An echo of the great sense of awe that met me when I first saw the great pyramids of Giza back in 1996, Bagan enveloped me with an overwhelming wonder that will live in my mind as long as I walk and breathe. Thousands of beautiful structures spiraling to the skies scattered across miles of green trees, a setting that could only have been imagined by something greater than us. I felt humbled at the beauty and richness of what caused such a place to exist.
Two days are certainly not enough and can only open a small window to what lives in this world.
It was 5:50 am, after a long flight from Shanghai to Beirut, 6 hours in Istanbul held 2 different promises: to sit in coffee shops staring at passing strangers, reading a book, watching my phone screen and drinking endless cups of coffee and tea; or getting a visa, finding my way into the old quarter and discovering a city I have always longed to see.
The answer was as vivid as the ornate roof of the Ayasofia. It was like stepping through a magic door into a world of wonder, domes, arches, well mannered people (it was early morning after all and too early for bad moods to reach anyone) and amazing foods and drinks to sample.
I love traveling so much and as far as photography goes, these lone journeys are moments of soul searching and discovery. So yes, I would take adventure and the unknown anytime over airport layovers.
One of the rewards of going into far away parts of China is meeting innocence. Innocence lives her sister simplicity with the natural people of this world. My friend who travelled with me on this trip has amazingly beautiful and extremely curly hair and at the sight of it a crowd of sweet women gathered and followed us around with the single wish of touching my friend’s hair. Moments like this make you have hope again for our world and its war of differences.
Mystery and history are around every corner in Lebanon. It is really astounding to think about how many pieces of the human puzzle are contained in that tiny country. One of the most impressive historical sites is what my niece used to call as small child ‘the broken house’ 🙂
Baalbek, Baalbak, ancient Heliopolis, are names attributed to one of Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasures, and one of the ancient wonders of the world. Baalbek is on of the largest sanctuaries that stood as evidence to the great wealth and power of the Roman Empire at the time. The hill that the monumental remains stand on is known to have been settled for over 9000 years. After the time of Alexander the great, the sanctuary was named Heliopolis (city of the sun), and in its Jupiter temple, Trajan the Roman emperor consulted the oracle wether he would come back alive after his war against the Parthians.The god answered him with a vine shoot cut into pieces…
The complex contains the remains of the temple of Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus. On a nearby hill is a 4th temple dedicated to Mercury. Other minor structures were added by Nero and Trajan.
As a world heritage site, today Baalbak hosts every year a great arts and music festival.