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My travels to UAE and Oman in 2015 – part 3

Today I was going to go to the east coast of the UAE for some scuba diving activities.

I was going to the resort of Fujairah.

The resort of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE.

The resort of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE.

Fujairah is approximately two hours drive from Dubai and is popular with tourists who want to get away from citylife.

The beach is very quiet here.

The beach is very quiet here.

Many watersport activities can be conducted from here.

Me posing in the resort of Fujairah.

Me posing in the resort of Fujairah.

Diving on the east coast of the UAE is mainly reefs and a few small wrecks.

This was to be a short introduction to scuba diving before crossing the border at Dibba and into Oman for some boat diving along the Oman coastline of the Musandam peninsula.

The sea temperature in Fujairah was a staggering 29 degrees Celsius. In addition, the sea had a lot of planktons and thus the visability was poor. The sea was very green underwater and photography was therefore poor.

A Parrotfish sighted off a small wreck.

A Parrotfish sighted off a small wreck.

I saw a seahorse of approximately 20cms in size. A quite rare encounter for scuba divers.

A rather large seahorse.

A rather large seahorse.

After my two dives in Fujairah, I was going to cross the border at Dibba and into Oman.

The small border town of Dibba in Oman.

The small border town of Dibba in Oman.

The Musandam peninsula is the most northerly province of Oman and marks the entrance to the Arabian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz.

The port in Dibba was where I was going to get onto our converted dhow boat.

Traditional dhows converted for tourism.

Traditional dhows converted for tourism.

Me in the port of Dibba.

Me in the port of Dibba.

Diving in the Musandam peninsula is mostly drift diving and therefore not recommended for novice divers.

Relaxing on the sundeck before my dives.

Relaxing on the sundeck before my dives.

The Musandam coastline itself is carved into countless fjords, bays and islands.

The coastline of the The Musandam peninsula.

The coastline of the Musandam peninsula.

Me posing for the sexy gals on the boat.

Me posing for the sexy gals on the boat.

Marine life expected to be seen off Omani waters are five species of turtles, Eagle Rays and Devil Rays, and reef sharks. Occassionly Whale Sharks can be seen during the summer months. The colourful corals attracts tropical species such as Parrotfish, Batfish and Lion fish.

Arriving at one of the dive sites off the Oman coastline.

Arriving at one of the dive sites off the Oman coastline.

Omani water is plankton rich and therefore water visibility is reduced from that of other diving destinations.

Plenty of marine life.

Plenty of marine life.

A Moray Eel laying await for an ambush.

A Moray Eel laying await for an ambush.

A another Moray Eel spotted.

Another Moray Eel spotted.

I saw Nemo!

I saw Nemo!

I saw a turtle.

I saw a turtle.

I saw a second turtle.

I saw a second turtle.

A two metre Eagle Ray.

A two metre Eagle Ray.

After two days of diving from the dhow we head back to Dibba and eventually back to Dubai.

The sun sets as we head back to Dibba.

The sun sets as we head back to Dibba.

Arriving back in Dubai it was time to buy some tacky souvenirs to annoy people back home.

I brought a naff Shake my Sheikh salt and pepper shakers.

Shake my Sheikh salt and pepper shakers.

Pride of place. Photo: Copyright KW 2015.

This was going to be given to my boss in the hope that I will get some extra overtime shifts at work (as well as a promotion!)

– The end –

For more information on Oman please visit:

www.omantourism.gov.om

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My travels to UAE and Oman in 2015 – part 2

Today I was going to visit the city of Al Ain located 120 kms south of Dubai. The fourth largest city in the UAE. Al Ain is known as the Garden City due to it greenery nature and it oasis. Al Ain is also the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates.

The minibus from Dubai to Al Ain was 20 AED (£3.75) and the journey took one and half hours to two hours.

I was keen to visit the cultural sights that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Ain. The citation of the Al Ain entry in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list describes Al Ain as having multiple locations for it citation. That being the examples of construction, agricultural use and water management in the desert since protohistory.

