Sunday, 30 September 2012

A flight change

Instead of flying to England, staying the night and then flying to Amsterdam, I flew straight to Amsterdam as British Airways didn't have enough seats on the flight to England so they transferred me to a direct flight.

Although this meant we'd spent £60 on a hotel (we could no longer cancel) I didn't need, it meant that my flight was 3 hours long instead of 4 then 1 and that I arrived on my dad's birthday!

Unfortunately, it meant that I couldn't say goodbye to half of the other EVS volunteers which is pretty sad :( sorry guys! Hopefully see you again some time soon :) I miss you already!

Now I am going to sleep in my own room, on my own two-mattresses-stacked-on-top-of-each-other bed, sharing it with nobody and I'm going to wake up to a full English breakfast. Luxury. Although, sharing a bed with Andi and Filipa really was hilarious : )

Good night,
Lucy xxo

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Istanbul, Turkey

On the ferry

We arrive in Istanbul and had to catch a ferry to the other side - from the Asian part to the European part! It cost 3 TL, then we got two trams 3 TL each (which meant that the 40 minute journey cost the same as the trip to Sile :( sucks) then we met up with the owner of this apartment and she took us down a hill then up a hill then along a road to our place.

On the ferry

Was AWFUL with a really heavy backpack and suitcase to carry!! But luckily our apartment has a lift as we are on the second floor. I dibbsed first shower and it was AMAZING! Definitely the best shower I've had in an entire month :s the one in Eskisehir was pretty rubbish and the one in Sile was always cool.

Hudi on the ferry
We were supposedly going to have 2 sofa beds but one is rock hard and the other is no better. After some discussions, Andi, Filipa and I share the double bed and the other 3 sleeping places are divided between Lili, Hudi and Rui. It's crammed but there is free internet. so all in all not that bad!

Crammed conditions?

Here is the rest of Istanbul in pictures:

The Blue Mosque
Had to wear a blue skirt and headscarf to go in
The cutest cat!

Taksim Square
People, so many people!
I fly to England tomorrow, stay in a hotel, all you can eat breakfast, then a flight to Amsterdam.
Looking forward to it actually, although of course I will miss all the other EVS volunteers massively but there's nothing quiet like coming 'home' after a long trip! The last video is coming along nicely but it will still be awhile.

Overall, I think Turkey was an amazing start to my Gap Year, I've learned about a new culture, a little of a new language and made some more amazing international friends! I've learned how to live and work with the same 10 people for a whole month, sharing one bathroom and some-how managing to have no real fights. Something previously unimaginable! I've learned that even though I repacked three times before coming here, (each time taking something else out) I still over-packed or at least my rucksack was still too heavy and that for the rest of my Gap Year I really need to figure out what to do with my laptop, but for Germany, it will still be fine. Something comforting is that I didn't pack the most (*Cough Andi) but neither the least (Hudi with just one large travelers rucksack). I think I was somewhere in the middle.

Francesca, Guillermo and Apri join us tonight for the last night, so just Jana is missing. I think tonight will be a lovely way to end the EVS Experience! : )



Friday, 28 September 2012

Şile, Turkey

Francesca asleep before we left
We left Eskisehir (the place I've been staying for 3 weeks) on the 25th - at 8.15am.
We got the tram to the Otogar, opposite the fake pool and the same place I arrived at on the first day. At 9am our bus left for a 4/5 hour ride to Istanbul.

When we got to Istanbul we were told we should have gotten off an hour before at a previous stop to get to the place we wanted to go to. There was a bus leaving right there but unfortunately Andi was in the toilet so we missed it. We waited for the next one but luckily they still let us take it for free.
We got to another bus stop, still in Istanbul but further out of the center, waited again, and then got onto a small shuttle bus (again for free) that took us to yet another bus stop.

The shuttle bus barely fit all our luggage!
At this bus stop, we got onto a normal public bus that drove for 2 hours before reaching Şile, which is a town by the Black Sea J
We arrived with no idea where to sleep that night, but we decided to eat before searching for a place. After food, we got to the 'cheapest hotel in Şile' (according to a woman on the bus and then the hotel owners themselves) which was still 40 TL per night per person. We decided to try our luck and look for another place.
The night-time view
At that point, an old woman stuck her head out of her window and told us that the apartment below her was empty. We found the owners and managed to bargain ourselves 25 TL per person, per night! PLUS the view from our apartment was just SPECTACULAR! And we had a terrace plus two balconies and 3 rooms for the 6 of us :) This adventure in Şile was like a movie scene, I still can't believe that it's true!

