Monday, May 5, 2014

Road Warriors need a Bath. . .Turkish, that is!

We’ve been on the road (or in planes, ferries, buses or trains) for nearly six weeks now. One of our longer European expeditions is coming to an end with our return home on Tuesday.

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The image you probably have of us -- with more than a month in Greece --  is that of a deeply tanned Apollo and Venus with sun-streaked hair; each emanating a golden glow – poster children for boomer-age rest and relaxation. Not so, this trip.

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TravelnWrite does Ios Island

We have more of a wind-blown look about us, like the photo above (my hair was pretty much always standing on end).

On this final afternoon in Istanbul we’ve scheduled Turkish baths at our in-hotel ‘hammam’. The thought of having someone else scrub our bodies from head to toe and then massage us with a magic elixir of restorative oils seems the perfect way to end this exhilarating, but sometimes tiring, adventure.

We’ve felt at times – and probably looked like as well - road warriors. Our hair has grown long and certainly is lighter, but not sun-bleached. (You boomers understand that one.) Joel has visited barbers twice along the way. Our skin has been both sun-kissed and rain-water washed resulting in a nice reptilian scale effect.

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Slow cooked beef in tomato sauce with feta cheese
We’ve eaten and drank far too much fabulous Greek food and wine. I don’t plan to weigh myself for at least 10 days after returning home.

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Loading up in the Lobby of Hotel Nef - Nafpaktos, Greece

We’ve lived out of those 22-inch TravelPro suitcases and the limited wardrobe they contained for what seems a l-o-n-g time. Even with limited clothing we brought, we’ve both been saying we must cut the weight of those on future trips.  Hauling them up subway steps or onto ferries, just has to be done on trips like this one, so the lighter the better.

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My newly adopted cousins, Eva and Sofia in Kardamyli, Peloponnese
 This trip has renewed and rejuvenated us – just like the Turkish bath will do to our bodies. Our brains and hearts are on overload and in overdrive. Too many wonderful experiences, too many drop-dead-gorgeous-views, too many wonderful people along the way. A road trip in a foreign country is not necessarily a relaxing one – but it certainly is one that awakens your ‘life-sensors’.

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Venetian port - Nafpaktos, Greece
At times during the trip we’ve remarked that we felt decades younger and at other times, decades older. We believe we have grown from our experiences.  We’ve chased those daydreams I wrote about in an earlier post; we caught them and released them, depending on the day and our mood. Our world of friends has expanded. Our passion for travel has intensified.
So we will repack those bags after being rejuvenated in the hammam and prepare to return to the other world in which we live. . . I suspect it won’t be long before we are planning another road trip in this part of the world – there’s still a lot left to discover. . .and we are not quite done with those day-dreams either!

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Thanks to those of you who’ve come along on our adventure, especially those who’ve taken the time to write emails or jot a comment. They’ve been most appreciated! Please stay with us as we have some wonderful people and places to introduce you to in future posts.

 Note: We’ve just returned from our Turkish baths (reptile skin is now baby soft and we can’t remember being this relaxed). . .an incredible experience. If you get to Istanbul you really should try it!


  1. Hello Jackie and Joel:

    We wish you the safest of onwards travels home. You have certainly had wide and varied experiences in Europe, and how wonderful is that, but you must now be looking forward no longer to be living out of a suitcase and surrounded once more with your own things.

    If you have enjoyed the Turkish Bath, then next time you should include Budapest with all of its thermal baths!!

    Take care.

    1. Thank you again, Jane and Lance for the comments. It is always nice to know that someone out there in the blogosphere is finding what we write of interest. Speaking, 'of interest' those thermal baths may be on our fall bucket list. . .we are talking Northern Europe so perhaps we will have a chance to meet if you are in that part of the hemisphere!

  2. Hello Jackie & Joel

    This all sounds like a wonderful time away. Now a Turkish Bath sounds like something I would love.
    Enjoy your journey home


    1. Our journey was one of those 24-hour marathons that makes one wonder what the joy of travel really is. . . :-) but we survived it and will soon be planning a new adventure. Thanks so much for your visit - as always it is appreciated!

  3. So, no pictures from the hammam? We missed you back at home. Even the sun is coming out :-)

    1. I'll add some photos now that we are back in the 'hood! I promise we will mow the lawn soon!

  4. So, you'll have many happy memories from this enriching travel experience, Jackie. All the best...

    1. It is wonderful how new experiences in new lands amid new people enrich one's life, isn't it Andrew? Thanks for your visit!

  5. I love all of your photos and it sounds like you had a fabulous time. I would love to travel for a full 6 weeks, but I miss my pets too much. The Turkish bath idea sounds divine!

  6. European adventures are so much fun, as there's so much history and with so many 100's of years (or should that be 1,000's in Greece?!) of evolving architecture there's the quaint and the quirky at every turn to photograph... or maybe even attempt a sketch of a detail that catches your eye?! ;)

  7. I am in awe, (even though I should't be, since I see these views on a regular basis when I'm home)! But, having been in Toronto for the past two months, they seem surreal to me, an artist's depiction of natural beauty! Oh, how I miss the wonders of the Gods!

    Happy travels, my friends!


    1. We are back home now Poppy and I am having the same response to the photos I took as you have described. The beauty is so pronounce that it doesn't seem real and thoroughly impossible to think I was the one there who took the photo. Hope you are happy whether in Toronto or Crete!

  8. You both look fantastic! I love the baths, and makes me think that maybe I'll hit the Korean sauna today and soak for awhile!

    1. I am sold on the Turkish bath. Joel isn't quite there yet, but then it was his first 'spa' visit and in my mind it was a two-for-one spa visit: scrub and massage. The Korean sauna sounds equally inviting!


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