ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “chimney



After Yaprakhisar, the tour took us for a brief stop at Agzikarahan (Black Mouth) Caravanserai.  The ancient complex was built in the 11th century as an inn for travel caravans on the Silk Road.  Caravanserais, literally means “place for caravans”, were popular along the Silk Road and other ancient trade routes across Central and South Asia, Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe.  A Caravanserai provided a safe place to accommodate the traveling merchants to stay the night, have meals, pray at an in-house mosque, store their merchandises, and rest their animals.  These ancient inns were often rectangular in shape centered at a large open courtyard.  Merchant caravans would arrive at the caravanserai from the only entrance.  Merchants would rest their animals and store their goods in niches around the courtyard, before retreating to the rest chambers behind.

On our way back to Goreme, our tour made a brief stop at a site full of spectacular fairy chimneys.  The guide Shalif described the formation of those mushroom-like rock towers as a product of volcanic actions and rain erosion.  The surreal curvatures of the rocks looked even more dramatic under the late afternoon sun.

06ME19-09The courtyard of Agzikarahan (Black Mouth) Caravanserai was dominated by a small mosque.

caravanserai 2The entrance to the Summer Sleeping Quarters of the Agzikarahan Caravanserai must have witnessed uncounted caravan merchants passing through.

06ME19-11The main gate of the caravanserai was highly decorative.

06ME19-07We didn’t have time to tour the entire complex, especially the dark labyrinth like system of chambers.

06ME19-12Before returning to Goreme, we dropped by a site with wonderful fairy chimneys.

06ME19-19In the late afternoon, the lighting was just perfect.

06ME19-20Similar to the Love Valley, the rock towers were created by erosion of volcanic rocks.

06ME19-16Because of the special qualities of the rocks in Cappadocia, many carved out small dwellings in the fairy chimneys.

fairy chimney 1The abandoned caves at the fairy chimneys reminded us the area was once occupied by inhabitants.

fairy chimney 3The moon came out already by the time we visited the fairy chimneys.

fairy chimney 6The cave dwellings of the fairy chimneys looks like a scene from movies such as the Star Wars.

06ME19-23Some of the old caves could only be reached by ladder.

06ME19-25We had a moment of freedom to wander around the caves of the fairy chimneys.

fairy chimney 7A cave with a perfect view.

06ME19-27The fairy chimneys were located in the middle of nowhere.

fairy chimney 5It was pleasant to watch the surrounding shadows moved across the land in front.

fairy chimney 9Some chimneys looks like they may collapse anytime.

06ME19-34A camel was placed among the fairy chimneys for tourists to pay a small tip and take photograph with the animal.


LOVE VALLEY, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey


A short hike to the east from Goreme brought us to the Love Valley, a little valley with  bizarre fairy chimneys – rock pillars capped with dark basalt.  Compared to the ones in Goreme, the fairy chimneys in the valley are much slenderer.  We pretty much had the valley all by ourselves, except a few occasional hikers.  There wasn’t much signage so we had to find our way on our own.  Back then, there weren’t any smartphone with us too.  We ended up reaching the White Valley and the village of Uchisar towards the end of our walk.

love valley 1It was impressive to see all these fairy chimneys in the Love Valley.

love valley 2The trail first took us to a higher ground to appreciate the rock pillars.

love valley 3It isn’t hard to figure out why the place is called Love Valley.

love valley 4Despite the somehow arid climate in the area, the valley was quite green at certain places.

love valley 5It was hard to imagine from the first glance that the pillars were carved out from eroding the surrounding ground, instead of extruding out from earth.

near love valley 2As we walked to other areas, rock formations changed gradually.

near love valley 3There are actually numerous valleys around Goreme that we could visit: Love Valley, Rose Valley, White Valley, Red Valley, Pigeon Valley, etc.

near love valley 4Thick clouds gathered in the valley as we approached the village of Uchisar.

06ME17-29Equally stunning, the rock formations of the White Valley resemble a sea of white waves.


RED STAR & GENGKIS KHAN, Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール株式会社), Sapporo (札幌), Hokkaido (北海道), Japan, 2019.06.25

Day 11 (2/2).

When people mention “Sapporo” many will immediately think of beer.  Established in 1876 as Kaitakushi Brewery (Pioneer Brewery, 開拓使麦酒醸造所), Sapporo Beer is the oldest Japanese beer.  It was the pioneer period when the Meiji government raced to settle on the Island of Hokkaido ahead of the expanding Russians.  A regional government known as Kaitakushi (開拓使) or Hokkaido Development Commission was set up in Sapporo to oversee the island’s pioneer development .  Reference to the northern Pole Star, a red star is used as the symbol of the Kaitakushi.  This Kaitakushi red star appeared throughout the old Hokkaido, from building facades such as the Sapporo Clock Tower to bottle labels of Sapporo Beer.

