When I first thought back through this year I was a bit disappointed at how little I had managed to get out and explore, but as I started looking through pictures from the past twelve months I quickly realized just how wrong I was! I got to visit a few of my list-topping sights and a pile of other places I’d never even thought about visiting before. Here’s some of my favorite shots to come out of those trips from around the country and Istanbul.
A light dusting of snow graces the roofs of Burhaniye as the dome of Büyük Çamlıca Mosque towers over all.
Devotees praying at the tomb of Eyüp el-Ensari.
Perched above the Arpaçay River that serves as an international border, the ruins of the city of Ani are remote and stunning. Ani was a bucket list item for me, and it did not disappoint!
Büyük Çamlıca Mosque Dome
The spectacular dome and symmetry of Istanbul’s newly build mega-mosque. Filled with subtle imagery and symbolism Büyük Çamlıca Mosque encapsulates the Turkish leaderships vision for the nation. Standing on one of Istanbul’s highest hills, it’s a symbol that can be seen from all over the city.
One of the original ideas behind The Art of Wayfaring was to explore the world of Turkey’s disappearing traditional craftsmen and labourers. These quilters are exactly this; a dying breed in a modernizing world.
A somewhat more successful attempt at street photography with a distinctly Turkish flair provided by the 500 year old Süleymaniye Mosque.
This isn’t a particularly beautiful image, but any time a (gentle) interrogation ends with the officer in charge suggesting you take a group picture you do as you’re told (more on that trip here).
The beautiful curves of the Aspendos Theatre, still stunning after nearly 2000 years.
Something I’ve tried to do this year is get more shots of the interesting people of Turkey. Here a baker removes batches of simit from a wood fired oven in istanbul.
The order and symmetry of Istanbul’s grandest mosque.
Possibly Turkey’s most passionately spiritual site, the mausoleum of 12th century poet and mystic Jelal ad-Din Rumi, known in Turkey as Mevlana, is a grand site of pilgrimage for mystics from all of the world.
Phrygian Way Camp
Turkey is an amazing place for camping and hiking; something that we’d like to take much more advantage of. This is where we spent one night preparing our dinner beneath a butte and the stars along the Phrygian Way.
I hope your 2019 has been wonderful too! Here’s a few of my travel goals for 2020, you may recognise some that I didn’t get to last year.
1 Lake Van and everything that surrounds it.
From the soaring mountains to the ancient churches built on Islands far out into the massive lake this area has so much to offer! I figure if I was quick and didn’t spend too much time chatting with locals I may be able to see most of what the area has to offer in one week, but where’s the fun in that? Hopefully I’ll get to spend a few days around one of the worlds largest soda lakes and see some of amazing attractions.
2 The Eastern Black Sea Region
Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but we at Art of Wayfaring have left a HUGE gap in our coverage of sights in the Black Sea Region. The Eastern end of the Black Sea in particular is a stunning place of green mountains above the clouds full of tea plantations, monasteries, castles, waterfalls, and magnificent vistas.
3 The Ruins of Silyon
Another item leftover from last year, the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Silyon are incredible. It’s a cliff top city where earthquakes have sheered away slices of the city exposing underground cisterns and destroying the majority of the amphitheater. Now that I live in the area it should be a whole lot easier to stop by sometime.
4 Leather Tanneries
These are proving a bit tricky to get to and much like my trouble with the soap makers its proving tough to find a more traditional tannery. I’ve discouvered two things in my sleuthing: that Gaziantep has a couple tanneries south of the city, and that to “smell like a tannery” is a saying that means to stink horribly.
5 Eber Lake Reed Harvest
This is one that discovered years ago, forgot about, and rediscovered recently. This lake in eastern Afyon is choked up with reeds that are harvested and stacked like teepee poles to dry. There are huts way built on islands and rafts way out in the middle of the lake. It’s a world I would love to discover soon!