make-shift war memorial

A hastily made war memorial close to the Valley of Tears.

inside destruction

Inside the mosque shown in yesterday's photo.

abandoned mosque

On route to the border I came across this mosque showing signs of bullet and shell damage - always sad to see the destruction of war - on both sides.


important road signs

This road from here leads up to the Syrian border and this area is under UN control because it is "disputed" territory. The road is gravel and not very wide, driving along it I met several UN convoys coming from the opposite direction. These convoys comprised of armoured cars and troop carriers moving very fast so that they are a difficult target. Problem is that the road is only one vehicle wide so I had to continually pull off the road to let these convoys past. I did make it to the border but rather than track the Syrian border up to Lebanon as I planned - I decided to turn back - unusual for me to retreat but when all the other vehicles on the road are armoured and driving fast, and when one is in a tiny Hyundai with "Budget Rent a Car" stickers on it, even I know it is time to turn back!
 

truck in minefield


The things we do for photography!

danger mines


There are lots of minefields in the Golan Heights left over from the many wars. This was taken driving up to the Syrian border. I drove up to the point shown on the map below, I did not take pictures in that region though as things are pretty volatile with a Syrian military build up on the other side of the border and ISIS attacks on UN troops in the area. My travel interest is not the current conflict, but exploring the older history of this region up to the Yom Yippur War.

golan heights


An afternoon drive through the Golan Heights up to the border.

trouble at damascus gate


Just over a week ago in Jerusalem's Old City I was walking to the Damascus Gate when there was trouble the other side; in the initial incident one person was shot dead and three police officers injured. Apparently this was followed by a riot or crowd issue, you can hear what sounds to me like a Kinetic or CS Gas round being fired on the other side of the gate in the video.

crossing the negev


Crossing the Negev last week, will post some photos soon.

waiting game

As seen at Check Point Charlie - I really don't get it - anyone understand the significance?

strange vw

As seen in Berlin a few weeks ago - I want one - does not look like it will have many emissions.

ducati

One day I will trade my Honda CB500X in for a one of these! As seen in Berlin a few weeks ago.

train

Took me a few weeks to figure out the Berlin subway - but I've got it now - I think.

sight seeing

Being a tourist with relatives in Berlin.

elevator photos

Elevator photo - a kind of visual alternative to elevator music.

hadrian's arch

As seen in Athens: Aside from being the world's first hipster - this Hadrian guy really got around - seeing his buildings everywhere in the region!

from one wall to another

Was in Berlin a few days ago and now in Israel and traveled to the West Bank - from one wall to another - but this one is still active. Will post photos as I can but in the mean time will leave the photoblog posting recent pics of other places automatically. 

trees and tourists

As seen in Athens last week.

jerusalem


Arrived in Jerusalem today - first time for me - staying in the Old City.

the great escape

All art is political - sometimes it is more overt than others - but it is all political none-the-less.

working at the wall

Although in Europe at the moment, while in Berlin I am getting in 10-12 hours writing a day, but about to take 2-weeks off for Israel soon.

sounds of the wall

All kinds of art along the wall, I could spend ages here.

bride and groom

Ephesus is a great setting for a wedding - just don't stay here for the honymoon - Anthony and Cleopatra came here for theirs and we know how that turned out!

selfie in zeus' place

I think the selfies is a form of art, and at the very least a sociological phenomena, there has to be an article in this I am sure!

tired traveller

Why are mountaintop experiences so exhausting?

parthenon

Parthenon, Athens, as seen today.

today's plan

The best plans are made over breakfast.

zeuz

Temple of Olympian Zeus, in Athens, as seen today.

selfie me

For so long I have wanted to walk on this particular street in Ephesus, so has to be worth a selfie!

library of celsus again

Library of Celsus from under the Gate of Macaeus and Mithridates, Ephesus.

suvla bay

Last week I visited Suvla Bay, 100 years after my grandfather landed there in WWI. In August 1915 he and tens of thousands of other fresh British troops sprang unannounced out of the turquoise Aegean in an offensive designed to undo the stalemate of the WWI Gallipoli Campaign. The Bay is still remote and hard to get to, but quieter now than it was in his day, back then over 150,000 allied troops were on the beach shown in this video, and along the 15-20 miles of surrounding hills and coast over 3/4 of a million soldiers battled in one of the most bloody conflicts of WWI, and in what many regard as one of the greatest disasters of British military history. The stalemate was not undone - the allies left in December 1915 - my grandfather was one of the few lucky to survive until that end. I went there to remember my grandfather and the long life he had after that campaign, and to think of the many who did not get that chance.


going to the library

Library of Celsus as seen from under the Gate of Macaeus and Mithridates, Ephesus.

a feel for history


Visited Ephesus this week, where like me, everyone has cameras. But just down the street from here a blind man was being led by his son. I watched how the son would tell the man what building or street they were at, the man would stand for a while taking in that place, and then move on to another place. I began to wonder how much I miss understanding about the world because I am so visual. So I sat for a while not looking but just listening and feeling, and I heard Herostratus, Alexander the Great, Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, the Roman Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Mary, the Apostle's John and Paul, and Elton John go by! And at some at some point in the history of this street all of them did just that, they all walked by this very spot.

same old gate

Every time I go to England to see my mom I visit this church and take a picture of this same old gate.