Archive for May, 2009

Starbucks Show – May

Starting on First Thursday, May 7th and running until the end of the month-ish, several of my travel photos will be on display at the Starbucks on Freemont St. at 46th Ave in Portland, OR.  Please stop by if you are in the area.  Cheers!

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Cyprus

The island of Cyprus includes the Karpas Peninsula that points like a finger at the Middle East. The lonely Dipkarpaz road angles out over the peninsula and ends at the ruins of a Greek Orthodox monastery. Along the road sits a small tourist trap… very small.

The Florya Restaurant is run by a pair of British retirees. In front of their cafe sits a 15th century church – Ayios Thyrsos. Below the cafe, under the sea cliff, there is also a small cave chapel dating from the 12th century. And up on the bluff are more ruins from unknown dates and uses.

The church and chapel are empty and unused as they are in the Turkish, predominantly Muslim, controlled portion of the island.  However, they are also protected and somewhat maintained for the future. The diplomatically isolated position of Northern Cyprus also keeps down the tourists and allows the few visitors to wander ancient sites alone and to mentally time travel as desired. It is a sad bargain.


Ayios Thyrsos Church c. 15th century

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Ayios Thyrsos Ruins c. unknown

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Ayios Thyrsos Chapel c. 12th Century

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Kosovo

There is a Sufi meeting house or “tekke” in Prizren, Kosovo. It is an unassuming place with out a minaret or anyone standing guard over protocol. One simply passes in through an open gateway and into a small courtyard with a fountain. There are a few buildings or rooms around the courtyard and a raised platform under a covered porch. There is a small room with windows and inside sit several coffins draped in white shrouds. It is very quiet and peaceful. I walked over to the sound of running water and saw this fountain. Two snakes wrapped around two staffs, two crossed swords, and a twelve sided top stone with a wrought iron Arabic script detail on top. I enjoyed my moment of peace and passed out to the street again. All religious places should be so low key and beautiful.


The Sey Osman Halveti Tekkesi

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The ablution fountain. Both are circa 1691.

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The Halveti order are also known as Whirling Dervishes and originated in Afghanistan and spread to the Balkans with the Ottoman Empire.

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