Antalya Region #6

Antalya is the home of our guide so we were invited to meet his lovely family and enjoy a cultural exchange. Thank you “A.” We had to exchange ideas quickly because it was time for school to begin and language classes were first on the list. I want to go back and give proper cheek-to-cheek greetings. We in America just touch cheeks or give a peck once, but you go three times. You touch once on one side, then the other side and again on the first cheek. OK, you come to visit us or we have to come back to cheek-to-cheek properly. Thank you for the lessons on greeting one another, cheek-to-cheek. Skip and I have been practicing. We wish all of you a sweet, loving, and healthy life.

Next, we visited the city of Perge where I nearly fainted. It was hot, burning hot and no one was home. It is the best example of a complete Roman city in Turkey and reached the height of its success during the era of Alexander the Great.  All I honestly wanted to do was leave, so we did, finally.

We also visited the Antalya Museum of Archeology.  It includes 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery. It is one of Turkey’s most important museums.

What a busy, busy day. Please enjoy some photos from Perge and the beautiful remnants of home.

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A VISIT WITH THE WHIRLING DERVISHES #5

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First I would like to share Miss Parrot Flower’s message on how to savor the moment: “It is related to gratitude, relishing the good, the simple, the beautiful, the fear, the storm, the vastness, the magnitude, the wonder, the now and giving thanks for everything.”

Now about the Whirling Dervishes: This is how I remember the explanation before we went to the performance: It takes at least a thousand and one days for a dervish to learn how to whirl. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is credited with developing the philosophy of the twirling to gain piety and perfection. The performance begins with the prophet representing love and then followed by the sound of ancient instruments. The next ritual is that each participant bows and greets each in the group. Several other rituals are performed. Then, the black robes covering white dervish costumes are dropped and the twirling begins. We had front row seats and you were wrapped in the cool swirling air of the event. The performance ends with the reciting of the seven advices of Mevlana.

  1. In generosity and helping others be like a river…
  2. In compassion and grace be like sun…
  3. In concealing others’ faults be like night…
  4. In anger and fury be like dead…
  5. In modesty and humility be like the earth…
  6. In tolerance be like the sea…
  7. Either exist as you are or be as you look…

We enjoyed the performance in the evening. Our show lasted 45 minutes, but accomplished dervishes can twirl for hours.

The next day we drove to Konya and were treated to a visit of the Tomb of Mevlana in Konya. The tomb and shrine of Mevlana, the founder of the Mevlevi Order of Whirling Dervishes and is a pilgrimage for people from all over the world.  The tomb has also been converted into a museum, which has items that belonged to Mevlana and other dervishes.

Here is where I saw the full breadth of Faith in physical human actions.  The visitors could not get close enough to the encased items. They touched the glass gently with their hands and faces, desperately trying to get a smell from a slight open space in the glass.

We moved along with the crowd and did as they did. This site is revered by so many and is as crowded everyday as it was when we visited.

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The tomb and shrine of Mevlana.

The tomb and shrine of Mevlana.

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Visitors coming to the shrine.

Visitors coming to the shrine.

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More of Wonderful Cappadocia #3

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Three volcanoes in this area erupted over the years and laid down volcanic ash rock. Over the years wind and rain have eroded the soft volcanic rock and has formed rock cones, capped pinnacles, plus the colors red, gold, greens and grays that came from the three volcanoes having different colors of volcanic material.  These rocks were soft enough for people hiding from marauding armies to dig down and create complete underground cities. They had it all planned out so that there was ventilation, living quarters and large storage areas to last many months, even years, until the armies left of their own starvation.

There is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Hot Air Balloon ride up over these wonderful rock formations. This is a balloon ride not taken by us. We are happy with what we have seen.

Can you see sisters holding hands, families enjoying an afternoon in the park, chickens and hens, the bride, people kissing, the camel, penguins swaying and so much more to imagine from these rock structures. Take a look, what do you see?

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What we have learned in Turkey is important to everyone and our visit to Cappadocia: #2

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We-had a rough, rocky and rather rotten beginning to our trip, no one’s fault. Sometimes the ways of the world mix into your Karma. Grunts, groans and tears shed brought everything we needed to the surface and we began to sort out what we had to do to follow the plan for our trip in Turkey.

