Olympos

German Travel Friend

One of my partners in crime while in the remote Turkish village of Olympos was this German, Julian. He was a member of our spontaneous group of friends that emerged over 4 days on the Mediterranean. There is something so special about the friends you make while traveling; you know in your hearts that you will never see one another again, but that simply serves to make the present all the more sweet. 

I love his beach style and attention to detail with his jewelry; the leather thong necklace, and his lip and eyebrow rings say something definitive about who he is without being ostentatious. 

I also photographed his girlfriend Fiona quite extensively; I can't wait to share those photos with you. 





{Rogue Jack} : Olympos, Turkey

For this pair of portraits, I will share a story from Turkey. 


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This is my new friend Jack, of Australia, who I met in Olympos, Turkey. He was rather unassuming until one late night a group of us decided we had to go to the beach at 3 in the morning. The beach is a 15 minute walk from our treehouse bungalows through the ruins, with nothing but nearly full moonlight. The only problem, our friendly bartender informed us, was the presence of a potentially armed guard at the gate of the ruins. Instead of giving up (what fun is that?!), we dressed in black, armed ourselves with beer (necessary for our German compatriots), and my camera, and planned a covert mission to sneak past the guard, manage a fence, and make our way through the cover of night to the Mediterranean.

Off we went. 

With Jack as our fearless leader (although after 3 hours enjoying the bar, none of us were too hesitant), we crossed the dirt road and walked down into the dusty riverbed that runs along the one road in Olympos. Filing silently over the rocky ground, we heard a high, whining noise approaching us. We assumed it to be one of the scouts on a motorcycle, but he was on the road and failed to see us in the shadows. We continued, the Germans' beer bottles clanking much louder than normal, it seemed. 

Finally, we reached the fence, a chain link line that cut from the guard station into the forest as far as we could see. We had been told there was a way through the barbed wire, and when we arrived we found the space where other trekkers had gone before. After scrambling over the wire fence we froze, looking quickly around to be sure we hadn't been discovered. While we had been glad for the moonlight when we we planning our trip, it created the most danger by starkly illuminating the wide creek bed through which we were walking. 

Once past the guard, we scrambled up the embankment to the main path that winds through the ancient ruins and breathed a collective sigh of relief. The moonlight threw eerie shadows among the ruins piled high along the edges of the path. Roman baths, ancient pagan temple arches, sidewalks and roads; the remnants of ancient civilization rose around us. After pausing to collect ourselves, we made our way through the ruins, more quickly now, until we saw a flash of light up ahead. We sprinted, wide-eyed, into the bushes that lined the trail. 

We stopped breathing, hearts pounding in our chests. 

After a long 60 seconds , two figures walked casually past without pausing. 


We made it to the beach shortly thereafter, scrambling over the rocks to curl up and enjoy the stars in a pile of bodies and blankets to stay warm in the depth of the cool Mediterranean night. It got colder and people dropped off, succumbing to exhaustion and temperature, but a handful of us made it to watch the sun rise over the water. It was beautiful; I will post photos soon. Afterward, Jack and I walked back in silence, content to enjoy the experience. 

We waved at the guard on our way out, who looked at us with a bemused cock of his head. 




{Jumping Jack} : Olympos, Turkey

I walked out into the Mediterranean up to my neck in water to better capture my friends climb-jumping in Olympos. I'm glad I can trend water with a camera held high over my head, otherwise my equipment would have been donezo, as it's not waterproof. I got some beautiful shots of the guys; here's one. 

The color palate is so inspiring; I can definitely see putting together an outfit or interior space that uses these amazing tones and textures. 


{Simon} : Olympos, Turkey

Simon (from BUUHRRMING-UM, UK) is one of my favorite people to take pictures of ever. Seriously. Just the nicest guy, which translates in photos, who is impossibly visually interesting. I'm not interested in shooting people who are "pretty" or "handsome" (though Simon is), but have no personality; for me, it's all about capturing that flavor of someone. Some people you have to work with to get it out, but others, like Simon, gleefully give it to you from the beginning. 














{Defend the Village}: Olympos, Turkey



After finishing the experimental art festival in Istanbul, Kelsea and I traveled with one of our Turkish friends to a remote village on the southern Mediterranean coast, called Olympos. We flew into Antalya, and then took a dolmuş (a minibus van, always with a crazy driver who leaves the side door open) an hour south along the coast. The scenery was incredible (photos coming), so I'll save the rest of our journey story for later. 

Olympos is a secluded city of ruins. Built in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC, it was attacked by pirates so frequently that they finally gave up rebuilding and left the city to rot. But rot it did not, by and large; it lay quietly forgotten for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered by the general public within the last 50 years. Now, the only things there are the ruins and nondescript treehouse bungalows where adventurous travelers stay. 

When we got sick of laying on the beach, cliff jumping, and having general shenanigans with our new friends from Australia, Germany, and the UK, we wandered off to get lost in the ruins for the afternoon. It feel like a different world in the ruins; the air is thick with the smell of the bay leaves that crunch underfoot, and the silence brings an intimacy to spaces filled with an ancient sense of grandeur. 

Here is the first series of photos from one of our ruin walks. They feature performance artist Kelsea Burch, who is performing her piece entitled "Defend the Village" in two of the photos.