Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lycian catch-up part Deux

Staying in a different hotel each night has its pluses and minuses, but I like to see what cultural things   I can. We mostly stay in 3 star hotels that locals use, not tourists, though this is not always entirely possible. The breakfast has a constant in these local digs and that is the sliced processed mystery meat. All the hotels have it (except the Russian oriented one on Alanya which among other things had bowls of eggs on offer boiled to different times, ie 3 min, 5 min etc). This mystery meat is nasty, sorry to judge, and it is stinky too. Michelle won't get ten feet from it though I might venture within one or two feet if something nearby seems worth giving a go. I am just saying...
    Anyway, lost my mind for a moment, we left our hotel and drive toward the famous Pisidian city of Termissos, a city Alexander the Great had great difficulty taking due to her position high in the mtns. We drove in and hiked up into the site, unfortunately having to get around a few bus loads of folks, many of which wearing improper shoes and stumbling about. Termissos is a fine place and this was a nice day, but I got a bit too much sun and received a headache for my thoughtlessness.
    After three plus hours we were hot and sweaty and made it back to our little Opel, the air conditioner getting a real workout. We then headed along to coast to Phaselis, the ancient city with three harbors. It was full of people and we walked the ruins then Michelle swam in the ocean a bit until she was stung by a jellyfish (she is fine, no signs of it now). We then wrote a happy birthday message to our friend Willow on the beach in rocks and left to our car. There were a lot of nice looking girls around so it was a good all around visit, ruins and girls, all I needed was coins to have a slam dunk! No Michelle is my slam dunk and my little dunk wanted to find this little hotel with cottages that I figured was located in some hideously remote and inaccessible spot but believe it or not my faithful one or two readers we actually found it! Michelle was over the moon and we were treated by a mob of chickens, a turkey or two, three dogs and a friendly and seemingly always hungry pet sheep. Our cottage was delightful and we relaxed in the lovely grounds throwing bread to the chickens ( and two Turkish turkeys) and made some strong coffee. The dinner served was delightful and Michelke had her dream hobbit cottage stay!!
     Anyway, lovely Michelle then decided to drag my tired **s out of bed at 4AM to watch the sun rise at Chimaera. We've done it before and this time no marshmallows!!! Chimaera is basically a clearing on the side of a forested mtn where natural gases have been seeping and have been burning for thousands of years. Like scattered barbecues, the flames are visible from sea and the ancients associated them with the mythological beast the Chinera, which spewed fire ong other things. There are also ruins of Ronan era structures. We had the site to ourselves and played around, even making a silly video or two we posted to Facebook.
    Afterward we drive back to our cottage, had some much needed coffee, then sadly left and drove to the ancient Lycian city of Olympos.
     Now Olympos was more awesome than I had ever thought. The ruins ate sprawling and separated by a river with ducks and the whole kick and whatnot. We wandered around and had a great time. There was a local beach too but we were probably the only ones not interested in the beach. It was hot and eventually we tired and found a nearby dig for a doner (bread wrapped meat, tomato deal we asked them to add fries to). A nice afternoon. Then we drove west to another site but decided we were tired and found this roadside hotel with nice restaurant and nearby supermarket where we can do our laundry and recharge our batteries.
   It will be another hot and dusty day in Lycia tomorrow but we must press on to Fethiye.
Until then, adiyue my one or two readers...

