Wednesday, 30 March 2011

In the eyes of trees and mountains...

   On this foggy afternoon, I have been looking through old photos of a winter journey to Turkey a few years ago.  I have been meaning to get back to work on illustrations for a long poem written by a friend of mine.  And so I have been milling around, looking for photos of towers, and Cappadocia is the land of towers.  Great towers built half by nature's hands, half by human ones.  Where a city rises out of the ground looking to me a little like the ruins of Bruegel's Tower of Babel. A place where stones shaped like toadstools stand in patches, and sometimes they have little chimneys sticking out oddly, pushing out puffs of smoke, the only betrayal that they are homes.  There are whole underground cities.  If you climb up into the old abandoned ruins of towns built into mountains, you will surely come across a few churches, some carved out of the rocks more than a thousand years ago. 

   And so I thought I would share a small few photos of the many we took on those January days.  I know that I am still marvelling over the things I saw in Turkey and even still wanting to one day move into the enormous labyrinth of Istanbul for a longer stay.  I loved looking across the enormous Bosporus to the other side of the city on another continent, listening to the call to prayer, watching huge boats on the sea of Marmara, standing on acres of time and place.  Everything there felt to me so monumental.  More than ever I felt so lucky, it felt so important to be one tiny particle in that beautiful city of many millions, stretching backwards and forwards in time forever.  And in Cappadocia I was again staggering under the weight of so much history.  I thought perhaps you too would be dazzled by the many windows in the mountains, the many amulets for protecting against the evil eye hanging on bare branches, that it might set your imagination rushing towards a little of the feeling of that place.


  1. The tower of Babel is a perfect description for this extraordinary place, so timeless under the snow. There can be nowhere like Turkey, standing at the crossroads of the history of Europe's interaction with the East.

    I love the tree hung with amulets. I have a cousin in Ankara, who gave me one to wear on a necklace: they always remind me of her when I see them.

  2. what a fascinating architecture--i love the idea of hidden residences, or even of little cities underground like rabbit burrows with occasional "stone mushrooms" the only hint of their existence :D
    as for the evil eye amulets--always, always necessary :)

  3. I lived in Greece, on a island just off the coast of Turkey. I LOVE Turkey, the bazar in Istanbul - I have a wonderful pair of socks from there - I always wanted to go to Cappadocia, never made it. This is an interesting view of it, I've never seen it quite this way. Wonderful!

    The more I look, the more I think of a coral reef. We humans think we're so "other" than nature... but here it is, we are just little corals living in crusted hills patched together one on top of the other......

  4. Alien and yet not so. I came up through Somerset today - shops full of charms in Glastonbury.

  5. It is so good to see this ! Thank you so much.
    Yes, coral reefs, such a comforting and deep image :-)

  6. What a beautiful blog!!So delighted to have found your little place here. Amazing photos. :-)

  7. Thank you for the comments everyone! It's always great to read your reactions and see all your different perspectives. Sorry not to have responded sooner; I've been away! I'm really looking forward to finding out what everyone has been up to.

    Ciara, I'm really pleased you found it too... I've been reading your lovely blog forever! Welcome!