Today we left Kas and headed for Fetihiye – 105km and it will take us all day. We had to laugh. For the locals reading this imagine there being enough to see between Kununurra and Wyndham that it would take all day to get there!!
Our first stop was Xanthos which was a Lycian, Roman, and then Byzantine city. It is fascinating to see the changes history brings – no one civilisation has remained forever – a lesson for us in that. We saw another amphitheatre, and walked to a hill top to look over the Yellow River which in the times of the city had an aqueduct and water transportation system – we saw clay pipes in the dirt.
There were some archaeologists digging in a Roman mound and since they were just digging around we were tempted to ask them if they had lost something – a line taken from Drive thru History which is one of our favourite documentaries on the ancient civilization/New Testament times. We laughed to ourselves and moved on. Pete took some photos of some mosaics that have actually been covered up with blue metal because people were stealing the tiles. Disappointing that people steal or deface such historic relics.
Daniel and I gave each other a challenge – we went separate ways (it was way too hot to see it all so divide and conquer was our idea) he went one way and would show me his photos and I went the other. I was very pleased with myself as I found this lizard like creature. Our guide, Derya told me it was a gheko …. Much bigger than the geckos I have running around my house!!
Daniel photographed the amphitheatre and then we walked down a Byzantine paved road to a church ruin. It has also been fenced off from further investigation by archaeologists. There were lots of piles of catalogued bits and pieces that had been uncovered.
We drove on a bit further to a ghost town. We wondered about the significance of this when we saw it on our itinerary but we are glad we saw it. In 1924 the Greeks in Turkey were relocated to Greece, and the Turks in Greece were relocated to Turkey. This was a political move though I am sure it caused a lot of heart ache for the people involved. Apparently they weren’t allowed to take more than a suitcase with them either way. Not a lot of your life can fit into a suitcase. Many of the Greeks have come back – or their families have come back to look at their old family home. These days all you see is a town, with houses or buildings built from stone sitting on the mountain side. There are no roofs as the wood has been used in other buildings. A lot of the stone has crumbled but you can still get a feel for this town – they would have been very fit – just walking to your neighbour would give your legs a work out!!
On the way to see a Byzantine Church we saw goats trying to feed on growth that we couldn’t really see was there – I don’t really know what these goats exist on sometimes. The Church was amazing. The first thing that took my eye was the mosaics on the ground, kind of the courtyard of the church. We were busy clicking away – asking each other to step out of our photo frame when our guide assured us it was even better inside. And it was. They had two inch almond shaped stones in white and black and had covered the whole floor of this church. Very impressive. The roof was a high arch, with high windows letting in light. Though we could only see stone I suspect the inside walls were painted a bright sharp blue if the insides of a entryway was any indication. On the outside walls you could see crumbling plaster work which was a reddish colour. It reminded me of the frescoes we have seen in cave churches – fresco is the painting technique of painting wet plaster – this could easily have been done on this building. I imagine it to be a beautiful impressive building in its day.
We walked back down the hill to our host for lunch. A husband and wife lived in one o the houses – I believe one of their ancestors would have been a family relocated from Greece – they moved into the vacated Greek homes on Turkish land (hope this isn’t getting confusing!) and the house has been passed down from generation to generation. We had gozleme again – Turkish pancakes and we tried an omelette. We also ordered a couple of dessert gozleme – lemon and sugar. DELICIOUS – I loved it. My favourite so far!!
We had the opportunity to go swimming in the Aegean Sea but we decided we had enough sun and water yesterday and headed to our motel early. We are enjoying these early afternoons where we have time to just hang as a family – reading, blogging, and playing games.
For dinner we went to a fish market – chose our fish which was then sent to the restaurant to be cooked. We finished the night with some baklava – a Turkish pastry – but you’ll have to wait till our next food post for those photos!