Archive for Travel

Hello Tomorrow

Posted in Art, Middle East, Travel with tags , , , , on June 1, 2013 by leginsky

The Emirates ‘Hello Tomorrow’ song.


British Columbia Day 2

Posted in BC, Canada, reflection, Travel with tags , , on August 20, 2010 by leginsky

After poking around Vancouver on Day 2, I found myself at the Flying Beaver.  (Please click images to enlarge)

It is a pub on an arm of the mighty Fraser River, mere metres from its confluence with the Georgia Straight in the Pacific.  It is also a float plane dock.

Ah, the west coast Canadian life-style.  Sun , beer and float planes.  Can’t beat it.

I am about to fly to my island house on a float plane from the arm of the mighty Fraser.

It is indeed a flying Beaver.


Underway, the view from the co-pilot’s seat.

And over the beautiful Gulf Islands.  Here is a map; I am flying to Mayne Island.

Some views of the islands from the plane.

This one is Mayne; you can see the BC Ferry in the ferry dock; my house is on the shore just to the left of the ferry.

Float plane landing at Mayne Island. 

Walking up to the historic Springwater Pub, British Columbia’s longest continually operating inn.

If it sounds like all we do in BC in the summer is go from pub to pub, well, unfortunately, that’s just about it.  And then to my house

Relaxing on the deck.  You can see where I was sitting; ever-present Blackberry in front of the chair, along with the ever-present glass of red.

And this is the view from that deck.  It is Pacific Ocean waters, but broken by the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.  We look over at Prevost Island and Saltspring Island and up the Trincomali Chanell.

And we sit on the deck and look at that view until the sun sets …

British Columbia – Day 1

Posted in BC, Canada, reflection, Travel, weather with tags , , , , on August 18, 2010 by leginsky

Two weeks away from the heat of the Middle East, in the beautiful green, mountainous, Pacific province of BC.  Day 1 actually spanned two days, because I started just after midnight in Dubai, had an eleven hour lay-over in Schiphol, and then an 8 hour, 45 minute flight to Vancouver. (Please click on pictures to enlarge)

In Schiphol, our plane the “Ingrid Bergman”.  I never thought I’d fly on Ingrid Bergman! 

Here is Ingrid having landed in Vancouver.

From a cool rainy day in Amsterdam to a glorious, very warm day in Vancouver.

The international arrivals area in Vancouver International (YVR) is one of the nicest I’ve seen with all the art and a waterfall feature.

Downtown Vancouver has a lovely harbour.  Here are a couple of shots from the conference centre- cruise-ship terminal.

Then on to English Bay.  It was evening by this time.  Some interesting statuary.

and the usual sunset-on-English-Bay pictures from downtown Vancouver.

Being away, I had forgotten how beautiful English Bay can be.  These have an Inukshuk in the lower left corner.  If you recall the logo of the winter Olympics we just had, that is the symbol.  This is a mysterious symbol used throughout the circumpolar world and is a meme in the Canadian psyche.  You can read more here.

And so back to the hotel.  I stayed at the Coast Vancouver Airport hotel because (besides being cheap) it has a White Spot restaurant. This is a British Columbia chain, not expensive, has its own locally-brewed beer, and good food.  I had been thinking about its steak, smothered with mushrooms, with a sturdy red accompaniment.  And so it was!  Hard to beat Canadian beef.  It was every bit as good as I had remembered. (Warning: messy food shot)

A good end to Day 1.

Turkey Trip Day 10

Posted in BC, Canada, Dubai, Middle East, motorcycle, reflection, Travel, Turkey with tags , , , , on July 10, 2010 by leginsky

Please click on the pictures to see them better.  I stayed in Bandirma, Turkey, the night of Day 9 at a tired ferry landing hotel.  Bandirma is a tired industrial port town.

Rather than eat in a restaurant, I used one of the many kabab stands, this one on the dock by the hotel.

Thıs morning, it was the ferry (feribot, as they call it) lineup.

Here is our feribot!

My bike blocked and ready for the trip

During this ferry trip, I kept thinking of the last important motorcycle ferry trip I made, in March 2007, when I started my journey ınto expat lıfe, from Mayne Island.  I was taking the beautıful BMW K1200GT to Vancouver for ıts onward shipment to Dubai.  It snowed.  ”Leavıng, are you, you ungrateful bastard … take some of that”.  I can’t yet judge all that I have done, and has been done, since March 2007.   More endings … more beginnings! 

Istanbul!  Here you see the arrival through the ferry’s big rear loading door.

And unpacking the bike from the trip and giving it back to the shop.

Lunch in Istanbul.  It was raining so the staff tried to get me to eat inside.  After being on the road in the wind for 10 days, I couldn’t face being inside yet.  I had them set up a little table on the narrow sidewalk for me.

The ferry, the ride throughout Istanbul to the BMW shop on the outskirts, the bike hand-over, all went seamlessly.  The return of the bike was well timed, as by the time I got back to my hotel, it really started to rain.  Back to the European side of Turkey, and back to European weather!

After about a couple of thousand kilometres of Turkey, the motorcycle part of the trip is over.  But every ending is a beginning.  I learned a lot, met some good people and Inshallah can look forward to many more trips and to my own bike in the fall. 

