…And The Temple Of Apollo…
4th December 2016
We went for a stroll on the beach last night and noticed that one of the seasonally closed bars had a light on…. We invited ourselves over to disturb their poker game and asked for drinks. They were happy to serve us, even though they weren’t really open and we could log into their wifi too. When we came to pay, they refused our money and shook our hands as friends…… Well, THATS never happened before!
After a great sleep on some beds ( at last ) at the Nostalgia pension which was to be our new home for four nights, we bundled ourselves back into the truck and headed out to have a look around the coastal town of Side.
The previous night, Geoff had fallen over a step on route to the toilet and he was suffering with a twisted ankle, the first time since he fell out of a tree when he was 10 and a half! It was so sore that Mum had to do the driving, and like any blonde Geoff became aware that she didn’t know that fifth and sixth gears existed. After his passenger seat driver criticism and after mum had found the two highest gear we neared the city centre. We were looking for a place to park near the historical area and soon enough we did, it’s quite hard to miss because the site is vast and very apparent! We parked near a cafe so Summer and Geoff could stay and he didn’t have too far to limp and mum, the dogs and I, set out to explore the town.
After some breakfast, we left those two and set out into the town.
The Roman ruins of Side are in fairly good condition, including a very large ampitheatheatre, temple, and gate….all of which date back to the 2nd century AD. The towns first tourism boom was during the 1950’s, when the town was originally a village called Selimye, but was renamed Side.
Some of the most popular tourist sites in the town are the Temple of Apollo and Athena which are right on the sea, it’s most unusual to traipse across the sand dunes and stumble upon huge ancient ruins, and the Roman Ampitheatres. The theatre was erected by the Greeks during the second century, and could hold up to 15,000 spectators. The theatre is also one of the best preserved Roman/Greek amphitheatres in the eastern Mediterranean, it is in fact most impressive and the scale of the theatre is awesome.
The Side archeological museum is also a popular tourist attraction, and it holds many different artefacts, including scarghophases, statues, and many different Greek, Roman and Ottoman potteries. However, the museum is the only place that Asena isn’t allowed of the lead, so she had to wait outside and howled the whole time, when we came back to retrieve her she was shaking like Vodka in the cold!
Another intresting and historical site is the town gates, which is now used as part of the main road leading into Side.
On each side of the Side peninsular there are the two beaches, East and West beaches, they are sandy and lovely and long, however, only the west beach has a long strip of hotels that run behind it, whereas the East beach has Roman ruins running behind it. It’s interesting that the restaurants located along the main strip in the old town include random Roman columns and remains in their actual structure! Side is mainly a German tourist destination, with the few Russians and British people visiting the coastal town, that said, the Turkish people here are far more fluent in German than English.
After exploring the town, we came back to the restaurant where we had left Geoff and Summer, we are very fresh fruit, including Melon, Apples, Oranges and Grapes filled up on coffee, then headed back to our pansyion. Tomorrow holds more Side delights. Keep following.