December 22, 2008
It's raining today, spoiling my rest day plans of Mt. Olympos. Looks like I'll have to cook my dinner over a stove instead of the eternal flame. I can't stand the rain, even on rest days. That's why I live in the desert.
There are Germans everywhere here! Mein Deutsche ist verbessern, but I flew to Turkey, so wtf? Check out his glasses, cute huh? This way he can look up without hurting his neck. Germans are weird. And not hip at all.
I spend my days taking portraits of animals, since the rain keeps me off the rocks. Look, a turkey! You're a long ways from home - or maybe turkeys belong in Turkey? I suppose it's fitting, although I swear they came from America. One more export for the US of A, right behind movies, sex, and rock and roll.
See those things on top of the buildings - every single structure has one here. That there is a passive solar system. The water flows through thin pipes in the array and absorbs the heat, no gas or electricity required. Why don't we have those in the US? We are lame.
December 20, 2008
I lack a robust understanding of where I am in the world right now. It isn’t that I’m entirely clueless, but I definitely don’t have a firm grasp on it either. Turkey is on the Mediterranean Sea (or is it the Aegean?), somewhere between Europe and Asia, the western world and the middle east, the 70s and today. For you see, mustaches are quite big here. Observe. The fire was warm, he beckoned me closer.
Islamic prayers echo throughout the valley five times a day as the local mosques sing Allah Allah Allah. I’m in a small village near the city of Antalya on the southern coast, camping with a bunch of Germans. Sometimes I think I flew to Munich instead of Istanbul. I went into town the other day and a local mistook me for a Deutsch. Fuck that.
I really don’t feel like I’m out of Europe most of the time. Check out the accomodations, very Rodellar-esque, no?
The climbing is better than decent, with big tufas, my friends. No climbing photos yet, the rock is pretty hard to shoot because of the lighting and flora obstructions. You can see a glimpse of the orange limestone past the goat, but remember to hide your food or these hoofed menaces will ravage the lunch.
The ratings are super fun-soft as well – I’ve been a heartbeat away from onsighting two 13ds. Sorry dudes, I don’t onsight 13d. I think an across the board cut of two letters is likely in order, but it’s been so long since I’ve been on a rope, my calibration is all off.
I leave you with some final shots of…puppies! If these photos don’t melt your heart, I pity your loveless existence.
December 16, 2008
There are actual Muslims here! Look at him, washing his feet or something before going into a Mosque. Turkey is cool. The way I see it, the only way to pull off a mustache is to antecedently be incredibly hip, otherwise you're just a loser of a redneck - and the Turks most definitely know how to rock the stash.
After a long flight I ended up in Istanbul. After New York I was sick of the city, so I booked myself a night bus out of town and spent the day exploring. What’s there to say, landmarks are landmarks. So how about a list:
The Blue Mosque:
The Aya Sofya:
I had one of the most intense experiences of my life in a Turkish bath. The room was steamy, the man was big, and the massage was amazing. I told him to press harder near the beginning, and from that point on he made it his goal to break me. Tears came rolling out two or three times, and I think he dislocated my toe, but I’ll never forget that day. When it was all done, I was told to drop the towel, and he reached around me to affix a new one. He put a towel on my naked body. No one does that. Amazing.
I had dinner with a German radiologist I met there (nothing like some semi-naked bonding), then got on an overnight bus to Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean coast. It took a bit, but from there I made it to the climbing in Geyikbayiri. Three nights of traveling and I’m done. Time to pass out, tomorrow is for climbing.
December 15, 2008
On my way out of this country I ended up with an eleven hour layover in New York - the cost of cheap tickets is made up in time. But I know people, so no worries. I met Jake at the Empire State Building in the morning and we toured the city. I feel like there's no reason to go back now. I mean, I've done all the essentials: saw tall buildings, ferried to the Statue of Liberty, went ice skating and rock climbing in central park, ate a bagel, hailed a cab. It really was the perfect date. Thanks Jake.
I'm tired, so if you want to see photos, follow the link for yourself.