The Second Phrygian Exploration

Aug 17th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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The Second Phrygian Exploration

Our first attempt at exploring the Frig Valley was three years ago. We were not well prepared at all. We did not have proper maps. Our car was not fueled well and we had not supplied ourselves at all with any necessities like food and camping gear. By the time we decided that taking the forest road from somewhere close to the city of Kutahya would not not necessarily take us to Rome or thereabouts, we were running out of fuel, we were hungry and the sun was about to set and the logger routes we followed kept on multiplying beyond recognition.

The fact that I am writing this now is evidence that we survived that ordeal. however, it took three years for us to build up enough courage to start the second expedition to the region.

We will take off on Sunday August 19, which is shown to be auspicious for travel and discovery according to various ancient star charts which we have consulted. We shall have two goose down pillows and enough to eat for two days with us, plus antihistamines, sun screen sprays, hats, cat and dog food, a map of sorts which a deity called Google bestowed upon us.

Our first night will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Kutahya with a weekend getaway special and then the use of Le Club card at Ibis Eskisehir will give us two more nights with some different points.

No AWD this time, but a souped up Passat 1.4SI SW, Ray Bans to look like tough guys and a sprint booster for the getaway if needed. Eser will use the Pentax K-x with the large18-250 lens and I will use the Canon Powershot SX230 HS to shoot our way out of any difficulties.

This is a spur of the moment decision made two days ago. We have paid our bills made our wills, sent the one kid here in istanbul on a trip of her own, prepared road song disks and packed various knick knack against bad luck and evil eye already.

Wish us luck, so that I may continue to write on the Phrygian hordes before they reach your city.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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I was thinking of using Afyon as a base next month to revisit that area. The Afyon Belediyesi seems to have a good brochure -
I've got quite a few more Phrygian sites on my to-do list to tick off.
Last time ('93) I was on top of the citadel in Afyon when the call to prayer started up all around the city, which was an amazing experience, I'd like to video that this time.
Croesus is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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P.S. I don't think I'll be consulting any oracles, though. It all went very badly last time
Croesus is offline  
Aug 20th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Writing from Eskisehir.

leaving istanbul was worse than having an umbilical chord severing. I was sufferiong from vertigo all previous evening at dinner at a friend's sea side house on the Bosphorus directly across from the Rumeli fortress. The excellent steamed sea bas did not help.

Sunday morning, the vertigo hit again, so that I barely managed to put together most of my medicine a couple of books, a notebook some pencils, my laptop, closed up the carry on, grabbed the computer case to go donstairs first to say goodbye to sister, cousins and nephewsand their cat. I was aware of Eser following me with the large camera case which i presumed included the two cameras, filters, spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.

We drove 30 miles to FIL's house to have lunch with that part of the family after stopping at the cemetery for a brief visit to the tombstones of the deceased of both families, Eser's three and mine five generations. Thinking back, I do not think that anyone welcomed us with open arms, and I am glad that they did not. We did not visit the grave of my rather recently deceased cousin, since his esoteric beliefs may have implied his presence at certain locations after his death.

i decided that we should take a longer route to Kutahya, by ferrry from Eskihisar to Topcular and then turning left at topcular, taking the scenic mountain road to Boyalica and thence to Iznik. this was fortunate because i discovered on the ferry that Eser had forgotten to bring the two goose down pillows we need to sleep especially at ibis hotel at Eskisehir. Now we could pick two pillows from our home at Iznik.

Another discovery which could have cured my vertigo but worsened it was that Eser had left the case containing all photographic equipment at my sister's house.

I am reliving those moments and am beset by horrible shudders. i cannot continue writing anymore now.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 02:38 PM
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Stopped at an Outlet center at Bozoyuk on the way to Kutahya to check for available cameras. Ended up buying three slip-ons and two purses for Eser plus a crocodile pattern leather case suitable for a 15" laptop before finding a shop where a persuasive clerk sold us a fuji with which I was not happy.

By the time we hit Kutahya and our hotel, it was dark and we were tired. We decided that we would eat at the hotel restaurant. Possibly a mistake. the regional soup was OK but the main meal was tasteless and the caesar salad had only the type of lettuce to desrve its name. It had a strange mayonaise sauce without a hint of garlic. No parmesan, no anchovy and the romaine was possibly a week old. The room was fine though and we slept well till 9AM.

The next morning was spent trying to find another branch of the store where we had bought the camera to change it with a more expensive Nikon 3/4 coolpix with regular A4 batteries. Fortunately we were able to do it although it took time for the communication between stores. Then, we went to the new shopping mall for some reason that I do not recall. Neither do I recall what Eser purchased there. The human mind is sometimes successful in blocking out memories of nasty stuff.

