Friday, November 4, 2011

I just listened to this program from This American Life. It was presented earlier this year and you may have heard it. It will only be available for listening for about another week and then I think they start charging $1for back copies. It was fascinating and well worth the time to take a listen.

The subject this The History of Money

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Here are photos from our travels around Croatia that just briefly touch on the beauty of this wonderful country. We really loved it there. We were most impressed with the fact that it has remained so civilized for so long...since early man... and was not as damaged by the dark ages. It has also remained seriously Christian since the first century followers. The scenery is just beautiful each place we looked: from the country villages, to the mountains, to the ancient fairy-tale like cities. We enjoyed ancient Roman ruins, Palaces, Castles, Monasteries, still working aqueducts from Roman times, nature walks, and even Hospital visits when I broke my wrist. But the Doctors don't look as yummy as the Croatian doctor on ER did! We just couldn't show everything here on the BLOG!
Wall around Dubrovnik
Architectural accent on building in old Dubrovnik
Rugged coastline
View at our anchorage while going between islands
Church near Marco Polo's House in Korcula
Local craft in Korcula
Lynn enjoys the flowers at a local market in Trogir
CYAN at anchor at a small village of Luka on the Island of Sipan
Monestery from 12th century on Mljet, pronounced miliet
At anchor in National Park Island of Mljet
Medieval wall along some city
Trogir rooftops withCYAN in distance
Trogir storefronts
Trogir courtyard

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Exploring Knidos, Turkey

What fun to pretend we are archeologists and try to see ancient buildings in big piles of block and wonderfully carved marble. That’s what the old port city of Knidos in Turkey is today.

Looking through the theater across the stoa or market

Here below is the fallen church facing east and curved on that end with a baptismal well.

On the left is me holding a carved shard of pottery, of course!

From 400 BC to 1000 or so AD it was a prosperous port and educational center in the Carian Empire exporting all kinds of products around the Med and famous for it’s builders and educators. One was the builder of the lighthouse in Alexandria; Sostratus, quite famous. Another, Praxiteles sculpted the statue “Aphrodite of Cnidus” there and it was said to be so enticing that it had to be covered to keep men in line! It was the first life-sized female nude statue.

This city was even known as a medical center. As yet very little has been done to excavate the damage of time, war and earthquakes. This made walking all around the site even more intriguing. We could try to imagine how the buildings were used by ancient civilizations. It was quite a large city covering hills on both sides of the isthmus where it was filled between two islands to form two harbors: one for defense and one for trade. Knidos was rediscovered from rubble in 1812 but not even sorted for over 100 years. Some university in Russia is working on it now.

The main street of marble steps going up the hill

Just part of a column laying right at the waters edge

Today there are just cruise boats and a restaurant and you can see CYAN there among them. We took long walks in the morning and got lots of exercise before taking off for the next stop.

CYAN is just to the right of the catamaran in the center.

Info on:

Here is the “loud ass” that woke us up!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Istanbul Skyline

While CYAN was docked in Finike...we had paid for a months dockage to have some work done ...we flew to Istanbul for a few days. That’s all it takes to see the main attractions there but they are interesting and exotic.

Hagia Sophia

The architecture of the Hagia Sophia was so remarkable for it’s early age and it has made it through the ages so well considering the fact that it was turned into a mosque and then into a museum. We have included a photo the icon of Christ that is in so many art books. It was inspiring to see this artwork in it’s element and to so many others like it in detail.

Icon of Christ

We visited the Topkapi Palace. This huge Ottoman palace is where hundreds of wives and concubines were housed for 400 years and the most you could say is that it’s really big and very over done with not much architectural significance or consistency that I could see. There is some culture and history and the gardens were nice. The middle-easterners really get into rugs and pillows and tiles all in a vast number of contrasting designs and colors. There were huge numbers of jewel encrusted weapons and decorative items on display that we had to wait in lines to see....then wondered why! Sort of overwhelming!

Tiles at Topkapi Palace

We saw the gigantic Blue Mosque that the residents all want to make sure you see but we were not as impressed with it as we were the Hagia Sopia. No one says “you must see the Hagia Sophia” because it was originally built as a church...they all want you to see the Blue Mosque. It is just big and blocky and almost trying to outdo the Hagia Sophia. It was built almost 1000 years later. It has thousands of textured tiles stuck all over it instead of icons and levels but they make for a beautiful interior view.

Exterior of Blus Mosque

Interior of Blue Mosque

On another note...the tile murals in the public transportation stations areas were just amazing. Turkey has some great new artists coming along today. I was very entertained as a modest ceramic worker myself, to see them all over Istanbul and loved them all.

We also might mention that the food in Turkey is really some of our favorite. We have especially liked the food since coming to the middle east and it’s been quite a surprise.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar was grand but there were no bargains to be found at all. the vendors were very polite and friendly though.

We made a special effort to visit a Church, turned mosque, turned museum in north Istanbul called Chora Church known for out standing ancient frescos and mosaic icons dating 1300's and the foundation of the building from 600AD when it was a monastery. We really liked the curious design and were impressed at the quality of the work...inspirational!

Chora Church

As much as we liked Istanbul, it just doesn’t compare to the wonderful coastal towns. The people and the villages and the markets with their fresh veggies are making Turkey such a joy and now we can see why some of our cruiser friends have been raving about it here and we have made a special effort to get here.

