A Travellerspoint blog

Pammukale and Afrodisias

Today we are leaving Dalyan and heading to another coastal village called Kas. Our time in Dalyan has been so incredibly special for many reasons. We have enjoyed being here with Meg and Jane and we wish them well as they head to France. We have enjoyed our many trips to ruins and natural wonders. Without a doubt though, our favorite has been Iztuzu Beach and the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. We had the amazing opportunity to learn about the loggerhead turtle and its' stunning breeding ground. We have gained such an incredible affection and appreciation for this area of Turkey.

Three days ago we set out early in the morning to visit one of Turkey's most spectacular natural sites, Pammukle. As soon as you approach the mountain you immediately understand why so many people visit this site. Pammukale translates to Cotton Mountain in Turkush. This place is exceptionally beautiful and awe-inspiring. The white mountain is covered with cristalline travertines that have been formed over thousands of years. Luke warm water from a nearby hot spring is very high in calcium carbonate, as the water cascades down the mountain, it leaves mineral deposits, as the deposit covers the mountain it forms many travertines and the result is absolutely breath taking! It is hard to describe the feeling of walking up this magnificent mountain through travertines filled with Luke warm, mineral rich water on a hot sunny day.
As you approach the top of the mountain you are greeted by fantastic Roman ruins. Back in the day, Pammukale was a cure centre and pilgrims visited this site from far and wide. The Romns built a spectacular city which has been inhabited by many people. It was great to wander the ruins before heading back down the spectacular mountain.

On our way back to Dalyan we checked out one more site on a whim. We were not disappointed to stop at the ancient city of Afrodisias. The kids were not convinced that we had to visit another ancient classical city that day. After some food in the belly, a pop of their choice and an ice- cream we set off! Afrodisias is probably one of the best preserved Greco-Roman classical city in Turkey as it serves as a archelogical branch to New York University. You wander the site and at the same time witness excavations in progress. My favorite site was the stunning gateway to Afrodite 's temple. The temple gateway was rebuilt using over 80% of it's original material. The gateway welcomed pilgrims from far and wide yo the city.
We were able to walk around the city at our leisure as there were virtually no other tourists there. The stadium is virtually intact offers a fantastic example of Roman entertainment complexes! The actual temple of Afrodites is incomplete as it was rebuilt by th Byzntines. It has been, however, reconstructed somewhat and you are able to appreciate its' former grandeur. We wandrered through houses, roman baths, Agoras, theaters, and odeums. The town of Afrodisias was also a centre for carving and sculptor. You see many examples of the ornate and gorgeous statues that would
have at one time filled the city. This was an exceptional site to visit and a wonderful opportunity to get a sense of exactly how the ancient Roman city's were set up. The site archaeologists also do a marvelous job of explaining what each structure or place was used for.

We have spent the last couple of days enjoying the beach, the town and the pool! Enjoy the pictures. If you look in the gallery, you will see an explanation of each photo.
We hope that you are all well, we miss our friends and family so much!
xoxoxo,
Meera
greetings from Iztuzu Beach

greetings from Iztuzu Beach

Mike hears music in the flutes of the ancient columns of Afrodisias

Mike hears music in the flutes of the ancient columns of Afrodisias

Gateway to the temple of Aphrodite

Gateway to the temple of Aphrodite

Pammukale (Cotton Mountain)

Pammukale (Cotton Mountain)

Pammukale (Cotton Mountain)

Pammukale (Cotton Mountain)

Pammukale, cristalline travertines

Pammukale, cristalline travertines

Posted by The Flying Five 22:01 Comments (1)

Extraordinary Ephesus

Our time in Turkey continues to amaze us all!

Our recent trip to the classical city of Ephesus moved us all in many ways. We enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the beginnings of the city and it's growth and changes over time. Manas and Aleix are really getting used to the idea of spending an entire day in ruins and are now able to relate to grecoromano history like never before!
We all enjoyed the Great Theatre and we tried to imagine the spectacles that were held there, Acta est fabula, plaudite....
We were amazed by the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Hadrian. The kids had a lot of fun posing at the Gates of Hercules too.
Probably what mesmerized us the most were the terraced houses of some of the Roman elite. 7 houses are in the process of restoration and it provides wonderful insight into their lives lived at Ephesus. Since the restoration efforts of the houses are on-going and on-site, one is able to see how, piece by piece, we are gaining more knowledge about the intricacies and routine of life in Ephesus. Purely fascinating! I wrote a bit of detail with the photos so hopefully you can enjoy them better.
Thank you all so much for reading our blog entries. We are having the trip of a lifetime! We are all learning so much each day and appreciating this opportunity to it's fullest. Thanks for sharing this with us!

