Greg Albertson


Greg Albertson

Greg, Carol, Laura and Emma

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara May 1st 2015

The next day we had a long bus ride back to Istanbul via the nation's capital Ankara, where we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This museum has a collection of ancient artefacts from central turkey from 10000 years ago. Include a Neolithic clay mother goddess, hunting scene on plaster from the 7th millennium BC From the Hittite period there are a series of stone panels of the theme of war with emphasized on soldiers and chariots. The collection includes Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Period artefacts such as statues, jewellery and decorative vessels made of gold, silver, glass, marble, and bronze as well as coins While in Ankara we drove past the tradition 1st May day protesters against the Erdogan government. Luckily we only drove past an assembly points but the police present was still ... read more
Hittite Chariots
Mother Goddess from Çatalhöyük
hunting scene on plaster from the 7th millennium BC

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 30th 2015

Cappadocia region is famous for its troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, rock. The rock formation has been formed by both wind and rain eroding softer rock creating a surreal landscape that look like fairy chimneys Underground dwelling were built into the remaining rock by Greek Christians trying to escape the Muslim onslaught and persecution. They used them as hiding places in times of war and contained underground churches, wine cellars, food storage, sleeping quarters and even places for animals. For defence they have large stones that could be rolled crossed certain passage ways. The underground villages are a complex multi storey structures with a series of interconnection passages ways at different levels. For air circulation a series of ventilation shifts were used which allowed fresh cool air to ... read more
Religious icon
Troglodyte Villages

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 30th 2015

While in Cappadocia we were offer the opportunity to take part in a hot air balloon ride over the World Heritage listed Goreme Valley with it fairly chimney. This is the trip shown on all the tourist posters and tv travel programs. While expensive at 200 US dollars and involved an early start of 4am it was too good an opportunity to miss, about half of our tour group took this option. As this was my first balloon ride and while I knew it was safer than flying I was still a little apprehensive. Unlike airplane travel there was no feeling of acceleration on take-off you just float off the ground. Unless you were looking over the sides you would not have known you were floating above the ground. Seeing the Gnome valley at sunrise from ... read more
balloon ride at sunrise
balloon DSCN6003
balloon DSCN6000

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Konya April 29th 2015

We next travelled across the central Anatolian high plateau to the region of Cappadocia. On the way we stopped at Konya to visited the Mevlana Whirling Dervish Museum. This museums contains a mausoleum for the founder and other important members of the movement. Under Islamic law you can not depict people or animals in images so for decorations, designs are created using geometric shapes, colours and verses from the Koran. Tulips were again growing outside including some striking black ones which are really just deep dark purple. We also stopped at 13 century Caravansera at Sultanhani. All along the famous silk caravan route from India, secure night stops or camps were built to protect merchants and their goods and support trade. When we visited sections of a movie was being filmed there, so it had been ... read more
Caravansera at Sultanhani

Middle East » Turkey April 28th 2015

The next place was the Pamukkale or cotton castle this area consists of limestone terraces and pools. These are created via thermal activity heating the water and hot water dissolving some of the limestone. Over the century’s the water flow has reduced so some of the white cliffs were turning from a white to a brown while this is a natural process it does ruin the look of the terraces so now the remaining water flow is managed and directing to different places as required. This has resulted in the terraces now all turning white again but unlike in the “tourist photos” there are now not as many full pools at the same level. You can only access a small part of the limestone terrace now. It is limited to only a single cascade of pools ... read more
Pamukkale terraces

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean April 26th 2015

After ANZAC day the tour continue with us following the standard tour route thought Turkey. Over the next two days we visited a number of ancient roman sites, all UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. Sites we visited included the hill top town of Pergamum with it’s amphitheatre. We also visit the neighbouring Asclepion where Galen the great roman physician hospital was located. The next day we travelled to the legendary Roman city of Ephesus. Originally founded as a Greek city it became the Roman capital of Asia Minor It includes the ruins of the Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. Major sites seen included the Great Theatre once capable of seating 25,000 spectators, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis, the façades of the Temple of Hadrian and the awesome Library of Celsus. ... read more
Library of Celsus
Curetes Way

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 25th 2015

On the 24 April we got up early from our hotel in Istanbul and drove to the Gallipoli peninsular. After many security check points, passport and pass checks, we end up at the holding area by Brighton beach at around 3:30 pm. After 3 hours of waiting it was our turn to walk the 3 km to North beach for the ANZAC service the next morning. On the way we stopped off at a number of cemetery’s and Anzac cove. After more security and pass checks we arrived just as the sun was setting and got a place in the stand at around 8pm. The Anzac memorial program continue thought out the night. Lucking the weather held and my silver survival bag kept me warm. The coldest time was just before dawn when the temperature dropped ... read more
ANZAC Day  2015  New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 22nd 2015

The next day the weather changed with heavy rain and the temperature dropped to 6 degrees. Between the rain I visited the Topkapi palace including the Harem section it was an interesting place, it really was a real golden cage. Then on to the Archaeological museum next door to see it’s collection of Hittites and Babylonian artefacts. There were impressive tulip displays all over Istanbul, while the original Tulip plants were natives of Turkey, these were all Dutch hybrid tulips that are more impressive and easier to grow in mass. In the afternoon I visited the military museum it had a special display about Gallipoli campaign plus its normal display about the conquest of Constantinople, together with a collection of armour, swords, bows, shields and firearms . The next day I visited the mosaic museum which ... read more
Blue Mosque

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 20th 2015

I arrived in Istanbul on Sunday night and got to the hotel in the central Istanbul using the subway system. In the morning I departed for my battlefield tour of Gallipoli and Tory. The recognise site of Troy consisting of nine different cities build at different in the same location. While the stone walls and buildings are present you do need a lot of imagination to see the different cities but it is still worth the visit. The next day we visited the Gallipoli peninsular battlefields, all over there were posters talking about the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing 1915 2015. In the morning we did the Helles sector where the British landing and the Turkish war memorial is. On the walk down to the British V beach we found old bullets and cases from ... read more
Wooden Horse of Troy

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island April 16th 2015

Hong Kong is amazing city It has a high energy excitement about it. There are signs everywhere calling itself Asia’s global city which would appear true It is an interesting contrast of 4 strands: Traditional Chinese, Western capitalism, Chinese communism and the old British imperial system. . While the public transport especially the metro is very efficient you also do a lot of walking between stops. In fact a lot of the transport is a tourist attraction in itself for example the star ferry between Hong Kong island and Kowloon and the ding ding tram and the famous funicular ride up to The Peak . All of these are worth doing as tourist attractions as well as being a means of transport. The skyline of Hong Kong while incredible during the daytime it comes alive at ... read more

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