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My month away from Vergenoegd was set to be a mixture of holiday, family time and work. It was a round trip to the Isle of Man stopping in Turkey both going and returning, with a trip to Scotland and England fitted in between.

The first stop was Istanbul. This beautiful, historic city straddling two continents, with its multi-cultural history and people takes you back to a time when the Sultan’s lived lives of decadent luxury. Visiting the mosques with their elaborate domes and minarets helps you to understand a different way of life.

Blue Mosque

The Turkish have a very social way of eating, where tables share varied plates of food which gives everyone a taste of all the dishes on offer and this is washed down with a bottle of Raki. We tried both the Turkish way of eating and several of the Turkish wines but refrained from trying the Raki.

The Sultan had palaces on both sides of the Bosphorous – one for summer and one for winter. One of the summer palaces that we visited is called Dolmabahçe and was originally built from wood. When it burned down due to a fire which started in the kitchen it was rebuilt from stone and marble and without a kitchen. Food had to be transported across the Bosphorous taken from the winter palace – or they sent out for take-aways from the local Burger King!

This is a beautiful city and definitely worth a visit.

From Turkey it was on to England to visit Dorothy’s cousin whom she hasn’t seen in 35 years, and a day was spent in the historic university town of York which included a visit to York Minster where the queen had passed out the Maundy money the week before. This is a an ancient ceremony that dates back to the thirteenth century when members of the royal family distributed money and gifts to the poor to recall Christ’s simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.

York Minster

We then flew in to the Isle of Man to take charge of Dorothy’s two grandchildren to allow mum and dad to spend some time in Cancun for their 10th wedding anniversary.

It was the main week of the TT races on the Isle of Man and I have never seen so many motorbikes in one small place at the same time and so many people dressed in leathers.

Unfortunately for the races the weather did not play along and the final race was cancelled.

The races also coincided with the Olympic Torch procession through the island and we were lucky enough to catch sight of the procession whilst stuck in a traffic jam.

During the peak of the racing we caught the ferry off the island to travel to Scotland with the two boys, Sean and Iain, to visit family and for me to do my first wine-tasting in Scotland –details will follow in the next post. The weather in Scotland was also wet and cold despite it being their summer and our visit to the beautiful city of Edinburgh was shrouded in mist and drizzle.

Wet nights spent in the hotel were warmed with the assistance of some good red wine – Vergenoegd of course. As the saying goes “Life’s too short to drink bad wine”.

Sean and Iain had at least gotten to meet some of their family.

After 4 days it was back to the Isle of Man in time for the boys to go back to school – schools in the Isle of Man close during TT races – and await the return of mum and dad from Mexico before we set off to Bodrum, the final stop of our holiday.

Dorothy’s brother lives and works in Turkey just outside of Bodrum and we went from temperatures of 12º to 43º – quite a welcome respite from the rain. This is also a beautiful part of Turkey and we got to see and experience some of the real Turkey, spots where the tourists have not discovered and the locals enjoy.

I celebrated my 50th birthday in Turkey overlooking one of the most amazing sunsets.

BODRUM

All good things have to come to an end and we made our way back home via Istanbul on board Turkish Airlines. Goodbye Turkey we would love to return one day.

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