The kids also wanted to share with you our experience today at Itzuzu Beach. We visited the turtle rehabilitation centre and learnt a lot about turtles! We spent time with injured turtles and newborn turtles! Saturday we have the opportunity to take part in the release of 5 loggerhead turtles that will head back to the ocean. Some of these turtles have been rehabilitated after shell damage or the loss of a flipper and some are part of a tracking program. We are very excited about this opportunity and the turtle connection here has been such a highlight! We are very close to the nesting grounds of the loggerhead turtles and we were lucky enough to see one in the wild. Turtle beach, which it is fondly named, is not only a protected space but it offers breathtaking scenery and a pristine white sand beach. We love it here! We want to come back and volunteer at the centre one summer!
Tomorrow we have an early start as we are headed to Pammukale and the crystalline travertines!
Love and Peace,
Meera
The kids at the Gate of Hercules in Ephesus

The kids at the Gate of Hercules in Ephesus


The Celsus Library in Ephesus

The Celsus Library in Ephesus

From one mythological hero to the next, Mike enjoying the ruins of Ephesus.

From one mythological hero to the next, Mike enjoying the ruins of Ephesus.

Hadrian's Temple

Hadrian's Temple

Solstice standing before the stunning Celsus library in Ephesus

Solstice standing before the stunning Celsus library in Ephesus

Posted by The Flying Five 14:10 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

We are in Turkey!

We have had some extraordinary days in Turkey. We are staying in a lovely guesthouse in Dalyan which is a riverside town in southern Antalya, Turkey. We are staying here with our friends Jane and Megan and are enjoying the hot, sunny days of summer. Turkey has already far exceeded my expectations and I find myself wondering what has taken me so long to get here??? The people are exceptionally helpful and friendly, the landscape is breathtaking, the history is diverse and fascinating and the food is fresh and scrumptious. There are olive, lime, pomegranate, fig and pear trees everywhere! The flowers are of vibrant colours and smell heavenly. We are close to Iztuzu (turtle) beach and have been able to enjoy spectacular views of the impressive cliff-side ruins of the ancient people of Lycia. These cliff side ruins are in fact tombs carved in the rock. The Lycian people worshipped the sun (just like me!) and the tombs are oriented in such a way as to attract maximum sunlight.
We have had the good fortune to go out on a boat for an entire day. We explored bays, caves and beaches and we were able to see a giant loggerhead turtle! We have also had a lovely day trip to the spectacular Saklikent Gorge. We were able to walk through the gorge, upstream until we reached a waterfall. We all got soaked but thoroughly enjoyed the calm, cool and refreshing feeling in the gorge. Today was epic! We visited the ancient classical city of Ephesus! WOW! I will save Ephesus for another entry as my mind is still in the old city fixed on marble mosaics and intricately designed temples! All that I will say is what a day!!!!!
Enjoy the photos of our first days in Turkey and I promise to post some of Ephesus soon!
Oludeniz beach

Oludeniz beach

Oludeniz beach

Oludeniz beach

The cliffside carved tombs of the ancient Lycian people

The cliffside carved tombs of the ancient Lycian people

the beauty and the splendour

the beauty and the splendour

Exploring an oceanside cave

Exploring an oceanside cave

Heading out to sea!

Heading out to sea!

Solstice walking downstream in the Saklikent Gorge.

Solstice walking downstream in the Saklikent Gorge.

Yukon Boys at Saklikent Gorge

Yukon Boys at Saklikent Gorge

Posted by The Flying Five 13:43 Comments (2)

In Ruins on Rhodes

We had a delightful stay on the island of Rhodes. It is a much bigger island than Santorini so it took a bit of adapting on our part. Once we settled in the hotel we headed out to explore the old town of Rhodes. There have been many inhabitants on this island and all have contributed to the stunning architecture, fortified walls and visual appeal of the place. It's inhabitants included the Greeks, the Roman, the Byzntines, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomons. In recent history it was occupied by the Italians who have done a lot to restore the buildings. The Greek government along with other organizations are continuing the restoration efforts.

