Monday, May 19, 2008

Turkey Monday May 19


Again, I let Pat's journal describe the day...

Today is International Youth Day and the anniversary of the start of the Turkish Revolution. So red flags are everywhere, and its a public holiday. As we pass through towns, we see parades and gatherings at local stadia. Our early wake up has us heading toward Aphrodesias. First settled in 5000BC, it became a roman capitol of the provence of Coria. Quite a bit survives ovr a large area. Because it was an important pilgrimage site to Aphrodite, it was exempt from taxes and a healthy roman spent a lot of money building it. There is the largest arena ruin in the world. A neat private concert hall and grand amphitheater.

There was a small museum with several statues, some sarcophagus etc. Back on the bus, we travel through hilly,lightly wooded areas that remind me of Italy. A lot of land is cultivated olives, tobacco, poppies, wheat, and almonds.

We have a stretch break at Willows - a cute wooden hotel and restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There's an upscale market with many teas and a Turkish Delight counter.

After Aphrodisias, we stopfor lunch in another restaurant in the boonies. This time near a stream with pine trees. We eat outdoors under a covered patio to the strummings of a Kas player singing to a swinging beat. Again, they have grilled trout.

We arrive at Pammukkale (Hieropolis) to find out its the 2nd most popular site (after Ephesus) - which we see tomorrow. This larger site on the side of a hill is a large is alarge spa of mineral waters forming travertine terraces. The whole hill is snow white. Juat behind this is a swimming pooland the ruins of Hieropolis that are quite spread out and up the hill. There is a memorial on the site of the martyrdom of St Phillip.

But it's really too hot and humid to do anything more than walk around. We head back to our hotel. Out room is new - some of the lighting is not working, but it's a pleasant change. There's a thermal bath and swimming pool. We all "dress up" for dinner, and most go to see the russian belly dancer.

For a look at the day's photos, click on: Turkey Monday May 19

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