My Parrott Flower friend asked me to savor every moment. When things were so difficult, I said to myself, ‘ How in the heck can I savor moments so difficult?’ The answer came as the call to prayer was being chanted. Patience.  Well, talking to myself again, ‘ I asked, so wise one, how do you get Patience to Savor the moment when all is so difficult and emotional? The answer came again, ‘you do not GET patience; patience just comes.’ I tell you now that it does and that it did.

When you have strife and pain, just wait and it will be over. From one minute to the next, things change. Wait the extra minute in your life and it will reward you with relief.

CAPPADOCIA:

Cappadocia is in the central region of Anatolia. It is a geological wonder of the world. It was a privilege and an honor to have been able to see the awe-inspiring natural rock formations.  These rock formations were utilized for housing, churches and complete underground villages.

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First we visited Goreme which is an open air museum surrounded by steep cliffs. Amazing because this ancient site  was used as living quarters and churches dates back to the second half of the 9th century and later as well.

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We- moved on to Uschisar where we sat near the Uchisar Fortress.  We were told that this fortress was carved out of a natural hill in this area surrounding Cappadocia formations.

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We-were taken to our quarters at the Argos Hotel where you sleep in a modern cave.  Modern, yes, and not even a single chair in your cave, a bed, oh yes! . An elevator, you have to be kidding. Time for breakfast, you climb down over a hundred stone steps and you learn very quickly to hug stones. Hugging stones is reassuring; try it, you’ll long for it. Now, remember you are own over one hundred steps and now you have to go up them to brush your teeth and pee before the day of phenomenal touring begins.  Please remember also, you have to go back down again to meet your guide.  Body aches; calves and thighs begin to speak to you. Oh what a work out and the day of touring hasn’t really begun.

Forgive me but I cannot edit these weird errors in places. Nothing I do works!

Seattle: The Wow Factor Day 2 and 3

We  listened to the Mating calls of the Herring Gulls

We listened to the Mating calls of the Herring Gulls

We made it to Pier 52 in time to take the 11:25 ferry over to Bainbridge Island. I worried all night. A lovely talented, brilliant and beautiful sorority sister Renee and her wonderful husband Harry live on Bainbridge Island year round. Equally talented, brilliant and beautiful sorority sisters Penny and Phyllis were visiting them. Skip and I were invited for lunch. What a thrill for all of us to get together again. We re-connected instantly. Skip and Harry talked about boy stuff, and we just poured our hearts out to each other about our lives and the passing of years. I loved these girls then and even more now. I have no photos to share: I gave the camera up for someone to take the photo of the four of us and somehow the dial switched and I got videos for the rest of the day. You need no photos to know to know the sharing with old friends and how it brings tears to my eyes just remembering their words of encouragement and the love in our eyes. Thank you dear ladies, and may your lives continue to be noteworthy.

I go often to the cemetery to visit my parents and when I do I thank my mother and father for so many things. Each time, I remember to thank my mother for driving to the Miracle Mile from Huntington Park every few weeks to get my teeth straightened and I thank her for making certain I rushed for a sorority. She made certain I had an outfit for each occasion. I thank my father for saying, “If you want an answer now, it is NO, but if you let me think about it, who knows.

Let me share these remedies learned in Seattle. You may benefit from the information:

For Arthritis:

Wine:  Fill a glass jar with cut onions. Cover onions with red wine. Cover jar with napkin or paper towel to let it breath for three days. Discard the onions and keep wine in fridge. Drink one shot glassful of onion-wine each morning and night on an empty stomach.

Gin: Soak yellow raisins in gin (use glass container) for 10 days. Cover with napkin or paper towel or cloth. Stir mixture every 2-3 days to make sure raisins are completely soaked. Pour out gin and keep raisins in fridge. EAT 9 raisins on an empty stomach once a day.

Day #2

Off we went to the Museum of Flight:

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As you enter, you pay your tariff, then, you meet up with a greeter and you are told it will take three days to see all of the air and space history in this museum. So you know you better get a move on.

