Imagine There's No Country....

John Lennon was right – it isn’t hard to do…

Balconies - Turkey & NOLA

 Planet Earth

Traveling to Turkey (the Republic of Turkey, not Turkey (Creek), Louisiana), last December, I had the opportunity to expand my World Tour and visit many more ancient and historical sites.   While perusing the ruins of Pergamon, once a Greek kingdom situated on a steep hilltop in Western Turkey, my mind drifted 6,000 miles away to the ruins of – Poverty Point in Northeastern Louisiana.

Kingdom of Pergamon, Turkey                                            Mound A - Poverty Point, Louisiana

Walking among the remnants of Pergamon in 2012 was not unlike walking among the mounds of Poverty Point in 2011. Despite the contrasts between the landscapes - breathtaking Roman architecture on a hilltop overlooking the city of Bergama versus the  impressive manmade earthworks on a bluff with the highest elevation at 72 feet, I didn’t see much difference – I was in awe of both places, because they are part of our past as mankind, part of the history of our planet. (Fun Fact:   Poverty Point predates the former Greek kingdom of Pergamon.)

Poverty Point, Louisiana   *    Pergamon, Turkey

Another excitement of my Turkey the Country trip was visiting Troy, thought to be the site of the famous Trojan Wars. As luck would have it, I also got the opportunity to visit Troy, Louisiana (now part of Waterproof) last summer on my way back from Quebec.  I came across a tree that reminded me of a shot I had taken in Troy, Turkey.

Troy, Turkey    *    Troy, Louisiana

It wasn’t just the ancient sites that impressed me or reminded me of how small our planet actually is, it was also traveling through the countryside.  Most of my shots come from the bus.  I got pretty good at shooting through bus windows at fast speeds.  A flooded field in Turkey brought to mind our flooded rice fields turned crawfish ponds in China, Louisiana.

Flooded Field, Turkey                                                                                   Flooded Field, China (Louisiana)

The little house in a field in Turkey evoked this image of a little house in a cotton field near Bermuda, Louisiana.

  Little House, Turkey                                          Little House, Bermuda (Louisiana)

And speaking of cottonfields…..

Cotton Field, Turkey                                  Cotton Field,  near Bagdad (Louisiana)

The Library of Celsus in the truly amazing Greco Roman city of Ephesus was amongst the highlights of the trip.  And while the architecture does not compare, it is important to note that I did find the library in Turkey (Creek), Louisiana impressive enough to photograph when I passed through in the Summer of 2012.  

       Library of Celsus, Ephesus                                                                      Evangeline Parish Library, Turkey Creek, Louisiana

Our physical and cultural landscapes may differ all over the world, but at the end of the day - we connect in so many ways.

                                  Bosphorus Bridge & Minaret - Istanbul                      Crescent City Connection & Lamppost    New Orleans

We all have our mountains to climb.  They just look different is all.  

Roadview (Mountains) : Somewhere in Turkey        *         Roadview (Clouds that look like Mountains): Somewhere in Louisiana

 

More pics of Turkey coming soon-ish.  

I think.

Thats a mighty fluffy cloud I gotta climb first though.

All content (c) Natasha Sanchez 2013

Mysticism and Mounds - in and near Transylvania, Louisiana

 Years ago,  I got chills when I passed the Zocalo (once the site of the Aztec capitalTenochtitlan) in Mexico City. My first stop in L.A.?  The La Brea Tar Pits.  NYC?  Headed straight for the Museum of Natural History.  I guess you could say I enjoy learning about previous cultures and civilizations. Louisiana has a rich history of ancient civilizations and mound builders.  The mounds at Watson Brake, near Monroe, and the mounds at LSU in Baton Rouge were built  around 5,400 years ago - long before the Egyptian Pyramids.  And it just so happens that Poverty Point,  the site of  Louisiana's 3,500 year old Indian Mounds, is located just a stone's throw from Delhi AND Transylvania. So off I went...

  Poverty Point was built around 1600 B.C.  It contains 6 concentric ridges, a plaza and several large mounds. The largest being Mound A, also known as the "Bird Mound" as its unusual shape gives it the appearance of a bird effigy.  

I apparently decided to visit on the hottest day of the year...the tram wasn't running, so I did my own solo driving tour.  This worked out well as I could climb the steps up the 72 ft mound, (the original height of 100 ft. has been lowered due to natural erosion) not once, but twice (I forgot Betty the Bullhorn in the car...)

The path to the top of the Bird Mound

View from the top, looking over one of the 'wings'

Bird's eye view of the sky

The trees have been cut down from this mound in order to preserve it from further erosion.  But plenty remain on the grounds.

The exact purposes of the mounds are not known.  The Bird Mound is thought to be a temple mound.  It certainly is impressive given the fact that only baskets were used to transport the dirt to create this large structure.  It speaks to the strength and spirit of the culture.  I thoroughly enjoyed this site and look forward to returning if only just to soak in a little more of its spirit...but now off to more enchanting places...

The view from the road to Transylvania pretty much looks like this:

LOTS of corn fields.

 I did have a photographic angle for Transylvania - the famed (yes, famed) water tower, with the bat on it..

The Post Office:

and anything with the town name on it:

(Okay, the school was kinda creepy and cliche - i could sooo see Dracula going to school here as a youngster.)

But I nearly slammed on my questionable brakes when I saw this:

Ancient Mounds?  In Transylvania?  Of course there are.  They were built around 1400 A.D. according to the marker.  I shouldn't be surprised, Louisiana has nearly 700 mound sites, most of which sit on private land, like the ones here in Transylvania.  It was more of a pleasant surprise.    One that, in keeping with the theme of this trip, keeps me inspired.

I could tell more stories of Transylvania, like how I kept getting chased off the road by this giant tractor-bat thing, but I think some stories are meant to be sung....

 

**The few facts I list here about Poverty Point come from its Welcome Center which houses artifacts such as stone tools, earthen cookware, and beads. It also illustrates the speculations and facts of its history.  Well worth a visit! **