Discover the Past, Present, and Future of the Holy Land in 11 Days

Discover the Past, Present, and Future of the Holy Land in 11 Days

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Holy Land on an expedition. Explore the City of David and the ancient desert fortress of Masada; glide across the Sea of Galilee; and discover Jerusalem through the eyes of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Hear a broad spectrum of narratives on this program, designed in partnership with Israelis and Palestinians, Arabs and Jews.

Trip Highlights

• Meet artists and politicians, settlers and refugees, imams and rabbis.
• Explore the archaeological site of Caesarea Maritima.
• Enjoy a unique dual narrative provided by the Israeli and Palestinian peacebuilders who accompany the entire expedition.
• Visit the Yad Vashem Memorial and hear from a Holocaust survivor.

11 Days in The Holy Land

Day 1 — Tel Aviv, Israel / Jerusalem

Arrive in Tel Aviv and transfer to Jerusalem. Relax at the hotel before our reception and welcome dinner tonight.

Day 2 — Jerusalem

Begin the day on the Temple Mount, capped by the shining cupola of the Dome of the Rock. Meet an imam from the Al-Aqsa Mosque who will explain the importance of this holy site to Muslims.Then visit the Western Wall, touch the ancient stones, and meet with a rabbi to learn about the significance of this sacred place. A local pastor then joins us at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, home to six Christian sects and, according to tradition, the tomb of Jesus. In the afternoon, ascend to the top of the Mount of Olives and take in a panoramic view of the domes, spires, and golden stones of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Discover the Past, Present, and Future of the Holy Land in 11 Days

Day 3 — Jerusalem

Just outside the Old City walls lies the City of David, thought to be the original capital city established by King David some 3,000 years ago. Venture into the archaeological site and meet with its Israeli administrators; later, speak with residents of the nearby Palestinian neighborhood who oppose the excavations. Get an insider’s perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an Israeli politician; then travel to Ramallah, where we are granted rare access to the offices of the Palestinian Authority to hear from a high-ranking politician.

Day 4 — Jerusalem

Today, trace the turbulent history of the birth of the state of Israel. At Yad Vashem, Israel’s moving memorial to the Holocaust, meet with a Holocaust survivor for a personal glimpse into one of history’s darkest moments. Then travel to Ein Kerem, where Christian tradition says John the Baptist was born. An Israeli and a Palestinian guide will each tell their divergent narrative of the village’s role in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Enjoy time to explore Jerusalem on your own. Tonight, gather for a discussion with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists from the Bereaved Families Forum.

Day 5 — Bethlehem and the West Bank

Travel to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc to hear the viewpoints of Israeli settlers. Continue to Bethlehem and visit Manger Square; then, at the Church of the Nativity, descend into the cave revered by many as the birthplace of Jesus. Walk through a nearby Palestinian refugee camp, and learn how murals and graffiti have been used to depict the refugees’ struggles. Our final stop is Herodion, a volcano-shaped hill and fortress built by Herod the Great. Over dinner, take in a musical performance by a group of Israeli and Palestinian musicians.

Discover the Past, Present, and Future of the Holy Land in 11 Days

Day 6 — Jerusalem / Jericho / Dead Sea

This morning, meet with an environmentalist from Friends of the Earth Middle East, whose efforts to foster Arab-Jewish cooperation through environmental stewardship were featured in the special April 2010 “Water” issue of National Geographic magazine.

View the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, and then drive down through the Judean Desert to Jericho to visit the archaeological site of Tel Jericho. This afternoon, continue to our hotel, located in the Ein Gedi kibbutz on the shores of the Dead Sea. Learn about the kibbutz movement before enjoying time on your own to float in the Dead Sea, wander through the hotel’s botanical garden, or enjoy an optional spa treatment.

Day 7 — The Jordan River Valley / Tiberias

Soar up the flank of Masada in a gondola and explore King Herod’s 2,000-year-old mountaintop refuge. Then follow the Jordan Valley north to the Roman city of Bet She’an to see its remarkably preserved amphitheater, baths, and column-lined streets. Along the way, stop to dip your feet in the Jordan River, where Christian pilgrims come to be baptized.

Day 8 — Galilee

Visit Caesarea Philippi, a center of worship from the Hellenic age to the early Christian era. Explore the area as you wish this afternoon: follow a scenic trail to the Banias waterfall or enjoy a short hike through Tel Dan National Park to the ancient city of Dan. Take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to Capernaum, where Jesus lived and preached and where many apostles, including Peter, made their home.

Day 9 — Nazareth / Jaffa / Tel Aviv

Hear the perspective of an Israeli Arab Christian on the way to Nazareth, where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the largest churches in the Middle East. On an excursion to the mountaintop village of Beit Jann, discover the secretive traditions of the Druze people, and enjoy lunch with a Druze family in their home. Travel toward the Mediterranean coast this afternoon, and explore picturesque Jaffa, a strategic port town dating back to the Bronze Age. The bustling city of Tel Aviv is our home for tonight. Enjoy dinner here on your own.

