Rhodes 2018

In 2004 we had some Turkish friends who were working in the tourist areas of Kuşadası and Marmaris and we took a trip through Turkey and some Greek Islands to visit them. On that trip we only stayed one night in Rhodes, so we returned there recently to explore it more.

3 Windmills, Rhodes harbor

3 Windmills, Rhodes harbor

We took a taxi, two buses and another taxi to stay a night in Marmaris. The following morning we took a ferry to Rhodes and arrived in the old fortified city. After lunch, we checked into our hotel near Kremasti Beach. We stayed 6 nights and enjoyed eating in the local restaurants, walking along the beach and swimming in the hotel pool. We caught up on reading and resting. We took some day trips to explore the city of Rhodes, view fish in the harbor in a submarine boat and visited the Bee Museum.


Fish, Rhodes harbor

Toes in the sea

On our return home to Izmir, we took the ferry to Kos, had lunch, did some shopping and explored the historical ruins including a Roman Odeon. 

We then took another ferry to Bodrum. After a meal, I returned by bus to Izmir but the rest of the family stayed the night and visited the Bodrum Maritime Museum and returned the following evening.

Gallipoli, 2008

On ANZAC Day (April 25) in 2008, we had the privilege of taking part in the official commemorations at Gallipoli. It was the 93rd anniversary of the first Australian and New Zealand forces landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

A school group we knew from New Zealand were coming to visit us as part of their tour and we planned to join them at Assos for the Gallipoli part of their trip. 

We took an intercity bus from Izmir to Küçükkuyu. We then took a taxi to Assos and then found out that our hotel was not actually in Assos, but back in Küçükkuyu, close to where we got the taxi. We did see an ancient Roman road in Assos that St Paul would have walked on during his trip to Troas, views of ancient Assos, donkeys and lots of beautiful wildflowers.

Gallipoli 2008, Commemorative badge, bag and postcard.

Commemorative badge, bag, and postcard.

After our detour, we checked into the hotel and met the Kiwi team. They had traveled down from Istanbul via Troy. Being the off-season, we had the hotel to ourselves and a small Australian group. At about 10 pm we left the hotel to travel to Gallipoli, via the Çanakkale – Eceabat ferry. We had about 1 km to walk from where the bus could take us to Anzac Cove. There were already hundreds of people in sleeping bags when we got there and more were arriving throughout the night. We had been given information packs and the big screens were showing documentaries and interviews about the historical battle.

We managed to find a couple of empty seats in the stands and we huddled together under a New Zealand flag and tried to sleep as best as we could. It was uncomfortable and cold.

Just before dawn, some of the geographic features were lit up and the band played, setting the scene for the somber occasion. The crowd was quiet and reflective.

The dawn service took about 45 minutes, with New Zealand, Australian and Turkish representatives all taking part.

An Australian camera crew briefly interviewed me after the service, asking what I thought of the event. We met up with the rest of the Kiwi team and began the walk (about 5 km) up to the highest point on the peninsula, Cannuk Bair. We stopped along the way to carry Ryan (5) and Erin (2), see the trenches and cemeteries and have some breakfast.

Gallipoli 2008Gallipoli 2008







Australia, Turkey and New Zealand had their own commemorative services during the day, but we just went to the New Zealand service. Erin and Ryan both fell asleep during the service. The wind was cold. The sun was hot.

Carrying and holding children during the trek and services was hard going. The whole experience gave us a glimpse of what it would have been like for the young soldiers who came from so far away and fought to birth the nations of Australia, New Zealand and also Turkey in 1915.

After the New Zealand memorial service, we waited with the thousands of other “pilgrims” for the hundreds of buses to take everyone away again. We went back to the hotel, ate and had an early night.

Gallipoli 2008

The next morning (Saturday) we traveled to Bergama on our way back to Izmir. We stopped at an onyx factory and saw how they carved and polished the stone. Our children were given the sample stone eggs they made.

Our next stop was the Pergamum ruins – the acropolis above the city. We saw the remains of the temple to the emperor, the steep theatre, the altar of Zeus and the cisterns. We went to a restaurant for lunch after this and then stopped at the Asklepion ruins – the ancient medical center.

