Tag Archives: Archaeology

Back to Lake Kerkini

Meanwhile, as the Izmir festival continues……  Back to Kerkini, Greece.

http://kerkini.gr/eng/

As you can probably tell Lake Kerkini is fabulous for watching water birds.  It is also good for eagles, buzzards, black kites, bee eaters, rose starlings, and more.  There are also water buffalo, easy to see, and by repute other large mammals including wolves and jackals which of course are less easy to see.

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There are a few hotels in the area, two in Kerkini, and others nearby in other villages.  The hotels may fill up at the weekends (Kerkini is less than an hour from Thessaloniki) and during migration but, when we were there we had no problem finding a place to stay.  We chose Oikoperiigitis which is in the village of Kerkini.  Not the cheapest option, but is it a lovely hotel which does really great inexpensive food.  One of the specialties is lumps of slow cooked buffalo on pasta, simple and utterly delicious, even more so with a carafe of local wine.

http://www.oikoperiigitis.gr

There are a few other bars and tavernas in the village, along with loads of nesting white storks.  We have got a bit blase about white storks, we see them all summer back home in Selçuk.

The hotel is able to organise various tours and boat trip in and around the lake, but we guess all the hotels in the area can do this.  We took an early morning boat trip with Vasilis, a friend, who we met the year before.  Vasilis is fantastic, really knowledgeable about the area and birds, and incredibly helpful.  The boat trip was amazing and the source of most of the bird photos from an earlier post including this one of a spoonbill and pygmy cormorant

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It is a stunningly beautiful area, one we will return to.  We are already thinking about next year and maybe getting to Lake Prespa as well.

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Lindos, Quad Bikes and Bee Stings

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We hired a quad bike so we could explore Rhodes Island.  At 350ccs it was a bit underpowered and struggled with some of the hills, but it got us where we wanted to be.   As we passed the airport on the way down to the coast, we rode into a bee which stung Ashley right between the eyes.  This necessitated a quick stop for a frappe but all, at that stage, seemed to be well.

Pond Life02We headed off for butterfly valley which was very pretty, though there were no butterflies this early in the season.  There were quite a few tourists but no real crowds.  For some reason, the only pictures we took were of frogs and water boatmen.  The ones of the water boatmen did not come out very well…

After that we rode around a bit more and stopped in Psinthos for lunch.  Psinthos is a lovely village with a half a dozen tavernas ranged round a central square.  WeSting-day-1sampled two of these during our trip and the first was, we think, the best.  We had a plate of hot and cold mezzes and they were very good indeed.  The weather was windy and thing did blow off our table from time to time.  The local children were preparing for Easter.  All dressed up and carrying baskets, they progressed around the square collecting money and eggs.  Our table gave us a great opportunity to watch all this, and people in general.  The bee sting was starting to affect Ashley quite badly…

We then visited seven springs which was pleasant enough before heading for Lindos.  The beach area was quite chaotic and crowded so we returned to the highway and parked nearer to the top of the hill.  The town, the theatre and the Acropolis were not crowded.  Oh, there were some tourists, but we managed to keep them out of most of the photos!  It was still very windy and we had the privilege of watching a flock of lesser kestrels hunt the cliffs below the acropolis.  They were flying too fast for us to capture them with the camera.  The other tourists present did not seem to notice them.

Iassos Walk

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Whilst Ashley is up to date with the blog, Hilary is still playing catch up.  This was a walk we did with Zirve Mountaineering and Nature Sports Club on 1st March.  It was a full day out with many different activities.  The weather was fine (except for one brief shower of rain) and we had a great time.

Iassos walkPOur first stop was for breakfast in one of our favourite pit stops.  A rather unprepossessing looking truck stop at the Heraklion end of Lake Bafa.  It’s not posh, but we think they do some of the best gözleme on the planet.  We both had the otlu peynirli version.  Crisply, delicious and it came with a salad.  We also drank a lot of çay.

Our second stop was the incredibly spectacular ancient site at Euremos.  We’ve known it was there for some time.  We have ridden past it regularly on our way to Bodrum and beyond.  We had not, however, realised just how amazing it is.  This is, we think, just about the most intact temple we have ever seen.  It is not a restoration.  And the theatre…..  Not everyone walked up to the theatre (not really very far) as they were busy taking photos around the temple.  The theatre is hellenistic.  Hilary’s favourite sort of theatre.  It was hard to drag her away from it…

Next stop was ‘the walk’.  Only about 10 Km and, really, not difficult.  There was a stop at some point and kokoreç was cooked and eaten.  Wild flower were seen.

We wound up at Iassos.  Where, after some wandering around, we settled down in a restaurant to drink beer and eat.

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Walking to Meryem Ana

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The day after our roof was finished we went walking with Zirve.  There are many ways to walk from the Kuşadası road up to Meryemana.  Some of them are easy.  This one wasn’t.  We were aching for days afterwards.

It was, however, a very good walk in perfect weather.  We cooked and ate suçuk but we didn’t actually get as far as Meryemana.  This walk was done on 25th January and we saw some early wildflowers.

Ephesus Museum

museum-marble-aThe museum was closed for about two years whilst the building underwent renovation.  For quite a while it was just a huge hole in the ground.  Nobody was very sure precisely what was going on but a modern building gradually went up and finally, in December 2014, the museum re-opened.  And finally, earlier this week, we got around to going to take a look at what had been done inside.

The ethnographic section appears to have gone, leaving it as a purely archaeological museum.  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.  The oldest finds from the area are pre-6000 BC, there are bronze age items and, of course, plenty from the Greek and Roman eras.

The museum now contains displays arranged in chronological order which does make the progressions easy to understand.  The labeling still leaves something to be desired as it can be difficult to identify the items to which the labels should apply.  The rooms are darkened.  Quite honestly, it is a while since we last visited the museum, we visit a lot of museums and we didn’t think that it was all that different!

Which is not to say that it is unimpressive…

 

Photos of the Month, November and December

Still trying to catch up since the trip to the UK, despite having been home for two weeks now.  So we think it best to post pictures for November and December 2014 before it’s time for January!

November features some of the best from Istanbul.  December from a walk with Zirve (the only one we managed to make that month).

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Istanbul, day 2 – Lions

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On the second day we went to the Archaeological museums and took far too many photographs.

The Ancient Orient Museum is one of Hilary’s favourite places on this earth. It houses the beautiful brick reliefs from around the Ishtar gate, a small but rather nicely formed Egyptian Section and lots and lots of lions.

The Archaeological museum is undergoing restoration in the cause of modernisation and earthquake protection. So, whilst may beautiful things were on view, the Alexander sarcophagus (and the other two in adjacent rooms) are not. This constitutes an excuse to return to Istanbul in the very near future.

And that was just the morning…