Okay, so we're off! Our winter break together -- much discussed, much planned and then completely revised and replanned (as the reality of airfares sunk in) begins NOW. My hard effort these last ten days to finish reading exams paid off and I turned in the last of the grades this morning, with plenty of time to get the farmhouse in order and to review once more the backpack items, neatly stuffed into their designated spaces (we're traveling very light). The cat sitter is there for Isis, the weather's looking good for travel, we are OFF!
To where? Well, it's a rather unconventional itinerary for this time of the year. We'll be splitting our time between Turkey and a few of the Greek islands. It's not exactly warm there right now, but nor is it cold. And, if you can find places that are open year round (and I did), you'll come across some wonderful bargains (which pleases Ed) -- the biggest of which is the airfare itself: Chicago to Istanbul, $550, roundtrip.
There is, necessarily, a period of blogging quiet as we try to get to our first destination: Sirince -- a small village south of Izmir (Izmir itself is some 350 miles southwest of Istanbul). There isn't an easy way to get there, I can say that much. Here's what's in store for us: a bus ride to Chicago, then flights via Detroit, Paris and Istanbul. From Istanbul, we've already had our flight to Izmir cancelled, but there is another! One that gets to Izmir just before midnight. Then a bus to Selcuk -- the nearest town on a bus line and now it will be past midnight and I envision the driver dumping us unceremoniously at the side of the road, leaving us to our own devices. We'll either figure out how to call our innkeeper in Sirince, or... well, there's always walking. At midnight. Ten kilometers. Into the hills, along some yet to be found road, in a country where few speak English, assuming that anyone but the roaming dogs of Turkey would even be up at such an ungodly hour.
Let's just say I hope to reach the innkeeper, who has volunteered to come get us, if we find a way to let him know we're there.
But, all that is to be figured out. So much can happen, so many connections can be muddled or missed altogether -- why worry now about stray dogs at midnight in the deep belly of Turkey.
I'll write when we get there, somewhere, wherever, because one thing is certain in travel -- eventually you do get from one place to the next.