In Lycia playing catch-up

We are at a roadside hotel here in Komluca, a small town on the Lycian coast. Since my last post a few days have passed and I will seek to fill in the gap up to today, Sept 26.
    Our last post ended with the two of us traipsing through Lycia and basing ourselves in Egridur, on the lake if the same name.
    After our first night in the cool breezy town we rose early (being the day of our anniversary) and headed to the ancient city of Sagalassos, easily one of the most impressive sites in all of T-Land. Now we've visited this place several times and have watched the progressive of a massive restoration effort focusing on especially the Antonine nymphaeym. Well it is completed now and they have even reattached the original spring so water flows into it. They've added new trails and set out all kinds of neat things to look at. Just an awesome place to visit, really a great site.
     Next we visited the ancient city of Cremna, where I broke my cars oil pan in 2008. We had a good hike, the city well-preserved but laying all around like an enormous puzzle.
      Next we meandered about (rather lost at times) through the winding mountain roads until we found the city of Adada, wandering her ruins as evening began to fall. We than had a nice dinner in Egridur and enjoyed some dondurma (ice cream).
     The following day we left Michelle's nice hotel and headed back towards Antalya, south. At the edge of Egridur, as we were leaving we saw a sign for ancient Prostanna. I knew the ancient Pisidian city was nearby but had read it was on a military base and therefore not accessible. We decided to follow the sign and after driving way up a rocky, deteriorating road growing steeper and steeper we decided to cool it and continued another kilometer on foot. We visited with a flock of goats, many with their coats shaved into interesting patterns, odd I thought. Way up here where no one can see - people do the damnedest things!
     Any way we found what little remained of Prostanna and that is a generous comment. The view was lovely and the area is a army practice range, evidently they like goats and don't mind the occasional nut.
     After making down the mtn we drove on to the ruins of Kodrula, technically there but well... Then we were on to Timbriada, the ruins minimal but a local cave was a ball if fun. We had to wear hard hats and it was drippy and cool and Michelle was like a little girl, all happy and smiles. The cave was a sacred place to the river-god Eurymon and the Romans had built a temple-like facade at the entrance with mosaic floors and the whole mine yards. Neat.
   We decided to have pb&j sandwiches at the small park by the cave and river. We sat together at a picnic table (same side) and flipped it on it side, the two of us falling on our behinds. We had a great laugh, especially because I almost rolled over the wall and dropped ten feet into the river!
    Last was drove down to Ariassos, a nice Pisidian city I have a few coins from. We have been there before but we continued our quest for the theatre, the location of which Michelle and I are not in agreement on. Further research will settle it hopefully.
    After a nice day of ruins we drive into the town north of Antalya and visited a mall which was no different to the Northridge mall. We badly needed a real cheeseburger at found a Burger King in there. Not exactly like home but as close as I am going to get. We had fun goofing of in the mall then found a local hotel. When we went to get our luggage we found that we had lost the key for the cable bike lock which Michelle secures our bags with. We were tired and rather annoyed and drove up the street and found a fix-it shop who cut the cable. I also bumped a wall with my car and he straightened my license plate!
    We finally got our room and found it was a stinky smoking room so Michelle said no and they sought another room we could breath in and we finally were able to relax after a very long day.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Into Pisidia

We had to leave Side though we didn't want to. The tiny trash can in our room was dwarfed by empty water bottles and tied bags. Why is it the Turkish hotels alway have such itty bitty waste bins? I have covered this entire country and it is the same everywhere. At least slip covered chairs seem to be more of a regional thing (I guess?),
   Driving the windy mtn roads north away from Antalya we headed toward Beyshehir. We had only visited Lyrbe near Side (another ancient city I have coins from) before headed up into the highlands where it was chilly and windy. We drove through some lovely Rocky Mountain areas looking for a few other Pusidian towns before finding a hotel along the southern shore of lake Beshehir, just west of the city bearing the same name. The hotel was also a restaurant and a friendly fellow ran it and showed us a room. It was fine and had 6 arched windows, the top of each with blue and orange glass. He ran the inn alone and we were his only guests. It was cold and windy and being right on the lake seemed to beige of an early to mid summer kind of place. The decor inside the dinning room was interesting. It was a hodgepodge of things from Japanese ump tells to Egyptian papyrus with everything in between. It was gaudy and over the top but the gentleman ran it with pride and though we could not properly exchange a single word we had a nicer all of fresh fish from the lake and a nice rest. It was nice to be cold for a change!
   The next morning we rose and had coffee then visited the Hittite water fountain at Eflatun Pinari. We always enjoy a stop here, so peaceful, the fish swimming about and the king fishers and swallows frolicking and feeding. After this place we found a shaduf up the road. We stopped and played with it. A shaduf is an old-fashioned way to draw water with a long pole, string and bucket lowered into a deep well. The topography is flat rolling hills here bereft of trees and the cold wind blew. It was fun though, the farmers in their tractors wondering what these two idiots are doing with their shaduf!
    We then headed north and spent time at the Roman city of Antioch inPisidia. It was nice then we drove west to Uluborlo where in 2008 we had an unexpected overnight stay due to a broken oil pan. Oh the memories! After this we tried to find the ancient city of Conana, of which I have a few coins, but realized it was just absorbed by the modern town of Gunen and there you have it.
    After our lovely day we found the town of Egridur on the south shore of the lake of the same name and found a hotel we had enjoyed immensely in the past. We walked around the town and had a nice meal, even grabbed a few bites of baklava from a local shop. The wind gusts at night and it is quite cold. A relaxing place to stay and why we always come back.