In March 2014, I returned to visit Eceabat and the Gallipoli Peninsula to capture photographs for a WW100 project for Woodville Pioneer Museum. You can view the album of photos on Flickr.

Budapest 2018

For Spring Break 2018, we visited Budapest, Hungary for a few days. Highlights of our visit include:

  • Center of Scientific Wonders (CSOPA) museum including the game bar and solving the World Traveller Escape Room
  • Flipper museum (Pinball museum with 130 pinball machines)
  • Walk up to the Citadella
  • Exploring Buda Castle
  • Visiting the Budapest History Museum
  • Looking at art in the Hungarian National Gallery
  • Drinking Glühwein and Hungarian beers
  • Eating traditional Hungarian beef stew
  • Riding the Funicular
  • Looking at the various styles of architecture throughout the city

United Kingdom, 2009

We spent three weeks in England and Scotland in July 2009. In a tiny car we drove in a loop from London through Bath, Stratford on Avon, Warwick, Liverpool up to Glasgow, then across to Edinburgh and down through Durham, Sheffield, and Cambridge to London again.

Highlights include: visiting Roman ruins in Bath, Chew Magna where Edria’s grandfather came from, a day at Warwick Castle, the Falkirk Wheel, Durham Cathedral, a day at Gulliver’s Kingdom, Matlock Bath, visiting friends in London and Glasgow and Edria’s sister in Sheffield.

In London, we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in the rain, visited Greenwich Observatory, London Science Museum as well as other famous museums and parks.   

Enter the post box for more photos on Flickr

Samos, 2017

We stayed again at Zeus Hotel, a quiet family owned apartment hotel 500m from the Ireon village. We spent a few days relaxing in the pool, eating in the village restaurants and resting. Nearby is the Tower of Sarakinis, built in 1577. Tower of Sarakinis 

South Island cycle journey, 1993

Towards the end of 1993 I had some holidays owed from work so I took the opportunity to have a final solo bike trip before I got married.

I had only been to the South Island a couple of times before – when I was four years old, my grandparents took my sister and I to Nelson. And a work conference in Queenstown, shortly after starting my job in the late 1980s.

Edria was finishing her final exams for her BSc in Physics and Mathematics. She was then going to do a year of teacher training, which gave us the option of staying in Palmerston North or moving to Christchurch. So I embarked on a three week trip to explore as much as I could of the South Island. It was cut short.

The above map is from memory. Some roads may have changed since the time and the stops are close approximations. I took a camera on the trip, but any photos are in storage somewhere.

I left my flat in Palmerston North on a Saturday morning and cycled almost non-stop to Paraparaumu where I was just in time to catch a train to Wellington and then a ferry to Picton where I stayed overnight in a backpackers.

The following morning, I found a church and joined in their service. I was the youngest there by about twenty years. I then biked to Blenheim, had a quick look around the town and continued over the hills to stay the next night at the campground in Seddon.    

Cell phones were fairly new in New Zealand back then and a few months earlier I had bought a second hand one that was small (for the time) and I that used to call Edria each evening. 

It was an amazing Monday to bike down the coast of the Pacific Ocean to Kaikoura. Ocean on the left, mountains on the right. The road hugs the sea a lot and there are spots with seal colonies close to the road and so I stopped to photograph the seals.

I think I got up to 70 Km/h coming down one hill after Ward. Even without the hills, riding for hours was hard work and tiring. At one point I think I fell asleep in the saddle and woke suddenly before I hit the ground.

I made it safely to Kaikoura and stayed the night at a backpackers. The next day the road turned inland to go over more hills and I followed it on to stop at a hotel in Cheviot for the night. 

I then back tracked a few kilometres and turned even further inland to ride to Hanmer Springs. On the way I was swooped upon by nesting magpies. At Hanmer Springs, I enjoyed a well earned soak in the hot pools and spent the night .

The ride from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch was long – 8 hours / 145 Km but doable because it was mostly downhill or flat. I visited Cathedral Square in central Christchurch then spent the night on a friend’s couch.

I had received a phone call from work – they had some urgent computer issues that only I could solve and the needed me back. They paid for me to get the next flight back to Palmerston North and so I surprised Edria with a visit on Friday afternoon before heading home and then into work to fix things.

