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Summer Break 2014

So am now in the final stages of planning my summer break. It turned out much more expensive than I bargained for, particularly since most of it will be spent in Europe and the UK. Almost two weeks of basically city hopping.

I got a dirt cheap ticket with Turkish Airlines that allowed me to fly with one stop over in Turkey, as well as returning from a different final destination. I'll be flying to Istanbul in Turkey, stop over for a couple of nights, then to Brussels, and return from Amsterdam through Istanbul to Dubai. That is where the low cost of travel stopped however. I think if I'd known how expensive accommodation was going to be I'd have thought twice before I embarked on this journey. But then I reckon if my contract is going to end in September and I return to Canada and its short holidays, I'll probably never get an opportunity like this again. Both from the point of view of much less leave available as well as much more remote location from Vancouver Canada to Europe.

I've always been curious about Belgium, and Vlaanders, particularly since my family are originally from the Netherlands. Also of course Bondings is from Belgium as well, but then to get things straight here, I think there is a huge gap between our persona on the Internet and who we really are. Bondings obviously puts a high premium on his privacy (so do I on mine) and I respect that, so I'm not there to search for him, even when I mentioned that in jest once. I'll be in Belgium for two nights ending up in Brussels. Then use the Eurostar train that will take me to London from Brussels in a little bit over two hours. I've heard really good reports about Eurostar so am really looking forward to the trip. The ticket was also a very reasonable 39 EURO one way so I thought that was a good deal.

Once in England I spend one night in London and then fly via Gatwick to Guernsey for a two day stay there. Then from there via Gatwick to Amsterdam where I'll be for three days. Initially I was going to do the return journey from London to Amsterdam with the IDBus. The IDbus travels overnight from London Victoria Station to Amsterdam for 33 British Pound Sterling - travel time 11 hours. However unfortunately it doesn't seem to accept credit cards outside the Western Europe Region and I didn't want to chance it during the tourist season. I then lucked out when British Airways came up with special fares from Gatwick to Amsterdam. The 20 extra British pound - 53 British Pound Sterling in total, turned out well worth it for cutting a large chunk out of the travel time. Would have been interesting to experience the bus though as it has WIFI on the bus. Once in Amsterdam, I may take a day trip to The Hague to visit friends there as well. Then after three days in Amsterdam back to Dubai via Instanbul.

Took an enormous amount of time to plan all of the details, but short of booking my accommodation in Guernsey and Amsterdam I've got it all of the details sorted out. Including making sure there is FREE Wifi so I can stay in touch.

18 blog comments below

Sounds like a fun trip, Dean. If you do accidentally bump into Bondings, tell him I said 'Hi'!
standready on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:41 pm
good experience
mikeperhem1 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:26 am
And it's approaching fast .... am departing from Dubai during early morning hours of Saturday. Still lots to do before then. Razz
deanhills on Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:04 pm
Wow.. You are coming to Ýstanbul, Turkey ... Great news. Last summer I spent lots of time there, but this year I m in my city, inner Anatolia, no travels to Istanbul..

If I could knew this before, I could grab a cheap ticket to Istanbul and have a drink with you there mate.

Istanbul tips :

Stay away from cheap cafes & gasinos

Always bargain and negotiate if you will buy sth

Do not carry too much cash

Do not be too polite to people. Stay though...

Watch taxi meters closely. Taxi drivers are usually fraud.

Always ask for detailed bill when you eat at a restaurant.
RosenCruz on Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:34 pm
As long as your flight does not stray over Ukraine, you should have a good time.
Silly question: Do they eat turkey in Turkey?
standready on Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:28 am
As long as your flight does not stray over Ukraine, you should have a good time.
Silly question: Do they eat turkey in Turkey?

Yeah we do. Not very common in Turkish kitchen though. Usually during new year only. Rarely consumed. Wink
RosenCruz on Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:04 am
Standready wrote:
As long as your flight does not stray over Ukraine, you should have a good time.
Silly question: Do they eat turkey in Turkey?
Haha Stand .... while I was buying some last-minute travel insurance online this morning there was an option for "terrorist cover". I probably should have ticked that? Razz

@Rosencruz. Thanks for all those tips mate. I've had someone warning me that people seem to be approaching you on the streets to the point of harassment, so all I need to do is speak in a completely different language they don't understand. Wow! Anatolia. Heard it is beautiful there. The real Turkey.

I'll be careful with the cash. Hopefully the Hotel is OK. It's got a safe in the room, so am hoping to store all of my valuable in there and walk around with the minimum. I'll be careful of those Cafes too. Very Happy
deanhills on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:57 am
Yeah. Some guys around Beyođlu, Taksim and Aksaray may invite you to their bars & casinos (not cafes actually) where you will pay like $200 for one beer. Stay away from them.

Entertainment locations are much more secure now due to undercover cops protecting tourists all the time from fraud. You should be safe. I m just giving little tips.

Hotels are mostly secure and nice. Have a nice trip Wink
RosenCruz on Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:22 pm
Thanks Rosen. Am almost packed and will be leaving home in 30 minutes. BUT I've got my laptop with me. Will say "hi" from Istanbul when I get there. Cool
deanhills on Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:22 pm
Thanks RozenCruz for answering my 'silly' question.
standready on Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:55 pm
On the topic of food in Turkey. The food I had in Istanbul was great. Cafe Nero's cafe latte tasted differently, milk products in Turkey have to be much better than I'm used to in the UAE. Plenty of chicken and quality of chicken is great as well. Must be fresh. Had salmon and mashed potato on my last day yesterday and it was pretty terrific too.
deanhills on Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:41 pm
Very Nice Post!!!! I love summer break because its very good time to spend with family and friends.I decided this summer break i will go to New York .There are lot of beaches like orange beach and Maui.Both beaches are famous where different countries visitors spend their summer vacations.
mikeperhem1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:42 am
Thanks Mike. I'm in London now. Arrived from Europe about an hour ago. And waiting for a room to become available in the Hotel. Amazing experience to travel via rail from Europe to London. In such a short time. And very relaxing.
deanhills on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:02 pm
Its really very fun trip. Summer holiday spends is really very nice. Its really good time to spend with your family. There are so many beaches are available. Now I have also needed a summer break. And I have decided to go to Switzerland for these summer holidays.
jackbreat on Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:51 am
Hey Dean, where did you post the pictures of this trip?
standready on Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:52 pm
Think I started to publish some during the first day in Globetrotting - 2014, and then got so busy I completely forgot. Will go check where the photos are as I took many more in Istanbul, then Belgium, London, Guernsey and Amsterdam.

Actually a great idea Stand as darn, never seen Frihost as empty of posts as now. Crying or Very sad
deanhills on Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:27 pm
I think it will be a goal of mine that I travel. I do want to see places around the world and experience other cultures. I'm really curious to see what those places look like, how their buildings different, even how the streets are laid out. I've been to New Orleans and Chicago and that's about as far as I've gone and it's a bit of a shock because I'm taken out of what I'm used to seeing. It might seem silly but I also wonder what colours of paint they would use and what pictures they hang on the walls, what kind of tiles and carpets to they use, what music do they listen to. How do people interact, how do they drive and walk along the streets. I feel like I'm in a box but I know things aren't going to be that different but anywhere new seems different on some level.
TheGremlyn on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:56 pm
Summer Break is best way to spend some free time with Summer break 2014 ,i have decide to go Alabama .
raubymartin on Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:47 pm

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