Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Wonders of Turkey - final post of journey

These are shots from the ancient city of Troy. Back then, it was a port city. Now it lies about 4 kilometers from the sea. I cannot tell you how it felt to stand on the ground where perhaps the scenes of the Trojan War played out.
a portion of the original wall in city of Troy
the theater in Troy

Here is my hubby in front of a replica of the Trojan Horse. I just remember being in school and learning about Paris running off with Helen of Troy and how that began a 10-year war and thinking how romantic that was. Now I know better. There may be different reasons for wars beginning, but they are still happening. Have we learned nothing?

a tunnel from an ancient hospital
Here I am walking through a tunnel at the ruins of an ancient hospital in Pergamon. It was a major healing center at the time. One would arrive and be evaluated. If the healers thought they could help, you were accepted. If not, you were turned away. As you walked through the tunnel, the healers called down treatment instructions from up above. Then you went to a sleeping chamber to heal.

the home of the Virgin Mary after the Crucifixion

The calcium magic of Pamukale

 Pamukale was, indeed magical. There are hot springs atop the hills and an ancient Roman bath. We got to dip our feet in the hot springs, along with hundreds of other tourists.

Cappodocia was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I love rock and rock formations and it feeds my soul to clamber around on rocks - not rock climbing, just being with and on the rocks. Cappodocia is an other-worldly landscape and we were lucky enough to both walk around it and ride a hot air balloon over it.

a whirling dervish

Here is a monk doing a whirling dervish dance. Unbeknownst to me, it is part of a religious ritual. They perform part of the ritual so outsiders can get a feel for what they do. It was very special to get to see this. They are part of a sect founded by Rumi, and from what I understand, it is a very loving philosophy.

The Blue Mosque
 Here are hubs and me doing some Turkish folk dancing at a folklore experience. Do I need to tell you how fun that was?

At right is a shot of the Blue Mosque, one of the most stunning architectural achievements I have ever seen. When I entered, I teared up from the sheer beauty of the building, not to mention the spiritual peace I felt, not withstanding the hundreds of other visitors. Beauty does that to me.

Interior of Blue Mosque

Windsor Castle

We ended our trip by flying into London for one night. We arrived around 1 pm and as soon as we got to our hotel, which took some doing, we found our way to Windsor Castle by bus. It was well worth the effort. You are not allowed to take photos inside, but let me tell you, the Queen has one of the most extensive art collections in the world, and there are several amazing pieces of art here, along with the opulent furnishings and chandeliers and rugs. One of my favorite things was Queen Victoria's life-sized doll house.

hubs and me

A big fat sigh that the trip is over. When you have dreamt of something for practically your whole life and then it is over, there is somewhat of a letdown of energy. I guess it's time to dream up another adventure.

What are you dreaming???Blessings,Karen


Donna Shields said...

Great pics. The healing tunnel was interesting. Thankful for modern medicine.

I'm dreaming about warm tropical places like Jamaica. It's getting a little cold here in the south.

K.C. Woolf said...

The perfect place to spark a writer's mind. :-)

Great photos, and the one of you and your husband at the water is beautiful!

Karen Walker said...

Donna, Jamaica does sound good - it's gotten cold here in Albuquerque the last few days
K.C., yes, it is. and thanks, I love that photo as well.

Nancy La Turner said...

So glad you got to live your dream! The rock formations reminded me of our own NM Tent Rocks -- have you been there? If not, put it on your list of awesome places to visit.

Jules said...

Well I for am as just as happy punch for you and your dream coming true, the memories will live forever! I do have a question though...

Was it required you wear that white plastic poncho to get healed? :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Karen Walker said...

Nancy, yes, I've been to Tent Rocks and you are right. Coppadoccia is like it, only multiplied.
Jules, LOL, no, it was required to stay dry. It was pouring.

Margo Kelly said...

WONDERFUL pictures! Thank you for sharing. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You got to dance! Great photos, Karen.

Karen Walker said...

Margo, thanks so much for the visit and comment.
Alex, yes, I got to dance and decided I was going to dance when I got home as well, rather than twiddling my thumbs waiting to need a knee replacement.

Mason Canyon said...

Such amazing photos. I've enjoyed them all. Thanks for sharing your trip. It's been fun. Have a great weekend.

Thoughts in Progress

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your trip, it's been so interesting to read and to see your pics. What a wonderful adventure you had! Love the last pic of you and your hubby, great photo!

Here's to the next dream and adventure. :)

Ann said...

Funny how there is a sense of sadness when a dream becomes a memory. Sometimes it takes awhile to dream a new dream to fill the spot. And yet you have the joy of a dream fulfilled and the memories of a life time to enjoy forever. Enjoyed following along with your dream trip and now to onto dream a new dream!

Karen Walker said...

Mason, thanks, it's been fun sharing.
Julie, here's to all our next dreams....
Ann, thank you, and yes, onto a new dream

John Wiswell said...

Some rich and beautiful scenery you've captured here. I imagine it'd be fulfilling to sit and write in such locales.

Karen Walker said...

John, thanks for the visit and comment. The scenery was, indeed, breathtaking.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh how wonderful! You so deserve such a wonderful trip like this.
I would love love love to go to Turkey someday.

GigglesandGuns said...

You and hubby will need a rest after this vacation! The pictures and background are lovely.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

What a wonderful vacation you had, Loved the pictures.

Have a great week-end.

Karen Walker said...

Jennifer, hope you get there someday. It's wonderful.
Gigglesandguns, we are getting some rest, thank goodness
Yvonne, thanks, you, too

Carol Kilgore said...

Glad you had such a wonderful time on your trip :)

Tracy Jo said...

Great pictures Karen! Your trip sounds amazing. I love Windsor Castle. It is always a let down at the end but good attitude...time for another adventure! :-)

Velvet Over Steel said...

What an amazing adventure you guys had!! Thanks for sharing and I esp. loved hearing about the 'healing tunnel'. So fascinating!

And the pictures are awesome, Karen! I'm off to back read. I'm trying to catch up with everyone 'finally' while I'm home with my feet up. :-)

Coreen XO

The Tame Lion said...


Joanne said...

What amazing sights you witnessed. To me, in this post, the most breathtaking is the home of the Virgin Mary. There's something so incredible about it still standing, still there. I wonder if along this incredible journey, were you seeking something? An answer to some part of life, a reasoning? Did something on that level drive you, or was it purely adventure ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I think I'd like to copy your trip .. it sounds amazing and will be with you for many a long year - just so pleased you fulfilled this dream.

Beautiful photos to accompany your words .. so much can be said and so much can be seen .. and we can feel back through history .. just wonderful to be here.

Thanks Karen .. just so pleased you were able to achieve this goal of your life ... cheers Hilary