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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Three-Day Trek Along the Lycian Way

Shortly after Mom left Turkey, Ferit and I headed out on a three-day trek along the Lycian Way.

The Lycian Way, which stretches 509 km along the southwest coast of Turkey, is commonly referred to as one of the best trekking routes in the world.

I don't know about you, but I had never heard of the Lycian Way before traveling to Turkey. I had, however, heard of the Camino de Santiago, made famous by the movie, "The Way" (a great movie starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez). In essence, the Lycian Way is Turkey's version of The Camino.

Me and Ferit, at the official start of the Lycian Way.

As our trek was only three days in length, and as we aren't superhumans, we experienced just a taste of the route -- approximately 35 km, from Fethiye to the Butterfly Valley, in Faralya.

The Ruins at Aspendos & Olympos

The final days of the road trip with Mom took us to the ruins at Aspendos and Olympos.

If you were to ask me, "Sarah, which food most closely resembles this segment of your road trip?" then I would reply, "This segment of the trip most closely resembles a sandwich; two ancient theatre ruins served as the bread, and a whole bunch of other ruins served as the sammich's yummy fixin's."

The first ruin we visited was the theatre at Aspendos. Built in 155 BC, the theatre is well known as the "best-preserved theatre of antiquity."

Mom and I look out over one end of the sandwich --
the wonderfully-preserved ancient theatre at Aspendos.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Side, Kitties, Goats, & Thunderstorms

After leaving the Cappadocia region, we headed south to explore some ruins along the Mediterranean coast.

After a brief stop in Konya (where Ferit and I enjoyed a wonderful cafe near Alaaddin Hill while Mom toured the Mevlana Museum), we headed for the town of Side (pronounced "See-Day").

Side is well-known as a resort town. Fortunately, the height of the tourist season had come and gone. Unfortunately, Side was nonetheless quite touristy, with its many souvenir shops and foreigner-focused restaurants still in full-swing.

Side is also well-known for its Roman ruins. Probably the most well known of its ruins is the Temple of Apollo. Though not much of the temple remains standing, it offers a magnificent view, with the Mediterranean in the distance.

The Temple of Apollo.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Around Cappadocia

We spent one of our road trip days exploring a few areas within the immediate vicinity of Cappadocia.

One of these areas was the Ihlara Valley. The valley, which lies at the bottom of a 100 meter-deep, stream-lined gorge, contains thousands of ancient cave dwellings and hundreds of ancient churches along its ten mile length. Constructed in the Byzantine era (330-1453 A.D.), the cave structures were used by the early Christians who sought escape from Roman soldiers.

Me and Ferit, in one of the cave churches.
Notice the ancient paintings on the wall behind us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Magical Cappadocia

During our road trip, we stopped for a few days in Cappadocia. Wow, what a magical place!

Cappadocia is heavily salt'n'peppered with these interesting "fairy chimney" rock formations. All sorts of cave homes and churches, some hundreds of years old, have been carved into the rocks.

A view from a cave window.