Monday, January 21, 2008

Two Sides of the Wall

I spent Christmas 2007 in Israel and Palestine. This is the part of the world where you can encounter the largest constrasts, both geographical and social ones.


The Temple Mount with the lamentation Wall and the Dome of the Rock above. Yeah, everyone saw it on TV.


A street in Betlehem cut by the wall.

Graffitis on the wall in Betlehem.

Dead Sea

Salty rocks at the bank of the Dead Sea.

Massada, the legendary Jewish fortress from the Roman times.


A monastery on the side of the Mount of Tempation. In foreground, a cable car, one of the last tourist facilities in the Palestinian territories.

The Martian landscape of the Makhtesh Ramon crater.


Sunset in Akko, the last stronghold of the crusaders.


Bye Israel: a view on the Mediterranean Sea from the Mount Carmel in Haifa.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Cold Turkey

In order to escape Christmas in Europe I visited Turkey between 24.12.2006 and 01.01.2007.
Eight days is not much, so i went a pretty standard route through the main guidebook attraction:
Istanbul -> Ephesus -> Pamukkale -> Cappadocia -> Ankara -> Istanbul.
Next time I hope to get off a beaten track...


My first encounter with old Instanbul: the Blue Mosque after sunset.

The same mosque at daylight.

Basilica Cistern. A big underground watertank from the Byzantine times.

The Haydarpasha ferry station. Funny contrast with the german architecture of the train station in the background.


A street in the ancient city of Ephesus.

Scaring Artemis.

To balance the femine parts, a figure of Priap.

Celsus library in Ephesus.


People walking barefoot in snow.
Seriously, it's a shallow pool of hot water on a white rock.

Travertine pools in their full glory.
The bassins were created by hot mineral water flowing down the slope.

Believe it or not, this is not snow.


Fairy-tale rocks in Cappadocia.

Particular rock formations in Love Valley near Göreme. Depending on the gender, people perceive them as giant mushrooms or giant male organs.

More landscape. This time the white is the snow (the temperature in Cappadocia went down to -15 Celsius at night).

A church in rock near Göreme.

A castle in rock in Nevshehir.

My shadow.