Abandoned and Unexcavated: the charms of Termessos

Amidst a fairly busy schedule in Turkey this week, managed to occupy a day off with a trip into the mountains above Antalya to the abandoned city of Termessos. It's power and wealth derived from controlling the only local pass through the mountains - but its construction, so high and so elaborate (temples, theatre, agora, civic buildings, many houses etc), must have been an astonishing feat of engineering and endurance.

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Friday Fun 47: Skomer Puffins

Trying to write in the wonderfully balmy sun of Pembrokeshire this week has been a struggle! But I'm not complaining. it's been a joy to be down here, heatwave and all. But I'm particularly thankful to have got out for half a day yesterday to visit Skomer Island at last (been coming to Dale for years, but this was a first). So here is some jollity from the delightful puffins of Skomer. What fun they are...

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Pursuing Byron at The Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion

It has been a schoolboy dream to visit this place (yeah, I know; I was, and am still, a bit of a classics geek): the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion (the southern tip of Attica, just below Athens). There's not a lot of it left sadly. But it is one of the most spectacular spots for any building, let alone one of such antiquity and distinction. Having had an action-packed but positive few days doing some Langham teaching in Athens, it was a joy to get out to the cape for Monday morning, followed by a great seafood lunch with good friends overlooking the Aegean.

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The view from Olympian gods

What an extraordinary night. I've never been to an athletics event before in my life (not since defying the odds and coming second in the U13 100m at my prep school - nb there were only 3 other runners and only about 4 others in the qualifying age group in the whole school). But this was one not to miss - a night at the Olympics. Our seats were very high up 'in the gods' - but what a perspective, what a joy, what a privilege to witness. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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A journey from Perga to the Lycus Valley

I had one day to sightsee in Turkey last week which was fabulous. I even came back a bit sunburnt (much to the chagrin of every rain-drenched colleague on my return). Quite fun to be able to say that I got a tan at Laodicea. So here are a few photographic highlights. For the full Flickr set, click here. Having been based in Antalya (ancient Attalia) had a chance to visit Perga and Aspendos (along the coast to the east), and then travelled inland to the north west to the Lycus Valley (where Hierapolis, Laodicea and Colossae are). First a general map and few panoramas from the trip... Click on each image for a closer view.

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Q marks the spot – Treasure Map 38 (November 2011)

Sacred Treasure

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A few days in Paris

Having taken my son Joshua to Rome for 3 nights when he was 10, my daughter decided she wanted to go to Paris for her 10th year Dad & Daughter time. So off we toddled last week for a few days to see the sights. And a fab time was had by all.

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