The designated Al Ain World Heritage Site is a serial nomination of 17 locations.

First on my sightseeing was the Al Jahili fort.

The Al Jahili Fort approximately 3kms from Al Ain city centre.

The Al Jahili fort approximately 3kms from Al Ain city centre.

The fort has no admission fees. A lone security guy sits on a chair in the shade.

The main entrance to the fort.

Above the main entrance to the fort.

The fort is open everyday except Monday. The fort is also closed on Friday mornings.

The tower above the main entrance.

The tower above the main entrance.

At the time of my visit, there was no other visitors and except for the lone security officer sitting on chair, I had the fort all to myself.

The main courtyard of the fort.

The main courtyard of the fort.

in the northeastern corner is the two-storey building which was used for receptions and guests of the Sheikh.

Buildings used for reception and guests of the Sheikh.

Buildings used for reception and guests of the Sheikh.

The Al Jahili fort is one if the UAE most historic buildings. It was constructed in 1891 to defend the city and protect it palm groves.

One of the towers of the fort.

One of the towers of the fort.

In 1951, the fort was the headquarters of the Oman Trucial Scouts that protected the mountain passes and kept inter-tribal peace.

Inside the corridors of the fort.

Inside the corridors of the fort.

The scouts were renamed the Union Defence Force (UDF) upon the formation of the Unitied Arab Emirates in 1971.

In the southwestern corner of the fort is the round tower.

The southwestern round tower.

The southwestern round tower.

The round tower consists of four concentric tiers.

The steps to the round tower.

The steps to the round tower.

Climbing the round tower.

Climbing the round tower.

Me posing in the round tower.

Me posing in the round tower.

Me suffering in the 39 degrees heat.

Me suffering in the 39 degrees heat.

The walls on the round tower.

The walls on the round tower.

Me posing under the round tower.

Me posing under the round tower.

In the 1980’s the fort was handed over to the Department of Antiquities and Tourism which carried out restoration work to restore the fort to it original status.

Dates farmed inside the fort.

Dates farmed inside the fort.

The bags protect the dates from beasties.

The bags protect the dates from beasties.

I went for a walk outside the fort.

One of the smaller towers of the fort.

One of the smaller towers of the fort.

Me posing in front of one of the towers.

Me posing in front of one of the towers.

Another restoration phase in 2007-8 by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) saw the fort houses a Visitor Information Centre with a shop and cafe, facilities for outdoor cultural events and wider exhibition spaces.

The round tower as seen from outside the fort.

The round tower as seen from outside the fort.

Me posing in front of Al Jahili fort.

Me posing in front of the round tower.

The round tower as seen from the Al Ain garden park.

The round tower as seen from the Al Ain garden park.

After my sightseeing at the fort I then went to the Al Ain Palace Museum.

The main garden in the courtyard of the palace.

The main garden in the courtyard of the palace.

The palace is the former home of the late UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

One of the wall towers of the palace.

One of the wall towers of the palace.

The palace was built in 1910 and in 1998 the palace became a museum.

Inside one of the reception rooms.

Inside one of the reception rooms.

The palace has no admission fees.

Wall decoration.

Wall decoration.

The Al Ain Oasis is the largest oasis in Al Ain. The oasis is 3000 acres and contains over 147,000 dates palms.

Pathways inside the oasis.

Pathways inside the oasis.

It was easy to get lost inside the oasis.

One of the farms inside the oasis.

One of the farms inside the oasis.

The oasis is known for its underground irrigation system “falaj” which brings water from boreholes to water farms and palm trees.

Dates growing in one of the palm plantations.

Dates growing in one of the palm plantations.

The falaj irrigation is an ancient system dating back thousands of years.

As with the fort, the dates were bagged.

As with the fort, the dates were bagged.

Other crops grown here are mangoes, oranges, bananas and figs.

Dates is exported around the world from here.

Dates is exported around the world from here.

Inside the oasis there are remains of an old fortification and an mosque.

Palm tree silhouette.

Palm tree silhouette.

Heading back into the city centre, I passed the mosque.