Days 10 & 11 — Caesarea Maritima / Tel Aviv

Follow the coast north to Caesarea Maritima, Herod’s harbor city, and visit the ruins with geo-archaeologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Beverly Goodman. Then enjoy a free afternoon in Tel Aviv before gathering for a farewell reception and dinner. After breakfast the next morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Discover the best things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Discover the best things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Spend some time in ‘The Bubble’ and discover the best things to do in Tel Aviv, including restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions.

With an influx of 2.5 million international visitors every year, Tel Aviv is one of the most visited cities in the Middle East. A lively 24-hour carousel of activity, Israel’s second city – though many locals consider it the country’s first – has things to do for everyone.

With inbound Jewish influences from the East Coast of the United States to Ashkenazi Eastern Europe and the Mizrachi Yemen – and in recent decades, a large number from Russia – Tel Aviv is a cacophonous mixtape of heritage. As such it offers an exciting melting pot of cuisines, cultural traits, accents and worldviews. Palestinian and Arab influences are most evidently assimilated in what was once the sleepy port of Jaffa – the Arab town from which a Jewish suburb first relocated in 1909, before expanding into one of the most exciting metropolises on the Mediterranean.

In contrast to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is avowedly a secular city. It is known for its 24-hour nightlife and is seen as licentious by many Israelis who live outside of ‘The Bubble’, as proud hedonist Tel Avivim refer to their town.

Discover the best things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Perched on the Mediterranean coast, and blessed with a strip of perfect white-sand beach that runs almost the length of the city itself, there are plenty of things to do by way of wild party nights and lazy, sunny afternoons. You’ll find an array of modern restaurants, clubs, cafés and bars dominating the blocks by the beach and the centre of town.

Taxis are relatively cheap but traffic periodically chokes the city and the best way to explore is usually on foot. This will give you more opportunities to mix with the Tel Aviv locals who are arguably one of the city’s greatest selling points.

Museums and Attractions

When travelling through Israel’s cultural capital, the journey can be as invigorating as the destination. One place to make sure to explore is White City, home to 4,000 Bauhaus buildings built in the 1930s. The largest collection of such architecture in the world, the area is so unique that it has been placed under UN preservation – sign up for a guided tour from the local Bauhaus Center.

Another area to visit is the port town area of Jaffa, which is home to many Israeli artists and dozens of contemporary art galleries. Keep your eyes peeled for converted warehouses, which host performances and installations that rival any on the international stage.

It is impossible to miss the city’s abundance of incredible street art. Make sure to stroll down Allenby Street or Rothschild Boulevard to take in the stunning graffiti. For a different kind of wall art head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where you will be greeted by two giant Roy Lichtenstein panels in the entrance foyer. The museum’s permanent collection includes everything from Old Masters to Israeli art and ranges in specialism from architecture and sculpture to photography.

Finally, be sure to wander around the Suzanne Dellal Center, a must see for any culture junkie. The dance complex was established in 1989 and continues to be host many of Israel’s greatest social and cultural voices.

Museums and Attractions Details

Bauhaus Center 99 Dizengoff Street. +972 3 522 02 49.
Tel Aviv Musuem of Art 27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard. +972 3 607 70 20.
Suzanne Dellal Center 6 Yechieli Street. +972 3 510 56 56.

Yalikavak: A Haven on The Turquoise Coast

Yalikavak: A Haven on The Turquoise Coast

Palm trees, pretty flowerbeds, dainty white villas, narrow cobblestoned streets, outdoor markets bursting with colour and aromatic herbs, rustic stone work, quaint little restaurants along the shore, majestic wooden sailboats, crystal-clear water, deep-blue skies, blissful tranquility, hot sunshine and a gentle sea breeze. You’d be forgiven for not guessing that this is Turkey—a rare blend of picturesque beauty and low-key living that is surely one of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secrets.

Unlike most of coastal Spain, France, Italy and Greece, the Turkish Riviera has retained its authentic personality, with almost no high-rise apartment blocks, no boom-boxes belting out loud music, no hawkers and no commercial sell-out to invading British tourists and expats. Here, on the Bodrum peninsula, Turks still rule. Many speak only rudimentary English, if any at all, but their friendliness and warmth are a language everyone understands. You want rent car? No problem; I have friend help you.

The small picturesque village of Yalikavak, on the westernmost tip of the Bodrum peninsula, is a prime example of this untainted paradise. There is none of the frantic commercialism that you’d expect in such a beautiful coastal resort, and the haunting strains of the muezzin are a regular reminder that this is a country still firmly rooted in Muslim culture and traditions. Respect, friendship and a dedication to service seem high on the list of Turkish values.

