Saturday, May 7, 2011


the pretty little seaside town of Kumluca
Since we have this car, we took a roadtrip yesterday, down to Kale. Kale is the original home of Saint Nicholas (who knew!), but we went because of the ruins. It was a nice little drive down the coast, and since it was Friday, all the Turkish families were out having picnics. Friday is the holy day, and it seems to be what families do. They're big ordeals, with lots of cooking gear. One thing I'll always remember about Turkey is how much they love their flag; as a Texan, any people who love their flag feel like my tribe in some way. We read that you can be imprisoned for saying bad things about the flag or Ataturk. Anyway -- the abundance of flags in the photo above are just so Turkey.

the flag is even painted on the rock, on the side of this mountain
and they don't have ratty old rugs hanging over the balcony -- look at those gorgeous Turkish rugs!
Anyway, one of the things to see in Kale is the Lycian rock tombs at Myra. They're among Turkey's finest mountainside tomb ruins, and there is also a pretty sweet ancient Greco-Roman amphitheater. There were scores of giant tourbuses carrying German and Russian tourists (and, by the way, the town is pretty heavily Russian for some reason....more signs were in Russian than Turkish, it seemed!). Still, the site is so large it never felt too crowded to see what we wanted to see:

Three smiling faces -- well, I'm smiling anyway.
crawling around behind the theater
oops! Out of order.....we stopped along the side of the road for this beautiful panorama shot. So this is en route to Kale.
gorgeous stone carvings
here's a panorama shot I stitched together
but this also shows the theater
These honeycomb Lycian rock tombs. The dead were buried in these tombs up on the side of the mountain so they'd be closer to heaven. As Marc pointed out, it's not really all that much closer.
 but here, you can see their placement. there were others above the amphitheater too.
We didn't stop to see the St Nicholas museum in Kale, but we did stop at a little restaurant for lunch, and had Turkish pizza which was really great. It's shaped like a football -- oblong, pointed on both ends, and the edges are slightly folded over the filling, which is a kind of ground meat and spicy business. It's really good. When we asked the restaurant guy if he had an English menu, he smiled and said he's the English menu. We had a table on the sidewalk, and he walked me indoors to the food, and just described each item to me. It was sweet, and I liked him a lot.

Later we scouted out the location of Chimaera, the fire mountain, and had a nice little dinner, with Alanis Morissette as the soundtrack. Marc told the waiter that we're Canadian, so he seemed especially smiley as he asked us if we knew who was singing. We went back to that restaurant a couple of times, and the waiter always told us about the other Canadians who'd been there -- the night before, earlier that day. He was funny, and very nice, and seemed to enjoy talking to people. He told us he'd read something in the newspaper about how Canadians are the 3rd happiest people in the world, with Sweden ranked first. I asked where Turkey was ranked and he frowned, and said it was very low on the list, and he didn't know why. He launched into his philosophy of happiness, I think; I couldn't understand much of what he was saying, though I wanted to. He smiled, and I really liked him a lot.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I would have loved to see the St. Nicolas museum. I'm a collecting of "Santa" things, especially old world or the cultural ones. Plus I have a pic with my brother and I and St Nicholas from Germany...


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