Wednesday, August 31, 2011


When I was a young girl I once saw pictures of a wonderland of turquoise and white formations in a magazine and was overwhelmed by its beauty and magic. Fifty years later I was lucky to visit there with my husband while on vacation in Lykia Turkey.
Pamukale is a word in Turkish and means pamuk for cotton and kale for castle - Cotton Castle. And the place really looks like a beautiful wondrous snow white fairy castle.

This fabulous and unique cotton castle paradise is located near the town Denizli in the southwest of Turkey.
The water of hot springs, rich in carbonate minerals form travertine limestone terraces. The dazzling white petrified cascades contain basins with turquoise colored water and stalactite walls of sheer beauty. It is allowed to wade barefoot in the pools, and it is a pleasure to do so, the water is warm and soft, and as an extra benefit full of healthy minerals.

The Romans knew that already and dwelt there. The impressive ruins of the nearby ancient city Hierapolis provide testimony of it. Hierapolis, with its necropolis, temples, theater and luxurious baths, is by itself a very interesting and astonishing site to visit, maybe I will tell about it in another post.

Photos by Uri Eshkar.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Okay this looks funny, I know. But gossip actually is not a funny matter. I try to stay away from it. Gossip over the celebrity world is very common. It is all buisness. The media thrives, the newspapers and gossip magazines live from it, earning a lot of money. I don't know if some of those famous people get hurt from it, or if it is welcomed advertise for them - but we, who live in the normal world will certainly not profit from gossip.
It is very interesting that the Bible speaks about gossiping and condemns it:
“A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” (Proverbs 11:12,13)

I found this at Wikipedia:

"Some see gossip as trivial, hurtful and socially and/or intellectually unproductive

Some people view gossip as a lighthearted way of spreading information

A feminist definition of gossip presents it as "a way of talking between women, intimate in style, personal and domestic in scope and setting, a female cultural event which springs from and perpetuates the restrictions of the female role, but also gives the comfort of validation." 

I agree only with the first opinion.

Gossip is always a negative matter - telling something good about a person is never gossip.

So, this is my last funny owl - so far :-)...

Monday, August 29, 2011


The Italian Pasta Diet

You walka pasta da bakery.
You walka pasta da candy store.
You walka pasta da Ice Cream shop.
You walka pasta da table and da fridge. 

(After this - one more to go - hihi!) :-

Friday, August 26, 2011


You might hear the beautiful shout of "Geronimo"
from a lover who has just dove from a
cliff and is heading full speed
into the Ocean -- into the

Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I don't wanna go home
Don't get any ideas
Things are going fine, then they all disappeared
You don't have to make me any promises
I can leave anytime I know
Even though I don't wanna go home
Don't get any ideas...

