Sailing the Blue Aegean

(original photograph property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

The Blue Aegean Sea…

(Aegean Coast of Turkey, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

I’ve never seen a bluer sea, and I’ve seen many, because if there is one thing that I love is the water…I was born near the water and I’ve always lived in a coastal city or town…but the Aegean Sea is incredibly beautiful.

Here are some shots I took while sailing in Turkish waters…

And areas along the coast heading south from Bodrum, and Bodrum is more or less in the middle of the Turkish Aegean coast, about a one hour flight from Istanbul.

It’s a very relaxing time, the time you spend on the water, and since most of the coastline is composed of coves and small bays, you can anchor and jump in any time of the day or the night that you like…

(Our saiboat, we rented it with friends, for one week, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

When you hire a boat, it comes with a captain, a chef and a first mate. You then purchase everything and anything you wish to eat along the voyage as well as everything and anything you would like to drink. We had a great chef and ate gourmet quality food throughout the seven days of sailing the Turkish Aegean.

It is a very relaxing and refreshing time, a most enjoyable experience. You eat, you drink, you take in the sunshine and the gorgeous waters of that blue, blue Aegean Sea…

I leave you with a little video clip that I made of my trips and journeys in Turkey, a country I know very well, although I should say that I know the western, Aegean coast, because Turkey is a huge country and I know very little of all points east, north or further south…

Turkey, at least some of it…

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God…the Only Reason We Exist…Holy Wisdom…

(Άγια Σοφία, Santa Sofia, Hagia Sophia, photo property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

Built to the glory of God in the year A. D. 360 in Constantinople…it still stands proudly in honour of our Creator…

(photo property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

Haghia Sophia became Ayasofya, a mosque, when the Ottoman Turks invaded and conquered the city in 1453…

But when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk created the modern Republic of Turkey, he closed the mosque, in 1931. In 1935, he reopened Ayasofya as a museum…

Everything was preserved under plaster and a restoration is taking place to bring back the murals and the artwork, especially the sacred icons to Sancta Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom. The church was originally known as Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας: or the Church of The Holy Wisdom of God…

(Haghia Sophia, Holy Wisdom, photo property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

Holy wisdom taught the Byzantines to build churches to honour the Holy Spirit, which is God,

And God is the only reason we exist…

Haghia Sophia is located in Istanbul, Turkey. Across from the great church is the “Blue Mosque” the Mosque of Sultan Ahmed, which was constructed from 1609-1617…

(Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, foto property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

C.2019, Valencia, Spain, 30 NOV 2019, Francisco Bravo Cabrera

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and if you would like to hear my music and see my videos, please access my YouTube channel under my name, Francisco Bravo Cabrera…

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Κολοφών…pero Digamos Colofón…en Turquía…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Cerca de Esmirna, en Turquía, están las ruinas de la antigua ciudad griega de Colofón, que pertenecia a Jonia, situada en Asia Menor.

Cuando las visité, encontré muy poco y muy solo aquello. Me parecía escuchar en la brisa el lamento de los antiguos moradores de ese lugar que se lamentaban por ser olvidados…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Aunque solo habian piedras regadas por doquier, me llevé una gran impresión del antiguo Colofón. Como que algo me quería decir, un canto a la soledad o agradecerme la visita…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Tiene que haber sido una ciudad importante. Tenía un puerto llamado Notio y al parecer tenía relaciones comerciales con la cercana ciudad de Esmirna y además es posible que el poeta Homero haya nacido en ella. La ciudad fue tomada por los ateninses y luego por Alejandro Magno y a la muerte del este Colofón fue destruida…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Parece que cuando destruyeron a Colofón y sus habiantes tuvieron que marcharse a Esmirna, quedó para siempre la ciudad en ruinas y en ruinas sigue. No dejaron mucho, solo estos restos que muestro en estas fotos…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Pero sin dudas me encanto la visita. Las ruinas están en un campo abierto sin arboles, sin nada. El polvo de los siglos sigue allí, sigue fiel a su lugar de origen, pues Colofón fue fundada hace casí tres mil años…

Realmente es una ruina y desde que abandonaron la ciudad, sigue siendo un lugar abandonado. Aquí se ha escrito una historia triste sobre estas olvidadas piedras de la antiguedad…

(Ruinas de Colofón en Turquía, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Pero bueno, muy cerca está el Mar Egeo, con aguas de azul intenso, y donde cabe también mucha historia…quien sabe lo que aguardan sus profundidades…

(Navegando el Egeo en las costas de Esmirna, foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

Adiós Colofón…por estos Deus lares se encuentran muchas ruinas y aventuras…

(Navegando por el Mar Egeo, cerca de Colofón. Foto de FBC, Derechos Reservados)

La antiguedad no deja de ser nuestra historia…

C.2019, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 29 de noviembre de 2019, Valencia, España, Derechos Reservados.

INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

Arte: (JaZzArt en Valencia) http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

Jazz: (Abstract Jazz Arrangement) Grupo AJA: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja (piano jazz)

Gracias…

Comienza el camino

(Ruinas de Efeso, foto de FBC)
Doy el primer paso y la luz de cien mil soles brilla a mi alrededor,
y sonrío..
Pero al dar el segundo paso, siento el soplo gélido de la incertidumbre,
y dejo ya de sonreír...
Quedo, frente al camino de la vida, sin sonreír.
Pienso, frente al camino de la vida, he de morir.
Siento, frente al camino de la vida, el murmurar de muchas voces
y trato de buscar de donde vienen y
me dejo arrastrar por el sonido de las voces de la gente que no veo,
corro hacia delante,
me muevo con afán, con delirio, con ganas,
pues las voces me sofocan y me llenan los oídos y me alientan,
me sonsacan y
sin pensarlo he caminado ya tanto que
al mirar atrás no puedo ver donde era,
donde fue aquel lugar donde pensé que no me atrevería jamás a dar un paso, jamás a andar,
pero he andado y sigo andando,
tal vez más lento, tal vez sudando,
pero al andar voy cantando,
aprendiendo y preguntando,
buscando a Dios o algún santo, que de las alturas del cielo,
me enseñe un camino nuevo
por donde pueda ir nadando...

C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

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Si Fueras una Tumba…

(Tumbas licias en el sur de Turquía)

Si fueras una tumba,

de las mismas piedras

te han hecho tu vestido,

como de los huesos del mundo

el hombre ha ido trazando su camino.

Desapareceras un dia, (hombre y tumba),

pero, esas huellas que quedaron en las rocas, en las piedras en los huesos de este mundo,

no las borraran los vientos…

(Ciudad sumergida en el sur de Turquía)

Sino el mar, que al fin logró vencerte.

Ha sido la marea, que regula el tiempo

y que al marinero guía,

pero aunque te haya cubierto,

por encima de las aguas, tu huella sigue viva,

como una sombra que de la roca emerge,

y toma forma viva,

que ha dibujado lo que eras y tenías,

para mostrarle al futuro lo que en el ayer había…

(Escalones que bajan a la ciudad sumergida)

Tus pasos por la tierra,

te elevan, no te hace falta volar,

si hay escalones

por los cuales subes, sin temor a la caída,

y así sales de la fosa, negra, oscura

de los bajos pensamientos,

para unirte con la luz,

y puedas pisar el cielo.

Y aqui abajo, en la tierra interminable,

que es mas o menos nuestro mundo,

las piedras recordarán lo que tu has sido,

y quedará tu aliento entre su grietas de tu tumba,

Tú, hombre, que jamás fuiste vencido…

C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

(Fotos propiedad de FBC)

Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

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Turkey, Ancient Myra and Modern Antalya

(Amphitheatre of Myra)

In the Antalya province of Turkey, which is in the Mediterranean, is the small Turkish city of Demre. However, its history goes very far back to the Fourth Century before Christ when it was the Greek city of Myra. From then it was transformed to a Roman city…St. Paul changed ships there en route to Rome…then Byzantine, later the Ottoman Greek city of Lycia and the small Turkish town of Kale. The name was changed to Demre in 2005.

(Lycian tombs in Myra)

In 325 A.D., Lycia became a Roman province and Myra became its capital. As the Metropolitan See of the province, it was the home of the bishop and the bishop at that time was none other than Saint Nicholas. He was one of the fathers of the First Council of Nicaea in that same year.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (15 March 270 – 6 December 342), who is known as Nicholas of Bari and, because of the many miracles attributed to him, as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He is the patron saint of sailors, repentant thieves, brewers, children, merchants, archers, and students in Europe. But his lovely habit of secretly giving gifts, has created the idea of the Santa Claus, or Saint Nick.