After visiting the Former Hokkaido Government Building, we made our way to the Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館), the historical brewery about half an hour walk from Sapporo Clock Tower.  We have decided to spend the last few hours of our trip to learn more about beer making in Hokkaido.  We also planned to fill our stomach at the museum’s Beer Garden with a Genghis Khan or (Jingisukan, ジンギスカン) lunch.  Not sure if it has anything to do with Mongolia, the Genghis Khan is a local Hokkaido dish serving grilled lamb and local vegetables on a special round grill.  Perhaps in reference to the lamb eating custom of Mongolian soldiers back in the prewar years, Genghis Khan (Jingisukan, ジンギスカン) has become a popular local dish after a sheep farm was set up in Hokkaido in 1918.  The first Genghis Khan (Jingisukan) restaurant opened in Tokyo in 1936.  Decades after Genghis Khan restaurants continue to flourish in Hokkaido.  For our 2019 Hokkaido trip, a hearty meal of grill lamb and draught beer at the historical brewery of Sapporo Beer offered us a satisfying closure.

IMG_1012On our way to Sapporo Beer Museum, we passed by Sapporo Factory (サッポロファクトリー), a shopping and entertainment complex housed in a former brewery of Kaitakushi Brewery, the predecessor of Sapporo Beer.

IMG_1014The building of Sapporo Factory was renovated and converted into a commercial complex in 1993.

DSC_6612At Sapporo Factory Hall, there is a small exhibition house that tells the story of beer making in Hokkaido.  The Kaitakushi star can be seen at the small exhibition house.

DSC_6619We arrived at Sapporo Beer Museum after another 15 minute walk from Sapporo Factory.

DSC_6620Visitors gathered at the entrance to wait for the museum to open its door.

DSC_6623An enormous brew kettle greet all museum visitors at the entry hall.

IMG_1033On display are some of the earliest beer bottles from the late 19th century.

DSC_6627No matter how the label design has evolved throughout the past century, the star of Kaitakushi remains as a visual focus.

DSC_6630The evolution of marketing posters reflects the social and cultural changes in the past century.

DSC_6641Since 1966, the Beer Hall at Sapporo Beer Museum has been a popular restaurant serving the Mongolian barbecue Genghis Khan.

IMG_1056Genghis Khan is self served on a special round grill.

IMG_1058We ordered different kinds of lamb meat.

IMG_8113Not to be missed were the special draught beer at the Beer Hall.

IMG_8119The bear sculpture in the gift shop reminded us of the wilderness of Eastern Hokkaido.

DSC_6647After the hearty lunch, we walked around the museum ground for a bit.

DSC_6651Until it was time for us to pick up our backpacks at Cross Hotel and headed for New Chitose Airport. This concludes our 11-day Hokkaido journey.

* * *

HOKKAIDO ROAD TRIP, Hokkaido (北海道)

Day 1 – from Tokyo to Shiretoko Peninsula
Day 1.2 ARRIVAL IN SHIRETOKO, Utoro (ウトロ)

Day 2 – Utoro
Day 2.3 FUREPE FALLS (フレペの滝)

Day 3 – Rausu
Day 3.1 RUSA FIELD HOUSE (ルサフィールドハウス)
Day 3.2 JUN NO BANYA (純の番屋)

Day 4 – Rausu
Day 4.1 MOUNT RAUSU (羅臼岳)
Day 4.2 FANTASTIC ORCAS, Nemuro Strait (根室海峡)

Day 5 – Lake Mashu & Lake Akan
Day 5.2 MOUNT MASHU TRAIL (摩周岳) , Teshikaga (弟子屈)

Day 6 – On the road from Lake Akan to Furano
Day 6.1 FISHERMEN BELOW MISTY OAKAN (雄阿寒岳), Lake Akan (阿寒湖)
Day 6.2 TREATS OF OBIHIRO (帯広), Tokachi (十勝)

Day 7 Furano & Biei
Day 7.1 LAVENDER BUDS, Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.2 FARM TOMITA (ファーム富田), Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.3 BI.BLE, Biei (美瑛)
Day 7.5 NINGLE TERRACE (ニングルテラス)

Day 8 – from Furano to Otaru
Day 8.1 CHURCH ON THE WATER (水の教会), Hoshino Resorts Tomamu (星野リゾート トマム)
Day 8.2 HILL OF THE BUDDHA (頭大仏), Makomanai Takino Cemetery (真駒内滝野霊園)
Day 8.3 SEAFOOD, CANAL, & HISTORY, Otaru (小樽)
Day 8.4 RAINY NIGHT IN OTARU, Otaru (小樽)

Day 9 – Yochi & Sapporo
Day 9.1 NIKKA YOICHI DISTILLERY (余市蒸溜所), Yoichi (余市)

Day 10 – Sapporo
10.1 OKKAIDO SHRINE (北海道神宮 )
10.2 MORIHICO COFFEE (森彦珈琲本店)
10.6 MOUNT MOIWA (藻岩山) & RAMEN HARUKA (ラーメン悠)

Day 11 – Sapporo
11.2 RED STAR & GENGKIS KHAN, Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール株式会社)