Turkei

Golden Pearl Hotel

I know I’m going to catch hell for dissing Turkey but these two-week vacation packages are not for me.  Within two days, we both woke up with plastic wrist bands on and sick as dogs–we thought we were in a rest home or hospital.  All the food is served buffet-style so everyone passes germs around.

Going Native

This is a family event, and we’ve got cute little Romina to keep us entertained–Martina’s grand-niece.  Everything was included: airline  tickets, two weeks at a “Five Star” hotel (really three stars), all you can eat and drink; and all for $600USD……but wait a minute, the bartender is washing his hands with the gin before pouring me a drink.   Something’s wrong here so we rent a car and off we go to explore.

Amphitheater

Fortunately, the Romans came here before we did and left lots to look at–especially this amphitheater.  We visited Side (pronounced See-de), Perge and Phaselis.   Roman ruins are truly impressive.

Scene

These structures weren’t built in a day as the old saying goes; and in fact the Roman Empire lasted nearly 12 centuries.  Much of this architecture was built in a relatively short period of time, and I doubt the laborers made minimum wage.   But to credit the Romans, they put an emphasis on the arts and sports and even the Emperor acted in plays at the Colosseum.

Side

This is a still standing structure in Side–beautiful by day or night.  The town is built among these ruins and many coffee shops are literally in old Roman dwellings.   A room with a water view in this shoulder season costs about $40/night.  Rental cars, about $25/day.  Side is the site of the longest straight aquaduct in the Empire–26 miles but into the mountains.  They carved tunnels and spanned long distances to supply water to the town.  The Russians built a huge dam nearby Side in the 60s which is also quite impressive but is concrete, not millions of blocks.

Phisalis Ruins

This is Perge.  I’m walking along perhaps half mile of an old street with a canal down the center.  This site is one of the largest in the area and boasts a long oval track where chariot races were held.

Antalya

We drive up in the mountains–here Antalya lies below–a city of 1.2 million.  We flew in to Antalya and then bused eastward for an hour to reach our hotel.

Mosque

Turkey is largely Islamic and some of the minarets are quite a stair climb.

Water Wheel

Woaa!  This is perfect for my micro-hydro plant back in Alaska–now, how do I pack this away in my luggage….?    

Weaver

Back in Side, a woman weaves a Turkish rug with an enlarged pattern at the top of this photo.  This was of exquisite detail and made of silk.   It will be the size of a large door-mat and fetch $3200.  But don’t wipe your muddy boots on this one!

Spices

Turkey is not only noted for spices, but also for how they are presented.  This curry never made it into our hotel food–so it’s time to leave.  Stay tuned!

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