There is so much yet to see …

Turkey Trip Day 9

Posted in motorcycle, resorts, Travel, Turkey with tags , on July 9, 2010 by leginsky

Click on the pics to see them better.  You may recall I mentioned we stayed in the treehouse area.  That is in a park called Olympos near Kemer by Antalya.  It is a throw-back to hıppıe-dom.

Treehouse accommodation

Our accommodation

Gentle people there

 Even our supper was vegetarian

Bikers enjoying their tofu steak

We saw plenty of castles and historical sites

We went on to Kaş, a lovely Mediterranean sea coast vacation town.  Here we are at a local restaurant that Koray (the Turkish one, glasses on the left) knows

He also got us a deal at this hotel

Kaş sea

The group and I parted at Kaş; I went on to Marmarıs.  The road was lovely, twisting along the coast

Marmarıs is another really beautiful Mediterranean vacation town






But the road out of Marmaris was straight up a mountain.  Here you can see the switch-backs

The mountains that you enter here are made up of large boulders, set in treed countryside

I spent the night in Selçuk, known for 3 things: a castle, storks and çop şiş, grilled meat

Castle at Selçuk

Storks at Selçuk

Meat grill - often have the hammered bronze nameplate

The countryside is rolling farmland, quite like Tuscany

This morning’s big excitement was that I got stopped for speeding.  I took a quick snap showing the police taking info from us miscreants that they stopped

The officer to the left has a machine gun, but the guy in the white shirt obscured it.  Given that, I didn’t want to be seen taking too many pictures.  Once I showed them my UAE licence, they just waived me off.  It wasn’t serious enough to hold me, and I guess they figured the chance of a foreign tourist paying a speeding fine was pretty slim!

Now spending the night in Bandirma, a coastal town on a different coast, the sea of Marmara. 

 Tomorrow, ferry (”feribot”) to İstanbul.

Turkey Trip Day 7

Posted in motorcycle, Travel, Turkey with tags , on July 7, 2010 by leginsky

It seems Turkish men have it good  I went to the restaurant in my hotel and the music started to play.  The women are caught by the rhythm They dance for their husbands, while the guy claps lightly!  Very cool!  here sis a pic of one gal so dancing.  It is blurred because it was night with low light.  I was just hoping their husband wouldn’t fall asleep!

Next day off into the beautiful Turkish Mediterranean coast.

Castle in the sea

Old ruins

New ruins

AS you can see from the above, their many ruins, old and new.  This sad hotel sits on a commanding spot on the coast but perhaps ran out of money or perhaps was the result of some shady dealings.

I met up with a group of 8 BMW riders from Dubai.  I am travelling with them for 3 days.  We split up tomorrow, as they go back to Jordan (where they shipped there bikes) and I proceed on to Istanbul.

The riding on the narrow road, mountains on one side, cliff to the sea on the other, was sometimes tricky.  Here we hit several kms. of construction and it is good we had on-road, off-road BMW GS bikes.

Not all riding!  Here we stopped for a salty dip!

More to come …

Turkey Trip Day 4

Posted in motorcycle, reflection, resorts, Travel, Turkey, weather with tags , , , on July 4, 2010 by leginsky

Happy 4th of July to my throng of American fan!  Note how cleverly days of my trip coincide with the days of July.  I never have to remember what trip day I am on.

A beautiful morning Cappadocia.  incredibly blue skies, cool temperature.  On the road leaving the mountains.

But one more surprise at Göri _ another hanging mountain side city

My route was about 380 km, from Ürgüp to Kizkalesi on the Mediterranean. Burcu,of the Yosuf Hotel had booked me into the Kilikya Hotel in Kizkalesi. I decided to take a smaller, more scenic road, and it worked out great!  As it turned out I went from the rough smaller mountains and cave dwellings of Cappadocia to the big agricultural plains, to a higher more treed set of mountains. The smaller road was well marked

 I travelled for a couple of hours through plains and lush agricultural land, but with a row of mountains on the horizon.

After a couple of hours I left the small road and rejoined the E90, the road that yesterday had been very bad for a major road.  However, over night it morphed into a great road! Further south they have completely built a very modern smooth road.  Further on in the mountains it has a series of 8 or 9 very modern tunnels one after the other to get through the mountains.  Very nice!

For the next couple of hours I went through really beautiful mountains,on a very twisty mountain road ( the Tarsus road) which exactly what bikers enjoy.

Passed through busy towns, the main streets of which were usually traffic jams

Sometimes navigation was an ıssue

H-m-m-m: which way?

I stopped at a Shell station to call my BMW group who I will be meeting.  The attendant ımpressed by the bike and gave me some tea.

Now, out of the mountains and into a drier, arid land; cactus country.

Then, down to Mersın and the Mediterranean!

Fisherman at Mersin

Windy Day, Mersin



needing a stop and some rest, I found a great seaside buffet on the Mediterranean, with an incredible selection of local food for 35 Turkish lıra (dh 35 or dollars 9.50).  A great stop!

On the road again to Kızkalesı, 60 km ahead to find the Kilikya hotel.


Doesn’t look good so far!  Continued tomorrow…