Yalikavak: A Haven on The Turquoise Coast

It is impossible to wander along the promenade without making at least half a dozen friends – restaurant owners who love to chat, cook whatever you want, and help in any way they can. They work seven days a week, 12 hours a day and still have a smile, quick wit and a warm handshake – whether you eat at their restaurant or not.

Masters at multi-tasking, the Turks are natural entrepreneurs. Like many of the restaurant owners, Halil seems to use his restaurant as a base for a whole series of other businesses—selling marble to the construction industry, finding homes for tourists and expats, renting cars and even offering to bargain on your behalf if you want a good deal on some purchase.

Omer will lend you his car ‘for a special price’ and, man to man, will give you invaluable tips on how to dress and shave for a more macho effect. While his staff serves dinner, Hazik will give you an expert deep-tissue massage, regaling you with his seemingly endless repertoire of Turkish jokes. His favourite is the one about kissing a woman’s hand—a common greeting in Turkey: “Ask a Frenchman why the Turks do this and they will reply that it’s a mark of respect for women; ask an Englishman why they do it and they’ll say that it’s a quaint romantic form of flirting; but ask the Turks why they kiss a woman’s hand and they will say, ‘Well, you have to start somewhere.’”

Yalikavak: A Haven on The Turquoise Coast

The Turks seem to have a deep appreciation for the natural environment, holding fast to the traditional style of housing, with painstakingly crafted stone work and crazy paving. The hillsides are dotted with white villas, brilliant blasts of bougainvillea spilling off their balconies and trailing lazily along wooden balustrades. At night, the only sounds in the villages are cows mooing, owls hooting and dogs barking at a passing car.

Refreshing though it is, there is a downside to this unyielding Turkishness; westerners who are used to being able to buy whatever they want, wherever they go, will not feel so well catered-to here. Many specialty products—such as gluten-free foods, natural supplements, and organic produce—are unavailable in many parts of Turkey. A ferry trip to the neighbouring Greek islands of Kos and Samos can remedy this, while providing a sobering reminder of the relatively high cost of living in Euro-currency countries. Turkey, though a hot contender for membership to the European Union, remains this side of the divide, with its own currency—the Turkish lira (roughly equivalent to CAD$0.50)—keeping prices lower than in most other European countries.

While the inefficiency and red tape involved in getting a phone line installed would try the patience of a saint, the Turks are surprisingly sophisticated in certain domains. In health care, for example, they leave other countries in the dust; most medications can be purchased for under TL10 (about CAD$4.50), and laboratory test results are delivered to you within 10 or 20 minutes—for a fraction of the price you’d pay in North America or other parts of Europe. If you need to get some bottled water or a gas tank delivered, you can expect it within 10 minutes of placing your order by phone. And if you’re worried about mosquitoes pestering you on hot, sweaty nights, you can relax in the knowledge that the local authorities regularly spray the area to keep the pesky whiners to a minimum.

Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Larnaca is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and the capital of the eponymous district. It is the third-largest city in the country, after Nicosia and Limassol, with an urban population of 84,591 (2011).

Larnaca is known for its palm-tree seafront, the Church of Saint Lazarus, the Hala Sultan Tekke, the Kamares Aqueduct and its medieval fort. It is built on the ruins of ancient Citium, which was the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno.

Larnaca is home to the country’s primary airport, Larnaca International Airport. It also has a (both passenger and cargo) seaport and a marina.

Larnaca Culture

Arts

Larnaca has a theatre and an art gallery, which are operated by the municipality. The Cornaro Institute is a cultural centre in Old Town and which stages contemporary art exhibitions and other cultural events.

Music

Local institutions include the Municipal Wind Orchestra.

Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Sports

Local teams include (football:) AEK Larnaca FC and ALKI Larnaca FC. Due to the Turkish occupation of Famagusta, the two teams of Famagusta, Anorthosis and Nea Salamina, are located here.

Local sports arenas include GSZ Stadium, “Antonis Papadopoulos”, and “Ammochostos”.

International competitions held in the city, include the Shooting Shotgun European Championships in 2012, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championship in 2012, the European Under-19 Football Championship final in 1998 and the European Under-17 Football Championship final in 1992.

Larnaca attracts windsurfers from around the world especially in autumn. Mackenzie Beach hosts windsurfing centre together with an extreme sports centre.

Festivals

Much of the activity is centered around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events. The festival used to last for about a week, but, in recent years, with the increased commercialism of peripheral stalls, rides and temporary lokmades restaurants, the festival has been extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings. Lokmades (or loukoumades) is a sweet delicacy.

Museums

Museums found in Larnaca include the Larnaca District Archaeological Museum, Pierides Museum and Kyriazis Medical Museum.

Cuisine

The beaches of Larnaca are lined with nearly identical seafood restaurants catering to tourists. Although there are many continental and international restaurants in Larnaca, visitors do not miss out on indulging in the local food. Many of the staple dishes involve beans, such as fasolaki (French beans cooked in red wine with lamb), and louvi me lahana (black-eyed beans with chard). Some of the standard appetizers are potato salad, kohlrabi salad, and hot grilled black olives.

