Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Assorted Turkey Videos

As an experiment, I took some video clips during our trip. I brought a very small Canon still camera that takes videos. As you might imagine, the quality if not top of the line and the images suffer the most in low light and when I can't hold the camera very still (like in a moving taxi).

But, I thought those of you on the trip might enjoy seeing a few of them. So, I'll post them here via YouTube.

Friday, October 22, 2010

TURKEY 2010 Last Post

Today was our last day of touring. We stopped at the amazing Chora Church to see 12th century mosaics and frescos. After that we said bye to our guide Hakan and wandered around Istanbul on our own to see the place from the ground level and do some last minute shopping.

It's been a great trip. Thanks for tagging along with us.

Hakan, truly one of the best guides I have ever worked with.

Dog of the day

The "Tunel" - a tram to take you up or down a big hill
Cats have wanted equal time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turkey 2010 Day 11

Had our first disappointment today as we cancelled our boat trip to Patmos. Thunderstorms, wind, and high waves would have made the trip risky. I'll have to make it there on my next trip. Instead, we visited the Biblical site of Myletus and a majnificent temple to Apollo nearby. We alkso stopped in a small village near Ephesus that is know of their wine production and charm.

One side note on this picture. It is taken in Sirince, a small town just up into the mountains near Selcuk/Ephesus. I was with our guide when we met this woman in a small store. He pointed out to me the fact that, while she was a Turk, the baby (a grandchild, we assumed) had blue eyes. He said “I’ll bet she’s from Greece”.

He asked her where her family was from and she said “Thessalonica” (Thessaloniki is the more modern spelling and pronunciation ). She obviously had a fair amount of non-Turkish blood – Greek, Slavic, etc – in her family tree.

There is a reason this wasn’t just a lucky guess. Sirince a mostly Christian village up until 1923. In fact, that’s one of the reasons it was, and is, well known for its wine production: Christians could make and consume wine. Moslems could not.

After the Greek-Turkish war in the early 1920’s, a population exchange was agreed to. Christian “Greeks” (they would still have thought of themselves as “Byzantines”, not “Greeks” in the sense we think of the modern state of Greece) would leave Turkey and move to Greece. Turks now in Greece would leave and move to Turkey.

There were far more “Greeks” in Turkey than Moslems in Greece and so, there were far more Christians displaced than Turks, but it was hard on both sides. Thus, a large population of Christians that had lived in Anatolia since the Roman period were forced to leave. That was the final chapter in how the heartland of Biblical Christianity became almost completely devoid of Christians.

The Christians of Sirince left and Moslems from Greece replaced them, some picking up where the Christians left off in fruit wine production.

But 400 years of Turkish presence in the west led to intermarriages and some Christians became Moslems, so the genetic pool of dark eyed Moslem Turks was infused with a few blue eyes – like these eyes that trace back to northern Greece.

Today's sleeping dog.

Turkey 2010 Day 10

Started today off with some major traffic delays due to flooding from rain in Izmir. Finally amd it to the azazing ruins of Pregammum and the scant ruins of Thyataria-two of the seven churches in Revelation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Turkey 2010 Day 9

It looks like our luck dodging rain is coming to an end. We did our last site today in rain and it looks like rain all day tomorrow.
Gate at Heiropolis

Roman columns in the hot spring pool

The main cardo at Laodecia (one of the seves churches of Revelation)

Temple to emperor at Laodecia

Just to prove I'm really here

Turkish transportation can be a little funky at times.

Massive pillars from a 6th c. Byzantine church at Philadelphia

Sardis synagogue and gym

The group at the Sardis gymanism

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Turkey 2010 Day 8

St. Nicholas' church in the town where he was a Bishop.

Another German tourist

This is now where the river Myros forms bay and connects to the sea.

The tel (hill where a town stood) of Colossae.

Almost brought him home
Cool Lycian rock cut royal tombe in Myra.

A couple more pictures of the Roman era harbor at Myra (modern Demre). The harbor area has silted up and is now more of a shallow lake and marsh. This is the harbor Paul and his Roman guard Julius changed ships in on their way to Rome. The ruins in the background are of a grainary on the harbor shore that was built by emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Turkey 2010 Day 7

Today we toured around Antalya: Perge, Aspendos, the harbor, and museum.