It’s one of the best preserved Roman theatres in the world.
Built for holding 15,000 people, designed for best acoustics, windows serving as thrones for the gods, detailed carvings, tall pillars… and to top it all off; Bacchus, the god of merriment, guardian over the stage and audience watching from his etched place higher than everything else.
We could see that this definitely is… what it used to be. I’ll admit to you that it wasn’t as grand as the what you just read. But I’d say that it is now grand in a different way. Definitely not the type of awe-striking wonder that the creators had originally anticipated, now all cracked and crumbled, but certainly an awe-striking beauty in another way to us today.
Yesterday we went to see the Amphitheatre at Aspensos near Antalya. It was the most complete ruin I have seen all trip, although some of it had been modified at added too over the two thousand years since its creation.
It is in such healthy condition that it is still used today for the same purposes it was used for aaallll those years ago –drama productions. There were several people dotted around in costumes –I spotted two maidens (one dressed as a milkmaid and the other like a goddess) and a Roman soldier. I’m not sure about the maidens but the soldier was meandering around the place taking photo shoots with random tourists and another of his mates with a professional camera. Another lady was going around with a snazzy camera and was snapping away like crazy the whole time. I saw her taking several photos of me against an arched column as I took some photos of my own from the high view, and, of course, I didn’t have a problem with that and even pulled a pose for her –because we all know how fun it is to pull poses for a stranger with a smart looking camera. I think she then caught on straight away that I was happy posing in front of a camera and so she asked Jess and I later on if she could get some more photos of us by the archways overlooking the theatre. Of course, we said yes, and she even gave me a crown of purple flowers to wear! That was pretty special. *sheepish grin* The gladiator obviously only went for photos with the cool and good-looking ones, for he stopped Jess and I on our way out for some photos. Jess smoothly and swiftly managed to abandon me before it even started, so I was left on my own to smile with a creepy-looking guy in armour. But at least I was able to feign running him through with his sword –that one was alright. Take that Mr Eerie.
Unfortunately we were running out of time and patience and so had to skip getting the photos on the way out –but maybe I can find them on their website.
We have a fantastic guide whose information seriously seems to know no bounds. I envy her constant knowledge on everything, until I remember that she’s had about twenty years between uni, training and then experience. I guess that explains heaps. She’s teaching me a little Turkish, she’s a great teacher, but her teasing is harsh! I think she’s figured out that if she teases me on my flops I’ll fire up and fight with the zing of injured pride… hahaha a good way to learn a language. Last night I surprised her when I said something out of the blue in Turkish; her praise is worth it. When I get back to Kununurra I think I’ll have several words and phrases down pat!
To imagine the theatre as it used to be painted a beautiful, unexplainable picture in my head. But I could see it happening. I like it when imagination does that. Restore the broken pillars, remove the twenty-first-century tourists, the weeds and false wooden stage, re-carve the seats to their former glory, and add some actors to the stage (with convincing armour, please), then envisage the people, of all ranks and statuses and imagine the right sounds and noises –everything seemed so real. It was a wonderful ruin; my favourite part would be the wall behind the stage with the columns and beautiful carvings.
Besides everyone pouring sweat like it was Kununurra’s November, and the slightly-intimidating stalker in armour, it was a really, really interesting time.