Our stay on the island was fairly brief but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the old city of Rhodes and the Acropolis of Lindos.
Street of the Knights, Rhodes, Greece

Street of the Knights, Rhodes, Greece

Solstice beside an olive tree in the Acropolis of Lindos

Solstice beside an olive tree in the Acropolis of Lindos

Main entrance to Rhodes town

Main entrance to Rhodes town

This photo was taken at a restaurant in the old town of Rhodes.  The kids are sitting in front of a modern painting of a Greek classical depiction.

This photo was taken at a restaurant in the old town of Rhodes. The kids are sitting in front of a modern painting of a Greek classical depiction.


The temple of Athena Lindias

The temple of Athena Lindias

Posted by The Flying Five 13:06 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Beautiful and Restful Santorini

Spectacular Santorini

Spectacular Santorini

Hiking to the peak of the volcano

Hiking to the peak of the volcano

Manas riding a donkey up to Santorini

Manas riding a donkey up to Santorini

Yummy Greek food!

Yummy Greek food!

Enjoying another meal!

Enjoying another meal!

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

Tomorrow we leave this beautiful white and blue island. We have had a very relaxing week here in Santorini. There have been many highlights not the least of which has been lazing under the palm trees beside the pool. Our hotel was a great find! It is a bit out of the way, away from the noise of the town but right beside the coast. Santorini is such a small island so it is not hard to find yourself beside the ocean, often!

Today we hiked to the still active volcano, Nea Kameni. The kids were delighted to see steam spewing from the craters formed by the last eruptions.
Part of what makes Santorini so beautiful is the jagged cliffs on the west side of the island. Over 3 thousand years ago the island of Santorini (Thera) was ripped apart by the massive eruption of an under water volcano. The island dispersed and the geography of the place changed forever. There are at east 4 islands that make up Santorini. We were delighted to rent a boat today and head over to the island that has been created by subsequent eruptions and flows. It was quite extraordinary to walk down yet another path of a major historical event.

To reach the port of Santorini you have to descend 588 zig zagging stone steps to the sea. The kids have had the good fortune of returning with donkeys up to the top a couple of times. I walked up once and took a cable car up the next time. Mike, walked up the 588 steps both times in the sweltering heat! He likes to suffer!

Santorini has been all the more special because we are here with friends from Whitehorse, Meg and Jane. It has been so great to share some of these memorable experiences with them. Solstice and Meg rescued an abandoned kitten. They cleaned it up with a saline solution and fed it whole milk and turkey. The kitten had a severely infected eye and they cleaned it out very well. Solstice picked off several tick/flea creatures. Yesterday evening the kitten was a shiny, bouncy picture of health. The pressure is on to take this kitten with us but we are trying to convince the girls that they have given the kitten it's best chance. These cats here are survivors and the girls have helped this one get back on all 4 paws. It will be hard to leave the kitty here tomorrow but someone else will come along and give it love and nourishment.

We had a girls afternoon out yesterday - doing what we do best - shopping!!! It was a splendid afternoon of wandering down the narrow streets and popping in and out of the many boutiques. The boys opted to return to the hotel and pool. We had lunch at a rooftop restaurant with absolutely enchanting views of the sea and town of Fira. The town of Fira is poised on the cliffs at the edge of the sea, it is so spectacular in it's colours of white and blue. You see many white churches, with beautiful bells and blue domes, a delight for the senses!

One day we rented those obnoxious 4 wheelers to explore the island. Considering our number of 7, this was the most feasible way; Meg and Jane, Sol and I, Mike with Manas and Aleix. We drove to the southern most tip of the island, through wineries and olive groves until we reached the lighthouse. We went to a beach and had a great lunch at another seaside restaurant. I was a real winner! I ordered a platter that delighted me to my very core; dolmatas, pita, tzatziki, tomato balls, grilled zucchini and eggplant and olive pate. It was more than delicious! Another tasty haven we have found is an authentic Cretan bakery a mere 10 minutes from our place. Delicious Greek Food!!!

Well, it is time for another dip in the pool. I will get some pictures uploaded on this blog entry soon.
Love you all,
Meera

Posted by The Flying Five 06:49 Comments (1)

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