Egyptian Girl

One of the few English language channels we have here is NHK World, the Japanese national broadcaster. It’s a good mix of documentaries, tourist features and news so it’s a popular choice when we can’t find anything on any other channel. This happens quite often… On this particular jump we hit a short musical program called Blends. Traditional Japanese instruments are used to play a western piece of music. There’s some information about the instrument, but it’s best to tune Click for more

Lonely hamam

Very close to the stand of oak trees there’s a structure that has interested me for many years. Having only seen it as a blink and you’ll miss it structure from the highway I was delighted to go and see it up close. Beside a typical Turkish water fountain with a low trough to allow animals to drink, there are a few rough stone walls. Most interesting are the remains of a dome above some of the remaining walls. It Click for more

Sacred Oak Grove

If you spend long enough in Canakkale and are sufficiently observant, you may notice there’s quite a lot of oak trees around. Once you see them, you realise that there are several in little groups dotted around the landscape, apparently lost in a sea of wheat, or with goats grazing the stubby grass around them. There is a nice example in Troy as you move past the sanctuary toward the caves and see that there is a little grove of oak Click for more


It’s been a busy few weeks so here’s a few snippets to enjoy while I play catch-up, both courtesy of the Guardian in the last week. Robert Curzon, traveller and diplomat, hit rough seas as he tried to sail to Lemnos through the Dardanelles as excepted from his book ‘Visits to the Monasteries in the Levant’ (1849) in Weatherwatch. It’s appropriate for the windstorm we’re experiencing at the moment, though thankfully it’s blown away any clouds and leaving a bright blue Click for more

Finally, a plan…

There has long been talk about constructing a museum near the site of Troy, something that is sorely needed. There are very few artifacts to be seen at the site, and only a few in Canakkale Archeology Museum (which few tours visit), which leaves some of the most interesting things out of view of the visitor. There also needs to be an attempt made to explain the importance of the site, both archeologically and in terms of global culture; a Click for more

Where in the world…

I have a confession to make – I love maps. They are such wonderful, infomative things that I can spend hours searching over them, learning them, knowing them. They help make sense of the world. Some maps are worrying such as this one by Freedom House, showing how low Turkey is on the world scale of press freedom. With a rating of Partly Free, Turkey is on a par with Mongolia, India and Nigeria. Add that to talk of censoring Click for more

A Most Distinguished Visitor

I sat applying nail polish with exaggerated care. The care was exaggerated on two counts; first, I don’t wear it often and paint fingers as well as nails, and second, we were on a ferry. It wasn’t moving and it should have been; the second coat of polish was to distract me from that fact. Ten minutes after it should have and ten minutes before we were due to be at the far side of the far peninsula we finally Click for more