Off on a Byzantine experience…

27 Jun

So the day has finally come! We are flying to Istanbul tomorrow night, via Cairo. 

And, once again, I haven’t yet packed a suitcase, but our flight is only late tomorrow night, which gives us loads of time to pack? 

The last few weeks have been quite stressful. As I mentioned, Bianca is going on a European tour and if you ever thought getting a Schengen visa was a schlep, try getting one for your 17 year old daughter going on a school tour! It doesn’t help that the South African government decided to show how advance they are in curbing child trafficking (a good thing) by introducing new regulations that are confusing and adds bureaucracy to the process (a bad thing). So after filling in hundreds of forms (okay, that may be an overstatement) and three separate consent forms, she finally managed to get a visa. And I just received a notification from the Flight Status app (yup, I am that paranoid mom), that her flight is on its way. 

On Thursday I also received an email from the travel agent indicating that our flight on Monday from Cairo to Istanbul has been delayed. My initial reaction was annoyance and I told the agent how this is costing us half a day in Turkey (which I was planning on spending exploring the local neighbourhood and maybe doing some warm up shopping). 

A little bit later (after calming down a tad) I checked our new fight schedule and realised that we would now have an almost 9 hour layover in Cairo, enough for a sneaky visit to the Pyramids of Giza! A few emails later (and the equivalent of probably at least a fancy leather jacket from Istiklal street), we have a private tour booked departing from Cairo airport. Anya seems to be more excited by this development than the prospect of seeing the Hagia Sophia, must be a teenager thing! 


In front of the pyramids in 2008

 Me, I am as excited as a little girl before Christmas. I can’t wait to explore the 1500+ year old Grand Bazaar, buy spices in the Spice Market, try the local cuisine, take in the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and if possible buy myself a beautiful kelim! 

But, what I am most excited about is delving into a new culture, overindulging my senses with ancient fragrances, sights, colours, sounds and tastes that I will remember for the rest of my life! 


So much to see, do and experience!

But for now, I still have some packing to do, and loads of little odds and ends before I can sit back and relax in my aeroplane seat! 

Love and excitement, G x


Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Travel


Tags: , , , ,

9 responses to “Off on a Byzantine experience…

  1. Eha

    June 28, 2015 at 5:16 am

    With your talent in writing I am almost as excited as you just sitting in my library in winter-cold Down Under. Only last night wondered whether you had left. Great that you have been able to make an interesting sojourn out of an apparent misfortune – don’t blame Anya for hopping up and down!! But you will be tired that first night in Istanbul 🙂 ! Have a great time, take a lot of photos and allow us to share when you get back!! Happy landings . . .

    • Justcallmegertie

      June 28, 2015 at 5:41 am

      Thank you Eha! It is all terribly exciting. I’m afraid though that we’ll struggle to fit everything in! I’m sure we will be dead tired on Monday night but it’s okay, we are not in a rush the next morning…have a food walking tour (including breakfast) booked for 10am. Au revoir!

  2. Lor Forbes

    June 28, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Dear Gerda, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! Looking forward to hearing all about it on your return. What exciting adventures await you and Anya. Bon Voyage sweetheart xxx

    • Justcallmegertie

      June 28, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Thank you very much Lor! We are so terribly excited! Looking forward to hearing all about your Uganda trip too!! X

  3. Kathryn McCullough

    June 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Oh my, Gertie, have an amazing trip. I’d be excited, too! I can smell the spices.

    And just so you know. This summer I’m going on two-month RV trip with my nearing-ninety Godmother and her cat Pepe le Mew. I leave for the US in a week. The RV is huge, 37-feet. My Godmother will be driving and towing an SUV the entire way. She was a Flamenco dancer during her entire professional life. I’m going to try to blog about our trip and write a book about the 64 beautiful years she and my Godfather, a Venezuelan movie star (I kid you not!), were married, until Raul died last fall one month shy of his 97th birthday.

    Hope you have an incredible trip. Sorry to have been away so long!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Justcallmegertie

      June 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Kathy! So great to hear from you! That sounds like an awesome trip. I still have something like that one my bucket list but will probably have to wait until I retire…! Looking forward to the posts about your trip.
      Hugs back

  4. Thabile Ngidi

    July 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Hello Gerda

    I am pretty sure you are having loads of fun!

    Enjoy basking in the sun.

    Yo your traveling bug rubbed off to me big time!

    I’m in Paris currently.

    I have to share with you that I was in Reims yesterday.

    Yes…. The land of the champagne. Was at Tattinger…. Vevueve Cliquotte was closed.

    Sho I had a fantastic time. I’m in training here for the week.

    • Justcallmegertie

      July 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Hello Thabile!
      Wow, that sounds fantastic! Always glad to rub the travelling bug off on anyone! We have to catch up for dinner when you’re back. Enjoy and have a glass of champagne on me…


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