Temple of Augustus
Ankara is an ancient town; it has been inhabited by someone since about 3000 BC. The first to arrive, the Phrygians had a small settlement. The capital of Phrygia was Gordion about 45 kilometers to the west.
It didn’t become a major city until the Celts conquered it in 278 BC. The Galatians (a Celtic tribe) were very influential with the Phrygians and the language of the Celts (a sort of Welsh or Gaelic) hung around for centuries after the Celts had left the city. The only monument that I know of that still exists from [...]
Continue reading Romping Through Roman Ankara
We’ve joined this wonderful group called the Friends of the American Research Institute which supports scholars and archaeologists all over Turkey. The group does tours in and around Ankara and it also holds, lectures, movie nights, and even an “Antiques Road Show.” It’s been great learning about Turkey from this standpoint as opposed to being just your run-of-the-mill tourist.
One of the places they took us was to Pembe Köşk, which was the home of the second president, Ismet Inönü. He was a great friend of Ataturk, who actually gave him his name. He was named after the location [...]
Continue reading Listening to the Past at Pembe Köşk in Ankara
The pit that is Hell!
In many guidebooks about Turkey, they recommend a jaunt to Heaven and Hell. Well, it sounds intriguing. Since it’s so far south and there is supposed to be a lot of hiking (specifically 450 steps) involved, we decided to get up before breakfast when it was cooler to check it out. Of course no one was here this early, so we didn’t have to pay an entry fee. I think it’s usually 3 Tl. for each Heaven and Hell. As you pull up in the parking lot, you see two signs one points to [...]
Continue reading Flying Through Heaven and Hell!
Konya is known for a number of things, most notably the whirling dervishes of the Sufi sect. We had already visited a dervish show, so this time we were here for the food.
The city is also well-known for its meat dishes. We’ve tried a meat borek that is delicious, and one really great dish called tandir kebab, which is a slow-cooked lamb; but on this trip we wanted another famous dish, etliekmek (literally-meaty bread).
Etliekmek looks somewhat similar to a pide (Turkish pizza) of which I’m not really much of a fan. There is some spice that doesn’t [...]
Continue reading Eating in Konya–Always the Right Choice
Entry to the Alahan monastery.
In a very small valley, not far from Mut, is a windy mountain road. Next to the road is the river where Barbarosa drowned during the 3rd Crusade. On one of the peaks above the valley liess the Alahan Monastery which was built in the the late fifth and early sixth centuries.
Originally the site was built into caves, and you can still see where people would have lived. There are steps and windows built cut into the rocks. There is also a baptismal that is in the shape of a cross which is [...]
Continue reading Alahan, The Monastery in the Sky