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MARCH 2018  This thread currently has 6,090 views. Print
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Elsa Peters
March 1, 2018, 7:25pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 1st March

Just to say that it's been a long day but it's all going well.  Lots of pickies, not much snow here but very cold here in Ankara.  Tomorrow we see the sights and then ever onwards and upwards.....maybe with a balloon trip in Cappadoccia.

Turkey is one hour on from BG so it really is time for bed.  LN...Tired but so far worth the money and effort...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2018, 4:46pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 2nd March

It's going to be late....but it will happen later......LN...  

I'm back and what a full on day it's been.  Breakfast at seven, luggage downstairs in reception by eight twenty and on the road by eight thirty...and this is only the beginning of the first day.  A brief update on yesterday...it was a good few minuses when we set off and so much so that we had to put the luggage in the coach until the locks had thawed on the underneath compartments and it took a good few kilometers to get the ice from the windows.  Eventually we settled in to the journey and we made quite a few comfort breaks, picked up a tour guide going through Istanbul and it's been like that ever since.  I imagined that we would be left to our own devices but we haven't been it's been full on and a little bit of brain overload.

We made it down to Ankara by last night and heading for the museum and that was fantastic.  I've lots of photos of that but the camera battery is empty and can't get them off the camera until tomorrow...charging things has been a bit of a hazard...three people in one room and their phones for the number of selfies that they take really do have to be charged first and there was only one socket in the room.  It was OK for one night and we'd somehow picked up a third girl who was a lone traveller....I'd not planned on that.  So after the museum we went to Ataturk's mausoleum and that was spectacular....and again lots of photos of that trapped in the camera but they should be retrieved tomorrow morning so I promise I shall post a few of them.  So back in the coach and we had a few interesting stops on the way down to the Cappadoccia region ready for tomorrow's tour of the area and I'm pleased to say that we have two days here...time to come back down to earth.

So supper in the hotel tonight and a night of Turkish entertainment had been arranged, all inclusive for a small fee and we got back about eleven our time which is in fact eight yours.  Belly dancers and the likes cavorting wit  h a coach load of Chinese tourist who I think thought they'd died and gone to heaven.  

Seven thirty breakfast in the morning and then off to see the area, the caves and hot air ballooning for the lucky few.  I think it will be a tiring day...the Fitbit registered eleven thousand steps today....I'll see if I can top it tomorrow.  Need to get my head down now....LN...I'll keep you informed...LN
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Elsa Peters
March 2, 2018, 9:15pm Report to Moderator

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Just a few pickies

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Elsa Peters
March 3, 2018, 6:46pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 3rd March

Set the alarm for six this morning but I was up before it.  Breakfast was at seven thirty so I had plenty of time to collect my thoughts and get ready for the day. The wifi is available if slow but I managed to charge both camera batteries overnight so I was fully geared up for today,  Over the last two days I've taken five hundred of the museum, the mausoleum and the sight of the villages that make up Cappadocia and it been a really good day,  There are just so many of the sculptures formed by the weather from the lava ash mountains belonging to goodness knows when but it's a really interesting place and one that I'd never thought of visiting if it wasn't for being in Bulgaria.  Lots of Chinese tourists at present....they're probably buying real estate here or one of the hotels carved out of the rock. It was a late discovery by world standards so having listened to the man who knows all about it but in Bulgarian I bought the book and it's actually more of a Christian hidey hole than anything else....Google it and see.

Breakfast was the usual of eggs, and 'stuff' but I've really eaten well over the last few days.  Lunch was at a large 'eat all you like for thirty Turkish Lira about seven of your English pounds and then it was more sightseeing, climbing to see the sights that the hot air balloon flights normally see but with the wind raging as it was....no balloons out to day so we did it in a coach that no way should have been taken where we went....a lovely gung ho approach.

Back to the hotel and then went off to a whirling dervish culture show....no cameras allowed and back to the hotel for supper and I've taken to my virtuous pit.  Some have gone off for a walk to the local town but that seemed to be to be fraught with danger with another early start and breakfast at seven.  After breakfast we set sail for Istanbul for an overnight stop and a wizz round the best sights to see and Monday we head for Edirne again for a whistle stop tour and home for Monday night.  Busy but well worth it....it really has been a fully guided excursion.

