We normally take turns in writing on the blog but Rach has been â€œbusyâ€. Itâ€™s getting on a while since we went so I thought Iâ€™d at least put a quick entry up along with the photos.
The drive into the city made us realise this place was far different to any other city weâ€™ve been too. Some areas looked quite run down, almost exactly as you see them depicted in Middle-Eastern-like scenes in the movies. There is a thick grey smog layer over the entire city. Iâ€™m not sure what from, because it doesnâ€™t seem any busier than other cities. Maybe itâ€™s due to the thousands of huge oil tanker ships that pass through the river that divides Istanbul and connects the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
In an attempt to be quick, Iâ€™ll go over the highlights and let the photos tell the rest of the story.
Can you believe it? Another year has gone flashing by again. Every day goes flying passed like crazy. It feels like not long ago I was writing the one year post. And just like my last post, for those of you not in the know, Rach and I have been together for two years today.
Two years on…
What a fantastic ride it has been and I could not have chosen someone better. Her excellent qualities make for a great companion and itâ€™s made our time together fantastic. The last year has been so easy going and smooth sailing.
Weâ€™ve been to so many different places and many more to come. To mark the special occasion we are currently in Budapest, Hungary, off on yet another trip
To see a glimpse of what a fantastic time the last year has been click here.
The weather has been pretty lame in London for the last couple months, or I guess you could say all year but mainly the last couple months as the expectations are higher, since we are officially in the 2nd month of summer. For some reason on the Tour de France weekend the sun decided to come out. According to the media there were over 1.5 million people in attendance and definitely everywhere you went there were loads of people.
It made for a great day with the sun, the huge crowds and the worldâ€™s most popular cycling event. Rach and I donâ€™t really know anything about cycling but it was good to see it in the flesh. The Saturday started off with a parade of cars going around throwing free goodies into the crowds (bottles of water, food samples, tiny toy bikes etc) as well as people dancing to music on floating dance floors on top of vans. This was on just before the race started.
Earlier in June Mark and I went to the UK round of the DTM at Brandshatch (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, basically German Touring Car Championships). I guess you could say they are the equivalent of V8 supercars but for Germany. DTM a number of ex-F1 drivers such as Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen.
Brandshatch is an ex-F1 race circuit where the British GP was held from 1964 to â€˜86. At first glance it looks like itâ€™d be an unreal track to drive at cause itâ€™s not flat like all the other race tracks. Itâ€™s full of uphill and downhill parts. The first corner is known as one of the scariest in the business as it drops away sharply to the right and looks like youâ€™d have to take the corner almost blind as it drops quite a distance. Youâ€™ll see what I mean from the photos. It then heads up a hill to a midsize hairpin and then storms straight back down the hill for a left hander. Thereâ€™s a bit of the straight then a large round u-turn which links back up to the main straight. The DTM ran on the short version of the track. Click here for a map of the track.
Nat and I went for a quick trip back to my mumâ€™s home town Faro in Portugal. We both really enjoy Portugal and we love our family there. Our avo (grandma) is just great. She is always so hospitable and always serves up fantastic food.
On our first night we had a massive Faustino dinner (Faustino is my mumâ€™s maiden name). My grandma, two aunties, one uncle and four cousins were all there. My aunty served up a yummy feast and it was good to catch up with everyone. It had been ten months since we were last in Faro, but gees it didnâ€™t seem that long ago.