Category Archives: travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Anticipation (II)

A second submission to this week’s photo challenge: Anticipation

Two years ago we were lucky enough to visit Zanzibar just before Christmas – an island of the coast of Tanzania which is a dream destination for many but right on our doorstop it’s an affordable destination.

This Christmas we are spending the holiday period back on Zanzibar and very much anticipating our return to this Island Paradise.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge (of Paradise)

Taken from our trip to Zanzibar in December 2014. Photos from the edge of paradise.

Istanbul from the Air

Our departure from Istanbul gave us from great sunset views of the city below and the Bosphorus.

 

 

Istanbul

We travelled back from the UK via Istanbul in Turkey. We flew using Turkish Air with a 15 hour delay between flights. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit the city, though this was planned long before recent events, we felt reassured it was going to be safe to visit. 

What we didn’t realise was that as part of the flight we had the option of a free walking tour of Istanbul with breakfast and lunch. This took in two of the most famous sites in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque  and the Hagia Sophia, a former church turned mosque, turned museum. 

Here are some pictures of the day.

A Trip to the Seaside 

Yesterday we paid a visit to the seaside – part of a longer trip to the place where we hope (results depending) our eldest will be living over the next few years whilst at University.

Then it was down to the beach for a afternoon at the British Seaside (West Witterham). It was a lovely afternoon and though it was never going to match the temperatures of Zanzibar or Tanga- the sea was pleasantly warm as indeed was  the breeze – a fabulous way to enjoy a sunny afternoon. We even took a paddle in the English Channel (part of the Atlantic Ocean).



Then a short drive along the coast to Bognor Regis for “fish and chips” – (though as a non-fish eater it was Saveloy) on the shingle beach in the evening sun. All very British!

MK Bound

Today we arrived back in MK my home for 26 years prior to moving out to Mwanza. We are staying on a campsite to the north of the city.  A picturesque landscape of woodland and lakes near Olney.

It’s the first time back in MK and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends. 

We’ve actually been back in the UK a week now. Surprisingly it has not been the culture shock we anticipated – for me I have slipped back into the UK environment with no real surprises, though it has felt a bit cold. Maybe the 40+ years of UK living have made the experience much more ‘normal’ than I expected after two years on the equator. ​

Having initially stayed with family near Abingdon it gave  an opportunity to visit ex-colleagues in Thame and it was good to catch up and see them. Life has changed little, it seems, though perhaps I detect a slightly greater pressure on all as they embrace the challenges of the British Education Reforms – something I am glad to have escaped.

This week a chance for the kids to catch up with school friends and us all to meet church friends and wider MK friends as well as family. It also gives us a chance to sort out things for our son’s impending entry into University. MK’s reassuring familiarity is a real bonus. 

Back to ‘Blighty’

I sit here in the lounge of my parents-in law watching Wimbledon – the Ladies Semi-Finals (Kerber vs Williams). It’s almost like we’ve never been away.

It’s our first day back in England (Blighty is an old-fashioned term for Britain / England). It was a long and somewhat stressful trip back with Turkish Air / Fast Jet.

It all started back in Mwanza with a lengthy conversation  with a ‘jobsworth’  Fast Jet official who insisted that although on weight – we were only allowed one bag each on the plane – this was neither on the ticket or clearly described in the small print – we almost missed our flight!

In Dar Es Salaam – we discovered our 3 am flight was delayed by six hours – resulting in a sleepless night in the Airport. The reason for the delay was never fully explained though attributed to technical difficulties. The result of all this delay was that we would miss our connecting flight from Istanbul to London. Thankfully but after a hour long, 1 – 2am wait in the airport we were re-scheduled for a later flight.

The delay was almost 7 hours in the end and got us into Istanbul with a little over an hour to spare before check-in. So a quick taste of European culture (Café Nero) before boarding our Heathrow flight. Arriving back in the UK about 9pm we realised that of our 7 bags, 3 were still in Istanbul. One of the three belonged to Anita who had no clothes, one to me who had no other shoes but sandals, the other to my daughter.
These were subsequently put on another flight – but one bag only has arrived thus far – the others having taken an even later flight back and expected late this evening. Although all these will be couriered across – things are still very frustrating.

I’m told this is the perils of long-haul travel – just hoping our journey back to Mwanza will be less of an ordeal.