Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Look of Love

Last night I finished reading the 3rd book in the Barsoom Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The books chronicle the exploits of American Civil War veteran John Carter who is transported, without any explanation, to Mars (known by Martians as 'Barsoom').
Once there he falls in love with a princess and has absolutely non-stop Conan-type adventures battling Tharks, Plant-Men and Great White Apes.
It's all perfectly mad, but a rollicking good pulpy read.

One of the chief pleasures is wrapping my tongue around the names in the book. For example, one of the main villains is called "Matai Shang, Hekkator of The Holy Therns" and Carter's best friend is "Tars Tarkas Jeddak of Thark". Great stuff.

However, these names are getting confused with some of the Turkish words I'm learning. Especially names of dishes in restaurants.
So, I start wondering to myself whether "Tavuk Sis" is chicken on a skewer or is it the name of the redoubtable Jeddack of Zodanga, and if I order a plate of "Woola" am I asking for a red kidney bean salad or for a faithful Martian war dog.

From Pamukkale I joined a daytrip minibus to Aphrodisias, an ancient city famous for its Temple of Aphrodite. After the disappointment of Ephesus this place was a real treat.

It's surrounded by mountains, covered in spring flowers, hardly visited and full of columns!

The site itself is huge, it took about 2 hours to walk round.

First was the very columny Tetrapylon gate

Tetrapylon gate

From there a small path crossed a field of flowers...

to an athletics stadium.

 I think Galatasary ought to play their home legs in The Champions League here.


Only columns remain of the once famous Temple of Aphrodite...fine by me.

Temple of Aphrodite

Other notable buildings include the Hadrianic Baths

Hadrianic Baths
Part of Hadrian, I assume

and the Sebasteion, a temple where previous Roman Emperors are the gods.


All in all, a suitably beautiful place dedicated to the Godess of Love.

One last thing...
These three columns really caught my eye because they form the Japanese kanji for mountain!


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