The main mosque in Al Ain.

The main mosque in Al Ain.

Al Ain Mosque silhouette.

Al Ain Mosque silhouette.

I decided to go to the market.

Inside the market.

Inside the market.

An assortment of fresh fruit and meat is available here.

Fresh fruit from the market.

Fresh fruit from the market.

Next on my sightseeing was to visit the Al Ain National museum.

Al Ain National museum is the oldest museum in the UAE. Opened in 1971, the museum features displays on the city’s exclusive heritage and history.

The museum is housed in the same compound as the Sultan Bin Zayed Fort (also known as the Eastern Fort) which was built in 1910 and is well conserved.

The museum is 3 AED (£0.60) admission. As with other attractions in Al Ain, the museum is close on Mondays and closed on Friday mornings.

The fort was built in 1910.

The fort was built in 1910.

The Eastern fort was constructed a 100 years ago by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and served as a residence to his family since then and until he succeeded as the ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1922.

The main entrance to the fort.

The main entrance to the fort.

It was converted to a museum and opened to the public in 1971.

One of the cannons at the entrance of the fort.

One of the cannons at the entrance of the fort.

The fort is quite small and is only 35 metres in length on each side.

One of the towers.

One of the towers.

After my sightseeing, it was time to head back to Dubai and my luxury *ahem* hotel.

Tomorrow, I was going to go scuba diving on the east coast of UAE and Oman.

To be continued….

For more information about the UAE please visit:

www.uaetourism.ae


My travels to UAE and Oman in 2015 – part 1

I am back from my six days visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I was able to do some sightseeing and cross over the border to Oman for scuba diving.

In summary, I spent two full days in Oman and three full days in the UAE sightseeing and shopping.

It was hot at this time of the year. The temperature was 39 degrees Celsius whilst the sea temperature was 29 degrees Celsius.

My hotel was in the old part of Dubai known as Deira and was near to Dubai Creek.

Dubai itself is a city famous for its modern architecture and luxury shopping malls. The city has expanded at an enormous rate over the last few decades and the population now stands at 2.5 million (mostly expats and immigrants). In the 1950s the population was 20,000 people. With the discovery of oil, the city rapidly expanded and it wealth has led to ultramodern projects such as the Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago project. Many of the construction projects in Dubai are now on hold due the 2008 banking crisies and the current decline in oil prices.

When I arrived, my first sightseeing was to Dubai Marina. This is a residential district of Dubai where many westerners expats live.

Dubai Marina is a residential district.

Dubai Marina is a residential district.

Many of the skyscapers here are residential blocks.

The skyscrapers of Dubai Marina.

The skyscrapers of Dubai Marina.

Having known many expats living here over the years, a lot of these residential towers were built by dubious developers and many expats have lost their investments to these crooks. That is typical of how things are done in Dubai. So becareful if you are considering investing here.

The Torch Tower had a twenty storey fire last February. At the time of construction I had spoken to many expats who purchased off plan into this tower and many expressed concerns about the poor construction of the tower including lack of fire protection coatings. Their concerns proven to be correct.

Me posing next to the residential skyscrapers.

Me posing next to the residential skyscrapers.

All over the marina, new towers are still being built.

Construction is still ongoing.

Construction is still ongoing.

I took a small RIB boat from the Marina to visit the artificial archipelagos.

Dubai Marina can accommodate 120,000 people.

Dubai Marina can accommodate 120,000 people.

Taking the boat out, I saw the Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago project and also the Burj Al Arab hotel. The hotel was opened in 1999 and it is a symbol of modern Dubai.

The Burj Al Arab hotel is the world's only 7 star hotel.

The Burj Al Arab hotel is the world’s only 7 star hotel.

This hotel is the world’s only 7 star hotel. Living on my £145 per month army pension, I was not able to afford to stay here for my holiday.

This is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.

This is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.

With gold plated toilets and personal butlers to chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce services, this hotel has been repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab hotel.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab hotel.

From the marina, I had to cross the famous Sheikh Zayed Road to get to the metro station.

The traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

The traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

I took the metro back to the old city.

The metro with the Burj Khalifa tower in the background.

The metro with the Burj Khalifa tower in the background.

Whilst on the metro, I passed the Burj Khalifa tower. This is the tallest tower in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) tall. The building gained the official title of “Tallest Building in the World” at its opening on January 4th, 2010.

The world's tallest building.

The world’s tallest building.

Arriving in the old city of Dubai, I first went to see the Creek.

The old port of Dubai Creek.

The old port of Dubai Creek.

Dubai Creek is the old part of the city and was originlly a small port for numberous dhows that traded with East Africa and India. It is still used for trade using the traditional dhows.

Me posing next to one of the dhows.

Me posing next to one of the dhows.

A short walk later, I came to the Al Fahidi fort.

The fort is now a museum.

The fort is now a museum.

The fort was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. It is now a museum and is 3 AED (£0.60) to get in.

The courtyard of Al Fahidi Fort.

The courtyard of Al Fahidi fort.

After my sightseeing, I went to do some late night shopping.

The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall based on total area. Opened in 2009, it has over 1200 stores.

The shopping mall's interior.

The shopping mall’s interior.

In March this year, more than a hundred foreign labourers protested in front of Dubai Mall due to overtime wages not being paid. Despite all the ultraluxury developments in Dubai, there is a lot of poor pay within the city.

The fashion avenue of the mall.

The fashion avenue of the mall.

The Mall comes with a interior aquarium so that shoppers can stare at the fish whilst shopping.

Window shopping was never like this!

Window shopping was never like this!

The Mall of the Emirates has over 700 stores and a ski slope! The Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park.

This shopping mall has a ski slope!

This shopping mall has a ski slope!

After buying my sexy gal a sexy skirt and several dresses, I headed back to my faulty air conditioning hotel room.

The next day I was going to visit Al Ain, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To be continued….

For more information about the UAE and Dubai please visit:

www.uaetourism.ae


My travels to Turkey in 2015 – part 3

Today I was going to visit Dalyan and the river delta.

The river town of Dalyan.

The river town of Dalyan.

At the town of Dalyan, traditional turkish boats take tourists along the river delta to the various attractions for 35 TL (approx. £8.75). Along the way I got to see the rock tombs, the mudbaths and Iztuzu beach also known as Turtle beach as well as Kaunos ruins.

A traditional fishing boat on the river.

A traditional fishing boat on the river.

The small boat was packed with over thirty tourists and was very crowded. Most of them were inconsiderately smoking in such a small confined space!

The Lycian tock tombs at Dalyan.

The Lycian rock tombs at Dalyan.

On the way to Iztuzu beach, we passed the Lycian Tombs.

Crusing past the rock tombs.

Crusing past the rock tombs.

After a few kilometres, the boat arrives at the back of Iztuzu beach.

The boat jetty at the rear of the beach.

The boat jetty at the rear of the beach.

Iztuzu beach is a reserve and turtles lay their eggs there, it is lovely and unspoilt.

Many daytrippers boats are here.

Many daytrippers boats are here.

Turtles can be seen in the waters around the boats.

The beach is 7kms long.

The beach is 7kms long.

The beach is very busy with daytrippers from all of the nearby resorts.

Walking along the beach.

Walking along the beach.

You can walk the 7km along the beach from one end to the other, but take plenty of water as there are only two beach cafes on the beach and very little shade.

I walked to the very end of the beach.

I walked to the very end of the beach.

The beach is closed to the public at nighttime due to turtles activities.

Tracks of a turtle running up a sand dune.

Tracks of a turtle running up a sand dune.

Beach wardens protect the nests.

A protected turtle nest.

A protected turtle nest.

After spending a few hours on the beach we headed to the mudbaths for a quick bath in the mud.

A quick bath to rejuvenate my skin.

A quick bath to rejuvenate my skin.

The mudbaths are said to have mineral properties to rejuvenate the skin.

