Category Archives: Black Sea
Turkish Viagra comes in a little jar. A silhouette on the lid depicts a toddler with an oversized member pointing skywards. ‘APRODISIAQUE,’ declares the label, ‘For Man and Women (sic)’. At 2 euros a jar you won’t find a better offer in your junk email and you won’t find a more interesting place to buy it than in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Continue reading
It’s been while since I undertook a Weekly Photo Challenge. Real life and real work have played merry hell with my blogging time.
Just a few weeks ago Mevrouw T and I were for the first time in our lives on a ship out of sight of land, cruising the Black Sea. The ports we visited – Istanbul, Nessebar, Odessa, Sebastopol and Yalta – were the primary attraction. But there was much to be enjoyed in simply watching the water slip past.
Opinion is divided on how the Black Sea came by its name. One theory is that the ancient Greeks called it the ‘Black Sea’ to contrast its wild, unknown shores and waters with the more familiar ‘White Sea’, their name for the Mediterranean.
We found it anything but black; rather colourful really.
We were the guests of Travel the World and Compagnie du Ponant.
Preserving historic villages hasn’t been a high priority for the Turks. Life is a struggle for many and restoring old buildings is expensive. It’s usually easier to knock down the old and replace it with something cheaper.
Which is why Safranbolu is a welcome exception to the rule. Continue reading
These days they’re still squabbling to establish beachheads, but only for sunbathing purposes. It’s hardly what we spoiled Australians would call beach at all; just a strip of pebbles by flat, uninviting water.
But if the beach is unappealing, there is plenty of fun to be had on the promenades. Continue reading
‘Are you sure you want to go there?’ asks our cruise ship’s excursion organiser. ‘It’s a bit of a weird show, look, it’s got skulls in it. And maybe you won’t like the music. We can get you tickets to a Ukrainian folkloric performance instead.’
‘No thanks. We know Stravinsky and we’re prepared to risk the skulls.’
I don’t envy Vanessa her job. Probably there will be complaints if the production is too avant garde. With skulls. But if you play safe in the middle of the road you may get run down by a bus. Continue reading
‘Some people call it not Nessebar, but Messy bar.’ Our guide Stefan is almost apologetic. And indeed the first impression is not promising.
Was UNESCO being overgenerous when it handed this little Bulgarian peninsula a World Heritage listing? Continue reading
Regular readers of this blog understand that Mevrouw T and I are two to three star people, seldom treated to five star anything.
So although a chance to glide around the Black Sea in luxury French ship l’Austral and get paid for writing about it was an offer too good to refuse, we also feared we would feel uncomfortable among the smart set.
We need not have worried. Continue reading