Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ok Barry,
   I have had limited wifi access and missed a few days posting. I will therefore give a briefer synapsis of the events and add color where it might be warranted (or something like that).
    I last left of at Anemurion, were we ended up crashing out for the night in an empty resort-type hotel. Well we rose rather early and had coffee watching the quiet Mediterranean then skipped over to Anemur castle, which is the largest of its ilk in the med region. It is a beast with all the trappings of a rap castle - battlements, towers, hideously narrow and winding stairways and a most full of turtles! Oh how the enemy must have Quaked in their boats when they saw the swarms of red-ears hoping for a handout! Anyway we had the castle to ourselves and we had fun exploring it and taking pictures.
      Next we headed down the hwy and grabbed a cold drink. Michelle found a bag of Burger King flavored Ruffles potato chips. Nasty! The locals have different tastes obviously.
      After this we drove north into the hills for a long time, trying to find a few ancient sites and we failed utterly and completely, though the drive was pretty if someone long and somewhat tedious. At like $8 a gallon it was costly, but we saw a part of the T we haven't seen before.
      We drove after hitting the coast again west toward Alanya and after hitting town after town without a hotel handy on the hwy we hit a town short of Alanya, starts with an M, and found the hotel Sun Fire Beach Hotel, four stars even! We were tired and the room was nice. What was funny was the fact we were basically the only non-Russian guests in the place and the buffet was down right atrocious, with chicken nuggets the only thing I are. At least the beer was fee for Michelle.
     The next morning we left our technically four star hotel (cost like $65 for the night), we doubled back to a few ancient sites on the coast, Antioch ad Cragum, Selinus and Iotape. The first had a temple to Apollo and. Bath complex amongst other things, the second was mostly crumbling ruins falling down a hill on the coast (though the aqueduct was pretty running through the local village and local T's on a balcony took pics of us taking pics of the aqueduct). The third place Iotape was draped over two small see cliffs, a beautiful place and Michelle and I found a lovely spot for pb&j sandwiches.
   Next we headed to one of my favorite sites - Syedra. Perched on the side of a hill Michelle and hiked for a couple hours and found 5 tortoises. It was my 8th visit to Syedra and the T's had built a new car park in my absence.
    In the early evening we drove to Laertes, another ancient city I have coins from. Driving up the very bad, steep and rather dangerous road we encounter a young German couple who couldn't believe a car was actually coming up the road. We asked them to hop in and they (in their own words) were shocked when they saw it was a pair of Americans and not local T's! We walked around the rather poorly preserved site which looks like a city obliterated by a catastrophe of epic proportions. I guess time would fit that description.
  We drove the German couple afterwards to their car and off we went to our apartment in Side.
We arrived dead tired to our apartment and the next day drove up through Korpulu Canyon park to the city of Selge, way up in the mountains over crazy switchbacks and even a Zriman bridge! The views are stunning enjoyed walking through the village. Many of the village homes are incorporated into an ancient structure. One side of the Roman stadium has a couple old houses set into it and all the houses (only 5 or 6 homes in this village) incorporate ancient architectural elements into their own construction.
      After being hounded by a few local women to buy handicrafts (Michelle caved) we drove back down and visited the beautiful aqueduct at Aspendos. We decided to pass on the site itself. We both have been there 4 times and the over-restored theatre was under cleaning or repair. Instead we found beautiful vantages to photo the aqueducts and any time we stopped near a house a woman came out and gave us a sprig of basil and offered (sometimes rather insistently) local handicrafts.
     We then headed back to Side, rested, then walked along the sea along the scores of shops and eateries and walked through the ancient city of Side. The sea and sunset were lovely and a good time was had by all.
   Now today we rose early and drove north into the mountains to a site called Pendilessos, which is in ancient Pisidia. Having never been there Michelle and I couldn't figure out where it was. There were only three or so houses in the tiny village and one called Pendellessos cafe,
We stopped and were treated by a nice man who talked us into sitting and having a coffee. His place was comfy with chickens and pheasants about. Michelle played with the chicks and eventually (the man, though extremely hospitable and generous had a completely different concept of time). Finally he drew us a map of where to hike, gave us walking sticks to use and sent us on our way. One of his dogs followed and Michelle, myself and Doggy trudged up the mountain as a light rain fell on and off. We eventually found what ruins there were of mostly the Roman era and beautiful iron wood trees. Though a difficult go we enjoyed the site, finding cisterns with fresh water and Michelle played with a can someone tied with rope to a branch and pulled up water. Eventually we had had enough and also missed the path down. We followed the wrong path and became a bit lost. We started going down the mountain off path and it was extremely rugged with brambles and trees, the princess was not happy. After some growing concern the dog appeared and actually led us down through the trees, beckoning us to follow, though always remaining silent. We eventually found the road and had to walk an additional 4km mostly uphill to get back! It was about 7-8 miles we went in all. The princess wasn't happy and after withstanding his pleas to take us somewhere else (after leaving us to die on the mountain!) we left, stopped for pb&j sandwiches then drove, beaten and tired, to the ancient city of Sillyon, one of my all-time favorite stomping grounds. We hiked up to the top of the plateau the city drapes around and visited the theatre (Michelle always wants to see the theatre) which was falling off the hill with vertical drops to you death on all sides but the back. It was very windy and the heat Greg and I suffered last time was tolerable. We had a splendid time and found 16 tortoises (the weather changed) and I saw a huge black snake!
     Finally exhausted we found our car, beat back the offering of tea from a rather creepy local man with a 22 rifle and drove back to our apartment in Side, deciding to add another night since we find it nice to stay and have more places we plan to see in the area.
    So it is dark now, 10:30 and some bad karaoke or something is going on in one of the apartments next door....

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