Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 1

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Back to the past .. in Turkey again!  I’ve started another Peter Sommer Travels (PST) Archaeology trip, this time with a focus on Walking the Lycian Way (Likya Yolu) – a hiking path that follows ancient roads, goat trails and village paths over remote rocky, stony and very prickly ground. It sure was hard work; but combined with amazing scenery and ancient history and ruins, it was another fantastic trip.  Travelling 2 weeks on a Turkish Gulet, slowly meandering along the south west coast of Turkey in endless sunshine and warmth was a glorious way to spend a few weeks.

We started in Göcek (refer map at end), and worked our way down the coast until as far as Üçağız. A highlight for me was visiting the deserted town of Kayaköy, the Greek village that was focus of the book “Birds without Wings” (Louis de Bernieres).

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Kayakoy
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remains of a Basilica in Kayakoy

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view down to Gemiler Island walking down from Kayakoy
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one of the many beautiful sunsets we had

We started our historical archaeology adventure next day with a visit to the ancient Lycian city of Sidyma, within the small village of Dodurga in the midst of its ruins. The Mufta in the village hosted us to wonderul tea and tahini bread – yum.  It was an introduction to unique sarcophagi and tomb huts that you see all throughout Lycia. The Lycians (8th-4th C BC) did not appear to have necropoli outside the main town, but placed their tombs right next to their homes amongst their village…  We still see them scattered throughout modern towns, fields and hills.

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The fields of Dodurga scattered with sarcophagi
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watering livestock from an ancient cistern
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typical Lycian Sarcophagi (damaged by tomb raiders)

Our serious walking began that day, with the first of many delicious picnic lunches, followed by an introduction to the ‘stony’ Lycian Way walking down to the valley below. Spectacular views distracted us along the path.

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View of the White Mountains
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remains of a building
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Cold Water Bay
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map courtesy – Peter Sommer Travels

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