Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore concludes..

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We are on our last days in Turkey, we gradually head back north and west up the Turquoise Coast.  On the coast of the Xanthos valley lies the ancient capital of the Lycian League, Patara. There is archaeological evidence dating back to 1300 BC and the presence of bronze age Hittites; but it came more to prominence when Alexander the Great conquered all the coastal Greek cities in 334/333 BC.  Patara became the centre of Lycia when the Romans finally granted them autonomy from Rhodes in 168/167 BC. It became the official capital of Roman “Province of Lycia” in 43 AD. The city flourished under the Roman, Byzantine and Turk/Seljuk Empires until the 15th C AD when it eventually declined as was reclaimed by the environment. Continue reading “Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore concludes..”

Turkey: Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore – continues..

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I am finally getting back to finishing my travelogue of my Lycian trip….
We are now at the most eastern and southern part of our journey into Lycia; ancient Sura. In ages past the river flowed through the valley and the seaport was on the edge of the Temple to Apollo. Now it is marshland, but the temple remains along with the ruins of a Byzantium Basilica. The temple was famous for its “fish oracle” – yes just like Paul the Octopus (Soccer World Cup 2010) – people would ask a question and then throw food to the fish, and the answer was favourable (or not) depending on how the fish liked the food..
Continue reading “Turkey: Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore – continues..”

Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 2

dsc06473It’s time I returned to my travelogue of the Turkish Lycian Shore…..
We continued our exploring by travelling up the Xanthus valley from our mooring in Kalkan to ancient Pinara.  In the Lycian Federation, Pinara was one of six major cities with the most voting power, hence a dominant force in Lycia.  Pinara is situated on a high plateau with strategic views across the valley and towards the spectacular White Mountain range. These White Mountains look over the White Sea,  otherwise known as the Mediterranean sea… An interesting note; the Black Sea is on the north-eastern side (opposite) side of Turkey..

Continue reading “Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 2”

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.

Continue reading “Turkey: Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore – part 1”

Turkey – In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Hello everyone,
I’m back in Turkey again, and thought I should complete my adventures in Asia Minor before I head off to Greece again.

For those of you who don’t know I have joined a couple of (small group) tours with an Archaeology/ History tour company called Peter Sommer Travels. Peter Sommer is a guy who as a PhD student in the early ’90s (on Alexander the Great) decided to follow Alexander’s path through Asia Minor as Turkey was known then. He took 6 months to walk 2000 kilometers through Turkey. Michael Wood (TV historian who you may know from the recent India series he did on TV) was one of his patrons on this walk. Anyway, it turned out that Michael Wood then decided to do a TV series (BBC/PBS) following Alexander (in his Footsteps) from Macedonia right through to India and back and subsequent death in Persia. Peter Sommer was commissioned as the resident Archaeologist, while a Turkish guy named Cem (pronounced Gem) was the “fixer” – local Turkey ‘go to man’ for all organisational/ logistical matters. Following this, the 2 of them then went on and developed careers in both TV and travel. Cem’s recent “fixing” jobs included the Sam Neil Gallipoli Documentary and Joanna Lumley’s “Noah’s Ark – in search of”.  So that is to set the scene… These were the 2 people who lead our group! Continue reading “Turkey – In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great”

Travels in Turkey – Istanbul

Hello from sunny Bodrum, Turkey, formerly known as Halicarnassus, the city which held one of seven Wonders of the Ancient World!  I’ve had a wonderful time delving into Byzantium Istanbul, and then following in Alexander the Great’s footsteps in Asia Minor along Turkey’s Aegean coastline.

I arrived in Istanbul in early Spring and right in the beginning of their Tulip Festival – there were flowers everywhere! I have to admit I did not know that the Dutch imported Tulips originally from Turkey, but I do now. The Tulip symbol is everywhere. Continue reading “Travels in Turkey – Istanbul”