Our last stop on the boat trip was to visit the Kaunos ruins. Kaunos was an ancient and important seaport. It has both Greek and Roman influence. The ruins date back to the 10th century BC.

Kaunos was a important seaport.

Kaunos was a important seaport.

Due to the silting of the bay of Dalyan, the ruins of Kaunos are now located about 8kms from the coast.

The theater has seating for 5000 people.

The theatre has seating for 5000 people.

The theatre is still used for performances.

The Heraklion fortress above the ruin city.

The Heraklion fortress above the ruin city.

A little lake forms what used to be the main seaport.

The old seaport.

The old seaport.

The city was abandoned in the 15th century AD following a malaria outbreak.

A Grecko sits on the wall.

A grecko sits on the wall.

On my return back to my appartment I was horrified to see a Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) on my balcony.

A Prayer Mantis on my balcony.

A Prayer Mantis on my balcony.

Fearing for my life, I had to run away! Something that I am well used to from my army days.

A close up of the Mantis.

A close up of the Mantis.

On my last day of my holiday I was going into the mountains to Saklikent Gorge. It is 50kms from Fethiye. The gorge is 20kms in length and 300 metres high.

Saklikent Gorge is over 20kms long.

Saklikent Gorge is over 20kms long.

The gorge is one of the longest in the world and I was going to walk several kilometres inland. With the water running down the gorge, the walk requires wading through the water up to waist height or in my case (as I am only 30 cms tall) being totally submerged.

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge

A wooden walkway at the start of the gorge is the entry point into the gorge. After a few hundred metres, the walkway ends at a cafe. From here onwards, tourists must wade through the water. Safety ropes are in place for handholds. Tourists can only wade through the gorge in the summer months for safety reasons.

It is one of the longest gorges in the world.

It is one of the longest gorges in the world.

Finally, I went white water tubing down the river. After a knackering day at the gorge I headed back to the apartment where I spent my last night to a night of love with a sexy gal (I had to pay her fifty Euros). Then it was back to work the following Monday *sniffs*.

– The end –

For more information about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com


My travels to Turkey in 2015 – part 2

After a relaxing day at the swimming pool with a sexy bikini gal, today I was going to visit the ruin village of Kayaköy. The village is abour 8km south of Fethyie.

The bus drops off tourists at the bus stop and from then it is a short uphill path to the centre of the village.

A path leds uphill to the centre of the village.

A path leds uphill to the centre of the village.

Whilst walking up the path I nearly trodden on a path.

A snake on the path.

A snake on the path.

This village has over 300 desserted buildings. The Greeks lived in the village untill 1922.

The abandoned village.

The abandoned village.

Many of the abandoned buildings were damaged in the 1957 Fethiye earthquake.

I was looking at the ruins.

I was looking at the ruins.

In the messy fallout of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the land grabs of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). The resounding loss of the Greeks in this war ended with violence and retribution, which was often aimed at the remaining Greek Orthodox community within the new Turkish borders, and in turn, against the Muslim Turks in Greece. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks fled the violence in Turkey, which led the governments to agree to a mutual compulsory population exchange starting in 1923 in order to staunch the bloodshed.

I made it up the path.

I made it up the path.

Nowadays it is a ghost village popular with tourists. The village is preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly standing Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside.

This village has been abandoned.

This village has been abandoned.

The admission fee to this village is 10 TL (approx. £2.50).

Some of the building you can safely go inside.

Looking out one of the buildings.

Looking out one of the buildings.

The centre of the village is a a very prominent church.

A church in the middle of the village.

A church in the middle of the village.

This church is currently under restoration.

This church is currently under restoration.

Mosaics flooring aside the church.

Mosaics flooring aside the church.

Goats and other livestock are in this village amongst the ruins.

A goat resting in one of the ruins.

A goat resting in one of the ruins.

In 2014, Kayakoy also took centre stage in the closing scenes of Russell Crowe’s film “The Water Diviner”.

I had the village all to myself.

I had the village all to myself.

The houses were crumbling.

The houses were crumbling.

Overgrown paths.

Overgrown paths.

