A mecca for the European tourist.
05.05.2013 - 05.05.2013 33 °C
For about the last week we've slept in rock hard beds - oh my aching back! Last night, as well as a concrete slab for a bed - we had no top sheet and just a cellular blanket to put over us. You know, those really rough ones? What the??
We had a pretty basic breakfast on the terrace - gorgeous view - and then departed beautiful little Kalkan at 9am and headed for Patara and then Xanthos. Both of these ancient sites house theatres built between 100-200AD - which were damaged by earthquakes. Great sites - we spent quite a bit of time here - really interesting. We saw tortoises in the bush at Patara - and there are lizards everywhere.
We then had quite a drive to the town of Kayakoy. We stopped at a little market place and had lunch - gozleme, cooked by a Turkish lady made in the traditional way. I videoed the process of rolling out the pastry, adding local vegetables, folding and placing in the stone oven - 1 minute and 22 seconds. This is the Turkey that we have fallen in love with - a simple way of life, basic, earthy, a sense of community and a sense of humour. Beautiful people who are genuinely happy. We 4 ladies in our little group purchased hand crocheted lace by the lady who cooked our lunch. Exquisite pieces of lace. Yes Carly and Ben - your Mum has bought some doilies!!!
After walking through the little market we started on a walk through the abandoned town of Kayakoy (Turkish name), Karymlassos (Greek name). This is now a derelict town - a ghost town, after the forced exchange of Greek and Turkish populations in 1923. The residents of Karymlassos (then known as Levissi) were made to relocate to Greece, and original Turkish people living in Greece were made to return to Turkey. This town was never inhabited again. There are over 500 buildings (houses) in this town - all without rooves, built up in to the hills. This was once a thriving community. The visual impact of Kayakoy is astounding. This is not just the ruins of a few ancient buildings - this is a large town which once housed between 2000 and 3000 people. You can see the original paint on some of the interior walls - blue appeared to be a favourite colour. Walking along the little laneways, I felt real sadness for these people - made to leave their homes. We arrived at the church - with much of it's mosaic floor still in place. Derelict is the only way to describe this once holy place. In the past it has been vandalised and pillaged - tragic. Thankfully, UNESCO has declared Kayakoy a World Heritage Site, and it's ruins will be preserved as an historic settlement. I will never forget this little corner of Turkey.
From Kayakoy we drove to Fettiye (pronounced Fettiyeah). Yusef and Yigit dropped us off at the main beach where we got changed in to our bathers and settled ourselves on the pebbly beach. Very hard to get your balance on a pebbly beach! We all had a swim while watching heaps of hang gliders taking off, flying above us and then landing. This area is a tourist haven for the Brits, Germans and Russians. British food is sold everywhere. The 6 of us had a coffee together and slowly made our way back to our van and then to our Hotel - which is right on the waterfront. Dinner in the dining room - and then finally - a good internet connection!