Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 22


Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus May 9th 2013

9 May Left Istanbul on the 7am Ferry to Bandirma , a 2 hour trip, then onto a bus for Canakkule and a short ferry ride across to the Gallipoli peninsula. Checked into the Crowded House hostel, had a nice lunch at a local cafe and checked out the excellent diorama of the trenches and a very moving sculpture to the Gallipoli Campaign on the foreshore. Dinner at a nice restaurant next to our lunch place, where we met Anna and Landon who are biking home from London to NZ! They are a lot younger than us, ha ha! 10 May Had a lazy morning, then the Gallipoli tour at 12, we got in the bus and went 50 yards down the road for lunch, same place as last night, Eceabat is a small town! We ... read more
Anzac Cove
Anzac Cove
Ataturk's famous speech 1934

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 9th 2013

Five fishermen dressed in multicoloured robes and turbans gather their fishnets near the shore. It must be spring. Beside cypresses grow violets, daisies and lilies. Fishing has been abundant and soon seagulls will appear trying to catch their part of the booty. On a similar vegetation, next to a haima, the harem entertains a gentleman. Two women play the lute for his ears while other offers coffee to him. Another harem enjoys a warm scented bath in a hammam. As these I was passing, one after another, pages once attached to a book and now dismembered. Endless pages, each so beautiful, decorated with fine flat colours and gold leaves. Gently profiled. Full of patiently hand-drawn calligraphy. Pages that slid in front of my eyes while changed in my ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus May 8th 2013

Hotel Onder, Kusadsi Picked up the wake up phone call to hear the chimes of “It’s a Small World” playing in my ear. Breakfast buffet was eaten outside on the patio and I had muesli with yogurt and fruit on top and Valerie had eggs. Our bus left to drive the 30 km back to Ephesus at 8:00 am this morning. Ephesus I am not going to go in detail into the long 1000-year history of this city that was first built in 10 BC by the Greeks, then conquered and rebuilt by the Romans, and then taken by the Ottomans in 1390. It was built/rebuilt 4 times in various places around on several separate hills and in the valley. Each site is labeled by Roman numbers and we toured Ephesus II, which is one of ... read more
1305-79 Ephesus--Government Way
1305-80 Ephesus--Government Center (Agora)
1305-81 Ephesus--Early Christian grafitti

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Troy May 7th 2013

Ancient cities of Troy Breakfast at the Tusan Hotel was at 7:30 and we were loaded on the bus by 8:00 and ready to ride the short distance to the ancient city of Troy. Silly us, we thought Troy was in Greece, and it was. However, this spot of Turkey, and much of Anatolia, had belonged to Greece during the Trojan Wars. There has been a city on this spot for thousands of years from the early Bronze Age to the 12th century AD. The archaeological ruins are now 5km from the coast, but were once right on a bay. This site occupied a strategically important position by controlling the principal point of access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles. Excavations at this site revealed 9 different cities and 46 levels of habitation. Troy was ... read more
1305-52 Part of the inventory of architectural features from Troy
1305-53 Re-construction of the Trojan Horse near museum and bookstore
1305-54 Part of the Schliemann Trench excavated from 1871 with remains of the original walls and Bronze age house walls of Troy from the Early Troia I Period, c. 2920 B.C.

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus May 7th 2013

I really didn't understand the scale of Ephesus. Extensive marble paved streets linking all the different features of this once busy and populated city (some 250,000 at its peak). It has existed from the 10 century BC to 15 century AD when it was abandoned. Visitors can roam fairly freely across the site. Amazing really. Evidently there is much, much more which has not yet been uncovered. These photos include the famous Celsus Library and the amphitheatre which is vast. (Look closely as there are people in that shot!) I would love to be at a concert here; they apparently happen on the odd occasion. Our hotel, Ninsayan House, in the hills above, in Sirince, is simple luxury. A bit of a splurge for us and has been something very special. This is a real highlight! ... read more
Celsus Library
Library and Rog, not usual combination


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli May 6th 2013

Grand Halic Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey--Sunday, May 5, 2013 Woke up and dressed to have breakfast by 9:00. As I dressed I realized that the heat and standing on my feet at the airports gave me the same rash around my ankles that I had in Moscow. It wasn’t as big a surface area nor as bright red, but I needed to keep my legs elevated. This condition is called golfer’s leg and is a circulation issue with the “rash” being tiny broken blood vessels. We went downstairs for a breakfast buffet in a large dining room. Olives (4 kinds--2 black & 2 green) for breakfast is strange along with lentil soup, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The buffet had some of the usual European breakfast items like sliced cheeses and lunch meats, but instead of ham or bacon ... read more
1305-22 The landscape from the bus window-A
1305-23 The landscape from the bus window-B
1305-24 Looking toward Greek islands in the Sea of Marmara

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 6th 2013 read more

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Kas May 5th 2013

We have been travelling north along the coast. The towns vary markedly. My favourites are those with the cobbled streets and fishing village atmosphere. Of course some are highly geared to tourists and the worst look like the nasty side of Spain. We have seen the ugly tourists, badly burned and in search of beer and fries! Oh yes we have plenty of them at home too. I take the opportunity to swim in the sea where possible. The colour is fabulous! The photo here of Kaputas beach near Kas does not do it justice! Accommodation is very good and very affordable by Australian standards. Today we have visited a Temple of Apollo in Didim. Dates back to 8th century BC. Small and so charming. Loved it! Roll on Ephesus! Postscript: Met an aspiring travel guide ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 4th 2013

May 4 Sad to leave our lovely digs in Goreme and Angela, our great host (35€ a night included breakfast!) Plane to Istanbul delayed by fog, left 2.5 hours late! Got to Istanbul, took public transport to our hotel which took about 2 hours, but it was a long way by bus, funicular, tram, then walking! It was so busy in the Sultanahmet area we could hardly move when we got off the tram. Yakamoz Guest House was very central, just behind the Blue Mosque, which was very impressive and quite a new experience for us to enter. Found a nice wee restaurant just round the corner from us, called the Meat House! As in Goreme, the temperature drops at night, sweatshirt time, not used to this! May 5 Had the typical Turkish breakfast of boiled ... read more
Inside the Blue Mosque
Mosque Etiquette
Boat trip on the Bosphorus

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 30th 2013

Cappadocia I had read so much about the amazing landscape and its cave houses that we had to go here. The place did not disappoint. We took a overnight bus from Antalya. Even after asking many times that we don't want to change in Nevsehir, we got a bus that only went to Nevsehir and had to get down there, wait for at least 30min before finding another bus to go to Gerome. There we wanted to stay at Gerome campsite, but we were still quite tired from the hike, so decided to stay at Dilek which was closer to city center. There were quite a few other campers there and the owner is great and very helpful. We decided to walk through the Red and Rose Valleys in the morning to reach Cavusin and then ... read more
mini grand canyon
White and Honey valley
Blue mosque

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