Tag Archives: Ferral Dogs Turkey

Top Ten Posts of 2022

As we leave 2022, please excuse my annual self-indulgent post to begin the new year as I peer through the keyhole to look back over the last one.

Ireland Inch Beach

The top ten most visited posts on my Travel Blog always surprise me but then I don’t pretend to understand how search engines work.  I say visited pages rather than read because I am neither so conceited or sufficiently naive to claim that a visit equals a read.  I know that a lot of people will arrive here by mistake and swiftly reverse back out via the escape button!

No. 1

Mount Vesuvius


I first posted this in March 2010 so this one has been around a while and with 722 hits and a thirteenth year in the Top Ten is becoming a stubborn stayer.  It is also No. 3 in all time page views with 19,400 recordings.  It has been viewed every month since first posted.

No. 2

Royal Garden Party

First posted in June 2009 the post has 552 hits in 2022, almost double the previous year and staying in the Top Ten for the fourteenth successive year which by that measure makes it my most successful post.

In total it has 23,750 visits which makes all time second after my post about  Norway, Haugesund and the Vikings at 24,722.  This one has been around for a long time ( since June 2009) and has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one.

Another post that has been visited every month since first published.

No. 3

Bratislava to Vienna Without a Passport

This post was from March 2022 and comes in with 400 hits, I cannot imagine why.  It links back to a much earlier post of December 2009 which was spectacularly unsuccessful…

Travel Issues – Forgotten Documents

No. 4

Catalonia – In Search of Norman Lewis

I must confess that I am rather pleased about this one.

I posted this in July 2013 and it first made the top ten in 2015 before dropping out the following year so I am glad to see it back again.

There are some posts that I have written that I would like people to read and this is one of few that have achieved that. Before visiting Catalonia in 2013 I read the book ‘Voices of the Old Sea’ by Norman Lewis which is an account of the Costa Brava in the 1940s and the approach of mass tourism.  In this post I attempted some research and some interpretation of the book and the area.  It has recorded 288 visits and in this case I like to think that this is because of the subject rather than the pictures.

Another post that has been visited every month since published.

No. 5

Turkey – A problem with Stray Dogs

Another maverick post this one.  I first put it up in July 2013 and it received a few hits but suddenly this year it has had regular visits and finishes the year with 288.

No. 6

Malta, Happiness and a Walk to Mellieha

I have written several posts about my visits to the island of Malta, this one is from May 2015. I consider some of them much more interesting than this one but where they have sunk without trace, this one just keeps on attracting hits.  280 hits in 2022 and seventh successive year in the top ten.

No 7

Streets of Naples

I visited Naples in April 2018.  Recently In February 2022 I  editing my pictures and sharedethese images of an exciting and eclectic city that I hadn’t used before in my posts…

268 hits this year.

No. 8

Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni Gaudi

This is the ninth successive year in my top ten for my post about the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.  After I had taken a look at the official Twelve Treasures of Spain I thought it might be fun to draw up my own personal alternative list.  I included Antoni Gaudi in a general rather than a specific way.  I posted this in March 2013 and this year with 256 visits it has risen one place to number eight.

This is another post that has been visited every month since posting and with a total of 7.,456 recorded hits is number 7 in my all time list.

No 9

Poland (Wroclaw), The Anonymous Pedestrians

This is another post that I am happy to see in the top ten with 360 visits.  I wrote this in March 2014 after visiting the Polish city of Wroclaw and finding the street statues of the Anonymous Pedestrians.

The statues are a memorial to the introduction of martial law in Poland on December 13th 1981 and the thousands of people who disappeared (‘went underground’) in the middle of the night courtesy of the militia. In a symbolic statement the fourteen statues were erected in the middle of the night in 2005 on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the introduction of martial law.

A total of 248 hits in 2022 and with visitors every month since originally posted.

No !0

The Island of Hvar

Published in January 2022 and has 242 hits.  I can offer no explanation why.

If you have read one of these posts or any of the 3,200 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’then thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said: “The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”  

Total visits in 2022 – 48,500

Total visits all time – 1,147,447

Countries where most visitors come from – UK, USA, India, Australia, and Spain.