We went to bed pretty quickly and didn't get up until about 12 noon the next day. The view in the day light was even better! We could see the sea for miles and some little fishing boats close by! So so cute!

Breakfast consisted of Simet (some Turkish style bread baked in a circle) and cake and milk :) we're on a budget ;) and couldn't find cereal the night before lol. Once we'd eaten we went to the beach, a short 5 minute walk along the fishing boats and suddenly BAM you were on super soft sand with a blue sea, so beautiful :)

I swam twice in the Black Sea that day and walked along it for about 20 minutes with Andi before we went back into town for Lunch - 6 TL for rice, chicken in a sauce and a salad, pretty descent and the old lady who served us was super super cute!

After lunch we relaxed and then watched the sunset from our apartment, too cute! Haha :) (accidently forgetting to wake up Lili and Rui so they missed it, woops, my bad).

We went for a walk and ended up trying Shisha in a bar with a sea view. I don't really like it, I think smoke just doesn't agree with my body, which I guess is actually a pretty good thing :) plus it didn't taste of strawberry at all to me so was really really pointless lol but the view and company was good, so it was still a nice evening!

The next day, we woke up at around 10am and I went to the beach again with Andi after a similar breakfast to the day before.

As we were walking along the beach, a stray dog joined us and in some of the pictures it looks like we are walking our dog haha then we went to lay down and sunbathe and it came and lay with us!

The dog was so cute (We named it Sandy) but I was scared to touch it as I have read too many travel safe things about stray animals and rabies lol!

We went back to the apartment after about an hour to pack our suitcases and then get some lunch. 6 T.L again in a different place, this time the price included water :)

A puppy that we were given while the owner ate his lunch
At 2.20pm our bus to Istanbul left and it took us roughly 3 hours to get to our new apartment...

Istanbul update coming soon,

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Best Adventure Ever

I'm in an internet cafe at the moment so I have none of my pictures, but the place we ended up in is called Şile and our apartment that we found for 25 TL per night per person is AMAZING!!
We have a sea view and everything!!!
I'll make a longer blog when I'm back somewhere with free internet, but just thought I'd let you all know I am safe!

I am typing on a Turkish keyboard which is very strange: I have an ş,ö,ğ,ç,İ, ü, ı in the place of an i plus the , and ' and @ are all in strange places : D

Bye for now,

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Barbie Gone Wild

So we've finished all our voluntary work, we've said goodbye to the Los Amigos pub staff and we're all planning on doing a few different things in our last week here in Turkey. Still not 100% sure what I'm going to do.. but I'll work it out soon enough :)

Here's another video, maybe the last of Turkey, unless I make one about the last week, but that may be a lot later (e.g. like my Camp video):

I'll try and keep you updated on my on-going's but if not,
I'll probably write in England on the 1 night I'm staying there :)
(30th of September - 1st of October)

We shall see,

Karaoke Night

Here's some footage of our Karaoke night... be wary!

I'm uploading another proper video now :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

River Beach

Tuesday the 18th was our first day off since we began working properly. My day began at around 12noon when Lili woke Andi and I up for breakfast because Kymet was asking for us. :)

We then got ready and Andi and I headed to the River Beach early. We got milkshakes and I bought a cheeseburger for lunch.

Then we went to the fake beach which has been created just along a river, they've separated the river into two streams, one of which they have closed off with walls and have cleaned the water to make a pool and the other carries on as a normal river. They've added sand and sunbathing areas too:

The River Pool

After some time, Andi and I shared a quarter of a watermelon that Kymet had given us to take with us.

By the time the above cloud had gone across the sun, Jana, Lili and Rui arrived.

Going swimming anyway!

Lili the Lama
Having a lazy day

Once we were all really wet and cold, we decided to go get tea and coffee from the nearby Cafe (the same place that I had my dinner in on the first night of my time here)

They provide blankets!

Teaching Lili how to wrap properly ;)

We got the tram home and Kymet had made dinner and bought a cake for us. Here's Engin pulling the same face as the smiley on the cake:

Filipa decided to smear her chocolate covering on my face instead of eating it...

After dinner and a bit of a rest, we went to Los Amigos, the pub and I got my third milkshake of the day.. oh dear... this one by far looked the best, it was also the sweetest.

Free tasters at Los Amigos
Now we're back to work until the 23rd of September and then we are all free to do whatever we want/whatever we can still afford until we all leave on the 30th from Istanbul!

Tonight we are having a private Karaoke night!
I really can't sing...
                            Lucy xxo