Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Not Where You Go, It's How You Get There

After almost 2 years, we left our Antalya home on the Turkish Mediterranean coast for another adventure.  We're not entirely sure where our next (semi) permanent stop will be but we're certainly going to make sure the journey is as full as can possibly be.  Already, in the week since we left our last home, our travels have taken us from spring into winter, from sun and swimming into snow and shivering, from a modern city into an ancient metropolis.  Needless to say we've really enjoyed the journey so far.  My limited vocabulary is not colourful enough to adequately describe all that we've experienced but I hope these amateur pictures will give you some idea.  

First Stop: Fethiye.  A picture perfect seaside town about 3 hours west of Antalya.  We stayed here for a couple of days to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful sea views.

Shepherd(ess?) watching over her flock with a lovely view of the coast-side  town of Fethiye.

Early one morning we walked about 20 metres from our hotel (opposite the town quay) to explore the ruins of Telmessos, an ancient Roman amphitheater.
Uncovered not so long ago, in 1993, this amphitheater dates back to the 2nd Century!

Second Stop: Kaya Mezarleri (translation = Rock Tombs).  These tombs are located within the actual city of Fethiye.  Only a 5 minute drive from our hotel.
These tombs belong to the family of Amyntas, the king or governor of ancient Telemessos (the original name of Fethiye) during the Hellenistic period (200-300 BC)
Kaya was just as impressed as we were by these wonderful old tombs carved into the side of a slope overlooking the whole of Fethiye.
Third Stop: Kaya Koyu (translation = Rock Village).  A 20 minute drive into the mountains above Fethiye we came across this abandoned village.  The history of this place is quite a sad story.  Originally a Greek village dating back more than a thousand years, the inhabitants lived in peace and harmony with their Turkish neighbours ... that was up until 1922 when the "population exchange" occurred and all Greeks in Turkey were ordered to return to Greece and all Turks were ordered to leave Greece and return to Turkey.  The village was abandoned at that time. Unfortunately, during the forced eviction, many belongings were left behind only to be stolen by "treasure hunters" who also looted the place and destroyed many of the buildings.  Now all that remains of this ghost towns are a number of dilapidated buildings overgrown with wild fig trees and the occasional goat.

Entering the old village of Kaya Koyu.

Next Stop: Oludeniz (translation = Dead Sea)

A beautiful sunny day to play on the deserted rocky beach.
Even warm enough to take a quick dip in the sea!
A panoramic view of the Oludeniz beach.  Beautiful!
Next Stop: Patara.  Another ancient Lycian city dating back to the time of Apollo!  This place is so rich  in history and interesting facts and discoveries, I couldn't do it justice by trying to describe it here.  But if you ever visit Turkey, this is one (of many) places well-worth the visit.
The first excavated stonework we passed on our way into the National Park of Patara.  Much of the city has yet to be uncovered, including an Apollo Temple that archeologists know to be buried somewhere in there ...
Patara was once a busy trading port but over the years as the geography changed, it silted up and became a marshy swamp.  I think the marshes provide a lovely water feature to this scenic picture.
This cow is oblivious to the yet to be discovered treasures of this ancient city.
Patara beach is 12km of beautiful fine sand and climbable rocks perfect for boys big and small to play
Next Stop: Saklikent (Fethiye).  14km long Gorge located between Fethiye and Antalya.
A couple of hundred metres inside the canyon.  The walls were so high we could only just see the sky above.  The water looked so clean but boy was it cold!
The current stop on our journey to Who-Knows-Where: Ankara.  We're back in the house Murat built and we decorated together before our wedding in 2008.  This is the house we thought would be our home for at least a few years but in fact we lived here for just a few short months before we moved to Antalya.  Murat's parents are looking after it for us now.  It feels nice to be 'home' even if only for a few days or maybe a week or so.  I wonder where our next stop will be...
Our house is one of those in the background.  The first day we arrived it started snowing.  What a treat!  
This was the view from our front door this morning.

Three days later, it's still snowing.  The car is pretty much buried and the snow is up to the bottom of the windows of the ground floor of the house.  If the snow doesn't let up soon, we'll be prisoners here.


Anonymous said... [Reply]

These are some of the most beautiful pictures! I am so happy that you are filling your desire for exploration and also that you are sharing them!!
Love you guys <3

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Some pretty photos for sure.. One day I might have to return for a school excursion. Hope you are enjoying the snow while you can - will not be much opportunity for that when you get back to Australia! xxx rinny

Colette said... [Reply]

Tez, we had such a lovely trip. Thinking of going on another adventure somewhere before M goes back to work - may as well make the most of his time between jobs. We love you too!! xx

Colette said... [Reply]

@Anonymous Rinny, yes you definitely should get out of the 'school excursion' mentality! There is some real beauty to be found in Turkey (and everywhere too). We sure are making the most of the snow. We built a snowman with Ky yesterday but the perfectionist in me had to go out and sculpt some beauty into it after the boys had finished their part ... :)