Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lycia, Turkey

Lycia in the southwest of Turkey - Start in the ruins of the ancient city of Termessos. Alexander the Great besieged it, finally throwing in the towel and rejoining the hippie trail to India. Then on to Antalya on the Mediterranean. Another big city with a picturesque (pronounced touristy) old town, Kaleiçi. As it was Ramadan, there were festivities at night with a throbbing disco beat to keep a weary traveller awake. Then overland to the Aegean, staying in the village of Faralya, perched atop rugged cliffs. A climb down a goat trail to Butterfly Valley. Daytrippers from the town down the coast, come in the easy way by boat. Then back up for a fiery sunset as Apollo steers his chariot to the horizon. The musical accompaniment is Ölürüm Sana by Tarkan, and Siradan by Hadise.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey - From Istanbul's otogar (thats bus station to English speakers), I boarded an overnight coach, arriving in Cappadocia at the crack of dawn. in the town of Göreme. People have been carving homes into the rocks of this surreal landscape for ages. And what did I do after a night on a bus without sleep, but go hiking for hours. I walked the Rose Valley to Çavusin, catching a dolmus back. The next day, I tramped the Pigeon Valley (devoid of pigeons) to the castle-like Uçhsar. A busy day next. A plunge into the depths of Derinkuyu, the underground city, which once housed thousands. Then a stroll through the Ilhara Gorge, with monasteries carved into the cliff sides. Finally, ascending the heights of Selime Monastery. Back to another otogar to depart as I arrived. On another overnight coach. The musical accompaniment is Menouthis by E. S. Posthumus and Pompeii also by E. S. Posthumus.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Istanbul - OK, first the touristy spots in Sultanahmet. the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, moseying over to the Spice Bazaar (lovely aromas - sorry I couldn't film in smellorama), the Grand Bazaar and the surrounding streets (which I found more interesting). Then sidled over to the Galata Bridge, where everyone and their brother seemed to be fishing. Since its hot, lets descend into the dark, cool Basilica Cistern. The stone head, suddenly illuminated by flash, belongs to Medusa (so don't look, or you too will be turned to stone). Taking a ferry across the Bosphorus from continental Europe to continental Asia. Regular Istanbul, sans tourist critters. I alighted at Üsküdar and hoofed it down to Kadikyö, then hopped another ferry back. The muscial accompaniment is Nara by E. S. Posthumus, and then upping the tempo with Ljubav Kraj Izvora/Zvezdanovo (Skupovo) Kolo by 3 Mustaphas 3.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Turkey - Kinetic Snapshots

Turkey - the sound and live-action. Starting inside the Blue Mosque. Over to Topkaki Palace (not worth the 20 lira). Wandering around the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. After an overnight coach trip to Cappadocia, I woke to hot air balloons over Goreme. A quick hike through the tame Ilhara Gorge. Then a quick descent into an underground city dug by early christians hiding from Hittites (see the photo/video to actually see it). Up to gambol on the heights of the Selime Monastery. Then south bound to Antalya. Part of the late night Ramadan celebration was a dance contest (the kid in the white shirt won). From the Mediterranean to the Aegean coast. In idyllic Faralya, I was lucky to witness a rare sunset that occurs only once every 24 hours. Back to Antalya for the big bird, returning to Istanbul. Boarded a ferry plying the Bosphorus, darting amongst vessels of every size, going in every direction. And survived.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bike Race

Arlington, Virginia. In Clarendon (or Bankrupt Row, speaking in future tense) bike was pitted against velo, pitted against fiets, pitted against the spectators' threshold of boredom. Round and round and round... The musical accompaniment is Zazie Fait De La Bicyclette by Les Plastiscines.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Argentina - Tilcara to Iruya

Northwest Argentina ...continued. Heading north out of Salta for a brief stay in Tilcara. Then on to the nice adobe town of Humahuaca - despite being overlooked by a huge kitschy sculpture. Another day was spent trekking the back roads in search of a lost pre-Columbian archaeology site, while stalked by feral cacti. It remains lost, though we evaded the prickly situation. Northwards again until the bus made a right off the main drag (screech!) onto an unsealed road. We rattled up, over and down, down to the end of the line, Iruya. A peaceful town nestled in a spectacular sheer valley. The musical accompaniment is Aguaplano by Paolo Conte and Taki Rock from "La Meilleure Sélection Des Andes".