, where the Cayster River (Küçük Menderes) flows into the Aegean Sea. It belonged to the Ionian League.
Ephesus hosted one of the seven churches of Asia, addressed in the Book of Revelation of The Bible, and the Gospel of John might have been written here. It is also the site of a large gladiator graveyard.
The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), and both were destroyed by the Goths in 263. The emperor Constantine I rebuilt much of the city and erected a new public bath. The town was again partially destroyed by an earthquake in 614. The importance of the city as a commercial centre declined as the harbour slowly filled with silt from the river.
Today's archaeological site lies 3 kilometers south of the Selçuk district of İzmir Province, Turkey."
- Wikipedia
Link: The Ephesus Guide at kusadasi.biz

I simply don't know enough about ancient history to give an accurate description of Ephesus, hence the Wikipedia link. Next time I go to a site like this, I will definitely try read up more on it beforehand though. Nevertheless, we arrived at the site at about 11am in searing 42˚c heat. In a word, it was amazing. Absolutely breath taking. Hopefully some of my photos will show that.

That is the Eastern Gymnasium in the background. At first I marvelled at how they seemed to build the structure of the university into the mountain but then later I realised that they simply hadn't excavated the whole structure yet. (Please note: laughing at me at this point would be considered rude). This really is Archaeology for Beginners.

From the Greek or Roman word for "small theatre", the Odeion could sit about 1,400 people.

The Temple of Domitian was one of my favourites - the Emperor Domitian (51AD - 96AD) erected it in honour of himself and it was effectively torn down after his death.

These statues are at Heracles Gate, but if I understand correctly, these statues were moved here and used to occupy a higher place, perhaps over the Pollio Fountain.

The Trajan Fountain was my very favourite. I just loved the clean lines and beautiful architecture. I would have loved to see this structure at its original height of over 12 metres tall!

The Ancient City of Ephesus (13)The Ancient City of Ephesus (12)

The Temple of Hadrian was awesome - it was so ornate. Like the Temple of Domitian, it was built to honour a person as opposed to a god and it was dedicated to the Roman emperor.

 The Ancient City of Ephesus (15)The Ancient City of Ephesus (17)

You would have to see the Celsus Library to appreciate its wonder and majesty. The son of the Roman consul Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus built the library as a mausoleum for his father.

And finally, at the end of a very hot day, you walk down Marble Street which is the main road between Ephesus and the harbour. You come upon the main Ephesus Theatre which could sit a massive 25,000 people and which is host to the Efes Festival each Spring. Elton John has even played here!

The road out of Ephesus has a couple of exhibits. I found the coffins and the milestones most interesting: