September 2, 2016
We were now starting to feel that we were truly following the Silk Road and imagined long caravans of camels carrying furs, hides, charcoal, iron, gold, wool, jade, silk and other luxury goods traveling from Europe to China and vis versa. Some of these caravans may have been made up of hundreds of camels, “The Ships of the Desert”. Their route was determined by safe stopping points where they could replenish food, water and exchange goods. Small fortresses called caravanserais sprang up.
August 26, 2016
For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the main reason to come to Konya, Turkey, is to visit the Mevlânâ Museum and to witness the famous Whirling Dervishes. So you might be wondering, what are these Whirling Dervishes all about? Read on….
August 15, 2016
Following our short visit to Patara, the birthplace of the man we know as Santa Claus, we couldn’t resist stopping in Myra to see the church where he spent much of his life and where he died. According to one source, the earliest substantiated records of Myra was in 168 B.C.
August 8, 2016
We still had not dipped our toes in the inviting water of the Mediterranean. As we headed down the coast, any number of tempting peninsulas invited us to explore the unknown, though with our time schedule hanging over us, we headed straight for the town of Kaş. A short five-minute walk into town brought us to the little yachty harbor where we were immediately hailed over by the gregarious Ismail Inan, owner of Smiley’s, a cute little café restaurant overlooking the marina. After a complementary cup of Turkish coffee and a glass of wine and some nibbles, we knew we had found the place we had been looking for.
August 4, 2016
Leaving Ephesus, we headed south along the coast of the Mediterranean. We didn’t really want to rush but we could start to feel the pressure of our march route. We had to meet our guide, mandatory for crossing China, on August 28, and now here it was already the middle of May. We had a short four months to cross the next six countries. We could easily spend a year or more just seeing other parts of Turkey, but it was time to get to the water.
July 25, 2016
Even before recorded history, humans have been creating plates, pots, vases and other things from some kind of clay and decorating them for no functional reason other than their beauty. From the Danish Masters who painted the Royal Floral Danica set of dishes (hundreds of them) commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia to the famous Delft tiles from the Netherlands, the Azulejo tiles from Portugal, the Moorish tiles from Spain to the Iznik tiles we discovered in mosques in Turkey, the art of painting burnt clay left hardly a culture or country untouched. Monika is particularly entranced by this form of art because her mother, Agnes Mühlebach-Flory, was a master porcelain painter in her own rights.
July 12, 2016
Once when I was visiting a small village in a remote area of Iran I remember watching a young girl, maybe she was 12 or 13, sitting on a dirt floor in a small room, nearly in the dark because there was no electricity. She was painstakingly weaving on a loom, one thread at a time, carefully tying a knot and then trimming it to the correct length.
July 2, 2016
Ephesus, the Ancient City in Anatolia. Sorry, more ruins, but really, this one is amazing. Aside from its physical presence, its history is fascinating.
June 7, 2016
Arriving at the deserted parking area of the ancient city of Aezani we were first greeted by the local tourist dog. We bargained for permission to park for the night with a bowl of bread and milk and he immediately claimed us as his territory, sleeping outside The Turtle V the whole night and barking when any other dog approached.
May 18, 2016
The smell of fresh bread beckoned us into the bakery and close-by we discovered how the popular sesame bread rings called Simit sold throughout Turkey are prepared. The busy bakers invited us in and happily posed for photos. In the end, we were presented with a tasty Simit just pulled out of the oven.