Monday 22 February 2021

More Favourite Sites Garnered from our Travels


Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires straddles the Bosporus strait, with one foot in Europe the other in Asia. It deserves at least a five day stay in order to fully immerse yourself in its history, and see all of its exquisite architectural wonders. A must visit is to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. It covers 61 streets, and includes 4,000 shops and stalls. Choose yourself a beautiful handmade leather bag, smell the heady scents from the mountains of spices, find yourself a hand loomed colourful kilim, or some exotic food memento to take home. Last but not least visit the dramatic underground Basilica Cistern, mysterious, unexpected, and fascinating.  Built in 532AD during the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian 1, the cistern supplied water to the city. Yerebatan Sarayi, the Sunken Palace should not be missed.   

There are 18 World Heritage Sites in Turkey which includes some of the 28 archaeological sites from antiquity. Turkey, once the cradle of early Christianity hosts hundreds of ancient churches together with some of the most beautiful mosques to be found anywhere. It is a mystical country with some surreal landscapes all of which offer the visitor a veritable feast for the eye.  

Pamukkale - It looks like winter but this is mid-summer. Travertine 
terraced basins straddle the plateau, and run down the hillsides of 
Pamukkale. Created over more than two millennia the hot mineral 
cascades transform calcium carbonate into travertine.
The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are the result of thousands of years of natural weathering. Millions of years ago, massive volcanoes erupted in the region, depositing huge volumes of ash, and covering the entire landscape for thousands of miles. The hardened ash is called Tuff which over the centuries has been carved into houses, and even churches. The hotel we stayed in was carved out of Tuff - it was a magical experience. 
click onto the yellow highlights if you would like to know more
Discover the ancient cities of Myra and Simena here.
(Myra now renamed Demre) is where the relics of St. Nicholas were purloined and taken to Bari.
The kingdom of  Lydia

Konya - the cradle of Sufism and Whirling Dervishes 
World renown Ephesus
This is just a token glimpse of some of the many treasures
to be seen in Turkey. 

Monday 15 February 2021

A Valentine's Day Treat

We have a very special lady living within our midst, someone whom we hardly knew before this wretched Pandemic, but she has been a beacon of light to us both and also to several of our neighbours. From time to time she has popped up our driveway and given us some interesting homemade goodies, but on Valentine's Day she arrived bearing two large packages for us.

The first held some homemade savouries and finger sandwiches,
and the second had miniature cream sponge cakes, some scones together with strawberry conserve and clotted cream, and last but not least 
chocolate dipped strawberries.
It was a really lovely 'high tea' treat which was much appreciated and greatly enjoyed.
Later on in the day our special grandson contacted us (no favouritism implied, we only have one grandson). We had a lovely chat and caught up with his news, and then he showed us around his new apartment on the computer. It is in the East End of London, and overlooks the Olympic Park. He is a Furniture Designer and this was very apparent in his choices for each room. 
I know that many of you have good neighbours and friends that have helped you during the Pandemic too. One outcome of this year long situation has revealed the many thoughtful kindnesses and lovely gestures that so many people have made towards one another. 

Friday 12 February 2021

A Series of Favourite Sites Garnered from our Travels

....................................Southern Italy

With no prospect of leaving these four walls in the foreseeable future, I have been reliving travels past to various countries. If you would like to know more about each place then click onto the highlighted link below each image. 

The first country featured is Italy, which we have visited many times across the years, but this post will concentrate on it's southern "boot", an area less well known and with far fewer tourists. 

 Lecce  "Florence of the South"

Matera - a 9,000 year old town
The trullis of Alberobello
The relics of St. Nicholas in Bari

Saturday 6 February 2021

Quiz - Two Purple Flowers

These diminutive pretty little flowers are more robust than you might imagine. They bloom in the high mountains of Europe often pushing their dainty stems and buds through pockets of snow - they are found in the Alps, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, and the Carpathian's. Their name is Soldanella alpina, alpine snowbell and they belong to the Primulaceae family.
Tillandsia cyanea, Pink Quill, is a member of the Bromeliad family genus Tillandsia, which means air plants that grow on rocks and bark rather than in soil. They are found at elevations of between 2,000 and 3,500 feet above sea level and flourish in the  rainforests of S. America. 
One person named both flowers and answered all of the questions correctly. His comment was the first to arrive, and I immediately thought that I had made the quiz too easy. However, two other bloggers named the first flower and answered all of the questions correctly.
The the order in which they arrived.
1. Rod L correctly named both flowers and gave the right answers to all of the questions - a ⭐ to Rod L. I have no idea who you are Rod L, as you do not appear to have a blog. 
2. David who knew the first flower and answered the questions correctly
3. Mariette  who also named the first flower and answered all of the questions correctly. 
Well done to Rod L, David and Mariette, and thank you to everyone for taking part.