Inside one of the churches.

Inside one of the churches.

In the quietness of the village, wildlife can be seen.

A gecko on one of the walls.

A gecko on one of the walls.

The other side of the village is a hill with a chapel on top of it.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

The whole village can be looked down at from the chapel.

Looking at the village from atop of a hill.

Looking at the village from atop of a hill.

Over 500 abandoned buildings.

Over 300 abandoned buildings.

Looking down on the village.

Looking down on the village.

I was at the top of the small chapel hill.

A small chapel at the top of a hill.

A small chapel at the top of a hill.

I was going to trek from the village to the coast.

It was windy on this hill.

It was windy on this hill.

The Lycian Way is a 540km way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya.

Looking over the hill to the coast.

Looking over the hill to the coast.

I was going to walk the 8km section from Kayaköy to Ölüdeniz. This little section of the Lycian Way goes from the village over a hill line and follows a path downhill to the Ölüdeniz and the famous lagoon beach.

Ölüdeniz beach and the lagoon.

Ölüdeniz beach and the lagoon.

The walk takes about two to three hours.

I made it to the beach after my walk.

I made it to the beach after my walk.

After a quick beer I took the bus back to my appartment and for some quality time with my sexy gal.

Tomorrow I was going to visit Dalyan and Turtle Beach.

To be continued….

For more information about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com


My travels to Turkey in 2015 – part 1

I am back from my two week holiday in Turkey.

I was staying in a self-catering appartment in Göcek near to the tourist resort of Fethiye. By staying in Göcek I was away from the tacky all day English breakfast cafes and Sky Sports TV bars that is awash with sunburnt rowdy English louts who are on their tenth pint of beer by midday.

A map of the part of Turkey I was travelling around.

A map of the part of Turkey that I was travelling around.

Göcek is a small town in Fethiye district in Muğla Province, Turkey. It was named “Kalimche” in ancient times, and is located near to Dalyan and Caunos in ancient times.

The town mosque with the butchers on the corner.

The town mosque with the butchers on the corner.

The town itself has many marinas and is popular as a destination for yachting.

One of the marinas in Göcek.

One of the marinas in Göcek.

My appartment had an swimming pool that I was able to relax at.

Topping up my sexy cotton fur tan!

Topping up my sexy cotton fur tan!

For my first day of sightseeing I was going to visit Fethiye marina and also see the Lycian rock tombs.

A boat passes the front of the marina.

A boat passes the front of the marina.

It was good to take a walk along the marina.

Walking around the marina.

Walking around the marina.

Many boats here can be chartered here for daytrips to the islands.

Traditional fishing boats as well as super yachts.

Traditional fishing boats as well as super yachts.

In the marina I saw two turtles.

A turtle swims under a boat.

A turtle swims under a boat.

Turtles are common on this part of the Turkish coastline.

A second turtle appeared.

A second turtle appeared.

The historic region of Lycia was a geopolitical region in the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey.

The ancient Lycian Rock Tombs.

The ancient Lycian Rock Tombs.

The landscape of this region is scattered with over 1400 rock tombs. The tombs date back to the 4th century.

I was enjoying my sightseeing.

I was enjoying my sightseeing.

The Lycians believed that their dead were carried to the afterlife by magic winged creatures and thus they placed their honored dead in geographically high places such as the cliffside.

Ancient burial tombs.

Ancient burial tombs.

The fee to enter the tombs is 5 TL (approx. £1.25).

Steps led up to the tombs.

Steps led up to the tombs.

Getting to the tombs from the marina is easy as the tombs are easily visable from the marina. Just keep walking uphill to get to them.

I got up the steps to the top.

I got up the steps to the top.

From the top, the whole of Fethyie can be viewed.

I need water after this climb!

I need water after this climb!

Within the area of the tombs were wild tortoises.

A wild tortoise.

A wild tortoise.

They were a common sight.

I was able to get close up photographs.

I was able to get close up photographs.

After visiting the tombs I made my way back to my appartment for some serious sunbathing with a very sexy gal at the pool.

