Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Turkish Delight!





The Republic of Turkey straddles Eastern Europe and Western Asia and is country steeped in ancient history. I travelled with ten fellow explorers from Antalya in the south to the northern city of Istanbul, pausing in various fascinating places and six different hotels along the way!


Click on pictures if you wish to enlarge them. It really is worth it!





One of the first places we visited was Phasellis, an ancient city ranged on a peninsula surrounded by three small bays.  We walked along the grand Harbour Way past the elaborate Roman baths, an Agora, and the small but beautiful theatre.  Some of my companions went swimming; I didn’t!


















We spent one night in Antalya staying inside the old city which is criss-crossed with narrow streets and surrounded by fortified walls.









Antalya Museum has exhibitions covering everything from the Stone and Bronze Ages to Byzantium. There are exhibits from ancient cities and evocative statues of some 15 Olympian gods, many of them in near-perfect condition.





We travelled to Kas, a relatively unspoilt town on the southern bulge of Turkey's Mediterranean coast.







Did you know?
In some villages when a daughter reaches a marriageable age her father stands a milk bottle on the roof. Any man who can knock the milk bottle off the roof may ask for the daughters hand in marriage. The father then assesses the suitor’s financial position and the ability to provide for his daughter and any children they might have.

One day we had a boat trip! We floated around bays and inlets and looked down the remains of a sunken city below the clear water. We also went ashore to visit the remote township of Simena and climbed up hundreds of steep steps behind the village houses to reach the castle.




















In the Roman spa city of Pamukkale hot calcium-laden waters spring from the ground and cascade over a cliff where they cool and form dramatic travertines of rock-hard  brilliant white calcium. From a distance it looked like snow; it couldn’t have been more different! At sunset, we shared a bottle of wine then took off our shoes and walked through the pools of warm water down the steep slope to the town below.



The highlight of the trip for me was our visit to what is considered to be the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world, the city of Ephesus.




Founded by the Greeks in 10bc it is a treasure trove of ancient history. We walked along streets once trodden by Anthony and Cleopatra, and clambered over the remains of magnificent houses, community buildings, temples, the library and stadiums. We sat in the enormous amphitheatre and visited one of the world’s oldest public toilets! I’ll let my pictures tell the story!
























We stayed in nearby Selcuk where I climbed via the ruins of St John’s Basilica to the hilltop fortress.















Did you know?

The Nazar Boncugu or Evil Eye Pendant is a stone bead worn to protect oneself from evil looks. They hang in front of houses and offices, from the necks of newborn children and farm animals. They are also inserted into the foundations of modern offices.





The majority of my companions were from Australia, so it was no surprise that we spent a day in Gallipoli and visited Anzac Cove, a few of the cemeteries, the battlefields and trenches. Somehow the impression has taken root that in the terrible Battle of Gallipoli in 1915 only the Anzac troops fought and suffered in Turkey. The reality is very different but the overwhelming attention that Australia and New Zealand place on Gallipoli is understandable.














The figures are horrifying. In just nine months, 330,000 were injured or missing of whom 24,000 were from Australia and New Zealand, and those killed numbered a staggering 110,000 of whom 10,100 were Australasian. The vast majority were from The British Empire and Turkey.




Did you know?

Although Turkish coffee is famous, tea is the national drink. It is traditionally brewed samovar-style, with a small pot of very strong tea kept hot atop a larger vessel of boiling water. A small amount of strong tea is poured into a little tulip-shaped glass and cut to the desired strength with hot water.



Troy was an interesting place. Between 3000BC and 400AD there were no less than nine settlements each built one above the other. Thanks to excavation we were able to see the remains of each of them.










The legend of the Trojan Horse is represented by a replica of the wooden beast. Whether it was fact or fantasy has never been established!




And then I found myself in Istanbul! I had literally just a few hours there before taking to the air, but it was long enough for me to visit the Blue Mosque and wander around a few cobbled backstreets. I have made my mind up to return for a short break sometime in the future.








Finally, I must thank our amenable and informative host Suleyman of Peregrine Adventures and my travelling companions.







I’ll leave you with a few more pictures!



Tomato greenhouses



Local resident St Nicholas aka Father Christmas











Turkish delight





Thanks for dropping by!