Work employed another computer administrator soon after that. I quit a when we decided to move to Christchurch.

My epic cycle journey, 1990

In 1990 I embarked on a solo 1500km cycle trip around the central North Island of New Zealand.

Averaging approximately 100 km/day over mountainous terrain, I journeyed from my home town of Woodville up the East coast via Napier, Wairoa and Lake Waikaremoana to Tauranga and then returned via Hamilton and Waitomo Caves down the West coast through Stratford and Wanganui to home again.

The above map is from memory. Some roads may have changed since the time and the stops are close approximations. I took a camera on the trip, but a problem with loading the film means I only have these memories.

It was an adventure of physical endurance as well as personal growth. Leaving home on Good Friday, the trip was a pilgrimage and time for spiritual reflection.

About 15 minutes into my journey, I got a puncture in the back wheel about 6km from home. My bike was fully loaded with gear. Pannier bags on the front and back for clothing, food, camping gear, sleeping bag, etc. All that had to come off so I could change the tube. Undeterred, I continued on. I passed another cyclist going up the first hill out of Dannevirke. I stopped for lunch in Ongaonga and again at 100 Km from home where I saw the first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

I stayed overnight with relatives in Napier. They knew I was coming but were not expecting to see me so soon.

The journey on to Wairoa was hill after hill after hill. I went to a Catholic vigil service at the church there, but felt unwelcomed, out of place and alone.

On Easter Sunday I arrived at the summit of the Lake Road as the sun was setting. I had left Wairoa close to sea level that morning and now I was almost 1000 metres up with steep drops on the side of the narrow gravel road. It was the middle of nowhere. The last building was about an hour or two behind me. And it was getting dark. 

I prayed:

God, give me light.

My bike lamp illuminated a tiny section of the road in front of me. With the gravel road it bumped around a lot. The moon was full but it had not come up yet. I was heading downhill on a road I had never travelled before. In the dark.

Then the tiny dots of glow worms appeared along the side of the road.

My prayer had been answered. I still had no idea of where I would spend the night.

Ruatahuna is a tiny village. It had a petrol station / general store / motel. I think I was the only guest. The lady who owned the shop told me to sneak in the back to settle up in the morning so she wouldn’t have to open up so early for the locals.

I got another puncture the next day on the gravel road out of the forest.

In Kawerau I stayed with my grandparents for two nights, then I continued along the Pacific Ocean coast to Mt Maunganui to stay with more relatives.

Cycling up hills usually took an hour or more. Coming down was a lot faster. On one hill I reached a maximum speed of 66 Km/h if I remember correctly.

Over the other side of the Kaimai Ranges I passed a truck.

I stayed at a camping ground in Hamilton when I arrived there, but made some friends among the students at Waikato University Christian Fellowship and they offered me their couch for a few nights. 

On Anzac Day as I was saying goodbye to one my new friends, she said “I’ll see you in heaven if not before”. I replied, “If I’m good enough to get there”. She then explained from Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is by grace that we are saved and not by works. I spent a lot of time thinking about that on my journey home.

I arrived at Waitomo Caves and there was no accommodation at the hotel. A Hamilton friend had given me a phone number for their relative who lived nearby. I called them and they put me up for the night. They worked as tour guide and gave me a tour of the caves in the morning. More glow worms!

I cycled onwards towards the Taranaki coast of the Tasman Sea and met rain. Some of my gear had been soaked with a downpour in Hamilton. Now I was soaked too. I dried out and stayed in a campground in Awakino overnight. I tried fishing on the beach. No bites.

I journeyed on staying the next night in Stratford and then meeting and staying with friends in Wanganui.

Tail winds sped me home to Woodville from there. I averaged 25 Km/h for the last leg of the journey.

All up the trip was about 1200 Km and took  17 days, (11 cycling, 6 resting).

Greek Islands

Now that we are living in Western Turkey, it is very easy to take trips to Greece. There are several Greek Islands in the Agean Sea so we hope to explore as many as we can.


In December 2003, we went to Chios for a day trip. Being winter, and arriving in the middle of the day during the ‘siesta’, many of the shops and markets were very quiet. It was rather cold and windy, but we took Ryan to a park after lunch and walked around a bit.

