28 Apr 2016

Bonus Post | Antalya Archaeology Museum

Some of the treasures of Lycia from excavations in Perge, Xanthos, Letoon etc. are held in Antalya's Museum of Archaeology, while many more are held in other museums around the world after being looted or unofficially excavated in the years before the Turkish state cared about such things. Some have been returned from museums in the US and Germany but many more remain overseas.

Map of the ancient Lycian empire

Most of the exhibits at the museum from Lycian/Byzantine/Roman eras are statues and tombs.

Statue outside museum
Statue of woman, Letoon
Emperor Lucius Verus (161-169), Perge
Emperor Hadrian (117-138), Perge
Emperor Trajan (98-117), Perge
Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211), Perge
Aphrodite, Perge
Artemis, Perge

Athena, Perge
Hermes, Perge

Zeus, Perge
Apollo, Perge

A Heracles Sarcophagus, Perge

Sarcophagus of Domitias Julianus & Domita Philiska, Perge
Lycian dedicatory steeles, Kaş, Elmaci & Kumluca
A Dionysus Sarcophagus, Perge
'Weary' Heracles - top half returned to Turkey by
Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2011 
Objects from Patara excavation
Objects from Xanthos excavation
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25 Apr 2016

Day-16 | All Good Things Come To An End

Çayağzı to Demre via ruins of Andriake & Myra | 12.3km

The last day. Campsite breakfast, packed and a brief walk past the Çayağzı boatyard and onto a gravel road toward the Andriake ruins that acted as a port city to nearby Myra.

Çayağzı boatyard
Church at Andriake
Bath house
Pulpit of another Andriakian church
Mureks (purple dye) workshop at Andriake
Cistern under the mureks workshop
Andriake port (now silted marshland and great habitat for wild wading birds) with replica boat
Granary. Construction was funded by Hadrian after a visit by hik and his wife. Now a museum but
unfortunately closed when I was there as it was not completed. Security said it is 'to open in May inşallah'...
Heading into Demre I stopped at Çalpan Park for an open buffet lunch (TL15). The place was huge and dead, though a small bus of tourists turned up just before I left

Çalpan Park for  lunch
There's A lot of new residential construction on the way into Demre that is a blot on the landscape. The town centre has lots of small local shops plus all the major banks and supermarket chains. I happened upon a building that still had the sign up for my first employer in Turkey c.1999, the now defunct Sümerbank

Ancient Sümerbank signage
...and just up the road there was celebration of a carpark being built with free kebabs, tea and a grandstand opening (the party probably cost more than the cobbled, small, ground level only carpark!)

We built a small carpark so kebabs all round!
I checked into the family run Kent Pansiyon at the northern end of Demre, dumped my bag and headed out to see the ruins of the Lycian city of Myra, noted as one of the six most important cities in the Lycian Assembly (the others being Xanthos, Patara, Tlos and Olympos) and the capital of Lycia after Xanthos fell into decline. Most of Myra is buried under the modern city of Demre, though the spectacular rock caves and amphitheatre, the largest in Lycia, have been excavated and can be seen along with numerous pieces of stone with carved faces that would have formed  part of the city's infrastructure.

Rock tombs at Myra
Largest amphitheatre in Lycia
Amphitheatre entrance detail
One of the many facial reliefs (fnarr) on site
Panorama of Myra
After deftly avoiding/ignoring the desperate, tourist-hungry salesmen and touts outside Myra I made my way back to the pansiyon for a home cooked meal, lashings of local shop bought Efes Malt and an evening playing backgammon. Shattered, I was in bed by 11pm. I planned to visit the Church of St.Nicholas the next morning before hopping on a bus to Antalya to end the journey.

Efes Malt & backgammon
Saint Nicholas' church was another TL20 to get in - (note to self: next time buy a Muzekart at the outset!) The church is still partially under restoration but many parts are open for viewing. There are numerous heavily damaged Christian frescoes, looted tombs and interesting examples of architectural juxtaposition from centuries of extension and renovation.

Saint Nick's relief inside his church
Looted tomb of St.Nicholas - note the paper wishes that
orthodox visitors have thrown onto his empty  tomb
The crucifixion
The three musketeers
Modern day Santa Claus
As well as being the patron saint of sailors in antiquity, St.Nicholas and his myth has formed the basis for the modern day western character of Santa Claus. The story goes that three young girls wanted to marry but did not have a dowry. Under the cover of darkness St.Nicholas left them a gift of small bags of gold. As all doors and windows were locked he climbed onto the roof and dropped the gold bags down the chimney, where it landed on the girls's drying socks.

Someone in Turkey keen to set the story straight... lol
That wraps up the journey. Thanks for reading. I hope it was in some way interesting or informative. Next up: some reflections on the journey, routes, gear choices etc..


A bonus gift for those who have stuck with my droning blog so far:
a picture of a tourist taking a selfie in front of a stone
gargoyle relief at Myra while 'eating' a banana...

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Day-15 | Bittersweet Efes Malt Day

Needing to think of my next move, and my walking buddy Morten deciding to cut his journey at Demre a short distance away, I took a day off and chilled at the campsite, eating and drinking beer while I updated the blog and caught up on some reading.

Efes keyif...
Andriake campsite
Lavaş flat bread, tuna and local veggies for a DIY lunch and later a grilled breem fish dinner at a local harbour restaurant with more beer. 

Fish dinner view from Çayağzı harbour 
I've finally made the decision to cut the journey at Demre, 6km away. I've been too slow covering ground on the Lycian Way as I underestimated the terrain and set targets too high (i.e. walk all the way and cover all sections, taking the most difficult routes). Plus there's a storm brewing for Tuesday & Wednesday so it would be foolhardy to attempt the next section, which is over mountains and off-grid for 48-72 hours, until the storm has passed on Thursday. Needing at least ten more days to finish and not wanting to push my luck at work plus having some issues with kit suitability it seems pertinent to stop here, reassess and come back to finish (or start again!) another time. Small pencil tick for this one on the bucket list! A slightly bitter feeling of regret but it's been a great adventure and I'm certainly fired up for more mini-trips alone, with friends or with family.

I ended the day with more Efes Malt around the campsite's wheelbarrow fire, the scent of the smouldering rubber wheel wafting gently on the breeze. The Lycian Pathfinder students
were up late and laughing excitedly. For a moment I thought of dragging myself out of my bivy bag and asking them to pipe down, but then I remembered my younger days and annoying old gits complaining about the noise so thought better of it. I suffered in silence, grinning like a loon at youthful memories of raucous parties as I gently drifted off into an inebriated stupor in my tiny bivy.

Bitter sweet memories :)

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