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Sürgün

Sürgün

Sürgün

Hello my friends, today I would like to give you an idea for a great holiday: Sürgün.
Sürgün it’s a 27-metre caicco with 4 standard cabins and 1 master cabin, air condictioning and 220-volt electrical supply. The extremely hospitable and tactful crew will guide you in the Southeast coast of Turkey, exploring many archaeological sites, hidden natural gems, towns and villages. You may try water sports such as swimming, diving and snorkelling. You can choose between numerous itineraries available, from Bodrum to Finike: the Gulf of Gokova, Knidos, the Datca Peninsula, Hisaronu Bay, Marmaris, Iztuzu beach, Ekincik, Dalyan, Kalkan, Kas, Kekova, Kalekoy, Ucagiz, Myra, Adrasan Bay, Olympos… I’ve been there, and I can confirm you that these are enchanting places, and with the caicco you’ll be able to explore wonderful beaches and inlets otherwise inaccessible by land.
So, what are you waiting for, I would highly recommend you to contact the Baranta Yachting, they are very friendly and professional, making you feel as though you are actually on your own boat.

Enjoy Sürgün and Turkey!

Baranta Yachting
Captain Mahmut Mehmetoglu
http://barantayachting.com/
barantasurgun@yahoo.com

Palmyra, Tadmur‎, Syria

Palmyra, Tadmur‎, Syria

I’m right back from a fantastic week in Syria, and although this is a space dedicated to Istanbul, I’d like to share with you just some ideas and pics about my trip, and hope you’ll enjoy them! My trip started from Damascus, one of the most important cities of the Middle East. I had the chance to visit the National Archaeologycal Museum, with lots of interesting finds from Palmyra, Ebla and Mari, and the Dura Europos synagogue, the Via Recta with its fascinating load of history, and the coloured suk Al-Hamidiyya. But the places I loved most were the Umayyad Mosque, one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world, built on a Christian basilica, and the Azem Palace, an excellent example of Damascene traditional houses.

A lantern @ Azem Palace in Damascus

A lantern @ Azem Palace in Damascus

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus

Prayer in the Umayyad Mosque

Prayer in the Umayyad Mosque

After a visit to Bosra, a major archaeological site which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts an integrally preserved II° century Roman theater, constructed probably under Trajan, we headed to Palmyra. Once you arrive at this gorgeous site you can’t help gaping… it’s speachless, especially if you are so lucky to reach the site at dusk, when everything turns red and the atmosphere brings you back at the ancient times when Palmyra was buildt… It has long been a vital caravan city along the Silk Road, and its colonnades, temples and burial towers in the striking setting of the desert have a great fascination. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Qala’at ibn Maan castle, built on top of a mountain overlooking the oasis: you’ll have a great sight of Palmyra from the top!

Young boy in the middle of Antiquity in Palmyra (Arabic: تدمر Tadmur‎), Syria

Young boy in the middle of Antiquity in Palmyra (Arabic: تدمر Tadmur‎), Syria

The following stop was the Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusaders fortress 40 km west of the city of Homs, close to the border of Lebanon. Here I had a great surprise: I met a primary school mate… “The world is not enough” as James Bond would say :) Then we headed toward Hama, a city on the banks of the Orontes River renowned for its 17 norias used for watering the gardens, which—it is claimed—date back to 1100 BC. Hope you’ll appreciate the poem by Yunus Emre that a fellow traveller recalled [Thanks, Ali! ;)]:

Noria of lovesickness

The Krak des Chevaliers, Homs

The Krak des Chevaliers, Homs

Noria, Poor, why whine?
I suffer pains and bitternesses.
I fell in love with Love
And for that I’m moaning.

My name is Noria of lovesickness,
my waters run and run,
I fell in love:
I suffer and I’m moaning.

I am a tree in the forest
I am not sweet or bitter,
I am a servant of love,
I suffer and I’m moaning.

View of Hama, Syria

View of Hama, Syria

They sought me on the peaks,
they drowned me in the depths,
Craft forged me,
Assembled mi limbs.
He granted me this sigh
I suffer and I’m moaning.

I draw the waters from the deep,
I climb up and verse them.
Look, my brothers, my burden.
I suffer and I’m moaning.

Yunus Emre

To be continued…

Istanbul Pictures: today I would like to share with you some of the photographic views I collected in Istanbul. No need to explain that my favourite pictures are the ones with the Sultanahmet Mosque, which is one of my best view in the city, a subject I love to admire, to gaze at, and to photograph from every angle, with every light. The one in the Yerebatan sarnici is not perfect, a little bit blurred, anyway, I think it’s a very fascinating place. As far as the last picture… no explanation is needed.
Hope  you like it. ;)

Sultanahmet Camii

Sultanahmet Mosque

Sultanahmet, My Love

Sultanahmet, My Love

The Yerebatan sarnıcı

The Yerebatan sarnıcı

Istanbul from Galata Tower

Istanbul from Galata Tower

to be continued…

The time has come. Istanbul is now officially the 2010 European Capital of Culture.
Through various activities and festive celebrations held on 16 January 2010 in 7 different centres of the city, Istanbul celebrated its new title as 2010 ECOC. The celebrations started with a protocol event taking place at the Haliç Congress Centre, with Ministers from Turkey as well as neighbouring countries participated, along with high level statesmen and diplomats, leading members of the business, culture and arts world, local and foreign press members, and went on together with all of Istanbulites in the squares of Taksim, Kadıköy, Sultanahmet, Pendik, Bağcılar and Beylikdüzü.

