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Turkey Trip Pictures (Page 1 of 2) from April 02 to 16, 2010

To proceed to the 2010 Turkey Photos Pg. 2 or Turkey Journal.

To read and see the photos of our 2006 Turkey Trip follow these links Turkey Photos Pg. 1, Turkey Photos Pg. 2 and
Turkey Photos Pg. 3 and Turkey Journal.

Our Route through TURKEY in 2010 covering approx. 3500km. In 2006 we covered 6300km on the motorcycle. Refer to the 2006 Photos for more details.

April 02, 2010. We arrive in ISTANBUL late and in the pouring rain trying to find accommodation during the busiest time of the year, Easter.

Parked in front of a fancy hotel in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, a friendly doorman takes pity on us, helping us find a room.

We get the last room at the Park Hotel. Lucky for us as it has amazing views from the roof top.

April 03, 2010. A clear day greets us and a perfect view of the Blue Mosque...

...and Haghia Sophia.

The Park Hotel is located between both of them. The Blue Mosque at sun set.

The Haghia Sophia at sun set.

We park the motorcycles for a couple of days on the sidewalk close to the hotel.

The Park Hotel, the room was 65Euro/night.

The roof top terrace of our hotel.

We can not get any closer to the action.

It is Mike's birthday and we had hoped we would be able to celebrate it by being in Istanbul.

In 2006 we had not visited the HAGHIA SOPHIA.

Entry is TL20/person. The Church was built in AD 537.

During the 19th century the calligraphic roundels were added.

The huge dome reaches the height of 56m.

The vast space of the nave.

Haghia Sophia or Aya Sofya also called the Church of Holy Wisdom.

During the Ottoman reign (15th century) the church was converted to a Mosque.

The minarets date from that period.

The building is one of the greatest architectural achievements.

1500 years later it still stands.

A large Alabaster Urn.

A view of the Inner Narthex.

Walking up the ramps to the Gallery (second level).

In 1935, Ataturk proclaimed the mosque/church into a museum.

The dome is supported by 40 large ribs.

Fragments of Archangels Gabriel & Michael.

Madonna with Child.

One of the great remaining mosaics.

A close up view of Christ shows the indiviual tiles used to create the mosaic.

From the second floor gallery a view of the Blue Mosque.

The large Calligraphic Roundels, which are inscribed with gilt Arabic letters, give the names of God (Allah), Mohammed and the early caliphs Ali and Abu Bakr.

Madonna and Child

This Mosaic depicts Christ flanked by Emperor Constantine IX.

This doorway, leading to the south Gallery, is made out of one piece of marble.

The ceiling in the gallery.

Morning light floods the lower side galleries.

The impressive marble flooring.

As we exit the narthex above the door...

... is a 10th century mosaic depicting Constantine the Great, Mary with Christ's Child and Emperor Justinian.

The ABLUTIONS FOUNTAIN, built around 1740.

FOUNTAIN OF AHMET III, another example of Turkish Rococo style.

HAGHIA EIRENE, a Byzantine church dating from the 6th Century.

The First Courtyard of Topkapi is lined with Tulips.

Entrance to the TOPKAPI PALACE. We get in line with the other 10,000 tourists.

Our first visit is to the HAREM of the Topkapi Palace.

The Courtyard of the Black Eunuchs.

Main Gate.

Concubines' & Consorts' Courtyard.

A fireplace in one of the many rooms.

A depiction of a day in the Harem.

The bathroom.

The Imperial Hall...

...beautifully decorated.

Cupboard doors are made out of wood and decorated with inlaid pearl.

Tiled walls.

Stained Windows. We also visited the Treasury, where pictures are not allowed.

The view from the Palace toward the Bosphorus Bridge.

The view from our hotel window, a Canadian Flag and the Haghia Sophia.

Our daily routine of downloading the pictures, video and GPS tracks to the computer and backing them up onto the external harddrive.

On the street we had picked up some roasted chestnuts and Simit (a crisp ring shaped, savoury bread).

We say good-bye to Istanbul as the ...