By the way, we didn't get that Diva Domna coin Barry, it went for 2600. What can you do?
We are back on with some wifi so let me get you all caught up on what we have been up to here in the T.
    When we last left off we were staying in our apartment in Side. We rose on Thurs and drove through a beautiful valley and mountain roads north into the Taursus mts and eventually finding our way toward a small village (can't recall name) where the ancient site of Pendelissos is located. I have a couple coins from this Pisidian town. Of course we encountered herds of goats and sheep in the road as usual.
   When we found the village there was no sign of the ancient town so we poked around but it was in the middle of no where and we couldn't even find one architectural element. The village was only a few houses and luckily one of them was called cafe Pendelissos. We stopped and basically it was a retired school teacher's house and he set up an nice area to serve food and drinks as well as a small pensyion for guests. He had all kinds of chickens, pheasants and a couple dogs running around and Michelle esp enjoyed the animals while we relaxed and had a coffee.
    After some chit chat we finally got him to draw us a map of the hike to the ancient city. See it was located on the steep slopes of the hill within the pine trees. We would have never found the place in a million years!!!! He lent us walking sticks and let us part of the way. It was 10:30 AM when we began and we were happy one of his dogs chose to accompany us when we set off alone towards the city.
    Now the hike was nice but it became rather hot and we found the city nice but not particularly well preserved. We had a lovely time in the woods but it was a pretty steep and tough go at time. Eventually we became lost and had walked and stumbled for a few miles. We became nervous regarding our wa back. The woods were cut with felled trees and we couldn't ascertain a path. We decided to go downward and it was steep and the brambles were thick. It was here in our time of need we noticed the dog was waiting for us. It was as if he beckoned us to follow and we did just that. Following our canine companion we eventually made it to the road. I was slashed from bushed and tres and Michelle had a rock which had tore through the bottom of he shoe. We were dirty, tired and soaked with sweat. We didn't know which way to go but decided to follow the dog and after about 1-2 kilometers of walking uphill we found the sign we had passed in our car for the village signaling 3 km to go! The princess was not happy with her bum shoe but doggy led us slowly back to our car by 3:30 PM.  We were annoyed and tired but that dog saved our asses! He wasn't trained either but possessed an innate intelligence which impressed us greatly. What a dog!!!!
    The gentleman wanted us to have lunch and go to another place but we were not happy with the death march he had sent us on and begged our leave and sped away towards the ancient city of Sillyon.
    Driving toward that city we got a second wind plus ate usual sandwiches so decided to hike around Sillyon, one ofy all time fav stomping ground. It was cool and windy and we saw 16 tortoises and a snake! It was nice and afterwards we went back to the apartment and crashed.
   The Friday we spent shipping at a couple small malls (I needed shorts and socks) and found a Starbucks so I could enjoy a latte!!!
We just visited the awesome ancient city of Perge which is gorgeous and an easy walk through the columns and reliefs. We found inscriptions for Trajan, Hadrian, Matidia, Marciana and Sabina!
After we hung around Side, napped and just enjoyed the environment - walking along the sea and finally had dinner at an Ottoman restaurant!
Side is a nice place to spend 4 or 5 days, a lot to do!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ok Barry,
   I have had limited wifi access and missed a few days posting. I will therefore give a briefer synapsis of the events and add color where it might be warranted (or something like that).
    I last left of at Anemurion, were we ended up crashing out for the night in an empty resort-type hotel. Well we rose rather early and had coffee watching the quiet Mediterranean then skipped over to Anemur castle, which is the largest of its ilk in the med region. It is a beast with all the trappings of a rap castle - battlements, towers, hideously narrow and winding stairways and a most full of turtles! Oh how the enemy must have Quaked in their boats when they saw the swarms of red-ears hoping for a handout! Anyway we had the castle to ourselves and we had fun exploring it and taking pictures.
      Next we headed down the hwy and grabbed a cold drink. Michelle found a bag of Burger King flavored Ruffles potato chips. Nasty! The locals have different tastes obviously.
      After this we drove north into the hills for a long time, trying to find a few ancient sites and we failed utterly and completely, though the drive was pretty if someone long and somewhat tedious. At like $8 a gallon it was costly, but we saw a part of the T we haven't seen before.
      We drove after hitting the coast again west toward Alanya and after hitting town after town without a hotel handy on the hwy we hit a town short of Alanya, starts with an M, and found the hotel Sun Fire Beach Hotel, four stars even! We were tired and the room was nice. What was funny was the fact we were basically the only non-Russian guests in the place and the buffet was down right atrocious, with chicken nuggets the only thing I are. At least the beer was fee for Michelle.
     The next morning we left our technically four star hotel (cost like $65 for the night), we doubled back to a few ancient sites on the coast, Antioch ad Cragum, Selinus and Iotape. The first had a temple to Apollo and. Bath complex amongst other things, the second was mostly crumbling ruins falling down a hill on the coast (though the aqueduct was pretty running through the local village and local T's on a balcony took pics of us taking pics of the aqueduct). The third place Iotape was draped over two small see cliffs, a beautiful place and Michelle and I found a lovely spot for pb&j sandwiches.
