Published: May 10th 2006May 10th 2006
In Fethiye I looked at a couple of pensiyons and settled on Monica's Place (Ferah's). One of the best places I've stayed in so far - very friendly and great people. The dorm on the top floor has an amazing view over the harbour.
On my first day in Fethiye I decided to walk through the abandoned Ottoman Christian village of Kayakoy to Oludeniz. Supposedly this village was Louis de Bernieres' inspiration for 'Birds Without Wings.' It was a pretty eerie place, with thousands of abandoned buildings. I must say, however, that I think that the Romans made much better job of building houses than the Christians. Most of the rooves had gone and the walls were falling down. Hardly anyone was wandering round - just a couple of kids kicking a ball up one of the old cobbled streets. The whole place felt very empty and surreal. It's difficult to think that the foundation of Turkish state as we know it and the expulsion of the Christians is all part of modern history.
I climbed through the village and along a trail to the official start of the Lycian Way to Antalya. I walked the first part to
Bellerophon's tomb is round to the right, underneath the acropolos
the other side of the bay from the lagoon, took some photos and decided that I should get down to the beach. This proved harder than it looked, with loose rocks, thick prickly undergrowth, snakes and turtles. I finally made it down to the town, which was full of fat English people, to watch the end of the Chelsea Man Utd game on a big screen. I walked along to the lagoon through a sky of paragliders who were pulling tricks before landing. The lagoon itself was pretty amazing, with dark blue and very salty water. I got a dolmus back to Fethiye and went for a kebab with a couple of Aussies I'd met in the morning.
Aha! I almost forgot to recount the second disaster of my travels. In the morning, before setting out to Kayakoy, I packed some water, a sweater, a book, some food and my camera into a small thin rucksack. In a moment of inspiration, which is a Bad Thing, I decided to add one of the two beer bottles beside my bed to the load. I then proceeded to the loo to go about some business before starting the walk. While sitting
Pitt the Explorer
This guy really should be on TV
down to be with God, I placed the bag on the floor. Unfortunately, I did not place the bag carefully enough and the bottle smashed into a thousand and one pieces. This was not a good thing, as it sent shards of glass into my water carrier (unbreakable? my arse) and spilt beer on my sweater and a small quantity of blood on my shirt. More worryingly, the Aussies I was to meet later for a kebab gave me half a bottle of raki out of sympathy.
On my second day in Fethiye I got the bus out to the ancient Lycian city of Tlos and the Saklikent Gorge. The views on the bus-ride were great - snow-capped mountains and lush valleys with beautiful villages. The setting of the citadel at Tlos was very impressive - perched at the bottom of one of the mountains on a rocky outcrop. The ruins themselves weren't that great, the main attraction was the rock-cut tomb of Bellerophon.
Normally the Saklikent Gorge is nearly dry. When I was there, the snow melt and a heavy rainfall filled the first stretch with fast flowing icy water. I only really wanted to go because
some people had been the day before and had said that you had to be crazy to walk up it. I didn't expect the water be so deep and I didn't have any sandals (or flip-flops), so I stripped off my trousers and went barefoot with my precious lunch and camera on my back. Luckily, I didn't fall over at all and the going wasn't that bad (just cold - the sun doesn't really penetrate the gorge). Eventually there's a 60m waterfall and it's dry for for the rest of the way. Unfortunately the last bit just before the waterfall was a bit tricky and I didn't fancy getting swept back downstream to the bus. When I got back - lo and behold - I bumped into my room-mate from Olympos, so we went to find kebab and cake with an American girl, who was doing a diving course and had found the best cakes in town.
On my last day in Fethiye I got the bus out to the ancient city of Xanthos, which was the capital of Lycia. The site is being excavated by the French, and they'd covered up the mosaics with geotextile (Dad - you
should flog it to them!) and gravel. There was a nice theatre and lots of tombs. The river Xanthos flow right underneath the acropolis. I half enjoyed reading the signs (with pictures) that said things like, 'the Nereid Monument got carted off to the British Museum in 1852: these few stones from the foundation are all that remain.'
From Xanthos I hitched a lift from a very nice and primitive looking farmer called Ramazan to the ruins of the religious centre of Lycia at Letoon. Ramazan didn't speak any English but wouldn't let me get out of the truck, although he wasn't going that way, until he'd dropped me off at the car park at the site. There didn't seem much need for a car park, as there was nobody else there. Letoon and Xanthos are both on the Lycian Way. The theatre was strange - the Greek part, which had been cut into the hillside was in very good condition, but the Roman additions were falling apart a bit. The main temple of Leto had been party restored; the temple of Artemis was just a base and in the temple of Apollo there was good mosaic. I walked
Car Cemetary Bar
Not sure if this one comes out OK.
Girls not allowed in photo
back to the village to drink cay and play backgammon with the local old men before getting the dolmus back to Fethiye. In the evening I went out to the local 'Car Cemetary Bar' with a few of the people staying at Ferah's.
From Fethiye I got a nice long bus up to Selcuk to see the ruins of Ephesus. But that's another story, and the start of my manic period of seeing things.