We then finally took of for some exploration of Phrygian mutillated phallic symbol rocks as those from later civilizations at Cappadocia. We found a few, dutifully photographed them with our new camera which does not have a standard view finder but only an LCD screen which becomes dark under sunshine so that you have no idea what you are shooting. Nikon possibly made it to make photography more exciting under certain circumstances.

having surveyed a small collection of rocks, we drove to Eskisehir, settled at ibis hotel which turnedout to be at an excellent location and called Eser;s high school classmate who showed up with his lovely wife to walk us in the immediate are, which had part of the river canals with gondolas and cruise boats, bridges with interesting statues, a long and very lively bar street, avenues with a tram and full of pedestrians.

Eskisehir turned out to be the most modern, fun and livable small Turkish city we have ever visited so far with its population of about 700,000 and two large universities with 60,000 students. It has the best known and popular mayor in the country and unfortunately no Phrygians whom we could discern.

We had a quick decent kebap on bar street, washing it down with turnip juice while listening to a group performing 80's and 90's music across from our restaurant; walked to our hotel and tried to sleep to be kept awake by the nioise of flowing, gurgling and hissing water coming from somewhere above us, until almost 3AM.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Earplugs Always,OC! Lifesavers.
Tommmo is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 12:01 AM
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Thanks Tommo, I hope your upcomming trip goes well. I look forward to reading about your new discoveries and experiences.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 12:09 AM
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I am going to stop publishing this trip report on Fodors due to lack of interest in Phygia, my writing style, trip reports in general, Turkey or travel in general, whichever and in whatever combination.

This is of'course disheartening for me in view of the travel book I have been preparing for some time now.

However, my contributions on a food thread are much more appreciated and I believe the second book I am working on, "Turkish-Indian-Thai-Chinese-Italian Fusion; Original, Recipes Tested with No Casualties" will have a better chance of being published and sold.

Thanks for the lurkers here in any case.
otherchelebi is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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OC for the record, I for one am sorry to see your trip report end. I enjoyed everything about it. The info,the writing,the humor. I did not feel it was my place to comment as I only tend to use this forum while trip planning. I am in no way an expert on any location of travel (although I wish I was.) I would think with the limited information of travel to Turkey( and rather dull presentation thereof,) a new guide would be a hit with the "intelligent" traveler. I appreciate the information you have given to me and others.My trip will be richer for it. Kim
kmh7 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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Please don't stop! I'm enjoying it. And thanks for the reminder to post acknowledgments.

Headed to Istanbul tomorrow for a long weekend (enroute somewhere else on business).
Grassshopper is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Oh, don't stop, OC! I've been reading with great amusement, but since I have no knowledge base regarding Phrygia whatsoever, I felt it best to just read along in silence. Ignorance doesn't always stop me from saying something, but I try to maintain at least a facade of learnedness.

And what, you have something against Mexican food? ;-)
purduegrad is offline  
Aug 29th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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OC from our experience, you just put reports out there without hope of reward or acknowledgement. Be assured for years people will be able to avail themselves of your knowledge.
Besides, in writing the reports you re-live them and cement them in your memory. Believe me ,with a memory like cement this is a good thing!
Tommmo is offline  
Sep 20th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Didn't make to Phrygia because on the second day of motorbike rental dropped it on my foot and dislocated my big toe. Hospital in Fethiye fixed it and thereafter chose to ride around the Lycian sites instead. Had a nice chilled out holiday nonetheless, revisited the recently excavated Kibyra and revisited a few sites (and a few new ones) down by Kas where I spent a few nights (in between slobbing out in Kayakoy).
Croesus is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 02:13 PM
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I shall continue writing on the trip here because i found that i keep on losing the notebooks i write with my special fountain pens and inks. Well, actually, the female contingent removes them from sight as unnecessary and ugly "things" serving no useful purpose.

Anyway, before I start, Croesus I am very sorry that the motorbike took a dislike to your foot. If I remember correctly, Fethiye and the Lycian sites were always your fall back options and I do not blame you. one can never get tired of them. I hope you saw VR and Attilla at Kayakoy.

I do not know Kibyra and will look it up hoping I can get there with either the passat variant or the older impreza.

Tommo, I just love rewards, presents, kisses from young ladies, hugs from very young kids, purrs from kittens, wags from dogs, especially since people stopped paying me for most of the things I do. I will moderate a panel at an international conference again on October 4 and they will not pay me. I may have a TV program on Turkish national children's TV called Granpa Chelebi and His Apprentices and again they will pay me a pittance if the idea is accepted.
otherchelebi is offline  
Oct 9th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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Hello, I've just started reading the Turkey forums in preparation for my first visit to Turkey next year. I stumbled on this trip report and would love to hear more! Any chance of adding to the tale?
msweg is offline  
Oct 10th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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msweg, the OP, otherchelebi, is in holiday in the US until November. He may very well add to this post, but may be a little while.
purduegrad is offline  
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