Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in history and the orient. While others were reading Karl May's Old Shatterhand, I spent many hours reading the adventures of his alter ego Kara Ben Nemsi in the orient. It was in 1981, after five vacations of traveling through Greece and the Greek Islands, that I first visitedTurkey. From the Greek Island of Samos we took the ferry to Kusadasi and spent a week visiting the archeological sites of Ionia: Ephesos, Dydima, Priene, Myletos. We had hired a sparkling white Chevrolet Impala with driver for about 40 Euro (50 US dollar) a day to take us around. I remember visiting the white rock castle of Pamukkale when it was still unspoiled, clean without the bus loads of tourists.
As we enjoyed this first visit we decided the year after to return to see more of the country. So in 1982 we had an organized tour that started in Istanbul and included the highlights of Anatolia: Ankara, Cappadocia, Konya, Aspendos, Side, Antalya, and finally arrived in Kusadasi. At that time Kusadasi was still a small tourist resort, where nothing much happened. There was one big restaurant-night club-disco place called Oriental Club and that was it.
It was not until 1990 that I returned to Turkey, this time by car coming from Belgium via Greece and Yugoslavia. In the meanwhile, I had visited Greece so many times, that I knew all about even the smallest village on the Greek mainland. Arriving in Kusadasi, which had developed in a booming city, I met Nazif again. Nazif was an old acquaintance from 1981 and 1982. This time we became friends for life. During the 1990's, my vacations alternated between Turkey and the far East (mainly China). In 1992 we hired a car in Izmir and made the grand tour: Izmir, Afyon, Ankara, Safranbolu, Inebolu, Sinop, Amasya, Trabzon, Sumela, Erzurum, Dogubayazit, Van, Diyarbakir, Urfa, Mount Nemrut, Cappadocia, Konya, Egirdir, to arrive finally in Kusadasi after 14 days. In 1997 I did it all over again, but this time by public transportation and taking a bit more than three weeks. From then onwards, I brought many friends to Istanbul and the inland of Anatolia.
In 2002, I bought my first digital camera (Olympus Camedia C-1 zoom). The question was, what to do with all those digital pictures. On the other hand, friends in Eastern Anatolia asked me to promote tourism to their region. The combination of these two resulted in my first web-page Eastern & Central Anatolia. The 2003 vacation which covered the North East and the Black Sea region yielded so many photographs, that I had to look for another web-host.
In the meanwhile things have evolved further, the site has grown enormously, and once again a reorganization was urgently needed. In addition photographic equipment has evolved and my present camera is now a Canon 450D, which hopefully will result in higher quality pictures.