... sun sets over the city.

April 04, 2010. We head east to Izmit and then follow the Sea of Marmara west until turning south onto D-595. The road is indicated as closed, but we decide to go around the barricade and continue onwards anyway.

The terrain is hilly, and as we reach the top a final look back at Istanbul in the distance.

We arrive before noon at IZNIK, which lies on the Iznik Lake.

We stay at the Kaynarca Pansiyon, where Ali made it feel just like home. The motorcycles even had their own home, inside his house.

Ali provided us with a map of Iznik and over some cay (Turkish Tea) outlined the highlights of the town.

Our first stop is the Lefke Gate.

Kids are having fun with an old tractor.

The remains of an ancient Aqueduct.

Isnik (formerly called Nicaea) is still fully enclosed by cumbling city walls.

Some of the carved reliefs that remain.

Where a somewhat modern tractor meets ancient city walls.

An Arab Namazgah (open-air mosque),...

...containing several tombs.

The city walls were first erected during Roman times.

The ruins of 114 towers are still visible.

A wood burning stove.

The south gate,...

...called the Yenisehir Gate.

A unique marking.

The Roman Theater.

The Mahmut Celebi Mosque along the Ataturk Cad.

The II Murat Hamami,...

...a Hamam (Bath) which is still in operation.

Across from the Hamam is the 15th to 17th century Ottoman Kilns.

Iznik was one of the two (2) major centres where fine, painted and glazed pottery was fashioned during the Ottoman period.

We could not resist purchasing some handmade Ceramics.

The in 2009 restored Aya Sofya...

...used to look like this.

It was originally built during Justinian times,...

...and then distroyed by an earthquake in 1065.

During Ottoman times the remaining walls were incorporated into a new mosque.

A mural of Jesus with Mary and John the Baptist,... well as a floor mosaic is all that remains after a fire distroyed the mosque in the 16th century.

Restoration of this Hamam...

...uncovered an ancient Roman Road.

The inside of the restored Hamam.

An old picture of the northern gate...

...called the Istanbul Gate.

This gate has huge stone carvings of heads facing outwards.

Vehicles still use this as a throughway.

As do locals.

Another old Hamam, the Baths of Ismail Bey.

The unique design of the roof.

Approximately 8km out of town is the Obelisk (5 Stone Monument).

This 12m high Tomb was built in the 2nd century...

...located in an ancient Nekropol.

April 05, 2010. We head out of Iznik south continuing on the D-595 to Inegol.

We are getting into more mountainous terrain as we twist our way on the D-585 through small villages past Domainic,Tavsanli to Cavadarhisar.

We leave the fully loaded motorcycles on the side of the road and tour this ancient Roman city...

... called AIZANOI.

The remains are scattered over several hectars of land.

Temple of Zeus.

The Temple dates back to AD 117-138 and...

...was dedicated to the worship of Zeus and the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele.

Underneath the temple accessible via steep steps... the cryptlike sanctuary of Cybele.

The village of Cavdarhisar (translate to Castle of the Cavdars) is close by.

This is one of Anatolia's best perserved Roman temples.

The remnants of a 2nd century AD Roman Bath.

The view from the Roman Bath toward the Temple of Zeus.

Arches of the Stadium.

What is left of the Stadium, which is adjacent to the...

...Roman Theatre.

This Roman City was actually comparable in size to Ephesus or Pergamum.

Within the village there are more Roman ruins.

This is a typical farming village in Western Anatolia.


The remains of the Roman Forum,...

...or colonnaded street.

Circular market building with a turret reconstructed beside it.

Farm houses surrounding the site. After Aizanoi we head further south-east to Lake Egirdir.

April 06, 2010. Basing ourselves in Egirdir for a couple of days, we head south past Isparta to ...

...the ancient city of SAGALASSOS. Located 7km up Ag Dag (White Mountain) from the town of Aglasun at an elevation of 1500m.

The remnants of a Roman Baths dating from AD 180.

A natural spring ensured continues water supply to the numerous large fountains.