Whirling dervish

Whirling dervish

A moment from the show

A moment from the show

The opening speeches were followed by the special performance called “The Magic of Istanbul,” choreographed specifically for this special night by Yekta Kara. The performance of 65 minutes presented 303 artists exposing a multi-layered and profound cultural heritage, the sources of energy and inspiration in Istanbul, through the music, dance, poetry and visions peculiar to Istanbul. For the joy of all Istanbul residents different programs were running simultaneously to the ceremony in Haliç. DJ performances, dance and music shows met with Istanbullites in the squares of Taksim, Kadıköy, Pendik, Sultanahmet, Beylikdüzü and Bağcılar until late hours of the night.

Fireworks upon the Golden Horn

Fireworks upon the Golden Horn

Fireworks upon the Golden Horn

Fireworks upon the Golden Horn

One of the biggest surprises of the night was the Fire Theatre realized in Taksim and the Balloon Theatre realized in Kadikoy. In these shows staged by Group F of France, they used the sky as their stage, giving Istanbulites unforgettable joy through their light and music shows. After the sound and light shows in Haliç started, the enthusiasm for 2010 was amplified through concerts taking place in six different squares across Istanbul. Renown Turkish artists who have also successfully represented Turkey in international arenas met with Istanbullites; Tarkan in Taksim, Mor ve Ötesi in Kadıköy, Nil Karaibrahimgil in Beylikdüzü, Mercan Dede in Sultanahmet, Kıraç in Pendik and Zara in Bağcılar.

Taksim Square

Taksim Square

Tarkan in concert

Tarkan in concert

For those who are now in Istanbul, you can find all the informations about events, exhibitions and concerts on the official website of Istanbul ECOC. You must know that you’re extremely lucky to be here… :) if I had the chance to be there this week, I probably wouldn’t stop going ’round for hours, from morning until late night. Expect to visit wonderful exhibitions, to enjoy great concerts and please, don’t waste the opportunity to see how active is the turkish cultural life. Then, of course, if you want share with us your experiences here! We’ll be very pleased to enjoy with you these magic events.

Tarkan

Tarkan

Taksim Square – 16th of January…big big big concert organized by the city hall of Istanbul, for the grand opening of the European Cultural Capital of 2010.
announced time for the Tarkan concert – 21:15.

SKYLIFE Dec09

SKYLIFE Dec09

I’m used to fly with Turkish Airlines when I’ve to go to Turkey.
Every trip starts from here for me. The service on board is perfect, you can ask whatever you want and a kind hostess or steward will come to help you. Nowadays the airline companies are getting worse, trying to save money and penalizing the service on board, but Thy is responding with courtesy and quality. And this is important mostly for frequent flyers, that will choose again this company rather than low cost companies. I often meet lots of white-collar workers on these flights, and not just tourists.

Talking about the food… Even if italians are famous to be like spoiled children about food, I’ve to say that I really like Thy turkish meals. Each time I fly with Thy (Türk Hava Yolları) I find something so tasty that the next time I’d like to find it again… especially the chocolate mousse is fantastic! This time I decided to take with me the menu, so I can illustrate what I mean: good meals, great presentation (next time I promise to take pictures also) and everything is clean and tidy.

Thy Menu

Thy Menu

The service on board is really is up to the situation. Once you are on board you’ll hear a pleasant turkish music that brings you to your seat, and some kind crew members giving you newspapers. You’ll find your copy of the Skyline Magazine, a very good magazine including interesting articles about Turkey and columns on several aspects of turkish life, history, tourism, and I discovered a lot of curious things about Turkey here. Sometimes you may find also a bookmark. These are stupid things, ok, but I can’t help noticing them. Everybody loves to feel at home, coddled and waited on hand and foot without paying an excessive amount of money, don’t you think? ;) So, what else can I say… enjoy your Turkish Airlines flight you too!

This is the first part of my last trip to Istanbul last December, and I must say that the beginning augur well. Oh, I must also say that I’m not working for Turkish Airlines, or you may think that I’m just advertising! :P

Thy bookmark

Thy bookmark

Turkish Airlines http://www.turkishairlines.com/

Skylife Magazine http://www.thy.com/en-INT/corporate/skylife/index.aspx

One of my favourite Turkish painter

One of my favourite Turkish painters: Oktay Bozkurt

Hi followers,

This is just to have a sample of what you’re going to read in the next posts…
I’m writing from Istanbul right now, I’m on the terrace of my hotel looking the Blue Mosque in front of me. Unfortunately this great trip is coming to an end, and these are my last hours here, because tomorrow I’ll fly away, but I’m really happy because I’ve met wonderful people and visited fantastic places, and I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with you all soon. I guarantee it will be very interesting because I’ve a lot of material to show you and many stories to tell you, especially about some of the most interesting personalities of the Istanbul‘s artistic and cultural life. I’ve met painters, ceramicists, rug dealers, collectors, travelers, and everyone has a story or more that will fascinating you, I’m sure. Maybe you’re asking yourself why I’d like to talk so much about art and culture right now. Well, first of all because many people doesn’t know how rich is the turkish culture and how fine are their artistic works. Then, obviously, because Istanbul is going to be the Capital of Culture in 2010 so, let’s make sure we’re ready for that!

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