   Next we headed to one of my favorite sites - Syedra. Perched on the side of a hill Michelle and hiked for a couple hours and found 5 tortoises. It was my 8th visit to Syedra and the T's had built a new car park in my absence.
    In the early evening we drove to Laertes, another ancient city I have coins from. Driving up the very bad, steep and rather dangerous road we encounter a young German couple who couldn't believe a car was actually coming up the road. We asked them to hop in and they (in their own words) were shocked when they saw it was a pair of Americans and not local T's! We walked around the rather poorly preserved site which looks like a city obliterated by a catastrophe of epic proportions. I guess time would fit that description.
  We drove the German couple afterwards to their car and off we went to our apartment in Side.
We arrived dead tired to our apartment and the next day drove up through Korpulu Canyon park to the city of Selge, way up in the mountains over crazy switchbacks and even a Zriman bridge! The views are stunning enjoyed walking through the village. Many of the village homes are incorporated into an ancient structure. One side of the Roman stadium has a couple old houses set into it and all the houses (only 5 or 6 homes in this village) incorporate ancient architectural elements into their own construction.
      After being hounded by a few local women to buy handicrafts (Michelle caved) we drove back down and visited the beautiful aqueduct at Aspendos. We decided to pass on the site itself. We both have been there 4 times and the over-restored theatre was under cleaning or repair. Instead we found beautiful vantages to photo the aqueducts and any time we stopped near a house a woman came out and gave us a sprig of basil and offered (sometimes rather insistently) local handicrafts.
     We then headed back to Side, rested, then walked along the sea along the scores of shops and eateries and walked through the ancient city of Side. The sea and sunset were lovely and a good time was had by all.
   Now today we rose early and drove north into the mountains to a site called Pendilessos, which is in ancient Pisidia. Having never been there Michelle and I couldn't figure out where it was. There were only three or so houses in the tiny village and one called Pendellessos cafe,
We stopped and were treated by a nice man who talked us into sitting and having a coffee. His place was comfy with chickens and pheasants about. Michelle played with the chicks and eventually (the man, though extremely hospitable and generous had a completely different concept of time). Finally he drew us a map of where to hike, gave us walking sticks to use and sent us on our way. One of his dogs followed and Michelle, myself and Doggy trudged up the mountain as a light rain fell on and off. We eventually found what ruins there were of mostly the Roman era and beautiful iron wood trees. Though a difficult go we enjoyed the site, finding cisterns with fresh water and Michelle played with a can someone tied with rope to a branch and pulled up water. Eventually we had had enough and also missed the path down. We followed the wrong path and became a bit lost. We started going down the mountain off path and it was extremely rugged with brambles and trees, the princess was not happy. After some growing concern the dog appeared and actually led us down through the trees, beckoning us to follow, though always remaining silent. We eventually found the road and had to walk an additional 4km mostly uphill to get back! It was about 7-8 miles we went in all. The princess wasn't happy and after withstanding his pleas to take us somewhere else (after leaving us to die on the mountain!) we left, stopped for pb&j sandwiches then drove, beaten and tired, to the ancient city of Sillyon, one of my all-time favorite stomping grounds. We hiked up to the top of the plateau the city drapes around and visited the theatre (Michelle always wants to see the theatre) which was falling off the hill with vertical drops to you death on all sides but the back. It was very windy and the heat Greg and I suffered last time was tolerable. We had a splendid time and found 16 tortoises (the weather changed) and I saw a huge black snake!
     Finally exhausted we found our car, beat back the offering of tea from a rather creepy local man with a 22 rifle and drove back to our apartment in Side, deciding to add another night since we find it nice to stay and have more places we plan to see in the area.
    So it is dark now, 10:30 and some bad karaoke or something is going on in one of the apartments next door....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I am continuing today's journey now.
On this day Sept 15 we woke early from our hotel and just left without breakfast. The owner was a creep and we left so I didn't punch him in the face!
   We got hot water from another nearby place and had coffee in the ruins of ancient Eloussia-Sebast. It was just grand and we explored the ruins further. Afterwards we checked out some of Korykos the drove up to Diocaesarea in the nearby hills. An awesome site with well-preserved monuments and a theatre. Michelle was happy! We just maendered around looking at ruins of Olba, Silifke castle and Seleucia ad Calycadnum, Selinus and a couple others. Michelle is a crack navigator and we just messed around with hot, dusty old ruins all day. We then found a hotel on the sea, had a fish dinner then checked out my new sunburn. I already have a killer farmers tan, now sun burn. The south Turkish sun is fierce! At least this hotel doesn't have slip-covered chairs. I hate slip covered chairs.

