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For 1000 Years, the Aya Sofya in Istanbul, Turkey  was the world’s largest church….

For 1000 Years, the Aya Sofya in Istanbul, Turkey was the world’s largest church….

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Mainly because I’d played a lot of Civilization, the name I knew this monumental building by was the Hagia Sophia. In fact, that’s the Greek name. The Turkish call it Aya Sophia. The Romans who built it called it Sancta Sophia in…

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Selcuk – Ancient Home of Artemis, the Virgin Mary, and St. John

Selcuk – Ancient Home of Artemis, the Virgin Mary, and St. John

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Instead at the Izmir otogar we caught a minibus to Selcuk for 8 lira each. A friend of mine from Lonely Planet had suggested a great guesthouse there and even though I’m not crazy about crowd filled historical tourist sites, I wanted to visit the ancient city of Ephesus. The ride to Selcuk took us about an hour.

AK-47s and the Smoke that Thunders – Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls

AK-47s and the Smoke that Thunders – Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls

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Victoria Falls are a UNESCO World Heritage site that straddles the boarders of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here the Zambezi river drops almost 400 feet across a 1 mile wide face into a remarkably small cut in the earth, making it the largest falls in the world.

Fire on the Mountain – Visiting the Ancient Chimera in Olympos, Turkey

Fire on the Mountain – Visiting the Ancient Chimera in Olympos, Turkey

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The Chimera finally was defeated by Bellerophon, with the help of Pegasus, at the command of King Iobates of Lycia. Since Pegasus could fly, Bellerophon shot the Chimera from the air, safe from her heads and breath.

What am I doing here? Heading towards Fairy Chimneys and Wonder in Cappadocia

What am I doing here? Heading towards Fairy Chimneys and Wonder in Cappadocia

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As you read this, I am no doubt in transit with my wife and daughter on the way to the land of fairy chimneys and hot air baloons – Cappadocia.

Korean Bathhouses – The Wonderful World of Jjimjilbang

Korean Bathhouses – The Wonderful World of Jjimjilbang

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The best thing about Korea is the jinjabongs. I know, best is a word that one shouldn’t really use when writing about world travel since it’s such a subjective word, but here it applies. Korea is filled with wonderful things but the jingabongs are the most wonderful.

Ephesus Efes – Classical Mediterranean City – Swelled with Tourists

Ephesus Efes – Classical Mediterranean City – Swelled with Tourists

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People have been living cities in this area for about 8000 years. At about 1050 BC, it was a port city for the Greeks called Apasas. In about 300 BC, one of Alexander the Great’s generals changed it to Ephesus. For the Roman’s it was the capital city of the state of Asia. It was founded as a city dedicated to the Goddess Artemis who represented hunting and the moon. The Romans called her Diana. Ephesus stopped being a port city when the sea receded about 600 AD. The city was also controlled by the Persians during its long history.

The Temple of Artemis and Isa Bey Camii

The Temple of Artemis and Isa Bey Camii

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“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, “Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.”

The Istanbul Archeology Museum and the Basilica Cistern

The Istanbul Archeology Museum and the Basilica Cistern

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Hanane and I decided to head back to Sultanahmet to see some of Istanbul and Turkey’s ancient history. Our first stop was the Istanbul Archaeology Museum which is located near the Topkapi Palace inside Gulhane Park. The museum has more than a million objects in its collections many of them from Byzantine, Greek, Roman, and even earlier civilizations.