Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Saturday, 24 September 2016


With so many Greek islands so close to us here in Turkey, we decided to do something about seeing more of them. We have been to Crete on holiday in the past. We have also visited Kos on day trips but we haven’t been to Leros.  last week l was advised to book the tickets because the ferry only goes twice a week and was already almost booked out. I checked the weather forecast which was clear sunshine and no sign of rain.  All looked good!
With tickets and cameras in hand we set off at 9am last Friday to the ferry port.  We were pleased with the slight drop in temperature brought about by the refreshing breeze as we made our way to the check in area.  Then through security and out the other side to wait for the ferry. Nice bright sunny morning,  all looked ok.  
About five minutes to 10,  a very small ferry makes a speedy entry to the bay, a flaky white wash was on each side with the bow raised in the air. Suddenly we see the speed reduce and the ferry does a violent rock from side to side.  Then, much to the relief of all of us watching, it quickly levels off and pulls in alongside the pier.  As we board, I naturally head towards the steps which brings you to the top level where we hoped we would sit outside with the wind on our faces as is the norm for us when going to Kos.  The only crew member immediately said  “No upstairs! Everyone must sit downstairs”.   I wondered why but didn’t ask.    As we made our way towards the front of this stuffy enclosed cabin area.  I could smell diesel, not a good start!  it usually makes me nauseous. At 10.15am  with all seats full and 6 people standing, the engine starts up and off we go.  We head slowly out of the bay and I listen to the exuberant voices of the young couples and not so young people as they anticipate the day ahead.  Some people had been to Leros before but for most of us, it was our first time. Then suddenly we hear the engine’s power as the speed pick up and we feel the pull of the sea.  There are cheers and laughs as the first of the waves crash against the windows while the bow leaps up and crashes back down again.  Everyone grabs hold of their seat and all our attention is suddenly drawn to the windows. For a few seconds it’s  a white frothy sea monster wrapping it’s arms around us and then just as quickly, letting go.  Then we start to see not the calm of the bay but a mountainous sea of peaks and troughs. Now I know why we are not up on the upper deck!   We begin what is to be an hour and a half of a roller-coaster ride which seemed like it was going to be for all eternity.......
We were going against the waves and the captain was trying to ride over them, this meant we lunged forward and came down with a bang much like being in a car when it would go very speedily over a bump and crash back down on to the road. The ferry also tilted from side to side as he navigated his way over this terrain.  This caused quite a few of the passengers to get motion sickness.  I could feel the nausea and luckily I had a plastic bag which I kept on my lap, just in case....
  I kept looking at my watch and wondered how long more?  If only I could lie down but there was no room.  We were seated near the front of the cabin,  I thought I might do better if I could get to the cabin door which led to the control/bridge area.  I grabbed hold of a rail and with the help of a few strong arms made my way to the door.  I saw the captain,  a young man who seemed quite calm as he focused on the horizon which must have been difficult,  it kept changing by several degrees while his large window was blasted every few minutes with the white frothy sea monster!  He didn’t use the big wheel but instead he steered the ferry with a joystick.  As I stood there sucking in fresh air,  there was another huge lunge and then a drop back down,  I felt my knees buckle and I’m sure I moaned!  Immediately I felt a very strong arm wrap around my ribs,  and held me tight.  For a few moments I didn’t know who it was but felt secure and knew I would not fall.  It was the crew member.  He had leapt forward when he saw me and saved me from falling. There was a man and two ladies sitting in the bridge area.  One of the men said I could sit up there. They helped me up. The crew member said it was only 10 more minutes!  We were heading into Leros.  The sea started to get calmer and I could see the coastline from the big window.  Immediately, I started to feel better.  Thankfully, the contents of my stomach stayed where it was and we made it to Leros in one piece.   About 40 minutes later we were out of customs.  I sat and took in the cool sea air.  Later we took a short tour of the island and it turned out to be another stunningly beautiful place. On our return journey,  the captain agreed to have both myself and Mr.D sit up in the bridge. 
Will I go back?  I hear you ask.   Yes, but not by boat!!!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


It was wonderful to see the Irish coastline as our flight descended towards Dublin.  The weather was pleasant and we had a few days in Dublin with our daughter before we all headed to Cork to my sister later that week. One of the places we strolled around in Dublin was the Memorial gardens. Such a beautiful place in remembrance of all those who died in both world wars.

The weather in Cork was sunny with some clouds but I found I needed my cardigan and scarf when walking on my favourite Co. Cork beach of Youghal.  Temperatures only about 17c but ideal for walking.

We were a little like tourists taking in a tour of the beautiful Spike Island in Cork harbour.  We had a picnic lunch on the beach and this photo below is the view of the town of Cobh from Spike Island.

Mr. D. and I walked everyday,  we didn't have to go far to see beautiful fields and watch the wheat as the breeze flowed through it making it look at times like a sea of gold just in time before it was harvested!  Field above near Carrigaloe, on the great island,  not far from the town of Cobh. Field below on the east of the great island,  near Marleogue wood.

I celebrated a big birthday this year and my sister organised a party for me.  It turned out to be a wonderful evening with family and friends.  I was given this bear from another very thoughtful lady and she new enjoys my photos of him as he accompanies me on my travels.


Photo of Fuchsia on roadsides on the Dingle peninsula.

The beauty of the west of Ireland must be seen to be believed.  No camera can really capture it.  You need to go there.  There are mountains, valleys, little roads and miles and miles of unspoilt beaches.  It always takes my breath away.....
The Dingle peninsula.

Fishing on Banna beach, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Dunquin. DĂșn Chaoin, meaning "Caon's stronghold", is a Gaeltacht village which lies at the Western tip of the Dingle Peninsula, overlooking the Blasket Islands. We spent a lovely evening basking in the August sunshine before heading back to Dublin for our flights  back to Turkey.
 Ireland,  see you next year!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Early Summer 2016

  We had a lovely summer.  My sister and my friend Maura came to us on holiday in June.    They were both so tired due to their busy work schedule and so excited to be here at last!  It was great to see them relax and enjoy themselves as the days went on.  We invited our Turkish friends over for garden parties.  We laughed, eat lots of food, drank wine and chatted under two sun umbrellas as we sheltered from the hot afternoon sun. 
My sister in particular loved being outside with all our friends,  this is something you cannot do every day back home in Ireland. It has been six years since she was here and she really needed a sun holiday!  Our lovely Turkish friends, Dilek and Suha invited all of us over to their beach and to dinner on their balcony.  Such wonderful home cooked food and great conversation.  Everyone so happy and content.   

 We went swimming every day,  my sister would gaze at the roses and the kittens (yes they are growing big and get more cute every day!) as she swam in the pool.  Sometimes she could be seen pulling the odd weed which managed to escape my not so often garden endeavours in this heat. I had to put pressure on her to just sit down and chill out.  She is so used to working that she found it hard to sit still.   

We went often to the beach where we again sat under an umbrella to keep out of the scorching sun.  We swam in the clear waters and it was so great to have company and laughter all around me. We cooked meals at home and eat them on the balcony while we chatted away till the early hours.... We had meals out which we also enjoyed as we watched the beautiful sunsets.  

The day came for their return home.  It was as always heart wrenching to say goodbye.  I had a few rough days......  I immediately went on-line and searched for flights back to Ireland.  After much searching, I found flights to London and from there later that evening to Dublin.  I was ok,  we would be going home at the end of July for a stay of nearly 4 weeks. Things were looking up!