Welcome to Science Jim on Tour!

Hi folks, welcome to the Science Jim and family travel blog. We're touring Turkey! Why Turkey?!?!? It has housed civilizations for over 6000 years!!! Have you heard of Troy...it's in Turkey! Constantinople...it's in Turkey! The eternal flame of Olympus...it's in Turkey! That's just for starters!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We're Home!

Hi folks,

Well, we got home two days ago and we're still getting over jet lag.  Whew, our bodies are operating 7 hours ahead of the local time.  So noon is 7:00 PM and 6:00 PM is 1 AM!  Needless to say, it's taking a while to readjust.  However, our trip home was excellent.  Turkish Air rocks!  They hand out little bags with blindfolds, socks and other goodies.  Even the food wasn't bad and they gave us two meals!  Each seat has a TV with movies, tv shows, games and more.  The flight felt like it took little time at all.  We hit some nasty turbulence for a while but not too long.

I'll be posting a few more things as the days go on here so keep your eyes open!  In the meantime, thanks so much for following!  I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exlporing Ephasus

We explored one of the most well preserved roman cities. Don't miss the roman houses, the roman library, and the roman public bathroom!!!!


Exploring Pamukkale

One of the strangest places on Earth. Pamukkale means cotton fortress. It looks like a giant mountain made of white fluffy cotton. The ruins of Hieropolis, an ancient roman city, is also there.
You can check out the video here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Exploring Olympos

Join me as I explore Olympos!


Chora Church 8

Jesus pulling Adam and Eve from death. Satan is bound at the bottom of the picture.

Chora Church 8

Mary's Death

Chora Church 7

Jesus's Lineage...sorry this is blurry.

Chora Church 6

Mary and Jesus

Chora Church 6

St. Paul

Chora Church 5

St. Peter...see the keys to heaven??!!

Chora Church 5

Mary being "given" to Joseph instead of the several other suitors that are waiting. Mary is the small character in blue, the priest is to her left and the suitors are the group to the right.

Chora Church 4

Mary following Joeseph.

Chora Church 3

This mosaic illustrates the lineage of Mary. The mosaics gave a great bit of background information on Mary, her background and story.

Chora Church 2

Chora Church 1

Rediculous Mosaics

This was an incredible church. It's called Chora Church and was built in the 16th century and is filled with beautiful mosaics. I'm going to post some of my shots but I really recommend checking out this site. Much better pics then mine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chora_Church

The images in these mosaics are the first time many of the images have been created. They are the archetype for almost all of the images of Peter, Jesus, John, Mary etc. that have been painted in years to follow.

Another silly sign

A Very Special Day 3

We visited a puppet museum! There were many marionettes and shadow puppets on display. Shadow puppets were a big entertainment format in the earlier times and there was a series of stories about specific characters that were very popular.

Very Special Day 2

We visited the tomb of a major Sultan (sorry, I can't remember the name). You'll notice that there are around 9 tombs here. They are family members, wives and children of the sultan.

Very Special Day 1

We had quite a treat today. Earlier, I posted pictures of our Turkish friends that live in N.C. Well, today we took a trip on a ferry from Istanbul to Bursa to visit Ayşner's parents and her little brother. Her father took us on a wonderful whirlwind tour of Bursa. Bursa, like Istanbul was a very major city in early times and has a huge amount of history. Her father seems to know everyone and we stopped at several shops just to chat to folks. We got a great behind the scenes view of an excellent city.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Secret Symbols

Ephasus was mainly populated with folks who worshipped the Greek/Roman gods. Specifically, Artemus. During those days, Christianity was growing and this is a secret symbol to let folks know that Christians were around. There were many of these throughout the city. Later, Constantine legalized Christianity and Ephesus became a very important city in early Christianity.

The Harbor Road in Ephasus

This is a shot of us walking down the Harbor Road in Ephasus. I'm standing on the steps of the theater and this road goes down to what used to be the sea. The sea retreated over the years and this is one of the things that led to the abandonment of Ephasus. Our guide estimated that over 60,000 folks lived in this town and some folks put the total at 100+ thousand.

