Part 1, written while I was in Turkey, is a text-only piece.


Part 2, Touring Turkey with a Magnet

No, the magnet didn't attract steel filings.  It attracted people.

It was this little guy.  I wore this the whole time in Turkey.  It continually caused eyes to shift my way.  Walking through the Spice Bazaar, for example, it seemed that every second shopkeeper would squint at the button and exclaim, "Booosh!  What means 'impeeech'?"  And I would give them a couple of dramatic gestures, such as the thumb jerked skyward, saying "Get him outa there!" and their eyes would dance with delight!

And a couple of times I was surrounded by 8 or 10 young Turks, 20-somethings, delighted to see the button and what it meant.

Of course, virtually anyone I met from Europe tuned in instantly, often with appreciative remarks or thumbs up.

Only two people during the whole trip reacted negatively--both shopkeepers.  One man said, "I like Booosh!"  I said, Doesn't it bother you that he's destroying a whole country?  "No problem, I like Booosh."  When I made essentially the same response to the other shopkeeper on Samos, he replied, "Don't worry, history will forget."  (Prolly true.)



Lycian Way

As I hiked a portion of the Lycian Way this was the view from much of the trail--sea on one side, hills on the other.

This is known as the Turquoise Coast

Hard to take, huh?




Ending the hike, I descended to Oludeniz lagoon, a famous beach in this area.  Stunning views, excellent swimming, perfect ending for a hike.


Throughout Turkey I was constantly impressed with the appropriateness of transport.  Scooter trucks like this are common--kept alive forever by ingenious owners.  The scale is right.  The same is true of buses:  excellent and comfortable long-distance buses, with the mini-bus (dolmus) handling much of the metropolitan traffic.


View of stunningly beautiful harbor at Fethiye, from  my hostel.




A meze is an appetizer, a starter.  There are cold mezes and hot mezes.

Shown here is a sampler of mezes served by master chef Asli, at Fethiye's Sinbad restaurant--arguably the best in Fethiye, maybe in Turkey :)

Clockwise from upper left:  semizotu, haydari (yoghurt & garlic & mint), roasted bell peppers, hummus, stuffed peppers; with a salad in the center.  Yummm.



Oops, hit a bump

In Fethiye, on the southern Aegean coast, as I was walking I passed this scene below me.  A voice called, "English, English, come!"  That was Hassan, sitting on the steps outside his house.  I came and sat beside him; he spoke broken English.  "Glass of wine, English?"  How could I refuse? I knew enough not to.



He then had his wife Ulten (here fixing a meal in the indoor outdoor kitchen) bring a little bowl of fruit.  Hassan pressed another glass of wine on me, over my objection, and then Ulten brought me a small meatball sandwich (kofte, I think).  At this point I was confused, unsure of the situation.  After a bit I got up to thank Hassan and leave. 



Hassan immediately said "Lira!  10 lira!" (about $7.50) in a gruff voice.  Once I recognized he'd been scamming me, I said, "I'll bring you the money later."  he said, more gruffly, "No, now!" I beat a hasty retreat, saying I was going to get the money.

Famed Turkish hospitality  is not universal.

But Turkish hospitality is intact.  On the bus from Antalya to Konya I sat next to a young Turk named Alptekin, a university student.  He spoke a bit of English, asked me where I was staying in Konya.   I told him I didn't know, and he promptly invited me to stay in his apartment.  Such a gracious and generous host.  Thanks, Alptekin. 



Here's all that's left of the great Celsus library at Ephesus--just the facade 






Imagine watching a play at this great theater at Ephesus, with excellent acoustics and a panoramic view out to the sea.





On the Mediterranean coast, here is the view from my room in Ay Pension, very close to the harbor in Kas.




Here's Kas, from across the harbor. 





Wandering the streets again in poor neighborhoods, I come across this craftsman, whose primary tools are the wire, the wood bar--and his body. 





A weird, charming, unique area in central Turkey, Cappadocia was covered in lava and ash millions of years ago.  Hardened into "tufa," it became carveable--into homes, churches, whole cities.

The town of Goreme has many such caves, some shown here.




Tufa spires are common throughout the region.

Most cave rooms have now been abandoned.




Walking the back streets of Goreme, I greeted this grandmother, who offered me a cluster of grapes--and a soft, very genuine smile.

I love old faces.

Goreme Open Air Museum


Cappadocia's most famous attraction is a complex of several painted cave-churches carved out by Orthodox monks between 900 and 1200 AD.  The striking thing is the tiny size of the churches--often no more than perhaps 15 feet wide and 20 feet long.

Virtually all the churches had elaborate frescoes, some quite impressive.




The Apple Church





The Dark Church



Istanbul re-visited

In my  last couple of days in Turkey, I couldn't resist again walking the streets in poor neighborhoods, this time in the Fener area of Istanbul

Here's David Mecal, a shopkeeper who spoke fluent Spanish.





Huseyin Ersen, Ahmet Acun, and Abdullah Octurk




Sabri Yanik

Sadek Akin
Sibel, with young friend, and other neighborhood kids.

I love kids' faces

They of course loved seeing themselves on the camera's LCD display.

These kids were hanging around a group of about 8 women--all of whom refused to be photographed when I asked permission.



Unidentified man in Fener
Men washing their feet before entering the New Mosque



The New Mosque, Istanbul
Dome of the New Mosque
That's it.