Sunday, April 28, 2013

Turkey 2013


We arrived in Dalyan in the latter part of the afternoon after a fairly long drive from Pamukkale and checked into our hotel. As we drove through Dalyan's center, it looked a bit sleepy with not much activity.

Dalyan is known for its ruins of the ancient city Caunos that date back to 3000 B.C. Although you're supposed to be able to reach them by foot, we just appreciated them from across the river as we strolled around town.

On the left is our hotel

Along the river boat tours are offered

In the evening, we had a superb dinner next to our hotel. We all had different things to eat, Jill having the clay pot dinner that’s actually more typical of Kapadokya cuisine. More on that when we get to Kapadokya. 

The next day we drove to Fethye, probably best known for its great harbor and marina. But above the town there lies Telmessos, a place from antiquity with numerous Lycian rock tombs and ancient buildings cut into the face of a cliff.

We walked around the town’s marina area and were soon off to Kas (pronounced Kash). The road to Kas resembles Highway 1 around Big Sur. It runs right along the water with steep, rocky cliffs on one side and on the other, the sparkling turquoise sea of the Mediterranean.

The harbor in Fethye

The ubiquitous carpet shop

Kas is a touristy village that has been around for centuries. Physically, it’s very quaint because it is the quintessential Mediterranean town that lies on a hilly incline with a small harbor. Originally built and inhabited by the Lycians, over time it was ruled by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans and finallyTurks.

We stayed in a small hotel right on the water. No beaches though, only rocky shorelines. There were swim ladders built into the rocks for those wanting to go for dip. I took advantage of it. But finding the water temperature a bit nippy, it wasn’t long before I was out toweling myself dry.  

Looking down on Kas

The view from our hotel room

Early morning walk through Kas

A Lycian tomb in Kas

Enjoying the view from our balcony

We had a difficult time deciding whether to stay one more day in Kas or move on to  Antalya. Jill and Rich had more of a schedule to keep - they were flying out of Antalya in two days. We took the less risky route and chose to get closer to Antalya.

Mosaic inside St. Nicholas church in Demre

This church and the saint it was named after is where the notion of Santa Claus originated.

Demre was an important stop mainly because it was known for having the church of Saint Nicholas - yes, the one that old St. Nick (Santa himself) originated. Also known as Myra or Kale, Demre was the capital of the Lycian province in the 5th century A.D. and played an important role in the religious authority of the period. Today it is a sort of a dusty, non-descript town and isn’t known for much other than the church of Saint Nicholas,

In spite of some rebuilding that went on due to an earthquake, it remains one of the best examples of architecture from the Middle Byzantine period. Although what remains (and what has been reconstructed) is just a small part of the church, you get the picture of what it once used to look like.

After another beautiful drive along the rugged coast we came to a large marina and the town of Finike. Although the city isn’t even mentioned in our guides, we found it to be an attractive beach city, with inexpensive hotels and friendly folks.

In front of our hotel in Finike

The beach in Finike

That night we decided to eat in our rooms. So Jill and I went scavenging for food. We came back from the hunt with store bought bread, olives and cheese and two orders of lamb shish kebabs from a mom and pop restaurant. It was all delicious.

The next morning, after enjoying our typical Turkish breakfast of bread, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, jelly/honey and hard boiled egg, we headed for Antalya, to the old walled city of  Kaleici, where we were staying.

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