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Travels Around Turkey in the Footsteps of Gertrude Bell
Travel around Turkey in the footsteps of the great British archaeologist Gertrude Bell.
In 1889 Gertrude Bell, the great British archaeologist, writer and explorer, arrived in Constantinople on the first of many visits to what is now Turkey. Over the next twenty-five years, she would travel the length and breadth of the country, climbing mountains Hasan and Cudi, crossing the Dicle (Tigris) on a raft of inflated goatskins and taking the earliest photographs of remote corners of the country.
Veteran guidebook writer Pat Yale set out to retrace Bell’s Turkish adventures as one British traveller following another. Her journey took her to the site on the Syrian border where she met Lawrence of Arabia, to forgotten monasteries with solitary occupants and to villages where the conversation of trilingual inhabitants recalled a more multicultural past. Along the way, she rubbed shoulders with adherents of faiths that barely survive in modern Turkey, with young men manning barricades in the troubled southeast and refugees struggling to make new lives, with settled nomads making a living from modern tourism and a myriad of taxi drivers whose stories exemplify the Turkish dream.
Interwoven with each other, the tales of these two women’s travels evoke a Turkey of then and now that is so much more complex than its modern tourist image suggests.
Pat Yale studied history at Cambridge University before going to work in the travel industry. She then became a guidebook writer specialising in Turkey, primarily for Lonely Planet. Her articles have appeared in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Time Out Istanbul and many other publications. After 20 years in a cave-house in Cappadocia, she now lives in Istanbul.
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