Monday, March 29, 2010

Harran: A minibus, a beehive & 1 glass

Last week I visited Harran a town near the Syrian border. I was reading lonely planet guide to Turkey & saw the chapter about off the beaten track! & how it explained all the ancient historical events that had happened there (for more detail check blog Harran the Temple).

I thought it would be a diversion of a few hours @ most it turned out too be a rather weird 2 days.

In Turkey when travelling by bus there are 2 options huge coach between cities or the little Japanese transit vans - I had to use one of these which to get to Harran.

We were driving thru a little village nothing but dusty roads, sand & a kiosk then the Driver said "Harran" I thought nah no way am I getting off here but my sense of adventure kicked in so I got out & watched the van disappear into the dust.

Suddenly three guys appeared

Hey mister what u doing here?

Erm come to see Harran

Well come & drink a tea with us

So I ended up drinking tea with Abrahim who informed me he was a guide & that there was no bus until the evening but I could stay @ his house (for a price of course). On arrival @ Abrahims house I was greeted by his sister (dressed in traditional Bedouin stlye) & family.
I was shown to a little beehive house so I could unload my rucksack & told to come & eat.

I walked over to the house after slipping off my shoes walked into the room to see comfy rugs & cushions with 10 people sitting on the floor doing what sounded like screaming & arguing! It turned out to be Arabic (learned that in Eastern & Southeast Turkey they speak Arabic or Kurdish & wear the traditional headscarf.)
1 of the women brought some bread wraps with minced meat in them & dumped them in the middle everybody just starting pulling apart the bread with their hands & I thought ok (when in Rome) "ah u need water mister" a glass was placed on the floor which was filled with water 1 of the men picked it up & promptly drank it placing it back in front of me - I thought that's a bit rude then another one refilled & did the same.....I then realised they only had 1 glass & it was to be shared!! No way I'm ok I'll drink later.......only 1 problem! oh my god it was spicy my mouth was on fire I need water Noooow!!!!! I picked up the glass & I drank!!

"U Married?" asked the Father
Yes, & I love my wife very much!! as his daughters stared @ me (maybe I was paranoid but no way was I leaving with a new wife, no thanks) - I was asked this question numerous times by the family.

I woke @ 06:00am next morning obviously keen to be on my way after taking a quick tour of the ruins & breakfast of yoghurt & wraps.

There were no buses today to the border from Harran but an old Arab man offered to give me a lift for 50TL when we arrived @ the border thats when my troubles really began!

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Harran II

Abrahim & Linda my hosts

Beehive houses

Part of the Temple of the moon god Sin.

@ the Caravanserai For the rope to hold Camels - as this was part of Ancient silk trade route

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Harran & the Temple of Sin

I was supposed to visit Antioch & Syria today.....but read a book telling me about Harran a very ancient Assyrian city which was the place in which Abraham lived before he reached Canaan.
The city was the chief home of the Mesopotamian moon god Sin, under the Assyrians Babylonians/Chaldeans and even into Roman times.

It's about 18km from the border with Syria & Şanlıurfa, the former Edessa,

It is said that Adam and Eve set foot in Harran after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

The Book of Genesis identifies a place called Harran where Terah and his son Abram (Abraham), grandson Lot, and Abram's wife Sarai halted on their way from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan.

in 331 BC, the soldiers of the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great entered the city.

The emperor Caracalla was also murdered with all that history I had to visit it!!

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Temple of Artemis Seven wonders

There were 7 wonders of the Ancient world this was one of them only the Pyriamids remain.

 column that's all that's left - some parts were used for the monastery on the hill above & some are in the Hagia Sophia....see the Storks nest.

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Ephesus I

Part of dedication to diomitian

The detail is awesome

The Library

The auditorium - it takes 25,000 people! I climbed near the top smoked a cigar & watched the Tourist mayhem it's also the place where I lost my camera.....Bitch! Nice place though.

This is the road to the port the sea has receeded 5km due to earthquakes and the land rising.

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Ancient Troy

The Horse

The Walls were 12 metres high/40 foot high

My guide Hassan

The Auditorium

Ancient Greek writing on a's that message thru time thing I just love it;-)))

The Masons mark

The Horse came through this gate apparently......I really enjoyed this day.

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Early one morning

One of the benefits of getting up @ Dawn......

I just couldn't resist taking this thru the window.

Yours truly tired but enjoying every minute of it.

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

The fallen Heroes of Gallipoli

This wasn't really part of my tour but I was going through the Dardanelles & I thought it was obligatory that I paid my respect to the fallen few......thing is with these battles of WWI & II it's not so few over 9 months the total of 500,000 men combined died!! They were taken from various parts if the British Empire, French Colonies & Turks. In the end the Allies withdrew & the Turks were victorious.

Now it's a beautiful, peaceful place very idyllic with beautiful beaches & maybe I'm wrong but I saw lots of people having photos taken with smiles on their faces which made me think they didn't really realise due to it's idyllic setting the full extent of what happened here.....Hell I was told the sea ran red with blood of Men.

For this reason I only took a photo of the memorial.


But I was glad I stood in front of the Tombs bowed my head & remembered them even if only briefly.

Constantinople - Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Across two continents

Constantinople, Byzantium, Istanbul A city of mosques!

Beautiful mosaic

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa


Beautiful but really expensive!!

Venice really is city built on water if u want to get anywhere it's best to do it by boat. So I just had to take a gondolar!

The little bridges are everywhere

Apparently in winter the sq floods & you have to use planks.

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

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Just passing through and enjoying life. I use this blog to keep hold of my thoughts & opinions. In general anything that interest me.