Antalya, Ephesus, Troy, Gallipoli, Istanbul: 26 October-4 November 2006

As the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words... or something along those lines.  So rather than a full-blown travel essay, here are a few photos (and a few words) from our not-so-recent trip to Turkey.

Istanbul - Mosques and Churches

Above is the Blue Mosque, viewed from the fourth floor private balcony of our Austrian/Turkish carpet selling friend.  We sipped apple tea, received a crash course on turkish carpets and kilims, and left Istanbul carrying a 10kg patchwork kilim as hand luggage.



Yes that is me, and I know I look ridiculous, but I was merely abiding by Rule 2: "The ladies should wear a scarf and a long skirt".

The Aya Sofya from the outside (above)...and inside...(below)


Istanbul - Markets and Bazaars

Carpets shops lined the Arasta Bazaar in Sultahnamet, but we were more focused on trying to capture the new moon without the aid of a tripod.

Very fresh fish at the fish market near Karakoy Square. 

We ate approximately 2.5 kilos of dried figs during our trip but it wasn't till visiting the Spice Bazaar that we discovered the Turkish, um, er,  "stronger for longer" alternative - just add walnuts!  



The chef gave me a confused look when I tried to order a kebab without the kebab at this busy kebaberie in the Grand Bazaar, but a friendly local helped us with the translation and he passed me a piece of pita bread.

Istanbul - Water, Streets and Friends

 Overlooking the suburb of Beyoglu with the Galata Tower on the far right.

Fishing on the Galata Bridge seems to be a popular past time for Turkish blokes.

I'm not sure how they got their laundry up there, but I'm glad we have a clothes drier.

While exploring the back streets of the Golden Horn area, we made some new friends.

Without any prompting, the girl went into Downface Dog Position, with her brother seemingly attempting to adjust her pose...in a rather unorthodox way.  Just as well I resisted the urge to teach them Sun Salutation A as a warm up.  These kids had already progressed onto handstands.


Ruins - Ephesus and Antalya

The Amphitheatre at Ephesus.

The main street.


It's a nice hike up to the ruined city of Termessos just outside of Antalya, where you can walk amongst the rubble.


It's a tacky reproduction but we couldn't resist climbing inside the Trojan Horse at Troy. 



If you're not Aussie nor Kiwi, you've probably never heard of Gallipoli.  In short, it is the name of the battlefields in which many soldiers from Australia and New Zealand lost their lives while fighting during World War I.  Having no interest in war history, I nevertheless felt obligated (as an Australian) to make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

We were guided through the national park by a rather somber Turk, who realed off fatality statistics without hesitation, reminding us that while we celebrate a public holiday for the ANZACs, the Turkish probably lost more men in their attempt to defend the ill-planned attack.     



Lone Pine Memorial, the major commemorial site for New Zealand soldiers lost during the battle of Gallipoli.

The Whirling Devish

It's supposed to be a religious dance, and intriguing as it may seem, you only need to see five minutes of men dressed in white spinning around and around with their heads tilted, to get the idea.  There are, however, several hour-long performances on offer for unwitting tourists.