Eastern Med. including Turkey, 2012
In the summer of 2012, Ron and Carol spent two weeks touring 3 days around Rome and an 11 night Med cruise.
Map of the Mediterranean Sea – This trip Ron and Carol visited areas marked with red dots, often having to take 1 to 2 hour bus rides from the port to reach the archaeological sites. (Note, Miletus is between Ephesus and Didim.)
Oops, forgot Naples.
Ostia Antica, Italy – Old town. The doorway across from where they had lunch.
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/18709.html
Ostia Antica, Italy – Ostia Museum. Kissing children. 2-3rd c AD.
History: Ostia Antica was Rome’s port from about 3rd cent. BC. The Tiber River slowly silted in moving the shore line 2-3 km west. The town slowly died and then was mostly forgotten. In the 20th cent., some of the town was recovered and now on view. Overall the site covers 10,000 acres.
Ostia Antica, Italy – Archaeological site. Three theatrical masks in stone at the still-used theater. ( 41.755938, 12.291156 )
Ostia Antica, Italy – Archaeological site. Around the theater were about 60 shops in the area called ‘The Corporations’. Each had a mosaic entryway for the illiterate or non-Latin speaking sailors. This shop was the shippers/traders from ‘Misuenses’, near Carthage.
Ostia Antica, Italy – Archaeological site. A mausoleum probably for a family, located in the necropolis. By Roman law the necropolis was required to be outside the city walls.
Rome, Italy – The Pyramid of Cestius. This tomb was built at the request of a little known bureaucrat who, in the first century AD, had become enamored with Egyptian culture. His will stated that his son could only inherit his estate after the tomb was built--it only took 6 months. (It is across the street from the Pyramid train station.)
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/19315.html
Rome, Italy –
Galleria Borghese. Only the very best art of the 17th
century. It contains art from every big name of the era. No pictures
allowed, so visit their web site:
Best of all was Bernini's ‘Apollo and Daphne’, where Daphne turns herself in to a laurel tree to escape Apollo. Truly amazing:
There was three Bernini's in this collection!
Rome, Italy – Santa
Maria del Popolo. Inside the
church are two splendid Caravaggio’s: “The Conversion [of Paul] on the Way to
And “The Crucifixion of St. Peter”:
Rome, Italy – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (one of the five National Museums of Rome.) ‘The Boxer at Rest’. 1st cent. BC. Splendid life-size bronze of a boxer, his face ravaged by blows from gloves like those on his hands. Different metals were used for different parts of the body, including blood on his right ear.
Rome, Italy – Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. The frescos from a single excavated bedroom, displayed as it would have been in the home. So much color! Roman Empire period.
Rome, Italy – Free bus tour! Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland). Finished in 1935. This building is not loved by the people of Rome who call it the ‘Wedding Cake’.
Why free? When Ron and Carol got to the airport they found out their ship was being sanitized because of problems on the previous cruise. To make up for it RCI gave them a free bus tour of Rome and an hour at St. Peter’s Square. Even though it rained almost the entire time, it was well worth the effort. (The luggage went on to the ship and was waiting for them!)
Rome, Italy – Cafe San Pietro, near St. Peters. A dessert for Carol that came with what looks like a communion wafer. Carol found you could buy real communion wafers at nearby shops.
Erice, Sicily. The view northeast out the tour bus window going to the mountain-town of Erice. Erice is in the northwest corner of Sicily, on top of a mountain overlooking wonderful farm land. Someplace worth fighting for and the means to defend it.
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/19520.html
Erice, Sicily – The castle. From the castle one can see both the north coast and west coast of Sicily for 50-100 miles. This was very important when pirates came north from Africa. Elevation 751 m or 2,464 ft. ( 38.035497, 12.590543 )
Erice, Sicily – A Roman era building (shop) still is being used as a home on one of the main streets.
Ancient Corinth, Greece – The temple of Apollo. Constructed in about 540 B.C. The Romans tended to tear down and rebuild cities, but usually left the temples alone. The 7m (23 feet) columns are monolithic (one piece).
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/20031.html
Ancient Corinth, Greece – The Synagogue. St. Paul got so frustrated with the Jews of Corinth that “he shook out his garments” and stomped out one of these doors. (Acts 18)
Corinth Canal, Greece – Modern bridges over the canal. After many tries, the canal was completed in 1893.
Corinth Canal, Greece – A sinking bridge. Instead of lifting, the two bridges at the ends of the canal sink into the water, letting ships pass over them.
