The Players

The Group

[Group Photo 1]

The Leaders

  • Jenny
    She's the tour leader, the guru, the boss. She knows Turkey and she knows history. She's not tall, but she's strong and dominant and smart and lively and fun. She absolutely bubbles over with life.
  • Sedat
    Jenny's husband. A lovely Turkish man who Jenny met on a trip to Turkey, fell in love with and married. He speaks Turkish, not surprisingly, which was a blessing. He's tall and handsome, calm and gentle. Sadly, he was only on the tour with us for a few days. He spent the rest of the time with his family.

The Turkish Contingent

  • Sebnem
    Our Turkish tour guide. I have anglicised her name, by replacing the s-cedilla with just an s. But it's pronounced Shebnem. I haven't found a way to do Turkish accents in HTML yet. Sebnem was magnificent as our tour guide. She always had the hotels and our meals organised. When problems occurred, she always fixed them with minimum fuss, and often without us knowing that something had gone wrong. She did a marvelous job of moving us around Turkey, translating and guiding. We were her first Australian tourists, and I'm sure we made life difficult for her at times, with our independent ways. But she coped with us, and managed to stay good-humoured.
  • Mustafa
    Our bus driver. He drove that bus 5,000 kilometers around Turkey and we lived. And given the state of Turkish traffic, that's high praise indeed. There were several bus crashes while we in Turkey, with some Australian tourists killed. The habits of the drivers border on the insane. We had a few close calls on the road, but Mustafa always kept us safe. Sebnem told us that he had driven buses all round Europe, and was very experienced. He spoke no English, but he was a talented raconteur in Turkish. He kept Sebnem amused with his stories, and wherever we stopped, we would come back to find Mustafa holding court. Always good tempered, always happy, always there. At the end of a long day walking, the sweetest sight of all was to see Mustafa and the bus, ready to carry us back.

The Tourists

  • Anne
    Teacher. My wife. Been to Turkey eight years ago and had fabulous memories of it and wanted to share them with me.
  • Barbara
    Non-teacher. A complex mix was Barbara. Sophisticated yet down to earth. Always ready for a laugh and an adventure.
  • Carolyn
    Teacher. A brave lady who had a Turkish bath on the very first day in Istanbul. Who braved the Istanbul public transport system solo. An experienced and very hard bargainer, who got some of the best deals on tour. Laughed lots, and was great fun to be with.
  • Chris
    Solicitor and amateur archaeologist. Quiet, but very enthusiastic about his archaeology. He persuaded us to take a short side-trip to see Catalhoyuk. He's great to talk to, extremely well read, a fascinating speaker, and he likes his raki.
  • Clare
    Teacher. Tall and determined, lovely smile. Has travelled much and has a wonderful store of anecdotes. One of the Clinking Threesome, who liked a small tipple at the end of the day.
  • Elizabeth
    Teacher. She's very, very quiet, unless she can't get her morning shower and then Ms Hyde appears. She is very private and has a thing about being photographed. Consequently I have practically no photos with her in them. I did tease her about it at one stage, and she got a little heated, so I refrained from taking photos. In the early days of the trip, we had minor altercations about the separation of the sexes in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, but then I took care not to bite whenever she commented, and the trip went ever so much better after that.
  • Erika
    Teacher. Bubbly and lively and a great deal of fun. I think the hills we had to climb got to her after a while. Erika and Elizabeth were heading on to Egypt after the Turkey tour, and at the end of one long climbing day, Erika pleaded with Anne to tell her that Egypt was flat.
  • Esther
    Teacher. A very warm and gentle soul. Not too good at haggling with the Turks.
  • Frank
    Teacher. Marvellously sartorially elegant, from his blue Akubra to his endless T-shirts. Very knowledgeable, great sense of humour, lovely laugh, even-tempered (unless a waitress stuffs something up repeatedly).
  • Henry
    Non-teacher. Me. No description required.
  • Jean
    Teacher. A lovely sweet smile, with a glint in the eye. Well travelled, with lots of tales to tell. One of the Clinking Threesome.
  • Lindy
    Teacher. From the Deep North. Well-travelled, always happy, always ready with a laugh, always ready for mischief. Enjoyed the occasional drink, not that we ever had the opportunity to get more than the occasional drink. By the end of the tour, she was really starting to miss her husband.
  • Margaret
    Teacher. Sweet-natured and very adventurous. Had a Turkish bath off the beaten track, and when she discovered there were no female bath-attendants, just male, went ahead with the bath.
  • Mavis
    Teacher. Nicknamed Mavis the Mountain-Goat. She would climb anything. I was in awe of her physical prowess. I tried to keep up with her and climb everything too, but no matter where I went, I would look around and see Mavis striding determinedly away in the distance, or look up and see Mavis climbing towards the top of some amphitheatre. One of the Clinking Threesome.
  • Richard
    Non-teacher. He works with me. Youngest on the tour. Had an attack of the dreaded hormones for much of the tour.
  • Susan
    Teacher. A happy, bubbly person. Always ready with a laugh even when things went wrong, and that laugh was so funny and infectious. Always ready for mischief. Great to go carpet shopping with. Lovely English accent.

The Group (Reprise)

[Group Photo 2]

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