08 September 2007

AlSo: The Rock

In the morning we walked to St. Peter’s Church after a futile attempt to get breakfast at a doner shop (what were three vegetarians thinking trying to get food at a place with roasting, rotating chickens displayed in the window? Hubris). Waiting for the gates to open, we talked to one of the gatekeepers who suggested we scramble up the rocks above the church. We were on the verge of doing so when a distinct American accented voice asked where we were from. He is an archaeological student from Texas who had a great deal to say about the history of Antioch, as Antakya is often referred to, and the area [see emails to mom and Steve]. One fellow showed us around some of the areas. I’ve learned that I have a little disgruntlement with the direction “down”, perhaps owing in part to my glasses’ strange relationship to depth perception but assuredly due to my own clumsiness. Needless to say, both Justin and Corey scrambled higher than me. We wheeled back to town for brunch of, oh yes you guessed it, hummus, then the Archaeological Museum. Turkey has so much history that they just throw it around, that’s what we learned at the museum. The Museum was filled with amazing tiled mosaics with Greek and Roman references, coins of most Roman and Ottoman rulers (Claudius, Marcus Aurellius, and Suleyman the Great for the heck of it). Chinese toiurists came through at one point, and I got to translate “please don’t use you flash” into Mandarin for the security guard. In the back courtyard, we got to check out ancient sarcophagi used as planters, the watering hose propped up against a rendering of, was it Cupid?, on the side of a sarcophagus. Hightailed it back to the hotel to pick up our stuff, whiz through the Bazaar to pick up some to-go surk (a cheese with added spices) and pide for the ride and got on the bus to Mardin. Long, LONG ride.

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