Even to this day water still flows into one of the fountains the late Hellenistic Fountain House ...

...built during the 1st century BC.

The Neon Library and large floor mosaic has been covered to protect from the elements and at the time of our visit was not open. We were able to peek through the windows for a glimpse.

The scenic setting of Sagalassos is breathtaking.

Further up the hill are the ruins of the 9000 seat Roman Theater.

The seating is quite well perserved, but...

...the stage has completely collapsed.

Behind the upper row of seating a very intact tunnel walkway still exists (approx. 100m long).

The view from the Theater of the upper agora.

Excavation of this site was only started in 1990 by the Belgiums.

Archaeological digs are still on-going... is the reconstruction of several buildings. A view of the Bouleuterion...

...the council meeting place.

Some of these are copies and the original are housed in the Burdur Museum.

The highlight of the the site is the rebuilt northwest Heron.

This structure was dedicated to defied human being.

A frieze with 15 dancing girls ran on the three sides between naiskos and socle.

Mike takes a break on an ancient bench.

A marble valve that used to direct the flow of water.

A view of the Antonine Nymphaeum (Fountain).

The fountain was built in AD 161-180 during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

A closer look at the Antonine Nymphaeum.

There are pieces of marble lying around everywhere.

A view of the valley, including the lower Agora.

Paved stones still line the lower Agora.

Another plain facaded Nymphaeum was built in the reign of Hadrian (117-138) in the lower part of the Agora.

Another Roman Baths.

The cliffs above are dotted with tombs.

We spent a good three (3) hours exploring the remains of this Roman City.

Just 6km off the secondary road D-650 is an ancient Caravanserai (also called Han) by the name of INCIR HANI.

We parked the motorcycles in front of the Han entrance, similar to when travelers used to park their camels before entering.

Caravanserais were built in Seljuk and Ottoman times ... protect merchants traveling the caravan routes...

...that crossed Anatolia along the Roman-Byzantine road system.

This is our first of many to come on this trip.

Most Caravanserai are in similar state...

...and now located off the main highway tucked away in a village.

At LAKE EGIRDIR we stay at Ali's Pension for TL60/night including a great breakfast.

This place is a treat. Birsen (her English is very good) provides a traditional Turkish breakfast and always throws in a couple of treats, like the cigar-shaped Sigara Boregi, which are savoury pastry deep fried and stuffed with spinach and cheese.

With Lake Egirdir in the background, we enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast, which consists...

... of lots of fresh bread and a plate full of cut tomatoes, cucumber, olives, some type of white coat cheese and an hard boiled egg. All of this is accompanied by Turkish tea. Real Turkish tea also takes approx. 20 minutes to make.

April 08, 2010. After a rest day, we head north on the east side of Egirdir Lake to another ancient site ...


Remnants of an old water pipe system.

The Roman Theater.

Besides many Roman streets...

...there is not much left of this site.

Surrounded by a semicircular wall of rock,... the city's main shrine.

As always these sites are overrun by tourists. NOT. Just Ruby wandering the ancient ruins.

This site is definitely not as well preserved and does not have the wow factor of Sasalassos.

In the distance we can make out the city's old aqueduct.

A dirt road leads to it.

Several arches are still standing.

We continued on the D-695 south along the east side of Lake Beysehir. On the road from Beysehir to Konya (D-330) we pulled into a gas station to bundle up even more.

Our elevation was hovering around 1000m to 1500m. We made it through Konya without one wrong turn and headed east on the ancient caravan route, today's secondary highway D-300.

Near the central Anatolian city of Aksaray lays one of the best preserved Seljuk caravanserais called SULTANHANI.

It was built between 1226 to 1229 for Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad. The Han consists of a central courtyard,...


...and a small mosque raised on arches.

The entrance gate to the storage hall.

The courtyard is surrounded by stables, Turkish bath and accommodations.

The storage hall consists of five aisles...

...with barrel-vaulted ceiling and an octagonal lantern tower.

From here we head south into the Ihlara Valley. Proceed to 2010 Photos Turkey Page 2 for Turkey Pictures.