The next course may include Cyprus village sausage and sheftalia, dolmades and keftedes, kolokassi in tomato sauce, and several aubergine-based dishes. Baked or grilled lamb (souvla) usually appears somewhere in the course of dining, as does some kind of fish.

Limassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol: A thriving resort town in CyprusLimassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and capital of the eponymous district. Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus, with an urban population of 160,000–176,700. The municipality is the most populous in the country with 101,000 inhabitants (2011).

The Port of Limassol is one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean transit trade and the largest port in Cyprus. It has also become one of the most important tourism, trade, and service-providing centres in the area. Limassol is renowned for its extensive cultural traditions, and is home to the Cyprus University of Technology.

A wide spectrum of activities and a number of museums and archaeological sites are available to the interested visitor. Consequently, Limassol attracts a wide range of tourists mostly during an extended summer season to be accommodated in a wide range of hotels and apartments. A large marina lies near the old town, 500 metres (1,600 feet) from the Limassol medieval castle.

Limassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol was built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion, and during Byzantine rule it was known as Neapolis (new town). Limassol’s historical centre is located around its medieval Limassol Castle and the Old Port. Today the city spreads along the Mediterranean coast and has extended much farther than the castle and port, with its suburbs stretching along the coast to Amathus. To the west of the city is the Akrotiri Area of the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Limassol ranked 87th worldwide in Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey (2015), between Durban and Tallinn.

Things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

With an influx of 2.5 million international visitors every year, Tel Aviv is one of the most visited cities in the Middle East. A lively 24-hour carousel of activity, Israel’s second city – though many locals consider it the country’s first – has things to do for everyone.

With inbound Jewish influences from the East Coast of the United States to Ashkenazi Eastern Europe and the Mizrachi Yemen – and in recent decades, a large number from Russia – Tel Aviv is a cacophonous mixtape of heritage. As such it offers an exciting melting pot of cuisines, cultural traits, accents and worldviews. Palestinian and Arab influences are most evidently assimilated in what was once the sleepy port of Jaffa – the Arab town from which a Jewish suburb first relocated in 1909, before expanding into one of the most exciting metropolises on the Mediterranean.

In contrast to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is avowedly a secular city. It is known for its 24-hour nightlife and is seen as licentious by many Israelis who live outside of ‘The Bubble’, as proud hedonist Tel Avivim refer to their town.

Perched on the Mediterranean coast, and blessed with a strip of perfect white-sand beach that runs almost the length of the city itself, there are plenty of things to do by way of wild party nights and lazy, sunny afternoons. You’ll find an array of modern restaurants, clubs, cafés and bars dominating the blocks by the beach and the centre of town.

Taxis are relatively cheap but traffic periodically chokes the city and the best way to explore is usually on foot. This will give you more opportunities to mix with the Tel Aviv locals who are arguably one of the city’s greatest selling points.

Things to do in Tel Aviv, Israel

Museums and Attractions

When travelling through Israel’s cultural capital, the journey can be as invigorating as the destination. One place to make sure to explore is White City, home to 4,000 Bauhaus buildings built in the 1930s. The largest collection of such architecture in the world, the area is so unique that it has been placed under UN preservation – sign up for a guided tour from the local Bauhaus Center.

Another area to visit is the port town area of Jaffa, which is home to many Israeli artists and dozens of contemporary art galleries. Keep your eyes peeled for converted warehouses, which host performances and installations that rival any on the international stage.

It is impossible to miss the city’s abundance of incredible street art. Make sure to stroll down Allenby Street or Rothschild Boulevard to take in the stunning graffiti. For a different kind of wall art head to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where you will be greeted by two giant Roy Lichtenstein panels in the entrance foyer. The museum’s permanent collection includes everything from Old Masters to Israeli art and ranges in specialism from architecture and sculpture to photography.

Finally, be sure to wander around the Suzanne Dellal Center, a must see for any culture junkie. The dance complex was established in 1989 and continues to be host many of Israel’s greatest social and cultural voices.

Egypt: The Fundamentals of the Pyramides

Egypt: The Fundementals of the Pyramides

The fundamental motive of the pyramid is the funeral mound. A small upheaval above the natural level of the ground results of itself from the earth displaced by the bulk of the buried body. Our present practice of interment clearly illustrates this. Increased dimensions elevate the mound to an independent monument.

Many nations, some of a high degree of civilization, have contented themselves with such imposing hills of earth over the grave,–tumuli, which, from the manner of their construction, assumed a conical form. Others placed the mound upon a low cylinder, thus better marking its distinction from accidental natural elevations.