What a fantastic array of galleries, films, planes of all eras, exhibits, flight simulators, audio guides, museum stores and finally you drop into the Wings Café. What an experience to see so many artifacts, hear so many stories, and feel so much history.

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We think we cannot move another muscle, but after refreshments we are riding out to Snoqualmie Falls, which is a huge waterfall on the Snoqualmie River.  We are four of the 1.5 million visitors to the falls each year. Glad to be among the people who visit here. If you have extra time there is the Salish Lodge and Spa looking over the falls.

Jin and Don are a beautiful couple we met on a trip to Russia many years ago. We have stayed connected. They live in Tacoma. Everyday they came to visit with us and take us to sights I have and will mention. We enjoyed the time together and the lively loving companionship.

Thank you Jin and Don!!

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SEATTLE: THE WOW FACTOR Day #1

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When you realize you are going to the home of the first Starbucks you know you are in for a treat. You have read that the first Starbucks resides at the Pikes Place Market, the “soul of Seattle”. We got settled in our digs at the waterfront and headed off to Pikes Market, right? Doesn’t everyone do that first? It seemed that everyone in Seattle was at the market because there was shoulder-to-shoulder traffic in every spot in and around the market. It was electric, inspiring and the soul of Seattle refers to the taste of the market. Everything is the top of the top in quality and taste.

Shoulder-to shoulder traffic

Shoulder-to shoulder traffic

My new favorite potatoes are the Rainbow potatoes. You can have fun with a bag of those.

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Rainier Cherries: The cherries in Seattle were the most delicious I have ever tasted and plentiful. A handful a day keeps you quite regular.

And Not your mother’s beans.

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How about some Elephant Garlic?

How about some Elephant Garlic?

Everyone knows they throw fish across the market stalls in the Pikes Market to get your attention and they do. There is no photo because of the massive crowds surrounding the event. Following are a couple of delicious looking possibilities in the fish market.

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Where Starbucks was born:

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We did not have the desire to go into this Starbucks because of the crowds, but seeing Starbucks birthplace reminded me of my recent experience in a crowded city center establishment; the ultimate tourist experience. I must admit I am not a youngster. I do not have the Starbucks thing down. I know you go to the counter, order, and give them your name, an alias. Never give your real name, so I said my name is Alias.  Starbucks ethics. You don’t want them to yell out your real name and have someone follow you, yelling your name causing you a stir.

I did not see the line, old, nearsighted, unfamiliar with protocol, whatever, I went in the front of the line that later I saw snaked out the door and into the street. I wondered why people raised their eyebrows, but did not understand until I sat down and got the proper perspective. Sitting in shame, I hear them call, “Alias.” Nothing registered, again, “Alias.”  Oh, that’s me. Sheepishly, in my most old lady persona, I approached the counter to retrieve our drinks.

Heck, it all tasted as good as if I would have waited properly in line and given my real name. But, deep inside I am sorry for my Starbucks behavior and you can be assured I will check out the line and place myself properly on all other visits.  I will continue to use my new Starbucks name, “Alias.”

CHIHULY MUSEUM AND GARDENS: http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/?gclid=CJW03tiTirkCFeqDQgodew4ASA

We were privileged to enjoy the Chihuly Exhibition Hall, Glasshouse and Gardens before our revolving lunch at the top of the Space Needle at Sky City Restaurant with an unbelievable 360-degree view.

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Dale Chihuly is a native of Washington and can still be seen supervising the blowing of glass in his studio. His work is distinctive in the field of blown glass. He became world renown and in the interim he had a car accident, which he recovered from and was still able to blow his glass sculptures. Again, he was injured. This time it was in a bodysurfing accident involving his right shoulder leaving him unable to hold the glass blowing pipe. He hired helpers to do the work he outlined and said when he was able to step back from his work,  in the view. there appeared a new dimension

The first time we became familiar with Chihuly’s work was at the Bellagio and the MGM in Las Vegas. We walked into the lobby and saw everyone staring at the ceilings. We did the same.

