Sarah Coles


ISTANBUL Taxi through takes us to the Bus Station, as always outside the dusty city.  Coach takes us to Istanbul, over valleys, winding over mountains and diving under them, and we are regularly given drinks and biscuits, and have a longer stop at a large station for us to have a bite – though so many buses are there, and being nervous of missing ours, we don’t.  Decide that public lavatories with ceramic feet are preferable to ones with piss wet seats. Along this spanking new road, over a narrow bit of the Sea of Marmara, and more urban now – new settlements with plenty of mosques (imagine...
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SAMOS A ferry to Samos one morning, because it connects with a ferry to Kusadasi, Turkey.  We arrive in the port of Pythagorio, where the front is lined with nothing but restaurants, now empty.  The season is over.  Bob finds us a room overlooking the harbour, and I find how to get to Turkey: the ferry leaves from Vathy, the other side of the island. Next day, we wait at a bus stop (other people waiting – good, it means a bus will come), and take a winding bus over the hills and through orchards and vineyards and olive groves to Samos, which is how they signpost Vathy.  Samian wine, Samian...
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We want to visit Ephesus, ancient Greek city now part of Turkey.   But Bob has never been to Turkey, and (like scores of people) imagines Turks as intrinsically cruel.  He’s read T E Laurence and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, whippings, sodomy and all that.   So, I got a flight to Rhodes, chief of the Dodecanese Islands (Greek) which hang like a necklace round the shores of Turkey.    Dodecanese means twelve, but actually there are loads more.  Cheap flight, only thirty five pounds. The cabin bag allowance is a mere feather, five kilos, so we buy wheelie bags weighing only 1.6 kilos...
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