The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians rejected the cone entirely, and formed, with plane surfaces upon a square plan, the highly mon- umental pyramid. Peculiar to the former people are the inclined sides which give to the pyramid its absolute geometrical form, as opposed to the terraced structures of Chaldaea.

The sand of the desert ebbed and flowed fifty centuries ago as constantly as in our time, when the sphinx, after being uncovered to its base, has been quickly hidden again to the neck. Rulers, unwilling that their gigantic tombs should be thus submerged, were obliged to secure to them great height, with inclined and unbroken sides, upon which the sand could not lodge.

The Mosaics of St. Sophia Museum at Istanbul

The Mosaics of St. Sophia Museum at Istanbul

The Narthex

The Narthex of St. Sophia is divided into vine bays with quadripartite vaults. Each bay gives access to the interior of the Museum, which thus may be entered through the great central portal and through the four lesser openings to the North and four to the South of it.

Above the marble facing of the walls extends a frieze of opus sectile (height, 0·47 m.) which is separated from the mosaic lunettes and vaults by a vine moulding of stucco. The length of a unit of the mould is 0·87 m. The frieze had by the nineteenth century fallen into a state of such dilapidation that the Fossati covered it with a copy of its design in paint, but it is possible to regain certain lengths of it intact.

The Mosaics

THE mosaics throughout the Narthex largely owe their preservation to the skilful work of Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati, who between the years 1847 and 1849 were engaged at the command of the Sultan Abdulmecid in the task of renovating the Mosque and preserving the mosaics. Under their supervision the mosaics of the Narthex which cover the panels of the vaulted ceiling, the soffits of the arches, the lunettes over the doors leading into the Museum, the crenellated borders which trace the ribs, and the acanthus scrolls which frame the windows, were all re-established. Where disintegration was evident, plaster was introduced to fill the holes left by fallen tessellae and spread to grip those still in place, and sometimes even metal wing cramps and nails, regrettably of iron, were employed hastily, in order to effect local strengthening.

The golden ground of the mosaics of the ceiling and the geometric patterns and floriated designs which cover it and its component members were by this method consolidated and conserved without restoration. Missing parts of designs were frankly copied in paint and lee to view, but no restorations, in the sense of stripping off old mosaics and resetting them, or of introducing new ones, were attempted.

When these architects came to treat the mosaics in the lunettes and soffits A to I, in addition to the work of examination and reinforcement, they submitted the Byzantine representation in the central Lunette E, over the Royal Entrance, as well as the mosaic crosses in the eight other lunettes and in the soffits, to a covering of paint or of gold leaf, and by this means they partly concealed the work of the Byzantine artists.

The painters employed to draw the veil merely chose for the theme of their cumin Byzantine patterns from the mosaics of the vaulting of the Narthex close above their heads and copied them. The execution of this operation was of a very perfunctory character in stencil. No original design was introduced by them into the Narthex; and when during 1932 the surfaces were freed from the extraneous oil-painting, no Turkish work, and no ancient work, and no work of any merit whatever was destroyed. Sketches made by Major Cornelius Loos as late as 1710 show that the crosses were freely exposed at that time. It would thus seem that no screening of the Byzantine decoration in the Narthex had occurred up to the eighteenth century; nor are there traces of any earlier covering than that of the Fossati.

The mosaic work as fortified by the Fossati, both that in the areas beneath their painting and the large open tracts of gold background, was found generally to be well preserved. Investigation proved that the original composition of lime and powdered marble which was used to embed the Justinian mosaics varied throughout the Narthex. New batches of the mixture had been constantly made, and sometimes, perhaps, in careless haste. The blend used in Lunette D may have been faulty in its proportions; it yielded, at least, a weaker bed, which consequently showed some degeneration.

The gold ground was not covered as were the crosses. The paint covering the crosses varied in depth and strength. It was more solid and hence more difficult to remove in some lunettes than in the others. Nowhere, as in the Great Mosque at Damascus, was there a covering of plaster which could be cut off in strips. Neverthdess, in the work of removing from the mosaics the disfigurement of the paint it has not been found necessary to use solvents of any kind; the cleaning of the original mosaics has been accomplished by simple and innocuous mechanical means. The thin paint covering me mosaics is particularly amenable to flaking and was carefully removed tessella by tessella by means of a small steel chisel, such as has been used in delicately cleaning fossils and in scraping oil varnish and over painting from pictures. The liberation has been confined to the erasure of the paint; it was considered wiser not to disturb the plaster introduced by the Fossati into the interstices between the cubes, for it strengthens the decorations without defacing them seriously.

Still, surprisingly little of the original mosaic in the Narthex has been lost in the course of centuries.

The Frieze of Opus Sectile

The frieze of opus sectile constitutes a ribbon border formed of three longitudinal bands. These bands, of which the central one is wider than the upper and lower mutually similar ones, are edged by four plain, marble creases. The upper and lower creases are yellow and rosy in colour; the two creases framing middle band of the frieze are white.