The Chihuly Museum in Seattle is well worth the visit and includes a special delicious melting feeling, as if you are melting into everything that exists and that you hold meaningful. Now it is your job to pull the melt apart and examine what it means to you, personally.

I have included a few photos that look so yummy you feel like licking and biting.

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The Sky City Restaurant is at the top of the Space Needle and the views show Seattle’s intricacies, vitality, and spirit.

Normally you would pay a fee and be elevated to a perch high above Seattle, but for just a few extra dollars, you can sit in the revolving restaurant, scenes changing every few minutes and dine on gourmet food. We chose the few dollars more and here are some of the views:

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ANCHORAGE THE LAST CITY ON OUR ADVENTURE IN ALASKA AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RAVEN BLOG #9

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Lovely Anchorage is an artful city with flowers blooming all across the cemented, building laden downtown center. We enjoyed an outside concert bundled in our jackets and scarves, while the natives sat in flip-flops and short sleeves. Right away they wanted to know where we were from…they wanted to know how we liked Alaska? The conversation was lively and we told them we like Alaska.

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Remember Alaskan’s have to make the best of months May through September when the tourists come, use these months to fix and create roads, to do construction or build homes, plant food, flowers, take care of any outside maintenance and just enjoy the summer weather.  After we left the concert we marveled at a beautiful bed of flowers and ornamental cabbage. Enjoying the same bed of flowers including snapdragons was a little family.  I asked if I might teach the boys how to snap the dragons. Parents gave consent and wanted to know also.  I showed the little boys how to pinch the mouths of the dragon’s open without hurting the flower, noting that each mouth was different. The family squealed played with the snapdragons. The mother said, “Now, I know why they call them snapdragons.”  I could hear their joy as we continued our city walk.

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We found out that the city of Anchorage passed a law that states 1% of the outsides of their buildings had to contain art. That 1 % percentage can be achieved by merely painting a line somewhere on the façade of each building. As we walked and with this 1% knowledge of art additions we did come to recognize attempts to add the concept of art to their buildings and appreciated it as we toured. We noticed paint attempts along with windows in patterns, rough and smooth glazed rock interchanged making a woven pattern, baskets and baskets of flowers hung from lamp posts and potted plants popped up in nooks and crannies up and down the streets of the downtown area. Bravo, Anchorage and more cities should follow suit, plus my attitude would be to up the percentage of art added.

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Here in Anchorage is where I change animal spirits. Remember we asked the family in the beginning of the trip to choose an animal spirit.  Did you go along with us and choose one?   I chose to be the hawk and I have received many images and spiritual growth in the body of the hawk. Many of the characteristics tagged for this animal were used and taught their lessons to me.  There is no winning or loosing; there is limited height, there for most of the time invisibility was useful, not clear enough for my use. The clarity of vision was enjoyed and used, as was the ability for sharp focusing.  Several hawk visitations were mild and informative. The hawks I heard crying in our own backyard, I hope you are now healed.

A lovely lady suggested in a comment on one of my blogs that I adopt the spirit of a humming bird. I studied its many sweet attributes and workable concepts, but they are not for me, yet.

With the help of a gorgeous walk in downtown Anchorage, the Raven appeared to me. I was assured that I would be accepted without fear, and would comfortably have the ability to tear down and rebuild what was necessary: a renewal of sorts. There is certain courage in self-reflection, but I ‘ll tell you being in the sheer beauty of nature is automatically self-reflective.  I can’t tell you what else it is unless you view it without human interference. If not for solitude, reflection and glory to a higher power, than what?

Here in Anchorage and in the Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich Park stands the Raven sculpture by their son Roy A Peratroich Jr. It motivated me to take the spirit of the Raven and study its challenges.

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Another view of the sculpture:

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Becoming a Raven spirit requires a change in consciousness. Now that is work.   Many of you have been going along with the adopting of an animal spirit and I enjoy your newfound delight and gratification. Thank you for the trust as well. Keep sharing.

My new Raven spirit in its renewal state has the ability to find light in the darkness, honor the ancients, and has an opportunity to achieve divination and eloquence. Work slowly with your animal spirit, one level at a time.  If you have picked the right spirit you have a job for a long time in understanding its depth. Share,

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