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)


Khios, my Favourite Greek Island…

(Breakfast with my new friends in Emporios)

Khios is not a very popular island but I love it! It is very close to the Turkish coast. It is not too small, as it is the fifth largest in the Aegean Sea with a population of close to 54 thousand souls and 842,29 square kilometres in size. Khios…or Chios…is famous for exporting its mastic gum and because of that they call it the “Mastic Island”.

Khios is not overlooked, however but it is certainly not as popular with tourists as is Santorini or Mykonos. But at least it is not as forgotten as Milos (where the Venus is from).

I usually spend some of my summers in Chios. I have been doing it for several years and now have many friends there. Among the things that I love about Khios is the Mavra Volia Beach in Emporios…

Mavra Volia beach is made of this:

(Volcanic stones of Mavra Volia, polished and beautiful but don’t take them home)

There are monasteries like Neo Moni up in the central mountains and many, many churches…

Chios is also the home of Aya Markella. She was assassinated by her step father and her death became her martyrdom. She lived in the XIVth Century in the town of Volissos and she was cannonised by the Greek Orthodox Church. Her feast day in July 22.

St. Markella.jpg

Going to Volissos, visiting the Monastery and then walking along the coastline to the cross is one of my pilgrimages…

All in all Chios is not too large, not too small but all of it is very lovely to me, especially the mountains as they coexist with the sea…

You can reach Chios by plane from Athens, or by ship and from Turkey as well from a fast catamaran as the journey to Cesme, Turkey is only twenty minutes. Chios has an international airport and seaport. Emporios Bay Hotel is where I recommend. From there you can hire a car and begin to get to know Chios. Remember, it is a small island and you can go everywhere in one day as the roads are excellent but the travel is slow as you are constantly going up and down mountains.

All photographs are property of FBC, C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera


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


This is RIDICULOUS and a crime…

(Streets of Valencia)

When I visited Athens for the first time in 2016, I had many expectations. As a life-long “fan” of Ancient Greece, I was very excited about visiting the Greek capital for I knew I would come face to face with many of the structures, monuments and buildings that I had read about so many times and as many seen in pictures and videos. And I was not disappointed. However, I was shocked to find the incredible amount of graffiti all over buildings, private and public and as well on some of the ancient sites.

I will not show those pictures because I do not want to glorify vandalism. Defacing private or public property is a crime. And I will no longer use, or tolerate the word “graffiti” as a descriptive adjective of that, which is in effect, a criminal act.

It is vandalism. It is not street art. It is not graffiti. It is a criminal act perpetrated by those with no respect for the property of others. I don’t care if some are done with great precision and obvious talent on the part of the offenders, or if some are mere lines and scribbles. None of it is art.

In Valencia I have seen plenty, as I’ve seen in so many European cities. It is sad to see beautiful facades suddenly made ugly because someone has chosen them to paint on. Here are some examples of how neighbourhoods look like when the authorities do not stop the ones committing this filthy vandalism.

I truly cannot understand how anyone can think they’ve the right to deface someone else’s property in that fashion. And I cannot understand why the police does not take more overt action against these scribblers. I also think that neighbours, in those areas, as well as business owners, should take a more aggressive stance to protect not only their properties from vandalism of this sort, but to protect and keep the beauty and integrity of the neighbourhood. Here are some more examples, and these are just in some areas of Valencia, the city is full of this vandalism.

I remember New York City back in the early eighties and how full of these lines and drawings you would see, especially on the subway trains. They were so full of this scribbling that there was hardly room for any other one and they would impose the new ones on top of the old ones that would be fading away.

But that all ended by the late eighties. New York cleaned up. The painted up trains were replaced with new ones, security cameras were installed, new laws were enacted to allow the city to impose large fines and even jail time to the offenders and now you do not see a single scribble on any New York City subway train. And as well, you do not see the city vandalised as European cities are.

I can only say that as an artist I enjoy and encourage all forms of expression, especially artistic expression but I do not like to see buildings, statues and monuments defaced with vandalism. It is unfair to the community, to our visitors, to everyone. I cannot imagine anyone that is pleased to see this nonsense everywhere.

I have seen and heard about how in some cities, they have chosen neighbourhoods and areas and designated walls and other structures…sanctioned by their owners…for artists, usually young persons, to demonstrate their talent with spray cans of paint. They have created beautiful murals. I am all for that. That is not an act of vandalism, it is art. Because no matter what definition of art one subscribes to, one cannot justify art as a criminal act.


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.


Please follow my art work in Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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


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