The designs on the three bands of the frieze are of unequal force. The effect of the central band predominates over that of the upper and lower ancillary zones, each of which repeats a simple theme. This consists of a restrained, undulating figure produced by a series of loosely flowing M’s, presented alternately uptight and reversed.

Things to do in Cesme, Izmir – Turkey

Things to do in Cesme, Izmir – Turkey

Çeşme is a coastal town and the administrative centre of the district of the same name in Turkey’s westernmost end, on a promontory on the tip of the peninsula which also carries the same name and which extends inland to form a whole with the wider Karaburun Peninsula. It is a popular holiday resort and the district center, where two thirds of the district population is concentrated.

Çeşme is located 85 km west of İzmir, the largest metropolitan center in Turkey’s Aegean Region. There is a six-lane highway connecting the two cities (Otoyol 32). Çeşme district has two neighboring districts, Karaburun to the north and Urla to the east, both of which are also part of İzmir Province. The name “Çeşme” means “fountain” and possibly draws reference from the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city.

Under the Greeks and Romans in Classical antiquity its name was Cysus (Ancient Greek: Κύσος Kysos), possibly a mere locality at the time. Turkish sources always cited the town and the region as Çeşme (or Cheshme) which is originally a Persian word since the first settlement 2 km south of the present-day center (Çeşmeköy) founded by Tzachas and pursued for some time by his brother Yalvaç before an interlude until the 14th century. The name “Çeşme” means “spring, fountain” in Persian and possibly draws reference from the many Ottoman fountains scattered across the city.

A prized location of country houses and secondary residences especially for the well-to-do inhabitants of İzmir for more than a century, Çeşme perked up considerably in recent decades to become one of Turkey’s most prominent centers of international tourism. Many hotels, marinas, clubs, restaurants, boutique hotels, family accommodation possibilities (pansiyon) and other facilities for visitors are found in Çeşme center and in its surrounding towns and villages and the countryside, as well as very popular beaches.

Things to do in Cesme, Izmir – Turkey

Çeşme district has one depending township with own municipal administration, Alaçatı, where tourism is an equally important driving force as the district center area and which offers its own arguments for attracting visitors, as well as four villages: Ildırı on the coast towards the north, which is notable for being the location of ancient Erythrae, and three others which are more in the background, in terms both of their geographical location and renown: Germiyan, Karaköy and Ovacık, where agriculture and livestock breeding still forms the backbone of the economy.

Some andesite, lime and marble is also being quarried in Çeşme area, while the share of industrial activities in the economy remains negligible. In terms of livestock, an ovine breed known as “Sakız koyunu” in Turkish (translatable literally as “Chios Sheep”), more probably a crossbreeding between that island’s sheep and breeds from Anatolia, is considered in Turkey as native to Çeşme region where it yields the highest levels of productivity in terms of their meat, their milk, their fleece and the number of lambs they produce.

Preparations such as jam, ice cream and desserts, and even sauces for fish preparations, based on the distinctively flavored resin of the tree pistachia lentiscus from which it is harvested, are among nationally known culinary specialties of Çeşme. The adjacent Greek island of Chios (sakız in Turkish is the name for both Chios and mastic resin) is the source of mastic resin.

Things to do in Cesme, Izmir – Turkey

Some efforts to produce mastic resin in Çeşme,where ecological conditions are similar, were not continued. A number of efforts are being made to rehabilitate the potential presented by the mastic trees that presently grow in the wilderness, and to increase the number of cultivated trees, especially those planted by secondary-residence owners who grow them as a hobby activity. The fish is also abundant both in variety and quantity along Çeşme district’s coastline.

In relation to tourism, it is common for the resorts along Çeşme district’s 90 km coastline to be called by the name of their beaches or coves or the visitor’s facilities and attractions they offer, as in Şifne (Ilıca), famous both for its thermal baths and beach, and in Çiftlikköy (Çatalazmak), Dalyanköy, Reisdere, Küçükliman, Paşalimanı, Ayayorgi, Kocakarı, Kum, Mavi and Pırlanta beaches; Altunyunus, synonymous with a large hotel located in its cove; and Tursite, by the name of the villas located there. Some of these localities may not be shown on a map of administrative divisions The district area as a whole is one of the spots in Turkey where foreign purchases of real estate are concentrated at the highest levels.

The town of Çeşme lies across a strait facing the Greek island of Chios, which is at a few miles’ distance and there are regular ferry connections between the two centers, as well as larger ferries from and to Italy (Brindisi, Ancona and Bari) used extensively by Turks of Germany returning for their summer holidays.

Population: 27.796 (2007)

Altitude: Sea Level

Airport: Adnan Menderes Airport 90 Km.

Transfer: Taxi, mini bus, bus.

