I once spent a month in Turkey. A month, however, was way too short a time for a country as diverse as Turkey though.
And while I like to think I saw a fair amount of the nation that links Asia and Europe, I remember feeling the trip could have been better planned, after seeing photos a friend of a friend had posted on Facebook, of their own journey there some years ago.
It seems they’d spent a pretty full month there as well, yet I only recognised a handful of the places they’d visited. If two people can go somewhere for a month, and travel on itineraries that result in neither staying in any of the same places, what does that say about how varied a country must be?
Ani, an abandoned town in the east of Turkey, is another place I missed, though I did come close, we stopped in Kars, the capital of the Kars province, where Ani is located, while visiting the Ishak Pasha Palace, among other locations.
Fortunately then for me, and others who may have missed out, the people at In Focus however have put together a collection of photos taken in and around Ani. Not as good as actually being there, but definitely the next best thing.
Although tiny in size, the island is home to 131 people (according to 2009 census) living in crammed huts made of corrugated sheets and wood. Despite shabby living conditions, Migingo Island boasts of five bars, a beauty salon, a pharmacy as well as several hotels and numerous brothels.
Another, somewhat larger island, called Usingo, is but a few minutes boat ride away, and looks far more hospitable, yet appears to remain uninhabited.
Especially for those of us who will be flying, or meeting travellers who have been flying, more so than usual over coming days and weeks. Airports always seem to be busy whenever we’re at one, but what we see is often only a small part of the picture. They’re probably equally as active, if not more so, at all other times as well.
You’ve probably seen the video clip of that somewhat bungled bungee jump by now, so I won’t feature that one here.
Instead I’ll hit with you this, footage of Norwegian “extreme artist” Eskil Ronningsbakken, riding his bike, at speeds of 80 kmp, down a winding mountain side road called Trollstigen, that in English translates to “Trolls’ Path”, I believe.
It’s one thing to go on a safari through Kenya and Tanzania expecting to see the likes of lions, cheetahs, and leopards, but another to actually see said creatures… they can be quite elusive as it turns out.
What’s almost as intriguing as the journey itself though is the fact that people following the latter day team’s progress across the Antarctic ice are able to read and comment on their exploits, even though they may be up to half a world away, surely something Scott and his contemporaries could never have envisaged.
A bittersweet love letter to the London suburbs… the divide between those residing in the – apparently – highly desirable inner suburbs of a large metropolitan centre, and those living outside this region, is probably just as stark in any big city:
Dacre’s enemies seem to regard anyone who lives beyond Zone 3 as a kind of modern Superdry hillbilly. To them, suburbanites are unfortunate obstacles standing on the wrong side of northern line escalators as they drunkenly make their way home from O2 Arena shows. They’re the people who go on street art tours and eat at Harry Ramsden’s, shepherded in and out of the urban nucleus on high-speed train routes and in pink hen do limousines, making a nuisance of themselves in Leicester Square chain pubs. By and large, they aren’t a species that our filmmakers, novelists and lifestyle bloggers have much interest in romanticising. Sure, they’ll sentimentalise the simple country folk, with their earthy ethics, good jackets and strong cheese, but the ‘burbanites are left to dwell in obscurity with their Sky Sports packages and Micky Flanagan DVDs. Possibly it’s because they despise them, possibly it’s because they fear them, but most likely it’s because they used to be them.
Traffic jams intrigueme, not the ones with some discernible cause, say road works or an accident, but more the apparently random build-ups of vehicles along a stretch of road, especially freeways, that seem to crop up without rhyme or reason.
Traffic flow instabilities arise, Horn explains, because variations in velocity are magnified as they pass through a lane of traffic. “Suppose that you introduce a perturbation by just braking really hard for a moment, then that will propagate upstream and increase in amplitude as it goes away from you,” Horn says. “It’s kind of a chaotic system. It has positive feedback, and some little perturbation can get it going.”
People have been sending allsortsofobjects into space via weather balloons in recent times, so it seems entirely logical they would eventually send people into space, or the upper part of the atmosphere, by way of a balloon, hopefully something bigger than a weather balloon though.
World View’s “Experience” voyage promises a “gentle” 90-minute ride to an altitude of approximately 19 miles (30km), where passengers in the “luxuriously appointed space-qualified capsule” will be able to gaze upon “the curvature of the Earth with their own eyes,” according to the company. Passengers will remain at that height for two to six hours before floating back to solid ground, which is said to take between 20 and 40 minutes.