Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 33

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Middle East » Turkey October 15th 2012

15 October 2012 We had difficulty tearing ourselves away from Capaddocia in general and Kaya Camping in particular. We had spent four superb and action packed days there with many new experiences. But we had to continue the journey and as we were heading north and west towards Ankara it meant we were commencing the long journey home. We stayed the night at Golbasi, just outside the capital city of Turkey.... read more
We were the last to leave Kaya Camping. Wendy is talking to a Swiss couple who were on a 3 month trip around the Black Sea
A mushroom shaped rock we stopped to look at during the journey
A monastery cut into the rock

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 14th 2012

Today I did more Rick Steves' walks. Early this morning I started out on the waterfront and it was interesting to see the commercial fishermen with their catch displayed for sale. One knew it was fresh because some of the fish were still swimming around in large buckets! I walked across the Galata Bridge, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells including the many casual fishermen who were dangling a line off the side of the bridge. (See picture) As I walked, I listened to Rick's commentary on the Golden Horn and Istanbul's important location on the Bosphorous between the Black Sea in the Mediterranean. I stopped at a street vendor and bought a "simit" which is a circular bread, somewhat smaller than a bagel. I chose one with sesame seeds, which I believe is traditional, ... read more

Middle East » Turkey October 14th 2012

Friday, Sept 21 in Istanbul Istanbul has perhaps the most famous and beautiful site of any city in the world. It has had three names. In ancient times it was the Greek city of Byzantium. Then after Constantine made it the capital of the Eastern Roman empire it became Constantinople. After it was conquered by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, it became Istanbul. Mehmet The Conquerer visited the old Byzantine palace in the first days after he took Constantinople. It had been built by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century AD, and the place was an utter wreck. As he viewed it, Mehmed remembered the words of a Persian poet, "The spider weaves the curtains in the palace of the Caesars; the owl calls the watches in the towers of Afrasiab." These Byzantine ... read more
Dolmabaci Palace
Tolga and the Holy Umbrella
Topkapi, second gate

Middle East » Turkey October 14th 2012

14 October 2012 Kevin led most of the party on a beautiful 10k walk along valleys and over ridges close to the campsite. It passed many fairy chimneys of various shapes and sizes. The campsite treated us to a delicious Turkish dinner home cooked by the owner’s mother. This was followed by a trip to an interesting and moving twirling dervishes demonstration (no photos allowed) held in the converted stables of a floodlit caravanserai.... read more
Climbing into one of the cave churches we passed. Kevin didn't tell me there was an easy way in around the back!
An impressive tower
A church on the ridge

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 13th 2012

I made it into Istanbul last night, albeit two hours later than I anticipated. My apartment is nice, but is not very soundproof. I can hear seagulls in the evening and people walking down on the street. This morning, at 5:30, I was awakened by the Muslim call to prayer as it was chanted from a nearby minaret. I was expecting it, however, and found it a romantic evocation of the Orient rather than a nuisance. Besides, the call does not go on very long and I simply rolled over and went back to sleep. Later, after I was up and dressed, I took the tram to the main historic/tourist area. I followed Rick Steves walking tour of the area, listening on my iPod. I visited the gigantic underground cistern, built in Byzantine times for water ... read more

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Middle East » Turkey October 13th 2012

13 0ctober 2012 We visited two of the nearby towns today. Avanos is on the Kizilimak (Red River) from which it extracts the clay to make the pottery for which it is well known. We visited several of the pottery shops many of which were in caves and had demonstrations of pieces being thrown and decorated. Urgup is set in a valley with honeycombed cliffs all about it. We walked around the market, and the old town and to complete the day had a most enjoyable traditional Hamam (Turkish Bath) where we were really pampered being washed and massaged by the attendants in the hot steamy atmosphere. To complete the day we went to a Cappadocian evening with folk and belly dancing.... read more
Police station Cappadocian style
A big fairy chimney, Wendy is standing at the bottom
Avanos potteries

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Fethiye October 12th 2012

Bus ride from Istanbul It was really easy to get a bus ticket from Istanbul to Fethiye. I already knew there was a nightbus with a company called Metro. I just asked around in a few of the many tourist offices in the Sultanahmet area until I got directed to an office caled TourIsta. They among a few others sold bus tickets for that company. I got to choose my seat and it cost me 65 TL. I pre-purchased the ticket, but as soon as I got to the central bus station in Bayranpasa (Otogar Metro station) I realized I could have just bought it there. We left the bus station at 9 p.m. sharp. After picking up more people in the many suburbs of Istanbul we finally started the trip down south. By then it ... read more
On the farmers market
Fresh veggies
The gay turkeys

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 12th 2012

September 28 - October 6, 2012 Fly out from Dulles Washington International Airport @ 11:25 PM. 10 Hours Flight Time and Arrived at Ataturk Istanbul International Airport. From there to the Hotel, Easy Metro and Tram Access arrived at Hotel PamPhylia in the Old City area just steps away from the Topkapi Palace. The city of Constantinople dating back to 660 BC as Byzantine Empire, the City that Old and New are quietly coexisting, the city smells like Fish and Incense from the Mosques, the City that I Fell In Love with.... Only the people in Istanbul can walk right pass by the great walls, palaces, and the aqueducts built 3000 years go like they were just built yesterday. All the Friendly Faces and Cheap Food on the Streets and the humming sounds echoing through the ... read more

Middle East » Turkey October 12th 2012

Hi again, Our cruise to Istanbul went through the Dardanelles . Many of the 700 Australians/New Zealanders onboard were up very early to watch the sun rise as we went through the Dardanelles - during which time the events Manager did an impressive and much appreciated presentation on the Anzacs at Gallipoli. A photo with the sun rising over Gallipoli was taken by John. We then continued onto Istanbul where we did a tour of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market that afternoon/evening before heading back to the ship for dinner. We tried some turkish delight - nothing like we have at home at all and were told by our Tour Guide where to buy some - well $45EU later we have a large and heavy box full of all types of turkish delight - ... read more
Spice Market
Allah, Mohammed the Prophet & Mary and Jesus together
Earliest Mosiacs

Middle East » Turkey October 11th 2012

11 October 2012 Cappadocia has a unique geological feature. Many millions of years ago there was a huge volcanic eruption. Since then the lava and tuff (consolidated volcanic rock) eroded to form thousands of isolated pinnacles called fairy chimneys. Many were carved out to form churches, dwellings and pigeon lofts. Although it was the first wet and cold day of the trip, we went on an enjoyable tour of the area. We started at a viewing point overlooking Goreme. In the 6th and 7th centuries the Christian population in the area were persecuted by Persian and Arabic armies and they escaped into underground cities which had been constructed in the tuff. Thousands of them lived there for several months until the danger had passed. We visited one today at Kaymakli which entailed much stooping along narrow ... read more
Overlooking Goreme
Negotiating one of the narrow tunnels at Kaymakli
Millstones were used to seal entrances




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