Min/max temperatures in centigrade: Jan 5/12; Peb 4/12; Mar 5/14; Apr 11/19; May 16/24; Jun 20/29; Ju122/32, Aug 22/32; Sep 19/28; Oct 16/24; Nov 11/18; Dec 8/14

City transport: Taxi, mini bus.

Sights and local attractions:Cesmc Castle, Ilica, Boyalik bayl, Dalyan and Sakizli koy, Şifne, Buyuk Liman, Pasha Liman, Ciftlikkoy and iırlanta Beach, Çata1azmak Beach, Ildiri (Erythrai), Alacati, Caravansarail.

Sightseeing Tours and Excursion:

1. Ephesus – Mary’s House

Visit the shrine of Virgin Mary; St. Paul, Temples, Library, Great Theatre, Stadium, Archeological Museum, Isabey Mosque, Basilica St. John, Temple of Diana.

2. Pergamon – Aesdapium

Visit Acropolis, Temple of Athena, Library, Royal Palace, Tempel of Trojan, Great Theatre, Tempel of Dyonysus, Altar of Zeus, Archaeological and Ethnographical Museum, Ruins of Aesclapium

The Business of Travel

The Business of Travel

Americans of today have become the world’s wanderers. The character depicted in Sue’s great novel has its modern counterpart, not only throughout the United States, but all over the globe, with baggage marked “From America,” and destination everywhere. Another human wave flows from city to sea and mountain with the approach of summer, and crowds every outgoing ship bound for the Old World. This national restlessness has aided in coining such words as “commuter” and “suburbanite,” for the daily movement in and out of the great cities of the country is partly the result of the desire “to go somewhere.”

The passing of the multitude to and fro has created the business of travel and developed it into a mechanism which is wonderful in its movements, considering the comparatively short period of its existence. It devises ways and means for all classes and to suit all purses. By it the wealthy man secures his private car, in which to flee from the grasp of the frost king to the shade of palmetto and pine. It provides the clerk with his half seat in the common coach, or conducts the hundred or thousand in the excursion party through the highway of Europe, or around the world. In 1841 that 600 people were taken from Leicester to Loughborough on the first excursion train on record.

It is worth while to turn a few pages of British history, for here originated the system that has since spread throughout the New World as well as the Old. Until the printer, Cook, took his townsfolk to the Father Matthew meeting at Loughborough the excursion train was unknown. The talk it created set people to thinking, and from this obscure village developed the idea of modern travel. Up to that time intercourse between the countries of the Kingdom was confined principally to visits among one’s relatives, the trips of the commercial agents and government representatives.

The Business of Travel

The railroads terminated south of the Scotch borderland; the traveler to the North Country had his choice of stage coach or steamer from the end of the track. To the average Englishman, both Scotland and Wales were almost unknown countries. Popular travel produced a revolution which converted Highland and Lowland alike into a summer holiday encampment for the people of the middle and southern England. It built hotels on hillside and in valley, and bordered the seacoast with season resorts.

The throng of pleasure-seekers spread throughout North Wales as well, and even into Ireland. In spite of the present attraction of English tourists to the Continent and the United States, it is estimated that the yearly “bank holidays” find 200,000 Londoners alone transferring their homes temporarily to the Land of Burns and the Bard of Snowden.

The few miles across the English Channel, until 1856, had barred all but the nobility and wealthier British people from visiting the Continent for pleasure, and the comparative few who ventured through northern or southern Europe were considered by the hotelkeepers as their legitimate prey, and compelled to pay exorbitant prices in city and hamlet alike; perhaps mine host had in mind traditions of former days when the earl or duke, with his retinue, rode from town to town demanding the best the inn afforded, and expecting nothing out of the purse of gold thrown down in payment. But with the advent of the tourist agent came a change which benefited host and guest alike, for what was lost in the reduction of charges was made up in the increased patronage.

Another exposition—that in Paris in 1867—caused the tour promoters of the Old World to think of crossing the Atlantic. A few trips to such resorts as Niagara and Saratoga had been arranged by Americans, but the business of travel, as conducted abroad, was practically unknown.

Less than a thousand people went to the other side as a result of the reduced steamship rates and other inducements; but those who attended the great fair returned to become personal advertisements of the modern idea. The average American who had gone abroad previously was possessed of a bank account which could withstand the heavy inroads of the foreign landlords; but few cared to repeat a journey which was attended with such discomfort. Thanks to the tourist agent, the visitors to Paris were relieved of much of the trouble with which those who had gone before them were afflicted.

The fortunate combination of scenery and history possessed by the Old World has always been enticing, and the public was ready to welcome any assistance in smoothing the way to reach it. Consequently it is not strange that each year, with a few exceptions, since the sixties has witnessed a steadily increasing exodus to the other side, and the trip to Europe, once considered the epoch of a lifetime, has become an ordinary event—to be regarded of as little moment as the journey between city and city.

