Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Priene. Picture-book of ruins.

Priene. What does one say about this Greek ruin? Well... it's really a lot of ruin! If you have been to one you will understand. There are enormous bits of antiquity lying all over the place in a haphazard manner. All you can do is look in awe upon them, drink it all in with your eyes and then try to imagine what it may have looked like in its glory days.

Once upon a time, this city was also a port, just like Ephesus and just like that famed city this one is now so far away the sea that it is difficult to comprehend the fact. The city is set high up on a mountain and the view of the flat plains below is magnificent. I felt like I was in a picture-book of ruins.

Climb, climb, climb... all the way to the mountain top

At the top, the escarpment of Mycale draws your gaze first

Tear your eyes away slowly and feast upon the valley below

Feast some more

The Temple of Athena


Look at the view again!


Prickly flower-like plants at the edge

Pretty bit of ruin

Super prickly flower

I told you there were lots of ruin lying all over the place

And so you have some more ruin

And more for good measure

Breaking away from the ruins to look at a pine cone

The Theatre and its magnificent stone seats

Where does this path lead?

I wonder what building these arches adorned? 

Ah the fertile land below...

Lonesome half-arch

There was a pomegranate tree somewhere around here

Bye-bye Priene... for now

Monday, 23 September 2013

Selcuk. Break your fast like a princess.

The Agora
We were to visit Mary's house in the hills near Ephesus and stopped off for my second Turkish breakfast! Unfortunately, there are no photos of the first breakfast as despite the fact that it was a deliciously lavish affair as I had a tummy ache which stopped me from eating all of it, though I thoroughly enjoyed THIS breakfast!

The first breakfast was in Izmir at a place called Sir Winston's Tea House. The second was a little restaurant in Seljuk called Agora

Tomatoes, cucumber, olives, a chunk of cheese, an equally large chunk of butter and cold sliced sausage

Lots of freshly baked bread

Crumbled goat's cheese topped with blackberry preserves; and divine clotted cream and honey

Baked eggs

All washed down with copious amounts of Cay

After eating so much, we went for a teeny little walk around the restaurant. This is what we saw on the walk. 

Can you guess what tree this is? 

Oranges... they were orange trees and they lined the street next to the restaurant

A crane's nest and an interesting mosque roof with bottles stuck into it to draw natural light into the inside

And then there was the Ugur Mumcu (a Turkish investigative journalist assassinated in 1993) memorial 

Can you read it? 

I am a follower of Ataturk
I am a republican
I am a secularist
I am an anti-imperialist
I stand for the independence of Turkey
I am a libertarian
I am an advocate of human rights
I am against terrorism
I am an enemy of fanatics, thieves, opportunists and exploiters
Then shoot me, tear me into pieces
Every piece of my body will bring into existence
New ones who will even outdo me

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Ave Maria. Mater Dei.

After breakfast in Selcuk, we headed up into the hills near Ephesus to visit Mary's house. It is believed that Mary was brought to this house by the Apostle John

Mary welcoming visitors to her house

Mary's house

Spring water for cleansing

Thousands of prayers line the wall

Sun peeping through the tree with squirrels

Darling little squirrels... can you see them?

As you drive to and fro Mary's house, you will pass this statue of her. She looks out onto the valley below and is quite a magnificent sight to behold. 

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Mary looking out over the valley

This is part of the valley Mary's looks out onto. Spot the ruins 

More of the valley

Cottage nestled in the hill

Pretty roadside flower... well I think it's a flower

Friday, 20 September 2013

Urla. Wine to feed your soul.

The Urla Winery. A lot to sip, a lot to say. That's usually how it goes isn't it? (grin) We'll start with some interesting quotes I found on wine and move on to some photos; while I remember cool summer nights on a balcony by the sea far away, sipping the drink of Gods with friends. (wink)

"Beer is made by men, wine by God"
Martin Luther

"Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of all beverages."
Louis Pasteur

"It is the wine that leads me on,
the wild wine that sets the wisest man to sing at the top of his lungs,
laugh like a fool - it drives the men to dancing...
it even tempts him to blurt out stories better never told."
Homer, The Odyssey

"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know."
John Keats

"I should say upfront that I have never been in a cellar in my life. In fact, I can see no reason why anyone should ever go into a cellar unless there is wine involved."
Rachel Hawkins, Hex Hall

"Wine is bottled poetry."
Robert Louis Stevenson

"If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?"
Cardinal Richelieu

"In vino veritas."
Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis

"Go fetch to me a pint o' wine,
An' fill it in a silver tassie."
Robert Burns, Go Fetch to me a Pint o' Wine

"Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babies, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts."
John Stuart Blackie

"Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle."
Paolo Coelho, Brida

"Either give me more wine, or leave me alone."

And that is all I really want to say.