Istanbul Archaeological Museums

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum was undergoing renovation when we went, so I don’t think we saw all the different exhibits they have. It also was that part of the time I was there I felt like I was walking through a rat maze. In any event, it has some really nice exhibits. However my favorite part was actually the Tiled Kiosk next door. I find the name amusing because when I hear kiosk, I think of a little booth in the mall with someone trying to sell cell phone accessories or some pillow that is going to solve all my health problems. The Tiled Kiosk is pretty though and has walls covered with tile, stained glass windows, and other art.

Tiled Kiosk entrance

Tiled Kiosk entrance

Basin in Tiled Kiosk

Basin in Tiled Kiosk

Tiled Kiosk alcove

Tiled Kiosk alcove

Tiled Kiosk wall

Tiled Kiosk wall

Stained glass window of Tiled Kiosk

Stained glass window of Tiled Kiosk

Mosaic

Mosaic

Stone inserts in carved column

Stone inserts in carved column

Turkey: Ancient Ephesus

Our cruise through the Greek Islands ended in Turkey, where we visited Ephesus. The ruins of ancient Ephesus are amazing, partially because of how much is left. The library is just gorgeous. Several streets are still present which gives you a really good feel for how the city used to be. The public toilets make me glad to be alive in the indoor plumbing age.

Street

Street

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Clay pipes

Clay pipes

Columns

Columns

Odeon

Odeon

Public toilets

Public toilets

Residential area

Residential area

Temple of Hadrian

Temple of Hadrian

Theater

Theater

Residential area mosaic floor

Residential area mosaic floor

Greece: Naxos Countryside

This morning we went on a hike in the Naxos countryside through a few small villages. Our destination was the Kouros, but really the journey was the best part. We walked along a rather small road, which should almost be put in quotes but they do drive on it. There was a small aqueduct running alongside the road that appears to convey water from mountain runoff and springs to farms below.

Rural area

Rural area

Farming area

Farming area

Olive tree

Olive tree

Metal gate to yard

Metal gate to yard

Donkey

Donkey

Aqueduct

Aqueduct

Aqueduct waterfall

Aqueduct waterfall

Lily of the Nile

Lily of the Nile

Kouros

Kouros

Greece: Naxos

We visited Naxos today. We spent the morning walking around the town and then spent the afternoon swimming in the Aegean Sea. The town has the classic Cycladic white stucco architecture with bright blue trim and doors. The downtown area has few streets and mainly has alleys on which we continually got lost. Most porches and entries and potted plants and bougainvillea. I love how these old cities areas have no green space, so most people put as many potted plants near their house as possible. The downtown area is highlighted by a castle that is really now part of the town. Just off of the harbor is the unfinished Temple of Apollo.

Castle

Castle

Half gate on stairs

Half gate on stairs

View from Temple of Apollo

View from Temple of Apollo

shaded balcony

Shaded balcony

Umbrellas decorate alley

Umbrellas decorate alley

Man walks past gate

Man walks past gate

Ultimate Greek house

Ultimate Greek house

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Castle tower

Castle tower

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Potted plants on stairs

Potted plants on stairs

Fenced gardens

Fenced gardens

Beach

Beach

Greece: Athena Pronaia at Delphi

Right next to the Delphi archaeological site is the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia. It is a much smaller site, and I am not sure if it is technically considered to be part of the Delphi site. The main ruins at the site are those of the Thosos, which is a round building. A neat feature at the site is a mountain spring that flows onto the site and is channeled away in a small stone canal.

Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia with Delphi in the background

Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia with Delphi in the background

Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia

The Tholos

The Tholos

Lego pieces

Lego pieces

Mountain spring

Mountain spring

Channel for the spring at the site

Channel for the spring at the site

Greece: Delphi Museum

After we visited the archaeological Delphi site, we visited the museum next door. All the artifacts are from the site, and there are some amazing pieces in it. The pieces are amazing and masterfully made. I also can’t get over the detail into some of the pieces, especially ones that were supposed to be on top of structure and thus never seen up close.

