Italia     The Lycian Trail                                                                                                  The Blob,  Vol. 1, Issue 5, November 2006
Saturday November 4th, 2006
Oh yeah!!!  Those deadly books are once again allowed on the planes.  In case you've forgotten, books were not allowed on planes back in August when I flew over here.  Look at how dangerous that book is?  What were they thinking letting me take it  on the plane?  I could
have read aloud and bored the pilot to sleep causing the plane to crash!!!  Someone needs to report this very dangerous infraction to airport security.
That's my first pizza in Naples (Napoli).  Naples is the birth place of pizza, though in my opinion, Americans perfected the pizza kind of like the Japanese perfected the American invention of the automobile.
This is the meeting for which two science teachers, two students and myself went to Italy.  We met with teachers and students from Portugal and Italy.  They've been working on a project related to water for the past two years and asked me to supervise the creation of the website.  The two students who came along will be creating the website.  Here's the weblink, though we haven't updated the site yet from last year so it's not ready to go.
Yeah, wow, some of those cars in Italy are small.
On the right is Mount Vesuvius which can be viewed from all over Naples.  It is the volcano responsible for the destruction of Pompeii in AD 79.  I missed the trip to the active volcano because I had to go a day late to Italy because my department head, who's never taught before,
kept saying that he's so busy he can't substitute for me.  I handed him everything on a silver platter for the classes he had to sub so hopefully it will be easier to do next time.
I love this fellow on the left.  He served us chocolate, cream pudding and jam filled croissants for breakfast at our hotel.  They were so good.  The Italians also have the shop thing right.  Store chains don't have the power in Italy or Turkey like they do back home and it's so refreshing.  I used to go to the shop on the corner with my mom when I was a kid and get a chocolate covered marshmallow on a stick which was shaped into an animal or cartoon character.  He knew us so it was fun.  The shop no longer exists because of the chain corner stores and I miss that old look and feeling.  It looked a bit like Mr. Hooper's store on Sesame street which is also what the Italian shops looked like.
There are many tunnels beneath Naples which is where the water used to be drawn from via the wells.  Some people used to have the job of climbing down through the wells to clean off the top of the water in a similar manner by which we clean off the top of our swimming pools.  One fellow who used to do this job was called Punchinello.  The people who used to do this job could also climb up through other people's wells and they would sometimes steal things.  They also accidentally dropped things in people's homes sometimes if they were in a rush so they were both a curse and a blessing.
The director arranged a private tour for us of the castle.  The mid pic is of a secret passageway from the library to a private courtyard.  Yes, they're not just something in the movies!  The lower right pic is of weapons on the wall in a room similar to the room that Roy Roy fought in at the end of the movie.
General Umberto Nobile from just outside of Naples, Italy designed this Zeppelin like ship and tried to fly it to the North Pole.  They crashed and a few of the crew died, but Nobile was rescued and the rest of the crew were rescued later (strange story).  This picture was a painting on a park wall along the street.  When I saw it, I was told by the locals that this was the first Zeppelin.  As I figured, when I looked it up, Nobile is famous, but this is not a Zeppelin, nor was it the first.  Nobile based his design on the Zeppelin, but it didn't turn out to be near as good.  On the far right is a son of the director of the Italian school.  An Italian football player made this sweater famous.  It means 'Hugs and Kisses, Friends Forever'.  Sadly, I have a deficit of those in my life right now.  Why aren't they more acceptable among guy friends in Western culture?
We took a double-decker bus tour of Rome before flying back to Istanbul.  
Once again, the locals got a little excited with their numbers.  The tour guide said that the Roman Coliseum could seat about 150,000 people.  The almighty and reliable Wikipedia says that historical documents put the number at 80,000 while
others today claim about 50,000.  Whichever is true, it's an amazing feat to have accomplished back in 80AD.  Those are the Portuguese teachers on the bottom.  They toured around Rome with us and flew out the next day.  George on the right had his identity stolen but he got papers from the police so he could fly home.  Please use money belts when you travel!  Another teacher here had her wallet stolen containing $700 US and all of her credit cards while travelling in Spain.
That's our goodbye pic with the Portuguese group on the right but we'll see them again in May at our school in Istanbul for the grand finale of the project.


Sunday November 12th, 2006
The Lycian Trail
I took a 12 hour overnight bus ride to get to the trial-head.  I took a train to get to the bus station and I was the only one on my car.  I felt like I was in a movie. 
I hiked the trail with Phil and Nora, a couple currently from BC, and Zac attack, from New Zealand.  Phil and Zac teach at a school in
Ankara which is the capital of Turkey.  Phil teaches Physics and Zac teaches music.  Nora teaches French at my school.  Notice all of the pools in the village on the right.  It seems so ironic to have pools when you're so close to such a beautiful beach.  We hiked up past the mountain from where people paraglide on the first day.  It was such a beautiful view.  That night we celebrated my 35th birthday!!!  That's the meal on the far right and here's my 35th birthday song.  We stayed in a pensyon with a great view and the far left is the morning after.
The next day, we made it to a secluded beach where we camped in a camping area.  On the left is Phil's first touch of the water, Zac falling in backwards, and Nora's first wade in.  Interesting how each of them had their own unique approach.  The weather was beautiful and hot so the beach was a welcome sight. 
The owner of the campsite is on the far right.  That's his girlfriend as far as we could tell.  He was from Istanbul.  The fellow on my right is from Germany and he makes harps for a living.  He recently decided to make a permanent home at this campsite with his boyfriend on my left who writes music and is from Istanbul.  The boy and couple just above them are from France.  They both work in the circus and met the camp owners at a juggling convention in Turkey and they came to visit the
camp to do some smoking.  They're travelling until next year so they're on a tight budget.
Look at that great meal served to us along the trail! Zac just inhaled that thing it was so good.
We camped out with that sunset view for our last night on the trail.  We were on a cliff overlooking the water on someone's farmland.  They
also had a bee farm making their own honey which I've seen a lot of recently so I guess honey season must have just ended.  The left pic is the end of our trek.  We had about a 6km hike out along the road to catch a ride back into town.  Fortunately, a fellow stopped and offered his car as a taxi service to take us to the bus stop where we enjoyed some ice cream.
Below is our first meal back in town.  Nora had to leave us the next morning
because we could only get one bus ticket back to Istanbul.  She caught a ride with some other teachers who were down in the area so Zac, Phil and I had a boys day out on the scooters.  Zac had ridden dirt bikes before but I believe it was the first time for both of them on scooters.  I loved booting around along the coast.  It was so beautiful that night riding and watching the sunset.  During the day, we also went to visit a Greek village which was abandoned back when all of the Greeks were kicked out of Turkey.  That is the village shown in the banner of this entry.
Those are the packs we carted around with us for four days.  Notice that Nora's got those cool shoes which she loved wearing after a day of hiking.  I had my birks for that purpose.
I'll definitely be going back to do some more hiking along this trail.