This is the second post to our recent Turkey trip, part one see here.
We also did a day trip to the old town of Antalya.
It is a nice stroll around more or less old Anatol style buildings, all very cleanly renovated and in great shape.
And admittedly, the setting of the city on a cliff at the see and close to the Taurus mountains is indeed spectacular.
However, to be honest, overall we were slightly disappointed:
Although the beauty of the city is widely known (and it is beautiful in fact), it misses something very important, that other Turkish Cities can offer:
A kind of “air” or “authenticity”.
The thing it, that the old part of town makes the impression of a museum or Disney park. Everything is a bit too clean and polished, too many tourist places, and actually the local life and the buzzing of the native population it completely missing, as the actual city live takes place outside of the old town.
This is much different in other cities we have seen in Turkey, like Istanbul, Sinop, Safranbolu.
And for Woodpecker, this “air” is one of the most important factors of a true must-see city.
Recommendation: If you are around, give it a visit, but half a day is enough I’d say.
(Click to enlarge, hover for captions)
Now we come to the undisputed highlight of our trip:
We took a drive to a nearby canyon for a nice climb-down to the cool and wildly rushing river and throw stones with the kids (you can do rafting there too) and then decided to proceed to the ancient city of Selge, a secluded place a lofty 1100m above sea level.
It was quite a challenging drive. A few clowns we met actually used Jeeps to get up there, which is unnecessary, because the pavement of the road was quite fine in all steep sections, the problem was rather that the road is very suspended and without guard rails, so sometimes the mountain just dropped off into 200 meters of void next to the road.
In a word: You should not suffer from vertigo there.
However not a problem for Woodpecker as an old mountaineer, thus I’d say we were considerably faster than the Jeep-Clowns. :-)
When we finally arrived, I was in full awe of the beauty of the place.
THIS IS A HELL OF A SPOT.
Boy, these Greek and Roman chaps sure knew how to pick great spots for their cities!
Full 10/10 Lord of the Ring score and
9/10 Indiana Jones score.
A true magic place, like you would not expect to find it outside a film, and only 90 mins away from a busy tourist area.
(please enlarge by clicking to get the full experience! hover for captions)
Aspendos was another spot we visited.
This one is an “A” spot, thus there is a guard, an (significant) entrance fee etc.
However, the theater there is among the best preserved worldwide and even hosts a music festival (like Verona), which must be incredible to join.
The secret tip here is to go the hilly excavation site uphill from the theater, which is typically not visited by groups (too much walking), and quite interesting.
Lord of the Ring Score 4/10.
Indiana Jones Score 4/10.
You think anything your country is building these days will still be that spectacular like this theater 2.000 years from now?!
I will never complain again about the waste of public money on prestige buildings, provided one precondition:
Dear politicians and leaders! Build if you want. Spend our money. Build it big and beautiful. But please, please, build massive. Build in STONE. So that Woodpeckers 50*Grandsons can enjoy the place 2000 years from now!
Last excursion was to Sillyon, a totally undeveloped place on a table mountain.
There is not too much to see, but strolling around the location is fun anyway, as cows are grazing between the ruins and you find nice examples of ancient cities biggest enemies: Stone looting for constructing other houses.
Lord of the Ring Score 6/10.
Indiana Jones Score 7/10.
All in all, this package tour turned into some good adventure thanks to only a little additional own initiative.
Btw., it was a great mixture for the kids as well. Exploring, climbing, beach and a bit of swimming in the pool and the indoor pool.
Parents know that it can be difficult to combine the needs of young kids and your own activity needs from time to time.But it is doable, there is no need to hang out two weeks exclusively in a plastic paradise of a “family hotel” or in a hyper expensive Disney-World.
This trip might serve as a blue-print!