To be continued….

For more information about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com


My travels to Greece in 2014 – part 2

Today I was going to visit the Acropolis of Athens, a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO.

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.

Acropolis of Athens is a World Heritage Site.

Acropolis of Athens is a World Heritage Site.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike.

I was taking in the sites.

I was taking in the sites.

It cost 12 Euros to visit all six sites of the Acropolis of Athens and the ancient Agora.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site ticked off on my bucket list.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site ticked off on my bucket list.

The slopes of the Acropolis has many statues and monuments.

This poor fellow lost his arms.

This poor fellow lost his arms.

The theatre of Dionysus is at the base of the Acropolis and it was used for festivals in honor of the god Dionysus. It has seating for 17,000 spectators.

The Theatre of Dionysus is an open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens.

The Theatre of Dionysus is an open-air theatre and one of the earliest preserved in Athens.

The Parthenon is a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.

The Parthenon is a former temple.

The Parthenon is a former temple.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis.

On the north side, there is another large porch with six Ionic columns, and on the south, the famous “Porch of the Maidens”, with six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns.

In 1801 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and were later sold to the British Museum (along with the pedimental and frieze sculpture taken from the Parthenon). The new Acropolis Museum holds the other five figures, which are replaced onsite by replicas.

The Erechtheion is a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

The Erechtheion is a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon.

From atop I could see all across Athens including the ancient Agora down below.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

The ancient Agora was the central spot in ancient Athens. The Temple of Hephaestus is located at the north-west side of the Agora.

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved Greek temple.

The Temple of Hephaestus is a well-preserved Greek temple.

The ancient Agora has a small museum.

This statue was proudly showing off.

This statue was proudly showing off.

I headed to a viewpoint to look across the ancient Agora.

Looking over the ancient Agora.

Looking over the ancient Agora.

It was mid-November and warm enough for me to wear t-shirt and shorts.

Looking across the ancient Agora to the Acropolis.

Looking across the ancient Agora to the Acropolis.

Next on my sightseeing was the Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium is a multi-purpose stadium used for several events and athletics and hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic Stadium is the only major stadium in the world built entirely of white marble.

The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

In the 2004 Olympic Games, the Panathenaic Stadium hosted the archery competition and the finish of the Marathon.

It could once seat about 80,000 spectators on fifty rows of marble steps and currently holds 45,000 spectators.

It cost 3 Euros to visit the stadium.

It cost 3 Euros to visit the stadium.

The next day, I headed to the mountains surrounding the city of Athens. I came across a wild tortoise in the forest.

A wild tortoise.

A wild tortoise.

The Kaisariani Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery built on the north side of Mount Hymettus, near Athens.

The Kaisariani Monastery is just outside Athens.

The Kaisariani Monastery is just outside Athens.

The monastery was probably established in Byzantine times in ca. 1100.

It is high up in the mountains within the forest.

It is high up in the mountains within the forest.

I took the metro back to Athens city centre.

Graffiti is everywhere in Athens.

Graffiti is everywhere in Athens.

Shopping in Athens is a favorite pastime for tourists and Athenians and one of the best places to buy just about anything is the Monastiraki Flea Market.

The many stalls of Monastiraki Flea Market at Avissynias Square.

The many stalls of Monastiraki Flea Market at Avissynias Square.

After my shopping I headed to the marina on the coast.

I was invited by the Qatar’s former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani to have dinner on board his supersize yacht (that was probably paid for by taxes and corruption). At dinner we discuss FIFA 2022 World Cup bribery and rigging. We decided that Germany will win the cup in 2022. The Al Mirqab yacht is one of the largest motor yachts ever built at a length of 133 metres. The yacht is normally moored at the Faliro coastal area of Athens.

The Al Mirqab yacht belongs to former Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

The Al Mirqab yacht belongs to former Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

It was time to head back to Britain and to put up my Xmas decorations.

The sun sets over Athens.

The sun sets over Athens.

– The End –

For more information about Greece please visit:

www.visitgreece.gr