68 comments:

  1. That's a lot of photographs for one post, but they make clear that you had a great trip. The ancient world has a lot to entice us, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just a fraction of what I look! Yes, it was a great trip. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  2. Looks like a fantastic trip! Beautiful pictures and it's interesting to imagine what life was like in these ancient cities. I think the builders of this new Trojan horse were inspired by Lego horses as it looks just like one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you come to mention it, it does look a bit Legoish! Just needs a coat of yellow paint. Thanks for dropping by Nick.

      Delete
  3. So much history there; stunning photos

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is Betty. I had no idea how much there was until I got there.

      Delete
  4. What amazing photographs. And thank you for sharing so many wonderful details. The tale of Gallipoli has always moved me. Balancing that with tidbits about the milk bottle and evil eye pendant was brilliant, my dear. Those great photos of the food didn't hurt, either. ~grin~ Turkish delights, indeed. You are clearly skilled with the camera as well as words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so kind Darla. Thank you for comenting.

      Delete
  5. Looked like a fantastic trip and what a treat this is all those wonderful photos and that food too :-)

    Have a tanfastic week ahead :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the photos you took on your boat trip. The water looks so pristine. And the ruins look really neat, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pictures hardly do it justice. It was truly unbelievable.

      Delete
  7. I haven't been to Turkey but love the clear blue water and seeing the ruins in your pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow that's a lot of photos. I loved Ephesus. The other spots are all new to me. And the milk bottle story, how interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gorgeous shots - so well captured!
    Please come link up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/05/textures.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! What beautiful places you have been to! Amazing pictures. Turkey is on our Must Travel List but it is predominantly for the variety of meat dishes and sweet pastry desserts that we have been seeing on Fox Life and TLC Food Shows. But you have shown us yet another beautiful side of Turkey which we must explore too! Thanks for sharing your interesting travelogue. And how do we recognize you in these pics? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the photo of 6 of us drinking beer I'm the one with a blue sweater around my neck!

      Delete
  11. my goodness what a travelogue! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great pictures!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Mitch

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, that was a stunning trip through Turkey, incredible photos; Turkey is definitely on my to-do list ;)

    ReplyDelete
  14. These pictures are amazing!!
    Turkey surely looks like an interesting place. Somewhere that hopefully one day we can visit as a family.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something for all the family!

      Delete
  15. Thank you for sharing all of those great photos. What an super cool trip. Very nice. WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amazing photos of a stunning place! Love the tidbits info too! Such a lovely place and I wish I can visit in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the link, Keith. Almost 26 years ago we took a gulet cruise from Bodrum (sort of a belated wedding present to ourselves- you can't honeymoon with 10 other people, can you? :) ) Kas doesn't look a bit changed, though I'm sure it must have a little. I loved sailing between the islands and my favourite shots , of course, are the bay with the gulet and the prow of your boat. Wonderful memories and I'm sure you'll have plenty too. I'm pretty sure Istanbul will merit more time.(and I love the milk bottle fact :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased I was able to take you back to that amazing country if only for a few minutes. Thanks so much for dropping by.

      Delete
  18. Beautiful pictures, I would love to go paddle in that amazing sea :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. such an amazing trip.. the waters were so clear and buildings just magnificent. I'd love to visit one day! Do they still practise that milk bottle tradition?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really ought to! The milk bottle thing is still done in villages but mainly in fun nowadays.

      Delete
  20. What an awesome trip, gorgeous photos. Have a happy day!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A Turkish Delight, indeed! Thank you so much for this lovely venture into Turkey.

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/05/snack.html

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow! What a great and beautiful photo series!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a gorgeous series. What a trip!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Looks like a GREAT trip! What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  25. It looks like soooooo much fun! Love the pictures, they're gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pretty exhausting but yes, great fun!

      Delete
  26. Oh my goodness! Absolutely gorgeous captures!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You must have done the same tour as I did ! I have lots of similar photos. To me Turkey was one of the most beautiful countries I had ever seen and so full of history !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you can see from my sidebar Gattina I travel a lot, but I have to say Turkey is right up there with the best of them

      Delete
  28. Replies
    1. It was pretty amazing! Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  29. Wow. This is stunning photography. Thanks for taking me on your digital trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining me! Best wishes.

      Delete
  30. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place. I definitely need to get to Turkey one of these days :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really must! Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  31. Great trip and very nice photos.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow looks awesome! I love the pictures - especially the water ones. The one with the little boat in it - looks almost like a painting! wow :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. What an incredible trip. Your photos are breathtaking! I feel like I just had a mini history lesson! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It certainly was a great trip.

      Delete