Following 2020, with its pandemic induced social distancing, quarantines, and travel bans, I was hopeful for a better 2021. Somehow, I ended up traveling and seeing even less. There were lockdowns, I got covid, any little sniffle meant I couldn’t go outside, and there were more nationwide lockdowns. The result is that I went out to shoot for half as many days this year as I normally would.
But, while this hasn’t exactly been the year I was hoping for, I got to do some amazing things and see some amazing sights.
1 Antalya Mountains
Not leaving my house to travel as much as I would have I liked I’m glad for this view on the edge of the city from my window.
2 Surp Khach Monastery
Set on a small island in Turkey’s great lake, Surp Khach, The Monastery of the Holy Cross, is a stunning blend of setting, architecture, and art.
3 Heraklion Tower
A lone tower in the Hellenistic walls of Herakleion at the foot of Mount Latmos, one of Turkey’s richest places for monasteries and stone-age cave art.
4 Chicken Seller
5 Tiblisi Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
A trip to Georgia this year was a fascinating look at a blend of Turkish and Caucasian culture where the churches are still standing and full of life.
6 Road Near Altınsaç Village
7 Hoşap Village
8 The Kibyra Medusa Mosaic
9 Karaman Colliers
10 Bucak Woodmill
11 Whirling Dervishes
12 The Wrong Mountain
While pretty and also bearing traces of ancient settlement, this volcanic vent was not home to the Hartapu Monument.
Like every year I have some plans for the year to come. The past few years I’ve only managed to actually follow through on less than half of the trips I planned so hopefully this year will be different.
It wasn’t until I visited Van last year that I realized just how much there was to see around Lake Van and how many of them are unknown and on the verge of disappearing. Hopefully this spring will see me back in Van hiking the barren hills in search of remote monasteries.
Bafa Lake and Mount Latmos
I’ve actually been here a couple times before but had no idea just how much there was to see here. Mount Latmos was an incredibly important area for Byzantine monasticism and monasteries are hidden among the caves, islands, and craggy alien slopes. Beyond the monasteries are classical era ruins and even stone age cave paintings. This area is incredibly under appreciated and stunningly beautiful.
The Black Sea
Somehow, Art of Wayfaring has done almost NOTHING in the Black Sea region. With the cultural sights of tea growers, fishermen, hazelnut farmers, and mountaintop shepherds combined with remote castles, gravity defying bridges, and clifftop monasteries there’s enough here to keep me coming back over and over again.
Centered on the great mountaintop monument of the Commagene Kingdome is a national part full of beautiful and strange historical sites. Mount Nemrut itself is (supposed to be) a tomb buried under a massive mound of gravel on the peak of a high mountain with massive statues of Roman and Persian gods staring out into the rising and setting sun from platforms on the east and west of the mountain.