More from T-Land later.....

Let me know if anyone reads this....
Not sure if anyone is reading this but I'll keep adding to it.
We left Cappadocia and cruised south toward the city of Nigde. We have passed by this city many times in the past and decided to stop and check it out and find the museum.
We didn't find the museum but a local park with Seljuk tombs which were nice. There also was an area with gym equipment so we played around for awhile. The local T's thought we were nuts .
     Next we drove to Tyana, the ruins of the ancient town poking here and there within the modern village. There is a nice aqueduct running down the middle of the road and an excavated area. While taking pics of the excavation some local T's honked at us with a fancy horn then swung around and came to see us. There was a woman, her mother and her two daughters. They were friendly and took pics with us and gave us grapes and other fruits etc. they wanted us to go back to their home (to presumably kill and dismember us) but we respectfully declined, as we were trying to keep to a achedule having a long drive ahead of us.
     So we continued along the super hwy, triggering the toll booths like we're are violating them though we have been repeatedly told we are ok. Who knows?
     We drove back down to the southern coast and the sparkling Mediterranean and the heat and humidity. We decided to try and find the ruins of Pompeiopolis. It was scorching hot and we drove around and around and finally gave up, stopping in front of a market for a cold drink. The shop keeper told us the site was nearby so we made pb&j sandwiches and went there. The ruins consisted of a long colonnade which had been excavated, the rest of the ancient city presumably trapped under the modern town around it. Sad but a reality!
     By this time we were beyond hot and tired and we also had a good layer of road varnish. We found a nice hotel and relaxed. But we got a second wind and drove up the road to Korykos and Michelle's fav castle on the sea. We had a nice dinner and watched the sunset over the castle. One sad thing is the litter. The locals just throw there trash down and the beach was littered with debris. Sad.
     It didn't detract too much from a lovely evening and we had a nice room to go back to with a powerful air conditioner.

