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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Yerevan, Armenia

Jul 8, 2013 - Istanbul - Topkapi Palace

Got up early to arrive before the crowds at Topkapi Palace where we thought we would need the day to explore and we did. I took about 3000 photos of the wonderful ceramic tiles, palace rooms and gardens. We had a quick lunch stop in the cafe on site before going through the Harem and ended the day by browsing the Grand Bazaar. Now sitting with a beer in a restaurant around the corner from our hotel nad using their wonderful wifi. Will try to upload photos a bit later - but not 3000 of them. The end of a great holiday and goodbye to 38...

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Jul 7, 2013 - Istanbul

The taxi took a long time to locate the hotel when it did we were not too happy. You get in by a ‘turret’ of steps every upwards and had it not been for the two men who seem to run the place I would never have got my suitcase up to the room. The room is tiny and very basic. We knew the shower room was across the corridor – not a problem in itself, but the room where they keep reception is at the end of the corridor so slipping between bedroom and bathroom takes some planning. Jean this morning washed her nightdress then found she had...

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Jul 6, 2013 - Batumi to Istanbul

After a good night’s sleep in our little studio apartment we got up to bright sunshine, had a croissant and coffee at the boulangerie and walked in the other direction to yesterday along the sea front. The weather brought people out, also because it’s Saturday and the pebbly beach had lots of loungers and umbrellas out, ice cream vendors and other outlets. There are lots of restaurants along the front and within the gardens which fringe the promenade. The gardens are really well laid out with little statues and sculptures along the way....

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Jul 5, 2013 - train to Batumi

Well, conincidences certainly help in life. We had spoken to all the staff in the hotel about booking the taxi to the railway station, the time it would take, how much etc.... The taxi stood at the door when we got down at 6:40 am and off we sped. Certainly, at first, we headed in the right direction but later Ithought we were not I tapped the driver on the shoulder and confirmed we DID NOT want the airport!!! He turned around and was quite angry when I handed him half the stated fare (important to get out of the taxi and gather all your...

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Jul 4, 2013 - Train to Tbilisi and another day - our third in this town

WE found out quite quickly our departure platform and as we were waiting along came Balash, our Azerbaijan guide who was accompanying his Polish group to the train. They had also been staying in our hotel and we had met Balash at breakfast - he worked hard as he had already accompanied the remains of our group to the airport at 1:30 am! We had an officious but fairly sweet lady who played at being stewardess to the occupants of the tw0-berth compartments (these are the upmarket ones). She presented us with a pack which included a small...

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Jul 3, 2013 - Last day in Baku

We had arranged to meet up with Caroline for coffee in the Contemporary Arts Museum which, very conveniently, she lives above. The group had dwindled to just a few, all with departures during today and the evening but leaving Tuti alone until tomorrow so we invited her along with us. The gallery was magnificent, ultra modern in design with huge galleries and smaller ones leading off. It is full of light and hardly anyone was there apart from us. We firstly had an excellent cappuccino each in the little coffee shop, sitting on the balcony...

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Jul 2, 2013 - Day 3 - Free day roaming

Day 3 We got up in our own time as this was a free day and set off for the Carpet Museum. Having coffee on the way we spotted another Zara and found one of the dresses I had like in my size - my outfit for tonight's final goodbye dinner with the group. It was very windy (Baku is called the windy city) and great gusts pushed us along once we started along the promenade. We found the carpet museum - still under construction but a magnificent building resembling a roll of carpet with others lying in layers beside. Nearby was the National Art...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Day 2 - City Tour

Day 2 The following day we had a tour of the city with the 'russian' style, ex military guide. We went to the 'peak', a rather small hill with views of the town and sea and a good view of 'the largest flag stick in the world with a flag measuring 73 metres' - or something similar! There is a martyrs' cemetery up there for English soldiers killed in the first world war and good views of the three 'flames' buildings by the British Architect - Hughes; rather like little shards! Then we went to the old town inside it's old walls where we...

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Jun 30, 2013 - Three days in Baku - Day 1

We left the mountainous region of Sheki to drive to Baku, passing through large and small farms on the way, then over the Caucasus into Baku with one stop for lunch at a very nice and efficient restaurant. The tables were situated inside wooden gazebos so every group was separated off - the waiters worked like demons, running to and fro. I forgot to mention the lack of coffee in Azerbaijan. They drink only black tea and the coffee they use if necessary is Nescafe! It wasn't until we arrived in Baku, a busy town full of Euopean shops and...

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Jun 29, 2013 - Sheki and around about

Our 5 star Olympic Village Hotel was nothing to do with the Olympics over and above some photographs of Azeris at the various events. Apparently, this style of hotel has been built in all the major cities and is more like a country club for the wealthy. The outdoor pool is just being filled and would be attractive after a hot day sight seeing, but there is little shade and it’s too hot to lie out. The indoor pool is very ‘olympian’ being split into about 10 lanes. As IO write, Jean is using it and not doubt enjoying swimming in such a large...

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Jun 28, 2013 - Bazaar, wine tasting and Azerbaijan

We stopped at the local bazaar so people could change money from local Lair to a more suitable currency. Jean, Teresa and I scoured the town for a coffee and were almost giving up when I spotted a possibility. Explaining to the owner was a bit difficult but eventually we all got our coffees in the timescale set and when we wanted to pay he refused to take any money. Others on the bus had had the same exprienve with two vcamera straps whivch they had found and the seller would not acvept any money – v. Strange town where everything is free....

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Jun 27, 2013 - Via Tbilisi to Telavi

A qick update while sitting under a large parasol in the old part of Tblisi having enjoyed a good bowl of spinach soup. We've ddropped off our case at the hotel and have a bit of free time to enjoy before catching the coach again to proceed to our overnight stay in Telavi. This morning we retraced our steps along the Military highway back to Tbilisi. For some of the group this is their last night while the rest of us continue to Azerbaijan. (I fear we may lose the best and be left with quite a few of the ‘dregs’! More later but not sure of...

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