Sunday, 4 October 2009

Lycian or Turquoise Coast

Sunday 20 September: Hair-raising dolmus ride along unprotected sheer cliff-edge, with driver smoking, talking on his mobile and speeding at the same time, to Faralya village with steep roped decent to Butterfly Valley. Stayed in one of George House's very reasonably priced green-roofed 'bungalows' (garden shed), just 35TL for half-board (about £15).
Next day, onward to Kaş and day trip to Santa Clause's birthplace (sorry kids it's not the North Pole) and impressive Lycian remains busy with tour bus groups dog-tagged with their tour name and bus number (lest they get lost), Demre and Myra.
Eastward again to stay in 'tree-house' (hut on stilts in orchard) at Çiralı beach to visit ruins and eternal flames on the slopes of Mt Olympos fed by seeping natural gas since ancient times, the stuff of legends, Olympos and Chimaera. I was followed, possibly led, around Olympos by the cheerful red-setter from the pension. Finally on to the regional capital with it's great museum and nearby amphitheatre in fabulous mountain setting, Antalya and Termessos. In the museum's Hall of Emperors', with statues from Perge dating from the 2nd Century AD, 'The Dancer' carved from two different coloured marbles is just outstanding.
Joined by Neil "Popeye" Mussel (because he looks like 'Popeye' Doyle in movie The French Connection), a retired Canadian diplomat and a couple of young yanks, on holiday from studying in Cairo, for the taxi-ride (26th mode of transport) from Sabah Pansiyon through Hadrian's Gate in Kaltiçi (Old Antalya) to Termessos.

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