Most viewed picture in 2022…

A little disappointing, I like to think I have posted one or two good pictures of my own during the year but most clicked is a picture of Casa Batlló  in Barcelona that I scanned in from my collection of postcards…

I would be interested to know about other people’s most popular posts in 2022 and the possible explanations why?  Comment and let me know.  I’m a sucker for statistics!

Turkey, A Problem With Stray Dogs

Bodrum Harbour

An important pre-post message:

If you are a dog lover then I warn you do not read this post and if you do please do not send me comments telling me how lovely they are!

“It wouldn’t bother me in the least…if all the dogs in the world were placed in a sack and taken to some distant island… where they could romp around and sniff each other’s anuses to their hearts’ content and never bother or terrorise me again.”  –  Bill Bryson

After the drama of the boat ride excursion to Bodrum we were looking forward now to three quiet days to finish our visit to Turkey.

On the first of these we planned a long walk.  After the weekend storms the weather was perfect now for a stroll along the seafront and after breakfast we set off for the Marina about seven kilometres away around the other side of the bay.

I liked Turkey, the people, the food, the history, the weather but two things spoiled it (and they are not the IMX trips to Pamukkale and Bodrum) the first was the litter that I mentioned earlier and the second was the dogs because Altinkum, like most of Turkey has a problem with feral street dogs that wander around in pairs or packs and are quite simply a complete nuisance.  Today as we walked along the tourist strip a group of three of four followed us for a while and set my nerves jangling like a bell on a fire engine responding to an emergency.

I don’t like dogs, they frighten me, I probably mentioned that before, and I am fairly certain that I am not the only one and these mangy things that follow people about in the hope of food are just horrible.  My visit wish list has always included Istanbul but I read now that the problem there is huge with an estimated 100,000 stray dogs living on the streets and on account of that I have crossed it off the list.  Athens was bad enough.

Actually it is a World wide problem, The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than two hundred million stray dogs worldwide and the worst places are Bali, Bangkok  and Baghdad.  Three more places off my visit wish list, although to be honest Baghdad was never on it in the first place!

Someone will ignore my warning and read this and comment that they are lovely – they are not lovely – they are big, smelly, dangerous and intimidating.  Message boards are full of reports of dog attacks, animals running wild, ripping apart waste bags and howling all night long.

Actually, a law passed in 2004 requires the Turkish government to neuter and vaccinate all strays and then return them to the same area from where they were taken but with an electronic ear tag and a non-removable collar.  That seems like a lot of trouble to go to if you ask me, why take them back to where they will be a nuisance again? I would just collect them up and destroy them – that’s what we do in the UK.  Furthermore, by my highly unscientific survey of ears and testicles it appears that compliance is rather random and remains less than comprehensive.

Animal do-gooders would be outraged by such a suggestion I am sure but for me there is no place in a modern city or a holiday resort for packs of menacing animals wandering about.

If you think I am being dramatic or alarmist here then consider this – Turkey is unique in that it is the only European country in which the principal source of rabies is the domestic dog and it is also the only European country in which dog rabies from bites remains a serious public health issue because every year a huge number of suspected rabies dog bites are reported.

Consider this from Dr. Richard Smithson, a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with the Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland: “In the past few weeks we have had several people returning from Turkey who have been bitten by animals and have had to be given anti-rabies treatment. This treatment is not pleasant as it consists of a series of injections. However, it is essential as rabies is always fatal and once it starts to develop it is too late to start treatment.  The message is simple: stay away from domestic and wild animals when abroad. It doesn’t matter how cute they look. If they bite you, you are going to end up spending a lot of time getting sorted out in a hospital casualty department.”

Anyway, thankfully the pack of dogs eventually lost interest in us and went off to irritate someone else and relieved by that we carried on to the Marina.

We spotted what looked like a short-cut across a beach and made our way across it only to be confronted with a security fence and no possible way around it unless we were prepared to swim about a kilometre out to sea so we were forced to turn back and find a way through a housing estate before rejoining the road and when we got there we couldn’t get in anyway.  Security guards barred our progress to the harbour and the boats whilst almost apologetically inviting us instead to stay as long as we liked in the public area as some sort of compensation.

There was no real point in hanging about the public area because we couldn’t see the boats over the high hedges and walls so disappointed by that we left the Marina and walked all the way back whilst keeping a keen eye out for the danger of stray dogs.

Walking in Altinkum Turkey