We are at Topkapi Gardens overlooking the Bosphorus,

the body of water connecting the Black Sea to Sea of Maramara

Friday, June 17, 2011

CYAN in Israel

Dome of the Rock where in days way back, Abraham is said to have been willing to sacrifice Issac. It is a Mosque...OF COURSE....and they are a bit fussy about letting anyone see inside.

We truly loved traveling around Israel and went to Jerusalem twice, there is so much to see.

We hope these few pictures show what a great time we had. there is just so much history and archeology. It brings back old Bible stories and makes them come alive.

For example our marina was In Ashkelon which is where Goliath, the giant that David slew with his sling, was from; the home of the Philostines. We visited Jaffa near Tel Aviv where Jonah boarded his ship for his "alleged encounter with the great fish". We saw Caesaria, built by Herod as a port and show place and where Paul was taken prisoner on a ship to Rome but escaped in a storm. We saw the beautiful Sea of Gallilee where so much of Jesus teaching took place. There was the whole of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the surrounding towns. We saw some of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a museum and later visited Qumron where they were discovered in a cave.

We must especially mention seeing the actual burial tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Issac, Rebecca, Leah and others called the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron. The documentation of the sale of this hill to Abraham where the tombs are is right in Genesis, we looked it up! Hebron is held by the Palestinians and security is tight. They only allow a small access to the ancient Temple there.

Steps in a dug up place in the jewish Quarter in jerusalem

St marks in Jerusalem, the world's oldest christian Church with the Upper Room of the Last Supper in the basement...also pretty well documented.

Park in the Jewish Quarter...all of Israel is so much greener than we expected....and lush.

Muslim market where the best buys and cheapest food was in Jerusalem.

Notes of prayer requests left in the Western Wall of the ancient remains of the original Temple in Jerusalem.

Life in Jerusalem showing some of the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox.
Crusader Castle from the early Middle Ages in Northern Israel
Chuck is impressed by "Dollies" with guns!!! We were in the ancient City of David right by Jerusalem and was there before the Temple was built by Solomon his son.

Dome of Church of the Holy Sepluchre on the location where the crucifixion took place but it's doubtable...still well decorated and way old!!!

Some of the Walls in Jerusalem

Street in Jerusalem

We are now in Turkey and will be adding pages soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Touring Egypt

While the boat was left in a marina on the Red Sea coast, in early April, we traveled from Hurghada, to Luxor, Egypt, by local bus for 5 grueling hours but only costing us $6 each. We plan to travel cheaply stay in very basic hotels so we can enjoy our future travels longer, especially in the Med and Europe where it's so expensive. We really began to enjoy the middle eastern food that was so cheap and well flavored with interesting spices.

The main attractions to see in Luxor are: Luxor Temple. The Temple at Karnac and the Valley of the Kings, Queens and Nobles which is a series of tombs that are highly decorated to pay tribute to dozens or more Egyptian rulers. Here we found a vast amount of art and architecture to check out. These 2 "gigantically huge temples" are each about the size of athletic stadiums and meant for a fair amount of walking. I know that sounds redundant but I want to emphasize their size!

Luxor Temple entrance gatres

Approach to the Temple at Karna collimate where 134 columns held up a rock ceiling

Karnac columns and carvings

Decorated details that completely cover all columns and walls showing customs and traditions between gods and mortals and royals. Some of the original colored paint that was applied 3000+ years ago can often be seen. All the temples were almost completely covered by sand, inside and out when they were discovered at various times in the 1800's and early 1900's.

Ramses 11 at Luxor Temple. He just couldn't promote himself enough so he made himself a god!

Structure at the Valley of the Kings where mummies were prepared. Took 18 years to build and was used once!

Chuck inspects a statue of Horus at this god's Temple, south of Luxor on the Nile. He has the head of a hawk and often the body.

On the Nile, a traditional fuluka sailing vessel passes an ancient village carved into a hillside.

We hold a door key to Nefertiri's temple at Abu Simbel, which is in the shape of an ankh. The ankh is very often portrayed in mural artwork and stands for good life, long life, eternity, whatever.

Abu Simbel:

From Luxor we traveled 4 more hours further south to Aswan. The photos above are from Abu Simbel which is a complex of structures south of Aswan and almost to Sudan on the Nile. We stopped at 2 other temple locations on our way down by hired car...a real luxury compared to the bus!
Aswan and the Abu Simbil visit was the highlight of our trip and it was challenging to go there. We got up at 3 am to take the additional 4 hour bus ride to the location and arrive at 8am before the impressive heat begins. You gotta really want to go to this place! These 2 hollowed out mountains are fronted with sculpted facades and they have elaborately decorated temples inside.

What is really amazing is that, in the 1960's, UNESCO completely disassembled them and rebuilt them 20 stories higher on a cliff because a giant dam was being built to control the Nile flooding. These temples were originally built to commemorate Ramses11 and his favorite wife, Nefertiri, as they were becoming gods, according to the decree of Ramses11 himself. The mountain structures were cut into refrigerator sized, or larger, blocks, then reassembled and patched so well that they show almost no sign of damage. We were really impressed by their original splendor and the amazing feat of moving them.

Later, while still in Aswan, we visited the Botanical Gardens and the Nubian Museum before returning to the boat and to prepare to go through the Suez Canal.