Elvis Costello


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We visited the Ethiopian church in West Jerusalem, in the vicinity of the Russian Compound, not for religious reasons, but out of sheer admiration for the beautiful building and surroundings, and because of interest and curiosity in the long history of this institution in Israel. This is the spiritual home of the Ethiopian Coptic clergy.
The Ethiopian-Orthodox church has at least since the Middle Age a community in Jerusalem. Over the next centuries the church had ownership over many important holy sites, which they later lost almost completely during the dominion of the Ottomans.
This church building, called Debre Gannet, which is Amharic and means "Monastery of Paradise" is situated in Ethiopia street, in the middle of beautiful 19th century villas built with Jerusalem stone, sitting inside wonderful gardens with old tall trees. It was erected in 1893 by the Ethiopian emperor Johannes I. He wanted his people to have a presence in modern Jerusalem in addition to their church Deir es-Sultan adjacent to the Holy Sepulchre in the old city, near the Jaffa gate. The complex is circumfenced with a beautiful courtyard, adorned with olive trees and a statue of Haile Selassie. Around the courtyard are living quarters for the monks and some families.
Today, the Ethiopian Church in Israel is a small community, which is headed by an archbishop. It consists essentially of a few dozen monks and nuns who live in the old town and near the Ethiopian Church in West Jerusalem. The congregation of believers and followers is constantly growing. 
While visiting there monks were sitting in the courtyard, willing to talk to us and allowing us to photograph them. Most of them are only Amharic speaking and seldom fluent in neither Arabic nor Hebrew and almost never in English or any other language and are dependent on those in the community who do, so they called a younger fellow to translate.
Before entering the church the shoes have to be removed, and there is a separate entrance for men and women. 
The lion over the gate is the symbol of the church. When queen Sheba visited Jerusalem, king Solomon gave her a banner depicting a lion of Judah, thus the Ethiopians believe of being descendents of Sheba and Solomon.
The bell tower adorned with a small cupola and a cross.
The church is built as a high domed round structure. The inside is very colorful, with tall pink square columns, the ceiling painted blue with flowers and stars and garlands, the floor covered with flower motive carpets, all in a native and charming way. 
Light is flowing in from the big windows. Hanging iron wrought lamps add to the ambient. Many religious paintings, symbols and images decorate the walls. 
The holy altar is  in the middle, to be seen, but not to be touched. The prayer ceremonies are usually very long and walking sticks with chin rests are distributed in several corners for the monks to help them stand still more comfortably. 
Many artifacts can be admired on the windowsills and on shelves, like drums, beautiful vases, many full of artificial flowers, embroidered table cloth and shiny curtains. Candles are everywhere. It is allowed to watch the community pray at the ceremonies. Music made with traditional instruments and dancing play a very large part in the services.
A mother and her sweet child sitting in the courtyard.
On Shabatt morning the court yard bustled with Ethiopian women and children, many in their traditional outfit. A monk sitting on a bench with girls and boys was teaching them Bible in Amharic and it was very lovely to watch. When we asked if we could photograph he smiled and nodded. The girls were attired in pretty white dresses with lovely embroidered hems. The Ethiopian people are very beautiful. The children are just adorable - and they all speak Hebrew very well.
We enjoyed that outing very much and learned a lot about friendly people different in culture and belief from us, but yet so humanly behaving like we all.

Photographs as always by my husband Uri Eshkar.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Bezirgan is a beautiful authentic little farming village, high above Kalkan in Lykia, looking pretty much like a hundred years ago, presenting itself with charming weathered houses, and pretty gardens fenced with wooden sticks, surrounded by fertile fields and views on the mountains.
For quite a while I wanted to write about Owlsland in Bezirgan, where we stayed for some days during a vacation in Turkey. This magical rural place provided us with one of the most romantic and relaxing holiday times we experienced. 
Owlsland, created by Erol and his Scottish wife Pauline, who skilfully transformed the 150 year old family farmhouse into a simple, but utterly enjoyable place of escape from rustling and bustling life. We loved our rustic room with the big veranda, where we would relax in the fresh air, after evening walks around the village, with a glass of wine under the stars, smelling the huge fig tree beneath. 
A hearty breakfast in their lovely garden full of herbs and flowers was the perfect beginning of the day and in the evenings after we came home from exploring Kalkan, the sea, the mountains and the antique historical sites, we sat down to a marvelous traditional Turkish dinner, cooked masterly by Erol, so delicious it resulted in licking our fingers!
Hospitality is a great issue for the owners of Owlsland, they are warm, friendly and outgoing and always ready for a nice chat and eager to provide information.
Erol's old parents live on the other side of the yard of the guesthouse and they are always present, doing their daily chores of tending to the goats and chickens, always ready to smile.
If you want some quiet tranquil and peaceful days, in midst of lovely unspoilt nature, with good food and dear people around, with memorable hours in the garden, the yard and on the loft, with watching the animals and looking out for owls - then you should try Owlsland - the other Turkish pleasure, different and very lovely, where time stands still!
The old house with our guestroom upstairs.
The loft outside the room for relaxing, snoozing, reading, dreaming and just lazing around.
Erol's mother in the yard.
And his father.

Under the fig tree
The main house
Breakfast place.
The beautiful garden.
Cats and dogs are included!
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.

If you are interested just google Owlsland, Turkey.