Selçuk and the storks

We stayed in Selçuk (selchuk) for a couple of days to visit Ephesus. Selçuk was great. Not too touristy but still filled with great restaurants and neat shops. Many of the restaurants were near these aquaduct ruins. The Turkish folks create structures on top of the ruins to make it easier for these storks to build nests. These are pictures of young storks that were actually trying out their wings while we ate. The storks also enjoy building nests on top of the mosques as well.

Ancient Roman Bathroom!!

We visited Ephesus in Turkey, we found a bathroom that is around 1800 years old at least!!! Ephesus was amazing. A giant theater, library, houses, statues and more. I've got a bunch more vids that I'll post when I get back.

In the meantime, here's the bathroom!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pamukkale 3

Pamukkale 2

Pamukkale-The Cotton Fortress

Well, yet another, "no other place in the world but Turkey experience". This place is called Pamukkale and it's just incredible. This isn't snow that you're looking at. It's basically calcium! Pamukkale has a natural spring that is filled with many materials but mainly calcium. As the water flows over the land, the calcium stays behind and forms amazing white formations. I have a movie of this as well that I'll try to post it when I get a good internet connection.

Our Blue Cruise

The last several posts were taken while we were on a 4 day 3 night Blue Cruise, also called a gulet cruise. It was just wonderful. Everyday was filled with incredible scenery, food and folks. One afternoon was quite wavy and a wee bit scary but quite exciting. Only one person got sick, so it couldn't have been too bad! MB got sick the next day but the rest of us were fine. What made the trip sooooo special was the people. We had a mom and daughter from Singapore, husband and wife from Argentina, 2 young women from Australia and a young woman from Kansas. All of them were just great fun. The crew was also very nice and capable.
Here's a link with some more pics from the cruise http://www.bluecruisesturkey.com/Photo_Gallery/Olympos_Fethiye.html

Butterfly Valley

This is one of the best stops we made on our boat trip. We walked up the valley to climb straight up a series of rocks to get to an amazing little waterfall. Sitting in the waterfall was very cold but the view was just incredible.

Neat Little Castle 5 (A small theater)

This castle even had a small theater that could have held 400 or so folks.

Neat Little Castle 4 (Necropolis again)

Neat Little Castle 3 (Necropolis)

If you look carefully, you'll see that this whole hillside is dotted with one tomb after another.
This is the graveyard of the high mucky mucks who lived in the castle.

Neat Little Castle 2 (The wall)

What a view huh???!!!

A Neat Little Castle

The next few shots are from a small castle/community on top of a little island that is only reachable by boat.

Driving in Turkey

Driving in Turkey is quite the adventure!!!! (Actually, this is just me being windblown on the boat.). Driving is nuts here, though. Lane markers are more of a guideline than a rule...even in no passing zones. Yikes!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beginning our Blue Tour

This shot is as we begin our Blue Tour, a 3 night 4 day tour along the southwest coast of Turkey. As is the way in Turkey, ruins everywhere. Here are a couple of shots of, what was once a great sea side city. This is the same city we sea kayaked over earlier in the trip.

Santa Claus is from Turkey!!!

Really! It turns out that the original St. Nicholas was from Turkey. We visited a church dedicated to him and here are the kids peering up at a statue of him. Here's a link if you would like more information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

Strange Sign

We loved this sign. This was posted at the entrance to the beach on Olympos. Most of these make sense after looking at them for a bit....but we have no idea what the nuclear building is representing!

Amazing Olympos

Olympos is an amazing place. Not only is the Chimera (the flaming mountain in the last post) here, but the remains of an ancient (2000 ish) year old city is here as well. In this photo, you can look up river and see many ruins peeking out. I took a 7 minute vid of all the really neat stuff here but I haven't been anywhere that has good enough wifi to post it. I'll try to get it posted as soon as I can.

Burning Mountain in Olympos

Up high in Olympos there is an area called the Chimera were gases seep out of the mountain and catch on fire. The legend states that a monster called the chimera was trapped underground here many years ago and the flames are still coming from the monster.