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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Troy April 30th 2015

Today we went to Troy on the way to Gallipoli. Up at 6.30 ish and ran downstairs, feeling super tired and not hungry, I know it will be a massive day so I grab a hard boiled egg and mash it onto a piece of bread. It's a long drive to Troy but it was a lovely day. Had fun, again, a lot of history and a quick walk. I'm really only focused on Gallipoli at this point so I kinda walk around quickly feeling I'm rushing. Stressed that my camera came up with an error yesterday!!! Can you believe it arghhhh! Hoping it will work as I'll be crushed if it doesn't work toMorrow! Got some photos in the Woodern horse and walked through the old ancient city.... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 30th 2015

We start the day of going to The ancient city of Troy wow, how cool is this place, feeling a little over seeing rocks, but the history that comes with it is rather amazing! We spend a few hours there and head off to the supermarket to get some supplies for the Anzac ceremonies. Got some cool gifts and a few things for me too yah! We walked into the shopping centre excitedly to head to the supermarket and were so surprised that we saw a Burger King! Omg. Large chips, chicken tenders come at me baby! YUM! We get a whole bunch of Pringles, pretzels, some dark chocolate for me and some other for Kaine, get some lollies, Kaine got some sandwiches, and I had some fruit from the fruit platter we got at Adina ... read more
Can you see me in the pink top

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
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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
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Troglodyte Villages
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 29th 2015

Here is our final entry from Gallipoli.... 26 April 2015 As we sit on our balcony soaking up the warmth of the late afternoon sun, we are reflecting on ANZAC Eve and ANZAC Day in Gallipoli. All Mum can say is “It’s an experience I’ll never forget. I can’t believe I’ve done it. It’s a numbness that I’m really here. Amazing! I came. I saw. I conquered.” Once through all the bus registration, checkpoints to have passport checked and ballot tickets scanned we finally arrived at Mimoza Park , the ‘holding bay’ until our bus shuttle number was called. So thankful for the assisted mobility pass for Mum; it was a 3km walk to the commemoration site. A final check point and bag check we were ushered to our seats. There were lots of volunteers from ... read more
Our vigil
Plugges Plateau
Silent battleship

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

Our shuttle picked us shortly after 10:30 on Sunday morning and our trip to Ataturk Airport took forever!! We couldn't figure out why we had to keep taking the tiniest of backstreets. We soon found out the reason...the Istanbul Marathon was on! Another race in another beautiful place!!! As we pulled up to the airport we were hardly prepared for the congestion. First of all you can't even enter the main part of the airport until all your luggage is put through the scanner. So we joined the infinite line. Getting to the front, piled our bags on, emptied or pockets and finally got into the massive airport. Little did we know that we had entered through the international departures area and we were soon running to find the domestic departures. After going down escalators and ... read more
Views from Above
Just Floating Around
Time to Celebrate

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
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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
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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
Pergamum
Library of Celsus
Curetes Way

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus April 25th 2015

I'm making good on my promise to write more blogs after I returned home on April 23. Actual date in Ephesus was April 7th, a beautiful warm day so welcomed after some chilly days in Istanbul. It was my second visit, the last being in November, 2000. Doesn't matter. I was still gobsmacked by the history, the casual ruins of ruins rolled over to one side of the main agora now, a walkway, but in ancient times marketplace. Some history, I know boring, but it helps to put things into perspective. Ancient Ephesus was founded by the Athenians about 1000 B.C., it lay at the confluence of empire, trade, and religion. It was a major banking and merchant metropolis with a population of around 300,000. At that time the city had a good harbor with land ... read more
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