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