Pickies of Ankara, the museum and mausoleum.....today's will have to wait until I've been through them to find the best ones. I've got packing to sort and try to stuff into a suitcase which appears to get smaller.  LN....I'm off to do battle....LN.

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Elsa Peters
March 4, 2018, 8:46pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 4th March

On a very slow connection after a long and interesting day.  We made it to Istanbul and have done the night tour and tomorrow the foot slog.

Too slow to load pickies and the next top up will from my home....tomorrow night...or even Tuesday....LN....from a weary but happy traveller.....LN
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Elsa Peters
March 5, 2018, 10:01pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 5th March

I'm home, the washing is cooking, the fire is lit and the house is...cold.  The hotel in Istanbul was definitely five star, the breakfast was amazing and the luggage had to be downstairs in the lobby to be loaded by eight thirty.  The tour this morning took in the Catholic Church for the benefit of some of the people on the tour and then it was an optional to the Sea-Life Centre and since there's one in Brighton, thought I wouldn't bother.  We then had three hours shopping and again I could have been in Brighton with most of the outlet stores that are now international and I was very tempted to go into IKEA and place a order...after all said and done we were in a coach...I'm sure we could have found room for a sofa.  

It had been a long day before from Cappadocia to Istanbul and I thing we all needed time to come down from the highs.  On the way up we'd stopped at an underground city formed within the lava of a volcano and they only found it when the discovered there was air coming up a well.  Further investigation and now a mint of money is being made from it but well worth the viewing...you had to be almost bent double to walk through the tunnels and I found it amusing that the youngsters on the tour were all complaining about their calves aching while mine were fine.  Lightweights....

So from Istanbul we continued on to Edirne but this was for a really quick visit...we were all wanting to get home. it had been a packed five days.  I really need to go through the photographs of the middle days to find the best to publish, especially of Cappadocia...it was just so amazing and I'd seen nothing like it before and the underground city was just magic.  To think that people lived underneath the ground because of the volcanic activity and that the lava sculptures  and the spiritual settlement that developed and have only recently been found with wall daubing from the bible is incredible.  That they'd been hidden for so long.

Now pictures of today from Istanbul and Edirnee and I sort the rest and post tomorrow...LN..Got brain overload...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 6, 2018, 3:52pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 6th March

Seven start and at last the house is warming up mainly because I kept the fire going all night.  Coffee and more coffee, the second load of washing went in, the boiler went on so that the water was going to be enough for a deep bath, toast with marmalade and then updated my Fitbit.  I must go away again soon...I've beat all the records I'd held before. climbed more inclines, burnt more calories, walked more miles and raised my burn up heart beat and dropped my at rest heart beat.  After that I decided that I could reduce it further by lying in the bath, washing my hair and reading my Kindle.  I'm home.

I dried my hair and then concentrated on putting the items in the suitcase away, did a general tidy, got out the vacuum, cleaned up the crud and settled in to looking at the photos from the two days of Cappadoccia and realised that I have so many and they are all good.  With such a good subject it was difficult to fail.  I'm still delaying posting them but here are a few from today.  I also did some research on books of the area and found one for only one penny with two fifty postage and a request has gone out to see if they will deliver to Bulgaria and if not, it can go to UK and will come out by courier on a weekly run that they do.  Just have to find out my reference code.  

So I've unpacked my presents and not sure how many to give away.  It's so difficult...I spent so long finding them that they've become personal.  Love the vase and one of the travellers on the coach asked if he could take a photo of it ...he was leaving the trip at Ankara but had taken details of the vase and had asked if the seller could find him one but needed the photo to make sure that he got the right one.  I'd bought a table cloth and thought I'd share some of the detail with you....it's just so pretty.  One or two other momentoes and I'm not a dinky doo person but I was taken with everything and so inexpensive.  The marble mini obelisk we watched being made and polished, I was gifted it by the tour guide so I made sure to take a photo of the man holding it and it made his day.  I think he felt valued and I like that.