Yesterday's journey when I get up tomorrow!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cappadocia, such a lovely place and our first encounter with tour buses and such. Yesterday we left our rather run down hotel after some black coffee and bread. The city is no where a tourist would go and stuck out like a sore thumb. we clammered down to our dirty Opel and drove to the market called Migras, they have a good supply of things and we stocked up pn essentials. We then drove to the ancient coty of Issos where Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius met in battle c. 332BC. It was hot and dusty and we wander alone through the scant ruins, all mostly under farmland at the moment.
     We then drove (and got lost a bit) to Karatepe, a Hititte site north of Osmaniye. It is located up in a national park with pine forests around and lakes. A lovely drive. Since the actual site is now under the lake we had to settle for a museum which is under construction. We hot to see some nice things including an important inscription in Phoenician and Luwian (one of the late Hotitte langusges) which sided translation, Phoenician being rather well lnown. We then found a pleasant shady spot and parked, making peanut butter and kelly sandwiches. Unfortunately the wheat bread we bought was so dry it seemed to crumble and blow away in the wind as we ate the sandwich. We had to choke them down.
    After this we visited Hierapolis-Kastabala, a place we've been to 4-5 times in the past. It is neat to see the progress of the excavations there, but today the T's were bustling over the site and in the afternoon 105 degree weather we didnt feel too welcome, though we strolled about anyway since the site is open to the public. I have many Greek and Roman coins from this place so this adds to the experience. After this were we hot as hell and devided to flee hot and dusty Colicia and head towards Cappadocia, Michelle doing a stellar job of guiding our way, sneaking into Lykia Hotel Kappadpkia just as the sinset, about a five hour drive, which used to be longer but they have extended the super hwy just past Nigde leaving us only 30 or so miles on the regular roads.
     We had a nice meal and went to bed. The next morning we drove around to the various open air parks and did some shopping, quite low key really. Not much in the way of local cultural stuff as it was hot and Michelle was a little slow today. After realizing I had been dragging her around we went back to our rather nice hotel and relaxed before driving around once again in the afternoon. We visited some homes built inside the fairy columns which are carved out of the tufts. Google Cappadocia to get an idea of what we experienced.
    Tomorrow we plan to visit the ancient city of Tyana then we haven't really decided yet where we'll end up, I guess time will tell.
   One thing we always find rather amusing our the hotel room rubbish bins. They are so tiny that once you toss a Pepsi can in them they are filled. We see them night after night and even for sale at the supermarket. It is as they expect no one to throw anything away. Our bin here is surrounded by water bottles. One must drink a lot in the heat.
   We hope you are all well and are having a great time. Michelle would like her dear mother to email her about our cat Sammy.

Until wherever we end up....


