Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 11

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy April 21st 2014

Abby and Luke back to school today. :-( Peter had day off so chauffeured us once again through the maize of streets and gnarled traffic to Emirgan Park ..... This beautiful park is the location of the famous Tulip Gardens. It was a wonderful spring day so we were not alone! The park was big enough for all.... We wandered leisurely through the tulips, topiary trees, public picnic areas, laughing school children and fun playgrounds. After sitting awhile watching the ships navigate the Bosphorus we visited the Museum . A drive along the shore of the Bosphorus to see the beautiful old wooden waterside villas , mosques and grander residences along the way led us to Rumeli Feneri, a lovely fishing Village on the point where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea. We ate lunch at ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Flew into Neveshir, in the Goreme Valley.In this valley lie the greatest concentration of rock cut chapels, monasteries and rock formations dating from the 9th. Century onwards. These formations, built out of volcanic "tuff".....were created 30 million yrs. ago when the erupting volcanoes blanketed the region with this volcanic ash which solidified into an easily eroded and excavated material .... Tuff ......over time was worn away by wind, water and temperature change creating a landscape that has to be seen to believe. The cave dwellings carved out of a single cone of tuff would provide shelter for a whole community. After arising at 4:00 am for our hot air balloon ride at sunrise we were disappointed to find it was too windy to fly. :-((((. We re-scheduled for next day and hired a van and guide ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Good Friday AM...up at 4:00 again today....bad news at 5:00 too much wind to fly. Back to bed until loud pounding on door at 7:00. HURRY....We are going to fly! In air by 7:40 after being literally picked up and tossed into basket!!! Most amazing adventure ...no words to describe....our most excellent pilot, Mustafa, even had an evil eye hanging in basket to protect us from harm. It worked :-) and once back on ground we celebrated with Champagne, cake and beautiful red strawberries. Once back at hotel (only 9:00am) we enjoyed a Turkish breakfast and started our leisurely stroll through the village, up a long hill to the Goreme Open Air Museum. Here there are many chapels cut into the hillside . inside each are still beautiful Byzantine frescoes with scenes from both the Old ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme April 20th 2014

Today we leave our beautiful oasis in Cappadocia. After another lovely Turkish breakfast at the hotel we went back to "gourd Man" where we purchased some beautiful hanging gourd lights . We Were invited into Suleyman Ikman's Carpet shop....he very graciously served us tea and told us stories about some of the beautiful dresses and brides hats displayed within. After an enjoyable visit and tour of the old shop we purchased some pillow covers and other souvenirs before heading to airport. Good trip home to Ataturk Air Port in Istanbul. We like Turkish Air! GREAT TRIP!!!!... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Oludeniz April 19th 2014

16 April It was an early start to get to Pamukkale which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site definitely worth a visit. Meaning 'cotton castle', Pamukkale is a series of travertines; terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing hot spring water. The water varies in colour and temperatures, some warm enough to swim in. But I'm ahead of myself. We parked the truck and walked to the entrance where we paid 25TL (it seems we've arrived at the start of the high season as all the tickets have gone up 5TL; we've been peeling the stickers off to see) and walked through the turnstiles. A short walk towards the white landscape and we removed our shoes, put them in bags and stepped over the divide and onto what could be described as a waterfall. Over beautifully ... read more
Pamukkale
The clay-like ground felt lovely between my toes!
One of the many pools

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy April 15th 2014

Another rather slow start....we are still re-charging our E-bunny batteries. Breakfast, set off for a visit along the The Bosphorus, the straits separating Europe and Asia , which join the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. The shores are lined with beautiful old buildings, wooden waterside villas, graceful mosques, market squares, and boats along the waterways. We are heading for the market area. Must take a moment to try to describe the bustling atmosphere of this area. The HILLS and narrow curving roads winding their way through the old neighborhoods of buildings stacked on top of each other are what you might imagine x 100! This makes the hills of San Francisco seem fit for ants. Amid these winding streets are local small businesses, corner cafés, small markets, fruit shops, flower shops, sleeping dogs, sunning ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu April 15th 2014

Today Shannon drove us to the Zorlu mall to park and catch the Metro. We parked underground.....went up many levels into mall area, walked several moving sidewalks through a long tunnel and arrived at Metro! We Rode to the Sishane stop and came above ground in the old area of Istanbul called Beyoglu. This steep hill north of the Golden Horn is an old part of the city where we walked the cobble stone streets to the historic Galata Tower. ThEt tower is 196 ft. high topped by a conical tower. It's origins date from the 6th century when it was used to monitor shipping.It was later turned into a prison and naval depot, and then into a fire watchtower. Of course we shopped :-) the wonderful little lanes and streets before going to the rooftop ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy April 14th 2014

Day one in Istanbul started at noonish :-) with brunch at Ulus Cafe and Park. We enjoyed a Turkish mid-day meal of Bourek. A type of noodle casserole with cheeses and cream......stewed tomatoes with peppers and eggplant, fresh sliced cucumber, tomatoes , olives (black and green) :-))))) hard boiled eggs, sliced cheeses and salami type meats, fresh peppers, delicious breads .... Fresh apples, grapes, bananas, and Simit, a bagel type roll with toasted sesame seed and jam. Yummmm! After brunch we went outside to take pictures overlooking the Bosphorus,the waterway that divides the eastern and western sides of Istanbul. The views were amazing of the Asian side of Istanbul and the first bridge. Our staff photographer, Abby Vogelaar, took wonderful photos which will be featured in this and future blogs. After brunch we drove down the ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk April 13th 2014

13 April Last night I had my first ever migraine which I don't think I'd wish on my worst enemy. I was in a lot of pain by the time we got back to the hostel and I lay down on my bed and then couldn't get up. Nat kindly bought me some pills and I slept for 13 hours, only waking when the medication wore off to take some more. This morning I wasn't quite 100% but I'm much better. We left on the 11am ferry across to Çannakale and drove on towards Troia, the Turkish name for Troy. Our guide was Mustafa, recommended by TJ and for good reason. We waited for him to finish serving lunch in his restaurant amongst the souvenir shops and then joined him for the walk down to the ... read more
The Romans and the Iron Age
Bronze Age wall
View out to sea

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Antalya April 13th 2014

Water is always a fierce issue in the American west. Through the doings and undoings of the last century, we have managed to steer our course to a place where few of us are immune to the concerns of drought, water rights, gerrymandering of vast drainages, and their consequences on our often overabundant lives. This becomes especially evident when one or more of the core elements in this increasingly strained system fails to fall into climatological norms. Nowhere is this more evident than in California, where the largest agricultural nexus in the US and several of our largest and most sprawling cities must compete for water that comes from as far away as Colorado to keep the machine wet. When winter does not produce snow for the great ranges of the west, nearly everyone in California ... read more
Half Moon Cirque looking like any other epic year
Scratchy approaches
The planning phase consumes our little house




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