Aug 12

Back in Istanbul

We spent two incredible days on the western shore of Turkey and I finally made it to Ephesus. What a beautiful city. As a book lover, the facade of the ancient library was wonderful to see but I was completely surprised by the Roman terrace houses with their intricate mosaic floors and so very human frescoes.

When I visit ancient sites, one of my favorite questions to ask of the modern residents, is what is their connection to these people and cultures that vanished so many centuries age. Do they feel any connection or kinship at all? At almost every location the answer has been no, the monuments and ruins are viewed as piles of rocks that are only fit for tourists. On the occasional of my asking this question of our guide, she gave a very different impassioned response. She explained that all cultures learn from and stand upon each other, that no culture exists in a vacuum or stands alone. I could not agree more.

To my delight I learned that modern Bodrum is the location of ancient Halicarnassus, birthplace of Heroditus, father of history. Bodrum has such a long, rich history, it has it’s own underwater archaeology museum. The numerous exhibits include a bronze age ship wreck, the skeleton, sarcophagus and reconstructed likeness of a Carian Queen and an equisite exhibit of ancient amphora, many of which were found by local sponge divers. I have a video of this amphora exhibit I’ll upload when I’m able.

We were also fortunate enough to visit the village of Etrim where the traditional art of wool on wool carpet making continues. We met an amazing family in this village and I have video to share when we have faster, more reliable internet. In fact, I have have several videos waiting to be uploaded.

Tomorrow we leave for Turkmenistan so my ability to post may be uncertain for a while. In the mean time please enjoy the photos!

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