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Well we have come down from Mt. Nimrut and spent last night in Osmaniye. It was more congested and hectic than I remembered and we had to make a half dozen u-turns until we found a hotel we had stayed in during our 2009 sojourn. Upon parking (that was a chore) I noticed a wicked dent on the hood from a rock, glad we have full coverage!
    By the way, I dislike the car greatly. It is an Opel (I forgot the model) a small thing with transmission I still haven't completely figured out. Is it an automatic or a manual? No clutch but 1-5 gears. Very difficult in the lower gears to go so I say a few bad words now and again. By the way it is costing about 90 dollars to fill the tank.
Someone is smoking in the next room and it is coming into ours through the bath.
  To continue our tale we spent 2 nice days in Urfa visiting the various
Sites therein and around like Gobeklitepe, Harran (not so nice and 7 miles from Syria) and some other Neolithic and Hititte sites.
   We then drove to Mt. Nimrut and stopped in Adyiaman at the museum, loaded up on some junk to eat and drink and headed to Nimrut (google the place).
On the way to Nimrut we decided to stop by a few other ancient places (they have no milk in our hotel for coffee, yuk) which meant we would have to take a rather unorthodox approach to the mountain we seeking. Michelle led us up and around back and forth along windy, steep and mostly unpaved roads as we slowly made our way. We even had to ask a Shepard for directions and finally we were on a long, dusty gravel road which seemed way out of the way when suddenly we found a paved road, turned left instead of right, and found our hotel. It was a miracle but Michelle is a pretty good navigator and I was pretty proud of her on this day.
    Hotel Eufrat was the place and it was run by a sweet woman from Holland. We quickly had a coffee then drove up the mountain and raced up the long, hideous walkway pummeled by cold and wind, above the tree line until we made the western platform and got to watch the sunset. Magical!
Then we went back down and ate dinner then relaxed and chatted with another American guy and some French tourists.
We awoke at 4AM (yes I did) and drove up to the mountain again, raced, well actually stumbled, up the hideous path around to the eastern platform and watched the sunrise over the monument. Just fabulous and this is actually our second time doing this as we did it in 2010 as well. Good stuff Maynard!
Ok, we then left Euphrat hotel and eased back through Aidyiaman toward we were we are at now, Osmaniye. Along the way we visited a Roman bridge (rather sad and dilapidated but spanning a lovely part of the Euphrates river. The drive was beautiful with fields of lava flows at one point and we stopped for gas (185 Turkish lira - 90 dollars!) then went behind the station and climbed on the lava! Well I did while Michelle was using the lu.
   So this morning we sit amongst gold slip-covered chairs and a noisy town having black coffee, bread and honey (they have some way salty cheese and some kind if processed mystery meat we are steering clear of!
We are off to Issus, Hierapolis-Kastabala, Epiphaneia and Hititte Karatepe and will probably pass on Anazarbus as we have been there 4-5 times already.
Will check back soon!
Leave a comment so I know someone reads this.


Monday, September 9, 2013

In Sanliurfa and having a coffee

We have spent two wonderful days in Urfa and have visited the site of Gobeklitepe and Harran. This city is gorgeous with a park filled with sacred carp ponds and mosques etc. Also the bazaars are fab and we spent countless hours wandering the alleyways and observing blacksmiths, woodworkers and all kinds of things.
We sit at breakfast here and are getting ready to drive to Adyiaman and Nimrud to climb the mountain and watch the sunset. We did this before in 2010.
Please comment to let me know anyone is reading this and Barry email me so I have you address.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hey guys. I still can't post pics here but I just threw up half a dozen from Mardin on facebook (come on guys sign-up!).
   We drove to the ancient site/village of Hasankeyf yesterday and it was quite hot. The Tigris river runs through it and they are fighting over whether or not to dam the region for progress at the expense of a few sites, this one included. Google it for pics etc or go to my Facebook page (hint, hint).

We drove then to Mardin which sits at the top of the Mesopotamian plain, Syria being around 30 miles south. You wouldn't know anything is going on down there. We got lost in the narrow windy one-way streets znd had to hire a taxi to lead us to the hotel. Then when we found it we had to drag our bags up 40 flights (maybe 10 really) to the guesthouse. They put us in a gorgeous room with carved domed ceilings, all medieval and all then as we settled down they came and told us we were in the wrong room and then took us to the dungeon, a room dark and deep in the rock which needed dehumidifiers. Since I could speak enough Turkish it took a while before we haggled a more acceptable room, but the restaurant at top had creaking chairs which woke us up all the time. We rose early and walked the old city, beautiful! Pics on Facebook (hint,hint).

Love you all, French fries are ready at the breakfast table!


Friday, September 6, 2013

It seems I cannot post pics on this blog as the blog only supports android phones and not I- phones. I have Greg (our tech guy) on it. So I'll blog here and Facebook too. So those of you who aren't on Facebook, mom and Barry, Kathy, sign-up without giving them any info then friend me. We,ll do our. Best to support both formats but it seems pics can only go to Facebook for the moment.

Come on guys, do it for us!

Michelle says do it for Johnny!
We made it Diyabakir safely. The flight from LA to Istanbul was surprisingly enjoyable. Food was awesome! Turkish air is ok in my book (and Michelle's). Got a SIM card and we are good to go. I am trying to attach a pic from outside the hotel window.
Tomorrow we get the car and off to Mardin.

Thanks again Ray!We miss our cars already. Michelle has set pics of them on the table by the bed.

Will try and post that pic.

We are well!