Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

I was standing on top of a hill amongst ancient ruins. Looking one way, there's the beautiful crystal blue Mediterranean. Looking the other dırection, there's ruins scattered amongst limestone peaks.
We're in the small beach town of Olympos, the town we've been at for the last five days that we can't seem to leave. Looking around me, I felt this invigorating and inspiring sense of happiness. Normally, inspiration would lead to creative endeavours. But rather than using the creative right side of the brain, I contemplated how the analytical left side of the brain might look at this 'Happiness' I was feeling. This is what I came up with:
Ancient Roman Ruins + Crystal Clear Mediterranean Coast equals Happiness

But similar to 1+1=2, or 5-3=2, or 30,246 / 15,123=2, there are many different formulas to reach the same solution. Standing on this hillside, I also contemplated a few other formulas for 'Happiness' such as:
The Penelope Cruz Chocolate Chip Cookie Theorem

or the Will Smith Pursuit Movie Hypothesis
And obviously there are many more theorems out there to ponder, that achieve similar results of 'Happiness'. Feel free to develop your own scientific analysis.

Here's Ander's defacing ancient irreplaceable ruins to achieve his own personal happiness.
I'm sure the Turkish authorities would like to have a word with him upon seeing this photo, to discuss amongst other things, the validity of the movie Midnight Express.

....and speaking of Turkish prisons, Dónde está Ché Pelotas?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

when in Goreme...

After Ren's exhaustive entry on Cappadocia I don't think there is really much more I could say about the area. I'll try to fill in some of the gaps anyway.

Goreme was the first place in Turkey where the tourists seemed to outnumber the locals. Kiwi's Aussies, Japanese and Germans were everywhere!

the town catered slightly to western culture.
we rode with the family down the street through the courtesy of blistered feet. We stayed at the Kose Pension, a really mellow environment with all the comforts of home. Chess, laundry service, veggie meals for Ren, plenty of tables for playing shithead*, wi-fi, and use of the lovely pool. We were told that at this time last year the pool was thumpin' and bumpin' (as pools are known to do) and the weather was hot! Luckily for us the first two days we were in Goreme it was snowing when we woke up.

we had full access to the pool at Kose. Goreme is a bit of a backpackers paradise, but the touristy aspects of the the town were far outweighed by the beauty of the surrounding area, and in less then 10 minute walk you could be out of town and engulfed by a surreal landscape.

View from just outside of town. note the snow on the mesa. On most of our hikes we were guided by the Kose affiliated Spotty, who knew where all the best vista points. Mark and fellow backpacker Tavi overlooking Rose valley. View from the top of aformentioned mesa.Inside the valleys the hills and rocks were riddled with carved caves and churches. Some of the carved out areas in the walls were pigeon houses. The locals would use pigeons for many things. The eggs for eating and egg whites for mixing paints. The pigeon droppings were good fertilizer, and the pigeons were good messengers. But even more interesting were the churches. Most were built during Roman times by early Christians. Hidden in the rocks becuase at the time Christianity wasn't even considered a religion, it was more of a cult.

Action Mark poking his head out after climping up to a pigeon house.
What might look like this from the outside......could look like this on the inside! wow! (this one had many rooms)
Some churches looked like they were decorated by Ron Rege jr.
Other churches like the Karanlik Lilise (or dark church) were filled with frescos.
The eyes and faces were scratched out of the frescos due to the muslim belief in not depicting the face.
creating some very eerie imagry.
While still other carvings will remain shrouded in mystery for all eternity.
While Ren and Tavi rented scooters and Mark spent the day doing work, Anna (aussie backpacker) and I went to Derinkuyu, the sight of the largest of the underground cities. The area of Cappadocia is also filled with about 36 underground cities located out and about the surrounding area. Derinkuyu is 85 meters deep and consists of 7 different levels. It was originally dug by the Hitites as a grainery to keep produce fresh for as long as possible. Eventually, as more levels were added, it was used to hide from rampaging hordes. They would live down there for months at a time. The underground city was equiped with stables, a church and a school. as well as a fully working winery and communications system. Pretty neat.
view of the underground city from above ground.Under the ground. I was trying to take photos without a flash, but most came out very blurry. Sorry!
Also, while in Goreme, I came closer than I ever have before to finding the answers I've been looking for. (it's the whole reason i joined up with GlobTrans in the first place)

Goreme's world famous Ufo museum and cafeteriaOnly 50 meters away from the answers! I am glad to know i am not alone!!! (somebody's gotta be holding the camera)
At the last minute I turned back from the ramshackle shack containing the proof I'd been searching for since jr. high school english class. I learned long ago from shows like the "X-files" and more recently "Lost" you should never find any answers, only raise more questions (that way they can drag the plot out and make the show last more seasons).

perhaps the answers are here. ¿Qué Sucedió a Maxi Rodriguez?

*shithead I guess is a backpacker card game (not to be confused with Besiklas rules shithead, which is a whole different game alltogether)

Labels: , , , , ,

Wikipedia blocked in China, Noooooo.........

Wikipedia and BBC News, two of my favorite websites, seemed to be both blocked in China!

Monday, April 23, 2007

(((Cappadocia Captured on Camera in Closed Captions)))

(((We just spent a week in Cappadocia, beautiful lunar like landscape, good food, friendly people, and other tourist friendly accoutrements. I’ve been traveling around for awhile now, so I’m running out of interest capturing blog ideas. Feel free to comment on how lame this entry is. By the way the title and content is not meant to trivialize those who are visually impaired. However it is slightly ironic that this is a photo heavy entry.)))
(Our week in Cappadocia started like our time in Eastern Turkey. Cold and snowy)
(balancing rocks framing snow capped extinct volcano in the distance)
(balancing rocks formed by a volcanic eruption of heavy magma layer on top of silty weaker layer eroded over time creating the ‘balancing rock’ look)
(more phallic formations formed from volcanic eruption)
(valleys viewed from high above a mesa we climbed)
(Fairy chimney dwellings that dot the area. The right chimney is a church. The left one we climbed into)
(view to the east)
(view to the west)
(Old Greek fresco inside a different fairy chimney cave church)
(fairy chimney cave dwellings guarded by three phallic rock formations)
(detail of Turkish rugs outside a rug shop)
($6000 Turkish rug that Spotty rolled around in while stopping at a rug shop. Rug shop owner not too happy.)
(For $200, you can ride this balloon for 2 hours. Or you can photograph the balloon from below, like I did for free.)
(sunset tree)
(((((Dónde está Ché Pelotas?)))))