Looking ahead to the fall of next year we have travel planned for Eastern Turkey October 4th -18th, 2013. We will start and end our trip in Istanbul with an internal flight to the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea in the northeast of Turkey close to the Georgian border. Then we will return to Istanbul from Gaziantep in the southeast corner of Turkey.
Travel in eastern Turkey provides glimpses of landscape, culture and traditions that appear to have remained unchanged for centuries. The same travel includes insight into the monumental changes that are impacting the region. Highways, massive dams and sophisticated agricultural undertakings exist side by side with the very old.
I personally love to tour the ancient sites of Eastern Turkey. I love the experience of not being with masses of people as we wander through monasteries, palaces, abandoned ruins of bygone cities or hike in the Taurus Mountains above a lakeside village. My imagination is lured back in time when on the Mesopotamian plain, when in Sanliurfa (birthplace of Abraham) and Harran or when examining the magnificent Roman mosaics from Zuegma in the stunning Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep.
On Easter last year Jack and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the summit of Mount Nemrut with our tour group. It was a blustery, windy climb to join the first century B.C. giant statues at the base of the manmade tumulus at the summit. Our spirits were not dampened and we were warmed by the tea and welcoming hospitality of the site guard who had us into his simple trailer and served us tea. Having this man offer tea in his ‘home away from home’ is typical of the warmth, openness and graciousness of the people of Eastern Turkey. Jack and I have an ongoing tradition of shaking hands on our anniversary and agreeing to ‘one more year’. It is memorable for me that this commitment to sharing life for this next year took place while waiting for the sunrise at the top of Mt Nemrut.
The above video on this post is of previous images I shot while traveling in Eastern Turkey. Of course, every photo carries with it memories for me. At times my memories are of interactions with individuals, insight gained into historical events that I had only previously read of or deep impressions left by the beauty of artifacts, art and architecture. Consider joining us on our travels and building a database of your own memories, insight and knowledge. As a destination I recommend this part of the world highly.