Corinth Canal, Greece – Close up view of the sinking bridge. Well, if it was not under water.
Rhodes Town (Rodos), Greece – A three masted schooner and a modern cruise ship. It would be difficult picking the better of the two.
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/20337.html
Rhodes Town, Greece - Archaeological Museum of Rhodes (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ρόδου). The museum building is wonderful! It was the ‘Hospital of the Knights’ built in the 15th cent.
Rhodes Town, Greece - Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. Small hanging container. From a burial, 5th cent. BC.
Rhodes Town, Greece – Bronze deer statues and a castle at the entrance of the old harbor. These deer are the symbol most associated with Rhodes; in ancient times, the symbol was the Colossos.
Istanbul, Turkey – The Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultanahmet Meydanı Square). Marking the eastern turn in the racetrack, in the foreground is the Thutmosis III's obelisk (1490 BC), and the in the rear the Walled Obelisk (4th cent. AD), once covered with bronze plates.
For details gof this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/20821.html
Istanbul, Turkey – Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Ayasofya) [St. Wisdom, a term referring to Christ, the “Word”]. Former Orthodox basilica, later a Mosque, and now a museum. Inaugurated on 27 December 537. (Yes, 6th century!) Some of the beautiful early mosaics have survived.
(2021 – Now back to being Mosque.)
Istanbul, Turkey – Hagia Sophia from the upper level. It is huge. The high central dome has a diameter of over 101 feet (31 meters) and a height of 180 feet (55 meters).
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum (İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri). One of the many glazed brick figures, in relief, from the “procession street” in Babylon. 6th cent. BC. The 300 meter street connected the Ishtar Gate to a festival building.
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Statue of a governor of Lagash (Southern Mesopotamia). 2122 BC.
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Phoenician-Ionian Sarcophagus from Lebanon. 5th cent. BC.
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Gold jewelry from Troy! Most of the jewelry from the Schliemann excavations went missing from a bunker in Berlin at the end of WWII, but is now known to be in Russia.
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum. The medieval chain that blocked the Golden Horn, the inlet that separates the old and new towns of Constantinople (Istanbul.)
Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul Archaeology Museum. A 6th cent. Greek marble carving of a lion licking Daniel’s foot.
Istanbul, Turkey – Old town. Kittens in a carpet shop. They all had a home to go to when they get old enough. Note the lavish carpet they inhabit.
Bosphorus (Boğaziçi) Strait, Turkey – The Fortress of Europe (Rumelihisarı, 1452). The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea (and the rest of the world.) It is 31 km (19.3 miles) long, with a width of only 700 m (0.43 miles) at this point. This castle, along with the less impressive Fortress of Asia, could control the waterway.
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/21139.html
Istanbul, Turkey – A vendor selling simit, the wheel-like bread otherwise known as a Turkish bagel. Ron and Carol had one when they got off the tour boat. Really good! (The ‘1’ is for one euro.)
Istanbul, Turkey – The Spice Bazaar. Since the 17th century, if you can eat it, it was here. Huge! (Turkish: 'Mısır Çarşısı', or Egyptian Bazaar)
The Dardanelles strait at sunset (Turkish: Çanakkale Boğaz) - Kilitbahir Castle (1463) on the European side at the narrowest point (1.2 km or 0.7 m). Another castle sits across on the Asia side. The Dardanelles is the narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
We saw "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at William and Mary, where there is a line on "how young Leander cross'd the Hellespont. (2013)"
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/21336.html
Ephesus, Turkey – View down Curetes Street. Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. Ephesus, like Miletus, were ports, now landlocked, and surrounded by farmlands.
Ephesus, Turkey – The Library of Celsus. The façade was carefully reconstructed from all original pieces. It was originally built c.125 AD. It was said to contain nearly 12,000 scrolls. Problem was Carol kept telling everyone to be quiet. [a photo merge]
Ephesus, Turkey – The Agora. Here St. Paul stayed with his friends Priscilla and Aquila in their tent shop. (Acts 18) On a far hill one can see the remains of the castle that they say Paul was imprisoned in for a short time.
Somewhere in western Turkey, believe it or not.
Ancient Miletus, Turkey – Theater. (Roman) It is said Paul spoke here to the elders of the church from Ephesus. (Acts 20)
Didim (Didyma), Turkey – Temple of Apollo. 6th c BC. Massive temple, including a famous oracle. Next to Delphi, Didyma was the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world, first mentioned among the Greeks in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. Height of the columns is 19.71 m (64.7 ft.) For scale note the person in the orange shirt on the very left.
