A Spare Landscape

Pamukkale is a town in Western Turkey and its name means cotton castle. Part of the landscape looks like a large terrace of ice, but it is in fact a travertine terrace formed by mineral rich water cascading down a steep valley.


When I went, you could walk on the terraces, barefoot and at your own risk, because they were rather slippery. Now I believe you can only look from above, well done turkey for protecting this very unusual Unesco site. On a sunny day the surface looks turquoise, but here under a grey sky, and looking into the misty distance the landscape looks quite spare.

Earth, our magnificent planet

For this weeks photo challenge, Jen H askes that we share our vision of our magnificent earth through our lens.

I’ve seen some remarkable places on our planet, but the images that sprung to mind right away were the ones I took in Cappadocia, a few years ago. Situated in central Anatolia,  Goreme National Park has troglodyte villages, fairy chimneys and rock hewn churches, that date back to the 4th century.


This is an unforgettable world heritage site, that more than repays the effort it takes to visit. To learn more visit the Unesco site.

Traces of the past

Paula is asking for images with traces of the past for her Thursday Special this week.

Troy Odeon

This is the Odeion at Troy in north west Anatolia, Turkey, it dates back to the Roman Troy 1X and was renovated in 124 AD, by Hadrian. I wonder if that was before or after he built the wall in the north of England, what a busy man. The Odeion has a semi-circular orchestra, surrounded by a wall of lime stone slabs, above which rise tiers of limestone seats, divided by aisles, into wedge shaped sections. Can you imagine the performances that took place there?  I’m sure you can still hear the echoes on a hot, still day. . .

Thanks Paula, I could do lots of posts for this theme.


If not now, when?

If I am not for myself,

who is for me?

And when I am for myself,

what am I?

And if not now, when?

If not now

I don’t know much about this quote, except that it is from a Rabbi who lived in ancient times, whose name was Hillel the Elder. The post is for Jackie at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales. Jackie challenged me to post three favourite quotes and pass on the challenge. If you’d like to join in please do!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

Ben at the Daily Post says

In this week’s challenge, show us your take on a monument (broadly defined). It could be a fresh angle on a well-known tourist site, or a place nobody knows outside your community. It doesn’t even have to be an official monument. A legendary coffeehouse, a churchyard cemetery, the remains of a treehouse you’d built as a kid — anything can be monumental as long as it’s imbued with a shared sense of importance.

I visited Gallipoli and Anzac Cove a few years ago as part of a tour of Turkey. To be honest I wasn’t interested and could easily had a snooze while the  others went off to see the battlefields and memorials. I’m glad I did go, it was one of the most moving days I have ever experienced. I’ve written about it before, including a poem and if you’re interested click the Turkey tag in my tag cloud.

For the challenge I’m showing you the monument commemorating the men of the Turkish 57th Infantry Regiment lost in the battle of Gallipoli. The then Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal made a famous order to his Ottoman troops.

I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die. During the time before we die other forces and commanders will take our place.

And die they did, at least 1800 of them. Kemal went on to become a revolutionary statesman, President Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, but I digress, here is the monument.



Join in this week at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/monument/



Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Josh at the Daily Post asks that we show a picture of ‘Inside’ for this weeks challenge. I’m a bit technologically challenged today because my PC is dying and my new laptop isn’t set up yet – wish me luck with that please!

I’ve found something to post though!


Inside a Cappadochian cave.


The rope I held to scramble into a cave formed by volcanic eruptions on Mount Etna, Sicily.


Our guide deep inside the cave.


Inside Gomantong caves Borneo.

To join in visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/weekly-photo-challenge-inside-2/

The Trojan Horse

Legend tells us that after 10 years of fighting with the Trojans the ancient Greeks turned to subterfuge to win the war. They built a huge wooden horse, hid their best soldiers inside and then pretended to sail away. The Trojans, thinking the horse was a splendid battle trophy, dragged the horse through the gates of their city. Under cover of darkness the Greeks crept out and opened the gates to the rest of their army. Troy was overthrown and the rest is history!

I went to the ruined city of Troy a couple of years ago. Seeing a huge wooden replica of the horse was an unexpected justaposition.



This post is for the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress where the theme is juxtaposition, join in here http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/photo-challenge-juxtaposition/

Turkish Encounters

The thing I love most of all about travelling is meeting people and having glimpses into their world and way of being. There’s something very precious about these fleeting moments.  One memorable encounter I had was in Ankara, where I met these women  who immediately struck me with their warm open hearts. They were posing for photos in the Kemal Ataturk museum and they looked so beautiful that I asked to take one too.

Ankara's beautys

Sadiman, on the right spoke English and was able to tell her family that I was happy to meet them and loved their country. We are still Facebook friends, as I am with Selin on the left. Selin was very young in my photo and I’m able to see her grow up through her Facebook photos. I don’t know the beamings mamas names, but through smiles and gestures we shared something special to treasure.

This is my post for family, this weeks photo challenge from the Daily Post. You can join in here. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/photo-challenge-family-2/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Grand. It all depends on your interpretation doesn’t it? If I go to ‘grand’ places I tend to focus in on the small details rather than the big picture, so maybe that’s why, even with forty thousand photos, I found grand hard to find.

I don’t feel very grand today, but I remember that I felt the Bosphorus was grand. From a boat, this body of water is awe inspiring as are the buildings that line it.

Here is the Ciragan Palace, now a luxurious hotel.

Ciragan Palace

And the Dolmabahce


The wide, blue Bosphorus itself.


My photos look small on my new theme, but if you click on them you can see full size versions!

Can you show us something REALLY grand?

Join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/grand-photo-challenge/