For lunch we bought some food we couldn’t normally get in Turkey and we stocked up on some cheeses to take back for our friends.

Another day trip here in February 2004. Same again, but we were all sick after we returned home.

We visited Chios another time with friends who also had to make the trip to renew visas. Ryan was still very young at the time and he impressed them with spelling words like helicopter. 


In May 2004 we spent a couple of nights in Kusadasi, Turkey and then took the morning ferry to Samos. We stayed a nigth in the town of Pythagorio, named after Pythagorus, the mathematician famous for his work with triangles.
We took another day trip here in August 2004 and watched some of the Olympics (on TV while having lunch), lazed on a beach and did some shopping.


The following morning we took a ferry to Patmos and after a snack walked around the shops.


We then caught another ferry to Rhodes which stopped at several other Greek Islands on the way. We stayed the night in the ancient walled city of Rhodos and the following morning took another ferry to Marmaris, Turkey and stayed a couple of nights there.




Welcome in Egypt (1996)

In December 1996, Peter & Edria went to Egypt.

Getting there

As a step towards their long term goal to live and work in the Middle East, they flew from Blenheim to Wellington to Auckland to Melbourne to Singapore to Dubai to Cairo. They spent almost two days flying with Air New Zealand and Emirates. The Wellington to Auckland flight was delayed and so Peter & Edria had about forty-five minutes to check their baggage, pay their departure tax and go through customs. (It is usually recommended that you arrive at the airport two hours before international flights to do this.) Emirates was entertaining to fly with – they provided English and Arabic safety instructions and each seat had blankets, neck pillows and a personal touch-screen with six channels of movies and programs to view. Peter & Edria had a ten-hour stopover in Dubai, where Emirates provided them with a hotel room, breakfast and lunch.

Arrival & Traffic

On arrival in Cairo, Peter & Edria bought their Egyptian visas at the airport and were met by many friendly Egyptians, before they got out the door to meet their kiwi tour guide. Cairo traffic is an extremely interesting experience – a warrant of fitness in Egypt requires that a car has good bodywork and a working horn. To get a drivers license in Egypt, you must drive forward and then reverse through a set of cones – it doesn’t matter if you knock cones over, but you shouldn’t stop. Road signs and traffic lights only apply when accompanied by a policeman, and any car in front has right of way. Horns are used constantly instead of indicators (bicycles use telephone bells to warn they are coming) and if there are lanes marked on the road as many cars, donkeys, buses, trams, motorbikes and pedestrians as possible can fit across the road (usually five vehicles across three lanes).

The Hotel

The hotel in Zamalek, an island on the Nile, was fairly typical of Egypt – multi-story with new floors added on top of aging buildings, shuttered windows, and paper-less toilets (a spout pointing up from the toilet bowl provided for washing oneself. A visit to the local supermarket for foreigners, obtained the Western comfort of a roll of tissue and bottled water (as most of Egypt’s water comes from the Nile and is irregularly chlorinated). Breakfast was provided daily and consisted of an egg, bread, jam, cheese and a glass of tea. Sami, the hotel proprietor, got Peter to obtain some duty-free alcohol – an exercise in beauracry, with a visit to about seven people for signatures and stamps to make a purchase.

Places to see


  • Saladin Mosque: Good views of Cairo smog.
  • Musuem: Lots of dead things.
  • Windows of the World (Hilton Hotel): Impressive views of traffic, sunset.
  • The Pyramids: Bigger and closer to Cairo than we thought.
  • The Sphinx: Impressive.


  • Karnak and Luxor Temples (Luxor) : Lots of monuments with heiroglyphics
  • Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Valley of the Workers (Luxor): Empty tombs with lots of pictures on the walls. Some roomy, some claustrophobic.


  • German Mission Hospital: Edria got her broken ankle plastered.
  • The Nile: Sailing on a Feluca.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere

  • Changing Buses: Middle of the night stop somewhere.


  • The fort: Cool castle. Fun to explore.
  • Roman ruins: Amazing excavation. Found ancient Greek or Roman graffiti on the Theatre seats.