Sunday, November 2, 2008


OCT 27

This is Hierapolis. Yes, more ruins. Pretty tho.

Now these ruins are different. This is a necropolis, city of the dead, or cemetery. There were thousands of people buried here mostly in crypts.

This tomb building, we would call mausoleum, is half buried in the travertine caused by the hot springs.

These are called pamukkale, which translates into the cotton terraces.

What you can't see is how large an area they cover. The waterflow over the terraces is now being controlled by man, just like some in New Zealand.

While we were wetting our feet in the lukewarm water, some puppies stole Blanche's socks. Duane had to be the hero and rescue the socks from the pup's mom. She wasn't happy to give them up.

There are still some hot springs in town, reminds me of Pagosa Springs.

Look at the tilework on the road.

This is "just" a regular mosque, not the famous blue mosque in Istanbul, but this one is bluer and, I think, prettier. It is much smaller, tho.

We were unable to visit a school supported by Grand Circle Foundation since we would arrive on a Saturday. A part of our fees go to this foundation that supports schools and archaeological sites. Our guide was able to arrange a visit to a regular school in a poor part of Turkey. It was even more interesting since it was just a couple of days before Turkey's independence day, so the kids were practicing for their parade. We visited a first grade class. They sang their version of 'ol McDonald, which is 'Ali Baba had a farm' and we sang ours. After high fiving some of the kids we met the English teacher who had us meet some of her students.

English class homework

Some of the older kids saying goodbye. The students gave us some of the local yogurt and water drink. We were told that the school had received boxes of books from America and they could not thank us enough.

Here we are having our fast food prepared. Gozleme, a local type of tortilla filled with either cheese, meat, spinach, or any combination of them.

This is the fastfood restaurant


OCT 26

On our way to Pamukkale, we get to see Ephesus again. There is always more to see. And I cannot get enough of the library.

This stone is a billboard for the whorehouse near the library. It says that if you want love (see heart) go straight ahead and to the left (the left footprint) and you will find the lady shown. The first use of a sign for advertising.

I still cannot get over the size of this theatre. This visit Duane sang by himself, same wonderful song, 'Let there be peace on Earth'

This time we went into the terrace houses. They are covered and are still being excavated so we paid an extra fee for them. We think it was worth it. There were rows of houses built up this hillside in a terrace fashion. Rich politicians lived there for the views.

Instead of carpeting they covered their floors with mosaics. Some like these are elaborate and they have survived in great shape for thousands of years.

Some of the houses had elaborate courtyards with columns and fountains

On the walls of these homes were murals used like we use wallpaper. They even redecorated by platering over old murals and adding new ones. They could do this up to 3 times, so if you bought a house from someone and they had already had 3 murals, you were stuck with what you got. This man supported the arts since he had all 12 muses painted on his walls.

Another fascinating thing was the marble walls in the houses. It turns out that they are a thin veneer. First issue, how did they make such thin sheets of marble? How did they get them to adhere so well? It is amazing how the archeologists can put the jigsaw puzzles together.

This time we went to the museum. There are tons of statues and friezes and pottery. These two were of particular interest. The first is the goddess of fertility. She came after the next picture.

This is the Mother Goddess. She precedes the thin goddess. Arleen wonders when they saw her watching TV and drew this sketch :)

Then we went to the final home the Virgin Mary. She is said to have lived here until her last dormition (her last sleep, since she did not die but assended into heaven) here, so needless to say, it is a very holy place.

Many people have left prayer rags.


OCT 23
Today we went to Troy...a highlight of our trip. I seem to remember when Troy was officially identified. I say "seem" because the dates don't match since Troy was found in 1870.

This picture should have been in the last post, but it is too much trouble to actually fix that post. When we ferried across the Dardanelles, there were a class of students who were more than encouraged to interact with us, as we had been encouraged to interact with them. They sang songs for us and we for them. They taught us a Turkish dance, too. We all laughed and smiled a lot.

Now on to Troy. There is no just one Troy, as told in the Iliad, but 9. The Iliad Troy was the 6th 1800-1250 BC. They kept builing city after city over the ruins of the older cities. The ruins we saw were from many of those Troys. When originally identified by German Heinrich Schliemann, he dug this trench where many levels have been identified. Today, archeologists would never do a trench like that.

This is the main gate to the city. It tuns sharply left for easier defense, just as the walls slope backwards toward the city for better views downward.

These are some ruins of a ceremonial cite where animal sacrofices were made.

This, of course, is an theatre.

This ramp is from the second city, 2500BC, so it "could" have been used to pull the horse into the city.

This horse is in the park, but....

this horse was used by Brad Pitt in the movie, so according to our guide, it is not only the real horse, but holy ground :)