Friday, 7 May 2010

2010:365:127 Home again ... but still thinking about Turkey!

Fresh warm rhubarb from the garden makes a great lunch - and gives the photograph for today as well.  It doesn't feel as if I've quite landed yet so taking a picture of the rhubarb and some spring flowers seemed a good idea.  Everything has changed in just one week.  The trees are now fully green and look beautiful; the bluebells are taking over from narcissii and daffodils.
Beyond this little bunch on the windowsill the garden azaleas are in full glorious bloom.  It is a fantastic time of the year for changing beauty and colour.
Although in my head I'm still wandering around Turkey and taking pictures of the Mediterranean plants.  Even while sitting in the Ulster Hall tonight listening to the Ulster Orchestra, and then to a piano recital, the light chandeliers reminded me so much of one of the last pictures taken yesterday - was it only yesterday?  
The great fragrant clusters of the datura flower heads give a heady perfume to the evening air and this bush, near to a restaurant where we ate, was a particularly fine variety.  
Yesterday was filled with good things.  A leisurely morning followed by a tasty lunch on the balcony.  And then a trip to Patara en route for the airport.  I'd never really thought much about Patara other than knowing it as a place on a map.
Saint Paul set off for Rome from the port....
Saint Nicholas was born there....
The Bishop of Patara was an important figure at the Council of Nicaea....
but as a place, I'd not even tried to imagine it.  Just as well, really!  Ten square kilometres of building after building after building....  I couldn't believe my eyes.  At every turn in the road there were more ruins, arches, pavements. The ground all round as far as you could see was covered with worked stone and the foundations of once spectacular structures.
Patara is amazing.  Time would fail me if I were to begin to describe the magnificence of these finds which are slowly but surely being uncovered and restored.  
Bigger and steeper than the one at Kas the amphitheatre must have been an awesome sight.  
The hills all around Patara are like giant jigsaw puzzles with the pieces set out in rows just waiting to be inserted into the right place.
Inscriptions and columns that must have been covered for hundreds of years are a crisp as the day they were carved.  
It was hard to take in the size and scale of this place.  You'd need to return again and again to gain any kind of accurate picture of just what an important port this town must have been.
It will get me looking around for more bits of information about it over the next wee while.  Of course no photographing day would be complete without a few close up pictures.  There'll be more on Shutterfly in a day or two but the snails at Patara were unusual.  They congregated in huge numbers and in places you couldn't walk over the ground without wiping out whole colonies of them.
I had never seen anything like it before!
Patara is famous also for its turtle beach - eighteen kilometres of it!  You'd not see the turtles during the day and the beach is a restricted zone at night....but I can imagine them scurrying over this soft sand down to the water.  What a sight that must be!  
No doubt over the next while there will be photographs of Turkey that slip into the occasional blog....but for now....I'll just raise a final glass to a fantastic holiday!

Let all creation join in one
to bless the sacred name
of him that sits upon the throne,
and to adore the Lamb.

Church Hymnal number 332
"Come, let us join our cheerful songs" by Isaac Watts.

1 comment:

Loey said...

I really enjoy the information you have written about your photos it is so interesting to read the history and see the beauty of these places.