Bügün günleden ne?
5th December 2016
As the day began, we had a beautiful Turkish breakfast at ” Nostalgia” our pension situated in kizilot and set out for another adventure in the Side area.
Today’s plan was to be explore the Manavgat waterfalls and then find somewhere pretty for a have a picnic. With Geoffs leg still hurting, Mum once again drove us.
Before I continue, I must say that the driving style in Turkey is generally mad, but in Side it’s like wacky races….for example, when on the main duel carriage way, there are normally two lanes, but not here, because in the minds of the Side people there are five lanes. These five lanes include the hard shoulder, outside lane, inside lane, middle lane, and then one in between the outside and middle lane…………
I mustn’t forget to mention that also in Side, people like to drive their tractors and cars the wrong way up the road! Throw mother into the middle of this and watch the girl drive like a woman possessed! With cars over and undertaking, tractors stopping in the middle of the road and goods falling literally off the back of wagons, driving was quite testing!
Things don’t get better for me, as my driver is blonde!-(but don’t tell mum I said that), she does actually get more fired up the hungrier she gets, fortunately breakfast was substantial!
Another commonplace experience is when one Lorry is being overtaken by another Lorry, undertaken by another Lorry, and a Dacia-(the car of choice out here )- passes them all in the hard shoulder!
The waterfalls are located 4km north of the Manavgat town centre, and the popular tourist destination is also a nice spot for fishing, even though you not allowed to. (!!) During the summer, the site gets packed with tourists from all over Europe and Turkey, so there are many crowds. Despite this, there are some places that you can walk to near the waterfalls which aren’t crowded.
Upon arrival at the admissions gate the dogs went free, but our new museum cards-(which lets us go into most of the museums in Turkey for a one off payment of fifty lira and are well worth investing in: they are called ” musecart +” and can be purchased at the entrance gates to most of the museums and monuments instead of paying the admission fee, well worth it!)-werent valid here so we had to pay the 5 lira entrance fee. Once inside the viewing area over the waterfalls isn’t that great, it’s very ” man made”, artificial with no real sense of “naturalness”about it. we weren’t that amazed. The water is standing in some places and is a bit stagnant, so a little disappointing really.
That was our first plan for the day so now we went in search of the Aspendos bridge, situated on the other side of Manavgat. With mum behind the wheel again, we adopted the brace position!!
This 2nd century bridge was built by the Seljuks, but has had major renovations to it. When we arrived, we could hear the loud sound of the rushing river, though, it wasn’t as loud as the thunderous crashing at the waterfall. When we parked, a group of children came rushing up to see us….and then went rushing back, when they saw the dogs.
Eventually, the children tentatively approached dogs, and started stroking them. The village children loved stroking Asena and having their photographs taken, in fact they were real little poseurs, mum said. They were racing around and laughing as they were chased by a rude, barking Vodka whose party piece is being unapproachable!
Using our small amount of Turkish, we engaged in conversation and it was sweet to hear them asking when we would be coming back, clearly the dogs had made a huge impression again!
At this point, we were getting pekish, so we left the bridge and went searching for a nice place for a picnic.
When we got onto the main road, we pulled off to a place called ‘Aspendos’, thinking it was a small village, but It did in fact turn out to be a history goldmine. I hadn’t found it in my research before the trip, ( which mum and Geoff were keen to point out !) so it was literally a surprise discovery!
Here, there are the remains from the Roman times. There are Basilica’s, Baths, Churches, Temples, Gymnasiums an Agora and a massive aqueduct which at its prime spanned more than a kilometre!
The finest thing out of them all though is the restored Roman Amphitheater.
So, after some lunch, Mum, Summer and I went into the Aspendos ruins, and went looking around the incredibly restored aercheological buildings.
When we went inside the Ampitheatre, we were all surprised by how big it was, because looking at it from the the outside, it looked smaller! It is such an impressive example that back in the 1930s Atatürk himself backed and funded the complete restoration. It is even still used for productions today.
Unless you visit for yourself it’s difficult to photograph or explain the sheer enormity of the amphitheatre, put it this way, a coach load or six of Japanese tourists and their I pads and nikons are easily swallowed whole by its vastness…. It’s big!
We had spent an hour and 45 minutes in the ruins, ( it would be easy to wander further and spend a longer amount of time here though ) Geoff had been resting his ankle and had stayed in the car. He was still asleep when we got back!
That evening, we stopped of at the shopping centre ( Geoff was so glad that he had woken up fully now to experience the large shopping mall!) And we had a quick look around, before going back to our pension for a superb dinner in front of the fire!
6th December 2016
We had nothing planned for today, so we sat in the sun reading, writing, and mostly learning Turkish. Despite living in Turkey for a year know, and coming on and off for 4 years, our Turkish is poor! There’s no excuse, the books are out!!