So snowman gone. freesias flowering and brought in the house filling it with perfume and I have petunias out already...in only five days.  Time to attack the kitchen to find something to eat and tomorrow I'll probably be heading in to Djebel after delivering chocolates to my ladies with maybe fridge magnets.  I'll see how I feel, I can get fresh bread from the van in the morrow so it could be another lazy day.  LN...Time for a log top-up....LN

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Elsa Peters
March 7, 2018, 5:39pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 7th March

Seven start again ad the fire was still going .  I topped it up again but then the sky cleared. the sun was showing so I let it go out and it's been a super day.  I was unsure what to do today so I've done very little.  I've just allowed the tiredness and tension of the last few days to evaporate.  I was dressed for about nine thirty, toyed with going to visit Mrs and Mrs D of S since the master is home for a week but then realised that he was leaving today so thought he might be running round like a headless chicken sorting out packing as such and saying 'au revoir' to the little one so I left them to it.  I put the washing away and generally tidied through, I'd missed the bread van and didn't fancy the old stuff that was lingering in the kitchen and thought beans would soak through it sufficiently but no beans, the cupboard was bare.  It's on the list for my next visit to Lidl.

I walked the garden but that was cut short since the bottom of the garden was still very spongy from the snow.  I watched a cat lingering over a hole in the middle of the garden but it found nothing.  The daffodils are really showing now and the Japonica is budding and ready to burst with those beautiful dark rose flowers.  Spring may have arrived.... ...but not sure for how long.  I tried to phone the post office remembering that I was still two birthday cards light but as I was phoning the lady who works there she was phoning me.  Very spooky....She said that she was going to be there until two this afternoon but I got the Beast on to the road and headed down to the next village.  On the way down I noticed a lorry and saw that it had three rubbish containers....we were going to have our own so the ladies will have no excuse for dumping stuff around the village.  Lets hope they get emptied.

When I got to the post office, the inner door was locked so I sat on the sofa in the reception and saw her walking down the road form the direction of the school.  She opened the door, we went in and she delved down and came up with six letters and one package...three cards, two letters from the bank, one brown one from the pensions people and the  pressie.  I thanked her, went back to the Beast and opened them up standing by the door and the brown one annoyed me...that hadn't received a form that I knew I'd sent back and they were telling me that they would be stopping payment of my pension until they received a completed form. The present was from my Princess...an Annie Lennox CD....

So obviously I phoned the brown envelope people, cleared security, explained my problem, the checked my details ....and they had received the form and 'we are so overworked'.  Pah....I hope they make my next payment or there will be another phone call.  International Women's Day tomorrow, I've nothing arranged and no one wanted to come out to play so I might go in to Djebel and hand out a few flowers and bring them back for my ladies.  I've just had a neighbour come round and I've got a Mevlit on Friday for the father of one of the ladies.  It's at the village mosque and I've not been to one there before so a new experience.  My original Friday plans have now been moved to Monday....company documents, car and house taxes have to be paid.  LN...March is a busy month....LN

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Elsa Peters
March 8, 2018, 4:45pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 8th March

So a day of celebrations today... International Women's Day and it's also considered to be similar to our Mother's day.....and it's flowers for everyone.  I was up at seven, the fire had gone out fairly early last night but the house was OK so I didn't bother lighting it this morning.  I phoned the Librarian to wish her a Chestit Prasnic and she asked what I was doing today.  I mentioned that I was heading into Djebel to buy flowers for the ladies. post some cards, deliver said flowers and pay for the Beast's early spring clean while I was in Turkey.  She decided to come along and play and she was with me at ten thirty.  We had a coffee and catch-up and we were in Djebel in quicksticks and first stop was fuel, secondly the flower shop, thirdly the post office and we were too early for lunch at the Soup Kitchen so headed into Kardjali for Kaufland and Lidl after stopping off briefly to deliver a pot plant and carnations for my student, sister and mother.  She went into the back office and came out with a carnation for me...swaps.