Church of St. Nicholas, Myra. In the 4th c. A.D., a bishop named Nicholas  (aka Nicholas the Wondermaker, was a native Lycian of Greek descent)  transformed the city of Myra, on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey, into a Christian capital. Until a recent Byzantine chapel was unearthed, the sole remnant of Myra’s Byzantine era was the Church of St. Nicholas that was 1st built in the 5th century A.D. and reconstructed.
(Church of St. Nicholas from the 8th Century)
(Here I am outside the Church of St. Nicholas with statue)
(Tomb of Saint Nicholas-Photo by Sjoehest)

The ancient Greek sarcophagus of marble was used to bury St. Nicholas but his bones were stolen in 1087 by merchants and taken to Bari, to the Basiliaca of St. Nicholas. The Church gained permission in 2007 from the Turkish authorities to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. This was the first time in many centuries.

(Ancient ruins in Myra as you enter the Amphitheatre)
(Ancient ruins in Myra entrance to Amphitheatre in detail)
(Carved masks at the Amphitheatre of Myra)

A famous site in Myra are the rock-cut tombs. Many of them are situated above the theatre and more on the east side in a place called the river necropolis. Some of them have carvings depicting the everyday life of the person buried.

(rock cut tombs above the Theatre)

In 1840, discoverer of the city, Charles Fellows said he found the tombs painted red, blue and yellow.

(Rock cut tombs on the west side of Myra from 4th Century B.C.)

Antalya is the fastest growing city in Turkey. Because of its combination of great beaches and traditional Turkish customs.

(Beach club in Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea)

Antalya was originally named Attaleia (Ἀττάλεια). The King of Pergamon, Attalos founded the city and gave it his name. In Greek today it still bears this name. In Turkish it was first Adalia and then Antalya.

To visit, Antalya is a great summer destination. With more than 300 days a year with sun, and shielded by the Taurus mountains from the northerly winds, the climate is hot, dry and wonderful for water sports, swimming and for exploring the interesting places, such as Myra, which are close by.

I visited there in 2005 and loved the experience. I flew from Istanbul to Bodrum and drove south. The motorways are very good and safe and there are many rest stops, restaurants and accommodations along the way. Another alternative is to arrive to Istanbul and then take a direct flight to Antalya.

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Waking up in the Aegean Coast of Turkey…

It’s been a long journey…

And I say “waking up” because we arrived here from North America, it was a long trip getting there and I mostly slept on the way but it was a cool place to wake up in…

We arrived to Istanbul and took a connecting flight to Izmir. Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city and it is located on the Aegean coast. From Izmir, our journey took us to the ancient places…and beautiful places…in the vicinity.

(A sightseeing experience in Izmir)

After spending about twenty four hours in Izmir, we decided to head for the Aegean coast a little bit north of the city…we arrived later that evening to Ayvalik and from there to a little island called Cunda.

So we arrived to our first destination, which was Cunda Island in nearby Ayvalik. I guess that one of the benefits of arriving at night is that you do not have to wait long for a great dinner. In Cunda, being an island populated with so many fishermen, it was natural to find an overabundance of fish restaurants. All of them were right on the water. It was hard to choose one, but I think we made a fine choice. We had sea bass baked in salt, (“lubina a la sal”) which was incredibly delicious!

The following seven days we spent sailing around the coast, which was beautiful! We found some pretty interesting places to dive in and enjoy swimming in these clear, cool and blue, blue waters…

To get to know and enjoy this area of Turkey, I would recommend arriving in Istanbul…which is where most international flights arrive…and taking a short flight to Izmir and proceed from there. Izmir is close to many of these destinations and you can hire a car and drive south. There are good roads and highways. If you are coming from some European cities, like Munich or Dublin, there are flights direct to Izmir, so you can avoid a second flight from Istanbul. Unless of course you would also like to get to know that city as well.

