The last couple of days the tour has been all about the natural beauty of Turkey. The historical ruins were just thrown in as an added bonus.
Thursday was Pamukkale – known in ancient times as Hieropolis. I am not entirely sure how to describe what is there, because I have never seen anything like it before. There is a water fall, but because the water is from a mineral rich geothermal spring when it flows it leaves behind a deposit of calcium carbonate which forms terraces.
It almost looks like a glacier that is melting, but is slightly disconcerting because the water is warm. There is a pool that you can swim in, but it is not chlorinated and since thousands of people go in it everyday I wasn’t keen to swim. Instead I went to visit the museum. Next to the waterfall there used to be an ancient Greco roman settlement. It has yet to be fully excavated, and a lot of damage has been done by structures that were put on top of it at a later date. However, the museum had many lovely things. Again there were beautifully carved sarcophagi, like the ones I saw in Istanbul.
Not sure what is up with this guy, but he doesn’t look happy.
The rest of Thursday was spent driving which wasn’t fun, but I did finally get round to doing some hand sewing on the bus.
Today, Friday (I have to keep reminding myself what day it is because I keep losing track), we started at a place called Koycegiz/Dalyan. There was a boat cruise down a river which led to a beach which fronted on one side to the ocean and the other to the river where the river joined the sea. There were acres of wetland cover with reeds, and the backdrop was these incredible mountains.
When you get near the beach you can see turtles, because they nest on the beach nobody is allowed to stay there over night.
Not sure which species this one is, but it was quite large and probably only hanging around for tourists to take photos because a guy on a boat was feeding it. However, it was nice to be able to see one so close.
As an added bonus along side of the river were these huge tombs carved into the rock. Like I said, today the monuments were almost an afterthought.
After that we stopped in Kayakoy, which is an abandoned village. In 1923 the governments of Turkey and Greece did a deal whereby loads of Greek people living in Turkey went back to Greece and loads of Turkish people living in Greece went back to Turkey. This was a village of Greek people. When they bought a load of Turkish people back they asked the whether they wanted to live there and they said no, so the place was abandoned.
Which is a shame because it would have been quite a picturesque little village at one point. Though I can understand the objection that the houses were too small and didn’t come with enough land.
Tonight I am in Fethiye. Tomorrow we have a free day, which I am really looking forward too as I am feeling fairly exhausted. I am looking forward to a bit of lie in and maybe a leisurely walk into town. May have to see if I can find a camera shop. While I was changing lenses on my camera this morning I knocked one off the table. I thought it was alright, it was just a little stiff trying to turn the zoom. When I downloaded my photos tonight though, all the photos I took with that lens have a mark in exactly the same place. I think it might have a crack somewhere not so obvious. It was a really good wide-angle zoom too, so I am feeling a little peeved.