There wasn't much on offer at Kaufland but I did pick up a electric orange and lemon squeezer as a standby.  I've worked my other to almost death so a standby for ten leva was well worth having.  I bought a chicken for tonight's supper and it cooking as we speak with a jacket potato and should be ready in about fifteen minutes and then on to Lidl for baked beans to replenish the cupboard supplies.  Back into the  Beast and to Djebel and to the Soup kitchen for lunch as it was up to the normal standard...I just love it there and the man that serves said  'Goodbye' in English and I was so surprised and complemented him on his English.  We are made so welcome here.  Back in the Beast and down to my student's shop and I delivered a hyacinth for her and received a single tulip and I remembered to pay for my inside and outside Beast's spring clean and it was ten lev....thoroughly worth it.

Back home, the Librarian headed off. I got the fire going and then headed out with the flowers for my ladies.  When I got to Zelinger's house, she was about to set sail for mine with a bag of gifts for March the 8th since I'd delivered gifts to her for Christmas.  I set off, clutching my parcel, for more houses in the village depositing flowers as I went and they were really well received.  Some of the older ones appreciate the thought.

Supper is ready, Mevlit (prayers in the mosque) tomorrow and nothing much apart from that on the agenda.  The rain started around three today and it's still coming down now and expected to continued for tomorrow and then bright sunshine for the weekend.  Spring might be back.  I love today...there's so much goodwill knocking around, flowers for everyone and the odd Baba Marta bracelet.  LN...it's been a good day...LN

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Elsa Peters
March 9, 2018, 5:31pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 9th March

Bit of a disturbed night....the temperature was up and my nest was roasting and there was an animal that seemed to be in distress very close to the house so I got up and put the arc light on and a small brown dog scuttled off towards the bottom of the garden.  I saw it again in the morning on the hillside in the company of a large black dog and when I mentioned it to my neighbour on the way to the mosque she said that they'd been making noise most of the night.  I didn't light the fire...I was off to the mosque this morning but filled the early part of it by bring the photos over from the laptop I took to Turkey with me and bringing them over to the main machine and deleting those taken at high speed and blurred.

My neighbour arrived at nine thirty and we set off stopping off at the grave yard so that she could put flowers on family graves.  Unfortunately the cows still seem to get in and most of the daffodils had lost their bobbing heads...the fences and walls need to be replaced.  Her mother and friend arrived and said prayers over the graves and we set off for the main gate and I noticed that they went out backwards and I did the same.  Another superstition that I#ll have to investigate.  We were shown the side door, went up the stairs and sat down on the floor.  The service was already underway...it's Friday and it's normally a full on day and most of my village turned up for this day to say goodbye to a husband, father and grandfather.  It's not my religion but I'm accepted as being part of the village, I wear a headscarf as I would entering a Catholic church in Spain and it's out of courtesy.  Serviettes were hand out along with the clove drink and a bottle of water and five fifths through the rice dish was served along with banichka and a sweet biscuit and orange squash, a few more prayers and we spilled out into the grounds after I'd taken a few photos. The family were still lingering over the cooking area and offering the leavers extra bags of rice and I refused saying that there was only me at home and I'd eaten enough for two days already.  We walked back in the sunshine. sat for a while near Remsier's house and I found out that she's not been well so I'll have to pay her a visit soon.

Back home by two and a visit to the mosque always makes me exceptionally tired.  It's almost like a meditation session for me.  I went back on the PC and realised that I needed to switch off, make my way to the sofa and get my head down.  I left the door open to the porch and promptly nodded off but woke up cold about an hour later, pulled the small duvet over me and went off again until four and didn't want to get going.  Eventually I got my courage together and lit the fire and got my evening started.  

No supper for me....still full from lunch but it might be bread sticks and Philadelphia cheese later which takes me back a few years to when I was working abroad.  It was a favourite.  Nothing on the agenda so far for tomorrow...I'll see how I feel....fire going well and house is toasty.  LN.....A very restful and village oriented day.....LN

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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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