Gary & Gai


Gary & Gai

Europe » Germany June 4th 2011

Drove from Frankfurt on the autobahns, with a lunchtime stop at Regensberg, a medieaval town on the Danube river. Quite a few river boats pulled in for the day. Then onto Maria Alm in Austria , our accomodation for the week. 6 hoursdriving all up, quite easy at 140km/hr. The view from our balcony is quite impressive... read more
The Danube at Regensberg

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 3rd 2011

A short morning visit to the Dolmabahce Palace, home of the Sultans from the mid 19th century. Opulently built and furnished, it basically bankrupted the Ottamans. After the Republic, was the home of Kemal Attaturk until his death in 1938. Then became a museum. Off to the sirport in the afternoon, and goodbye to Turkey, a thoroughly enjoyable time. Istanbul is one of the worlds great cities. Flew into Frankfurt for the start of our Austrian leg.... read more
Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 2nd 2011

Caught a local bus into the Grand Bazaar, built in 1453 after the Ottaman conquest of the city. Wandered through the thousands of small shops, and avoided all the owners wanting to take your money. Next a visit to the Basilica Cistern, built underground by the Romans in 352AD to supply extra water to the palace. 336 columns 8m high support the cistern. Then into the Sophia Hagia, the massive church built in 537AD by Emperor Justinian. Some impressive mosaics from 11th century, before the church was converted to a mosque in 1453. After the fall of the Ottomans with the new republic it has become a museum. A walk through the spice markets, built in 16th century, then across the Galata Bridge back to our hotel. ... read more
Grand Bazaar
Basilica Cistern
Sophia Hagia

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 1st 2011

Started with a ferry crossing of the Marmara Sea to bring us to the Asian side of Istanbul. Through heavy traffic into the city centre, for a walk through the site of the old Hippodrome, where the Romans held chariot races. Still there is an Egyptian obelisk, placed there in 390AD. Went back inside the Blue Mosque for another visit. Outside was a young 6yr old boy dressed for his ceremony. Then onto a cruise on the Bosphorous, the stretch of water that separates Europe from Asia. Some very expensive properties along the waterfront. To end the day went up the Galata Tower near our hotel. Great views over Istanbul, from the Bosphorous, Marmara Sea, Golden Horn, Topkapi Palace, Sophia Hagia and Blue Mosque plus scores of other mosques. A skyline filled with minarets. ... read more
Circumcision Day
Blue Mosque
New Mosque on the Bosphorous

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Bursa May 31st 2011

Drove into the ancient kingdom of Phrygia and first stop at Gordion. Here was the burial mound of its most famous King Midas, of golden touch fame. Also the place where Alexander the Great cut the proverbial Gordion knot. Then onto Bursa, famous fo its old mosque, covered bazaar and silk market... read more
Bursa mosque
Prayer time at Bursa mosque
Coveed bazaar and silk market Bursa

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara May 30th 2011

Drove to Ankara, capital of the new republic from 1923. Visited the tomb of Kemal Attaturk, father of the republic and still much loved and respected. Also he was the leader of the Turkish troops that held back the Anzacs at Gallipoli. Great museum with realistic scenes of the Gallipoli campaign and the Independence war with Greece.... read more
Attaturk Mausoleum
Feeding the pigeons in Ankara
Street scene in Ankara

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia May 29th 2011

Woke to the sight of scores of hot air balloons over the countryside. First visit of the day was to one of the many underground cities, dug into the soft volcanic tuff. This one was over 20 levels deep. All told in this area 60,000 people could hide their from Romans persecuting christians or from other marauders. Then onto many sites though the region where erosion had created many spectacular valleys and fairy chimneys. Again people had dug into the soft rock for protection. An afternoon visit to a pottery workshop, to see many fine examples of hand painted pottery. Finaly that night to a whirling dervish ceremony - very fascinating.... read more
Underground City
Cappadocia landscape
Cappadocia landscape

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia May 28th 2011

On the drive to Cappadocia, took a break at the great Agzikarahan caravanserai, where 12th century traders along the Silk road took respite on their travels. First stop in Cappadocia was at the Goreme open air museum, where early christians carved caves and rock chapels in the soft rock, to escape persecution by the Romans. Then visited a carpet factory and saw how Turkish rugs are made . Finally, after dinner saw a Turkish folklore show, featuring, of course, bellydancing.... read more
carpet weaving

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Konya May 27th 2011

A long day on the road today. Drove through many orchards of fruit trees, peaches, oranges, cherries, pomegranates, apricys, strawberries and opium. Lunchtime around the area where Nasrudin Hoja came from, a whimsical character that uses comical paradoxical stories to teach. Then onto overnight stay at Konya, the home of Mevlana, founder of the Whirling Dervish sect. Visited his museum and tomb.... read more
Whirling Dervishes
Mevlana museum
Mevlana museum

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale May 26th 2011

First visited the ancient city of Aphrodisias, with many splendid Greek and Roman ruins. Then onto Pamukkale and the magnificent white limestone flowing over the hillside. Walked amidst the warm springs flowing there and viewed the travertines.... read more
Gate at Aphrodisius
Temple at Aphrodisias
Another feline relic

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