Blogs from Central Anatolia, Turkey, Middle East - page 5

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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Konya December 2nd 2013

We left Göreme to head past Konya. On our way, we stopped at a caravan way station. They were built all across Turkey as part of the Silk Road. It's a huge walled space that had separate rooms and half the space covered for winter and rain. There was an open courtyard with a centre tower. All the arches were carved with intricate detail. You could hear the hubbub of people and children and camels. I could almost smell the reek of animals and wood smoke. We then stopped in Konya where we visited the largest whirling dervish school, which is now a museum and tomb for the most famous Dervish. There was more to the Dervish world than learning the meditative dance that brought you closer to Allah. The dervishes were calligraphers, ornament ing beautiful ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara December 2nd 2013

In Ankara is the mausoleum of the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Our guide Ibo, brought to life this incredible man and his accomplishments through his thoughtful explanations which also touch on the humorous and human. Therefor, when we went through the mausoleum and museum, I was moved to tears. The Mausoleum is huge due to the awesome dimensions of the architecture, with simple clean marble lines and huge open spaces. The museum attached tries to teach of the difficult, painful sacrificial nature of the war that had to be fought to gain independence, democracy. It does not glorify. The museum also describes the hopes and dreams for the future of Turkey with explanations of the reforms that were made. Finally, the museum gave you glimpses of the man behind it all, through old ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Kayseri October 15th 2013

This may well be the very first blogette (it is) and who knows how I will manage any more - let alone "catch up" with what has been. Be grateful for what you get peoples. (written on train) I have been on the train from Ankara to Kayseri in the SE for some 5 hrs now – so better do something other than look out the window at the passing Turkish scenery – rather like a sun burnt country down under as not a lot out there. There are often clumps of poplar trees on river banks, as it is mid-October after all, which have really quite a developed yellow autumnal colour. The stops have been a few whistle stops in the middle of nowhere and 3 or 4 bigger places. Time to summarise Ankara. If ... read more
tea and backgammon
a coffee pounding bear in Ulus
chunka chunka burnin' love

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Beysehir October 6th 2013

Saturday morning dawned and with breakfast done we were on the road by ten, only a short drive thorough the mountain plains and then into the City of Konya which was massive. Gripping the maps, reading signs and following James’ instructions with a few high rise over-passes, we left the city behind. Into the mountain roads we cruised with only a ninety kilometres to go. Woolly says – I was over the moon having seen seven big flocks of sheep, nothing unusual in that you might think but this IS Turkey. Turkey has Goats, millions and millions of goats, sheep are few and far between and a whole herd is something we haven’t seen for quite a few countries. We arrived in the town of Beysehir which was to be our stop for the night, we ... read more
Close up of Eflatun Pinar
Roman Bulls
Front View of Beysehir Bridge

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Kayseri October 4th 2013

Arriving back at the campsite yesterday the temperatures had dropped to around 4 degrees so rather than shivering in the tent we adjourned to the inside bar where a lovely log fire was burning away. Woolly says – This proved to be a good move and the rest of the campers seemed to agree. A German couple who had arrived earlier order the Pot meals that the area seems famous for and watching it arrive was a floor show in itself. With flames and great ceremony their meals where delivered, the pots being opened using a huge knife to crack them open, I sat quietly hoping that the gorgeous smell emanating from that table might encourage Jo and Ian to order as well. A French couple sat behind us ordered and I could feel dribbles coming ... read more
Kisok and Gateway to the Winter Lodgings
Underground Church
Bedroom

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme October 3rd 2013

Woolly says – I woke up freezing with rain pelting down on the tent, I was not a happy Mammoth. With the temperature at 12 degrees it felt bitter bearing in mind the steady 27 to 30’s we have been living in. Ian went on a rummage through Ollie and found warmer clothes for me and Jo. She looks very cute in a pair of Ian’s jeans rolled up by the foot and one of his T Shirts to provide an extra layer, not to mention a pair of his socks over hers. He also dug out my hoodie, woolly hat and scarf for me…..what a star!! Suitably clad we made it into to Ollie by midday. It was a very late start for us but there was little point in doing anything until the deluge ... read more
Looking up at Zelve
Ceiling outside of Dark Church
Monastory and Nunnery

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme October 2nd 2013

It was a bit black over Bill’s Mother’s when we woke (a black-country saying that means there are black clouds above), with the sun trying to peek through we packed up and took the minutely short journey to our first destination for the day. Woolly says – it was only 2 KM to reach Yazilikaya or Written Rock, situated right next to Hattusa and another UNESCO site. This place would have been a Sanctuary and the Hittite’s would have held their New Year festivals here although their New Year was in the spring, I wonder if they had fireworks and lots of alcohol? Things were very different then Woolly and no they wouldn’t have sung Auld Lang Sine either before you ask. It was in use from at least the late 16th century BC, but most ... read more
The King
The male relief's
Very clear carving

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ortahisar October 1st 2013

We sat on the veranda of the Atahan Hotel for breakfast watching Ollie having a bath by several Turkish men who were fascinated with his steering wheel being in the ‘wrong’ place. A nice way to start the day with Chi and coffee and the obligatory salad and cheese. Thanking the staff for their hospitality we pointed Ollie in the direction of Corum and off we went. Woolly says – I knew where we were going today but Jo didn’t have a clue. At the first town the locals watched us passing several times with grins getting bigger at each circuit. Finally ignoring James we managed to find the main road and cruised off. The trip through the mountain passes was lovely and with the sun in the sky and the clouds clearing quickly, we rolled ... read more
The Sacrafice
Flintstones!
A Big Bath

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Sivas July 26th 2013

Friday 26th July 2013 Silk Road - Aksaray to Kayseri Joy of Joy - I have finally discovered evidence of the existence of the silk road in Turkey. So far in this blog, I have been reporting what looked like a holiday report - now I am pleased to write something about the silk road at last. The day before I drove past a town called 'Sultanhani' - didn't think much of it because I was focussed on the town of Aksaray The night before I looked up the silk road in Turkey and noticed there were 'kervansaray' or 'Han' in Turkish. In English it means roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. There was a mention of a kervansaray about 40km away called 'Sultanhani'. Yesterday, I drove past one of ... read more
Sultan han in Aksaray
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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Nigde July 23rd 2013

Sun 28th July 2013 Nemrut, Turkey I was about to leave from Malatya to Erzurum, and the locals keep asking me am I going to Nemrut? I asked one of them how far and how long to reach Nemrut? He said about 40 minutes. I thought 'great, a quick visit' as it was still early. The journey took almost a whole day, driving through some of the most dangerous roads for a tourist. I had to stop the car about 6 times to let it cool a bit because the roads were long, steep with lots of bends. Roads would turn into dirt tracks and sometimes 4 wheel drive had to be used. By 4 pm, I finally arrived at Nemrut and the rock carvings were just stunning. It was so windy that at times it ... read more
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