Didyma, Turkey – A famous statue of Medusa. About 2 ft (60 cm) tall.
Didyma, Turkey – Carol noted at breakfast how much people like gaming. Mainly computer gaming nowadays. But gaming is as ancient as people. Here are gaming boards chiseled in to the floor of a 6th c. BC temple in Turkey.
Didim (Didyma), Turkey – Temple of Apollo. Two long, very dark tunnels that led from the high foundation / podium down into the cella, now open to the sky. These would have allowed priests or the oracles access to the sacred well beneath the room where the cult statue was kept.
Didyma, Turkey – Carol making friends with another cat. It just would not purr…
Knossos, Crete – Ron and Carol in front of the controversial reconstruction done in the 1890s by Arthur Evans.
For details of this part of the trip go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/21930.html
(Ron really is number one in this picture.)
Knossos, Crete – The Throne Room. From the Minoan culture. The first palace dates to 1900 BC. Abandoned some time 1380 – 1100 BC. (A photo merge.)
Knossos, Crete – The “Queens” Quarters. All the art on site is reproductions. The originals were all saved and are in the museum Carol and Ron went to in the afternoon.
Knossos, Crete – The Theater. [a photo merge]
Knossos, Crete – Turning around from the previous picture, there is Carol standing in front of the oldest paved road in Europe. It is good to have something in the picture older than Carol. (BTW, the oldest paved road in the world is believed to be in Egypt.)
Heraklion, Crete – Heraklion Archaeological Museum (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ηρακλείου). Libation vase in the shape of a bull’s head. Several materials were used in its construction. World famous. 1600-1500 BC.
Heraklion, Crete – Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Maybe not all the ‘wonderful’ art. These are libation vases in the shape of… well you can see. Question: Do you fill two cups at once?
Heraklion, Crete – Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The extremely famous fresco of bull leaping. 1450-1400 BC. (78 cm × 104 cm; or 31 in × 42 in)
Heraklion, Crete – Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Clay figurines of a Minoan goddess. One has to love the feet. 1200-1100 BC.
Heraklion, Crete – Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Life size bronze statue of a youth. 1st cent. BC. (Roman)
The Solarium on ‘The Mariner of the Sea’. This is where Ron and Carol spent most of their days off. Adults only and no smoking!
For details go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/19876.html
Pompeii, Italy – View of typical street, with blocks to walk across the street during rain. The tall thing is a water tower used to regulate the water pressure.
In 79 AD, Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed and buried in ash and mud from an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When excavated, most of the art was still in very good condition. Hidden away for nearly two millennia for us to appreciate.
For details of Pompeii and Naples visit go to http://carolbuckles.livejournal.com/22085.html
Pompeii, Italy – Plaster cast of the void left by one of the victims.
Pompeii, Italy – The Temple of Jupiter with the remains of Mount Vesuvius in the background.
Pompeii, Italy – Typical shop. That is a small grain mill with the square hole in it.
Pompeii, Italy – House of the Faun. This is (a copy of) the faun the villa it is named after. Later Ron and Carol would see the real faun in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Pompeii, Italy – House of the Faun. Fake door built into an upper wall of the entryway, for the ancestors. This was something new to Ron and Carol, who found this to be very Egyptian-like.
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli). Large bronze of Augustus, found at Herculaneum.
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum. One of five life sized bronze dancers found at Herculaneum. Note the inlaid eyes.
The Getty Villa have copies of these in their central garden.
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum. Super-famous fresco of “The Writer”. Found in Pompeii. (37 cm sq.; or 18" sq.)
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum. Six frescos displayed as they were found. The museum did its best to lay out the frescos as they were before the eruption.
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum. The Alexander Mosaic. A famous Roman floor mosaic, originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. (Seen before.)
It depicts the battle of Issus, 333 BC, between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia and measures 5.82 x 3.13m (19 ft x 10 ft 3in).
Naples, Italy – National Archaeological Museum. An Artemis of Ephesus. Roman, 2nd cent. AD. Artemis [Diana] was the goddess of nature and mistress of the beasts. This is a complex statue with much symbolism. (Life size, some parts restored.)
Strait of Messina, Italy. The strong currents causing whirlpools. The strait is only 3.1 km (1.9 mi) in width.