The modern system of travel has planned its every detail with admirable nicety. Enter one of the offices to be found in the important cities, and tell the man behind the desk of your proposed journey. In exchange for the check or bank bills, he gives you a piece of pasteboard which will carry you by railroad and steamer to every city in the civilized world, if you so desire. Another package of pasteboard slips pays for food and shelter wherever you may desire it, in the heart of London or on the shore of the Nile. Europe or around the world, as you choose.

If one wants a special car in which to cross the continent, over the wires goes a message, and in an hour it may be linked to a train on its way to meet the tourist, or bearing him on his journey, provided with chef and porter, supplied with food and bedding— turned into a traveling home, in which he can live a week or month, as his purse allows. At a day’s notice a special train can be provided—a hotel on wheels with its bedrooms, library, dining-room, boudoir, and even barber shop. And in the same office where the millionaire engages his “special” the clerk with his month’s vacation secures his bunk or railroad excursion ticket, and pays for his daily meals and lodging.

The modern agency for our pleasure is ubiquitous in every sense of the word. It has developed into an encyclopedia of geography and history so complete that any of its representatives can not only give the location of a particular point of interest, but advise the best land and sea routes to be taken to reach it, and the hour of arrival and departure of train or steamer. The upto-date agency has men, who speak every modern language, stationed in all the important foreign communities to answer inquiries as well as to sell tickets.

At these offices the stranger can write and mail his letters, have his mail forwarded to him, obtain information as to the best hotels, be directed to the most reliable shops, have his money and jewelry cared for while in the city, and perhaps get a glance at the home newspapers. After a few weeks abroad he soon comes to look upon these agencies as links which connect him with the far away home land, and he notes their signs with a feeling of gratitude—here is something which is not entirely foreign.

In some countries where the native hotels are not satisfactory the tourist company has built hostelries of its own. Banking departments, where the American dollar or the English pound can be exchanged Euro, form another branch of the business that is welcomed, as is shown by the report of one concern which in a year changed half a million in American cash for its patrons.

The machinery of travel, too, has smoothed the path of the modern wanderer in more than one sense. It has built ways of stone and steel to enable him to reach some attraction of nature hitherto almost inaccessible The cable car with its uniformed conductors ascends the lava-lined sides of Vesuvius, and you can dine at a restaurant nearly on the brink of the smoking crater.

The hum of the trolley is heard among the palms of Egypt, in sight of the tombs of the Pharaohs. The visitor in New England fans himself in the summer heat at the foot of Mount Washington, and a half hour later buttons his overcoat around his throat as he alights from the car in the region of winter on its summit. The “cog-wheel” route up Pike’s Peak has divested it of some of its fascination—for danger is often tempting—but it is far more comfortable to rise above the clouds seated in a cushioned chair than plod along the rocky road, the day’s journey required, afoot or ahorse.

Traversing a part of Florida is a railroad originally called the “Millionaire Line,” because a millionaire constructed it, and men of millions reached the American Riviera by it. Five hundred miles in length, it was built solely in the interest of the tourist at a cost of over five millions of dollars. But its promoter had the satisfaction of knowing that it revolutionized the mode of reaching the land beyond the frost line and acquainted the American people with a region which before had been almost as unknown as the wilds of Africa. The company’s yearly earnings prove that its enterprise was not unprofitable, for it has gradually changed into a highway, for the masses as well as the classes.

Nature’s attractions as an inducement to the seeker for variety. With the beginning of each season those remarkable people, the modern passenger agents—vie with each other in the production of pamphlets, even books of generous size, profusely illustrated in various colors. Ten thousand, perhaps a hundred thousand, of a single issue may be scattered over the country in the time-table racks. The preparation of railroad and steamboat literature has become an important part of the machinery of the passenger department—principally to secure the interest of the tourist.

But remarkable as has been the activity of railroad managers in the promotion of the tourist movement, the gaze must be turned seaward to fully appreciate its present dimensions. In a single month of spring or early summer fifty steamships leave New York alone. On a Saturday, a procession of ten great liners may be seen wending their way through “The Narrows.” As the purser records tickets from “upper deck” to steerage, he expects to find at least ninetenths having tourist transportation; for the Italian fruit vendor, who has saved enough to visit the old home once more, realizes the advantages of the system as well as the banker who engages his suite of cabins.

The tourist agent and the transportation company have provided all of these facilities naturally for their own profit, but in so doing they have been benefactors. The opportunity for education by travel has been placed within reach of a multitude of Anglo-Saxons who could not avail themselves of it otherwise. The Briton has gained knowledge of America and Americans, and the American has gained a knowledge of Great Britain and the Britons which could not be obtained in a life-time study of history.

The personal contact with not only the people but the manners and customs of the Old World has broadened the tourist from this side to a deeper appreciation of his own land. He has also acquired a fund of information not to be found within the book covers, which is beyond price, for the eye and ear note a thousand sights and sounds daily, which combine to make a most valuable history.