After Izmir, one stop, very interesting and which you should not ignore, are the ancient ruins of Ephesus. There are tours or you can hire a car. The distance is not far and the roads are good. I think the ruins of Ancient Ephesus are the largest and best kept archaeological site outside of mainland Greece. Close to Ephesus you can visit the little house where it is said that the Virgin Mary lived. It is a beautiful place, very peaceful and serene on top of a mountain…

The House of the Virgin Mary, like I said, is very close by to the ruins of Ephesus and about seven kilometres from the town of Seljuk. Catholic tradition says that Saint John brought Mother Mary to this house after the crucifixion and it is here where she stayed until her ascension into Heaven.

(Entrance to Mother Mary’s House in Ephesus and one of the Sisters that care for the house)

From Izmir it was quite easy to reach another ancient site, Pergamon…This is one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse. It is a popular destination with Christians worldwide. There are many tours which feature travel to all the churches. I have not seen them all but I can say Pergamun was beautiful! (see my article on Pergamun on this blog)

I must say that it was a rather memorable journey with much of history, archaeology and spirituality. All of these places are a short distance…by car or coach…from Izmir. However, if you choose to stay in one of these places, there are towns nearby, like Seljuk, with nice hotels and good accommodations. And of course, from there, you can travel on to many other destinations in the area which I will be writing about and featuring in my blog.

Turkey, because of its location, is an open air museum where you can see the ruins left behind by the passing of so many cultures and peoples. Enjoy!

After such a lovely holiday, it is time to say ‘good night’ to this cat…

Thank you so much for your time, your attention and for your visit! If you have liked what you have seen or read, please hit that lovely like button, follow and share. Comments are always encouraged and welcome.

I am an artist from Valencia, Spain. If you would like to see more of my work, I invite you to follow my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and you can also see my online galleries with my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!

Ayvalik en la costa del Egeo turco…en fotografias…

Ayvalik esta situada en la costa noroccidental de Turquía. Fue una ciudad llamada Kydonies (Κυδωνίες), cercana a la ciudad de Pérgamo. No muy lejos esta la ciudad de Esmirna. Tiene muchos restaurantes de mariscos a la orilla del mar y es famosa por la gran calidad de su producción de aceite de oliva. En Ayvalık se encuentran las playas Sarimsakli y Altinova, playas de arena, grandes que se extienden aproximadamente 30 km hacia el sur, casi hasta Esmirna.

La primera vez que estuve en Ayvalik fue en 2006, pero no ha cambiado…

especialmente una de sus islitas llamada Cunda (Yunda)…

Realmente es un lugar encantador…

Del puerto de Ayvalik puedes embarcarte a la isla griega de Lesbos…

Fácil de llegar en coche de la ciudad de Esmirna…

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Resultado de imagen de location map of ayvalik turkey
(Map courtesy of Trip Savvy)

Ancient Pergamos…

(Ancient ruins of Pergamos…or Pergamon…in Turkey)

The ancient sites are fascinating to me…

The Ancient Greek cities in what is now Turkey are a sample of what man can accomplish with his intellect, his muscles, his perseverance, passion and with faith…

The ancient site, pictured above, is in present day Bergama, in the Izmir province of Turkey. It is a very well cared for site, nicely managed and very well and artistically…accurately as well…reconstructed in parts. Parts that are enough to let you imagine the majesty of the entirety…

(partial ruins of Pergamon)

The forms are alluding to a time when beauty was of utmost importance. Detail was not a detail but a prime item of consideration. Nothing was too small, nothing was too obscure. Everything vibrated at the same frequencies of splendour.

(Partial structure of a temple at Perganom)

Ancient artists, architects and craftsmen were men…and I think women were involved too…thoroughly devoted to lifting the spirit of man. Their efforts were to be as big and as grandiose as the universe…

Nothing can compare with the work of God, which is evident in nature. But when men put their faith in God and create, wonders can occur that can challenge even the most impressive aspects of Mother Nature.

(Temple columns at Pergamon, Turkey)

The Ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans, Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, Sumerians, Mayan, Aztect, Incas et al, were people who built for the glory of man but with the knowledge that the creative spirit comes from a higher source…

These were not the structures of aetheists…

Thank you for following and liking this post and this blog. Please share if you are satisfied and would like others to see. If you would like to see more of my artwork…I am an artist from Spain…please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries for my 2019 collection of “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!