Sphinx

Sphinx

Athenian column

Athenian column

Athenian column

Athenian column

chariot driver

chariot driver

cornice

cornice

frieze

frieze

frieze

frieze

lion head

lion head

Omphalos

Omphalos

Omphalos

Omphalos

The Twins

The Twins

Greece: Delphi

Today we visited the archaeological site of Delphi. Delphi is definitely one of the most amazing archaeological sites to which I have ever been. It is not the biggest. Olympia and the Athens Acropolis are probably bigger, and both of them are very impressive. I think what I found so awe-inspiring about Delphi was not just the ruins, which are impressive, but also the setting. It is nestled into the mountains, and it reminds me of Machu Picchu. As an engineer, I haven’t stop being impressed with the construction of these sites, and at Delphi, I found the Polygonal Wall to be just amazing. Polygonal Wall is built of carved stones set on top each other without any mortar.

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

View from Delphi

Delphi

Delphi

View from Delphi

Polygonal wall and Athenian Stoa

Polygonal wall and Athenian Stoa

Stadium

Stadium

Theater

Theater

Theater

Theater

Treasury of the Athenians

Treasury of the Athenians

Altar of Apollo

Altar of Apollo

Omphalos

Omphalos

Greece: Olympia

Today we visited the ancient site of Olympia where the original Olympic games were held. The site is huge, and they are still uncovering it. The gymnasium is only partially uncovered with something like 80% still left to dig up. There were two different areas where people were working to uncover remains while I was there. There were so many structures that I got confused at times what was what structure. Then of course there also pieces lying around in what I am sure is some logical method to the archaeologists, but to most of us, it looks like column, foundation, or undetermined piece of stone lying about everywhere with no clue as to which building it belongs. Then there is the stadium, which is unmistakable as it is a huge open area surrounded by sloped grassy areas, where I like most people, felt the need to traverse the distance just to say I walked across the ancient Olympic Stadium. Many others raced each other down the length of it. The entire site is just really neat to explore. I also really started examining the limestone that was used to make the structures. Some of the stone has eroded enough that I could examine the shells in it. Other limestone was being eroded by plants, lichen, and moss, who clearly had no respect for the history of the stone.

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Hera

Temple of Hera

Temple of Hera

Temple of Hera

Hera's Alter, where they light the Olympic torch for modern Olympics

Hera’s Alter, where they light the Olympic torch for modern Olympics

Propylon

Propylon

Propylon

Propylon

Philippeion

Philippeion

Stadium entrance

Stadium entrance

Stadium

Stadium

Leonidaion

Leonidaion

Leonidaion

Leonidaion

Column parts

Column parts

Ruins

Ruins

Seashells in limestone

Seashells in eroded limestone column

Moss and plant on limestone column

Moss and plant on limestone column

Greece: Mycenae

Today we visited Mycenae, which includes both the Treasury of Atreus and Mycenae Acropolis. The Mycenaean civilization dates back to the 15th to 12th century B.C. The architecture is impressive and unique and includes the triangle structure as a predecessor to the arch. The Treasury looks like a giant beehive from the inside and is just amazing to stand inside. The Lion Gate is possibly the most impressive and certainly (to my untrained eye) the most unique structure at the Acropolis.

Treasury of Atreus

Treasury of Atreus

Treasury of Atreus dome from inside

Treasury of Atreus dome from inside

Treasury of Atreus entrance

Treasury of Atreus entrance

Lion Gate

Lion Gate

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

Mycenae Acropolis

View from Mycenae Acropolis

View from Mycenae Acropolis

Greece: Epidaurus

After visiting the Corinth Canal, we stopped at Epidaurus to see the ancient Theater of Epidaurus and also the Sanctuary of Asklepios. The shrine of Asklepios, the god of medicine, became a site where ancient people came to seek healing or to ask for healing of other. The site also contains the fourth century theater, which is still in absolutely amazing condition. The acoustics of the theater are just astounding.

Epidauros Theater

Epidauros Theater

Epidauros Theater

Epidauros Theater

Epidauros Theater

Epidauros Theater

Wall of the Asklepios ruins

Wall of the Asklepios ruins

Asklepios ruins

Asklepios ruins

Banquet Hall

Banquet Hall

Bathhouse

Bathhouse

Sanctuary of the Gods

Sanctuary of the Gods

Stadium

Stadium

Capital

Capital