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Old 06-18-2011, 12:17 AM   #841
nanno
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Nice 'un... so when do we see Doug's RTW with a sidecar ?

Brilliant pics as always. Time to do my own RR, I think.

Cheers,
Greg
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:19 AM   #842
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I headed to Ankara, was a hot ride across the middle of Turkey. The gas here is so expensive, usually about 35.00 to fill my tank. (almost 12.00 a gallon!) Its cheaper to get a room, and dinner, than it is to fill my tank one time. And, some days, I go thru 2-3 tanks!
On the way, I stopped to see Pamukkale, which means ‘Cotton Castle’
It was made by calcium deposits in the water. It looks like white sand, but is hard like stone. And in places, when walking, it sounds hollow underneath, like you could break thru. Sort of unnerving, but a cool place to see. Also on the city, the ruins of another ancient city, Heiropolis. I have learned that my limit of seeing ancient cities before I get bored is 3.
If I knew more about what style was built under what leader & all of that, it may be more interesting, but as I don’t, it sort of starts looking the same. And after Ephesus, the others pale in comparison.
Swimming in the pools here is popular, but luckily, they keep the swimming in one area, so the rest was devoid of people.






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Old 06-18-2011, 12:20 AM   #843
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:22 AM   #844
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:23 AM   #845
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The sign said Antique Poo
I thought that would be worth a look, but it turns out it was just an antique pool, the L was missing. I dunno what the big deal was, I’ve swam in the Atlantic ocean, which is probably older than this place. But they said it was built for Cleopatra or something, and it was full of people, & it cost 20 bucks to enter, so I said screw it.



Plus, there was this sign out front. I dunno if the water in the pool causes or fixes these symptoms, but I feel ok anyhow.




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Old 06-18-2011, 12:24 AM   #846
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I made it to Afyon, where I spend the night. Afyon is a short version of the town, I cant remember the long version. Its famous for its opium farms. I wanted a pic of an opium field, but as I dunno what opium fields look like, I just took a pic of these white flowers I saw.. maybe these are opium poppies? I dunno.





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Old 06-18-2011, 04:07 AM   #847
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Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
I made it to Afyon, where I spend the night. Afyon is a short version of the town, I cant remember the long version. Its famous for its opium farms. I wanted a pic of an opium field, but as I dunno what opium fields look like, I just took a pic of these white flowers I saw.. maybe these are opium poppies? I dunno.


Afyon literally means Opium in Turkish. The name does indeed come from the opium fields the city used to be famous for. It's official name today is Afyonkarahisar, but still known as just Afyon.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when the West started fighting narcotic use and smuggling, the Turks were put under pressure to burn the opium fields and not many of them exist today. I believe opium farming today is done only with a special license.

Incidentally, the story of Midnight Express takes place around the same time. The Turks didn't care much about drugs back then, it wasn't their problem. Being politically connected to the West, the Turks felt obliged to at least appear as fighting drugs. They arrested drug smugglers, but the snail pace of the Turkish judiciary meant that those arrested would spend long time in the country, So, the Turks would take their passports and impose travel bans on them, but let them roam the country during their appeals.

This is where Midnight Express comes into play. Midnight Express was a train going from Istanbul to Edirne through Greece. Yes that's right, for about 10km, the train did indeed enter Greece. it was an old line built by the Ottomans. Once in Greece they would hop off the train, and get arrested by the Greeks, taken to the American consulate in Athens, where they got new passports.

Doug if you misbehave in Turkey, you should bear in mind that Midnight Express does not go through Greece anymore
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:28 AM   #848
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the Turks put an end to the Opium, resp Heroin trafic by strictly and efficiently controlling the chemicals you need to refine raw Opium;
can't really controll the fields, but stamped out refining - all concerned law enforced agencies today don't list Turkey as a major source of illegal drugs.

A turkish prison is still definitely not a place you want to be, but they also cleaned up theyr act - harsh conditions, definitely, but ill treatment once in prison is rarely reportet.
For the police forces and police lock ups this is much less so.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #849
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Hierapolis

Beautiful pictures, Doug. Thanks for sharing your time and pictures and the history lesson. You are seeing places that I can only dream of ever seeing. Hierapolis is an ancient Greco-Roman city from 2nd century BCE. Some scholars think it was named for the goddess Hiera, others from the daughter-in-law of Hercules, by the same name. Whoever it was named for, it was a bath house city built for the use of the hot springs you see on the "cotton castle." It was founded by Eumenes II (King of Pergamon) in 190 BCE and means "holy city." The cemetery contains the sarcophagus of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos, a local miller who designed a block cutting water wheel which used a water crank and connecting rods to 'saw' the blocks into halves two at a time.


When the last of the kings of Pergamon died, he left the city to Rome. In 17 CE, during the rule of Tiberius, the city was destroyed by earthquake. In 60 CE, during the rule of the infamously insane Nero, another earthquake destroyed what little was left of the city. The city was then rebuilt in the Roman model into the city ruins seen today. The name of the city was changed from Hierapolis to Hieropolis by christians when they took over the Roman empire. There is also a "secret" limestone cave around the city somewhere that is filled with the same type of calcium deposits and noxious carbon dioxide gas. The cave was dedicated to the god Pluto (thus the name Plutonium) and was said to be an entrance to the underworld due to the noxious gases. What I wouldn't give to see this scene for myself, but alas, I am a poor history student, and can only dream. Safe journey, Doug. And keep the pics coming! Love them!
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:12 PM   #850
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Really enjoying this report. Thanks Doug. Stay safe.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:53 PM   #851
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Yeah man, I also met the road building team from hell back in Turkey.



It took us a whole afternoon to clean up my bike, but with style.



Subscribed !!

(yeah I know, I'm catching up)

How did she get those hand prints on her hips? Lol. Nice pictures.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #852
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Those springs remind me if Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:57 PM   #853
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I was thinking the same thing.

Great report keep em comming.

Sean
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:32 PM   #854
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Hello Doug,
I see you are staying in Baku for your visas, if you want to make a day trip you could go to Xinaliq it's just outside Quba and it's real nice. Here are some pics from 2008 while I was working in Azerbaijan.
https://picasaweb.google.com/alexand...zerbaijanIun08#
All the best, Alex
Amazing, did not know that there is so much more history just laying around and some still standing or even in use and that for thousands of years. beautiful place and a must visit. --- Better put some signs up there, before you know hundreds of roaring Harley's and Doug followers are passing by and shaking it all down.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:07 AM   #855
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Doug is going,..blub!

Always fun a boatrip!
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