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Friday, August 16: Day 116 – Turquoise

We left our beatiful hotel in the Turkish Riviera.

We drive along the Turquoise Coast. Turquoise is a Turkish word meaning Turkish color. Ertunga says that it is much like driving Route 1 from San Francisco to LA. He has been to California.

Turkey and American Indians have similar words, customs and shamans. Theory? Not sure why.

We drove by an island named Kas which means eyebrow (apparently it is a unibrow since that is what it looks like from the sky. I think that there is a small isthmus that connects the two.) There is a close Greek island called Meis. This is the closest that Turkey is to Greece.

There are lots of tents as people are coming to the beach for the holiday. People are allowed to set them up anywhere along the water.

Kaekova is a protected fishing village so there can be no more development. The city was a place where fisherman could load their ships wirh supplies so there was lots of commerce.

Due to earthquake long ago this large city is now separated by the Mediterranean Sea. Much of the city is sunken. It was inhabited by fisherman and pirates. Fish is very plentiful and is the food of the poor.

Omar has taken over the wheel. He likes this better as he doesn’t have to fight the traffic.

Sunken ships are found in the rough Aegean Sea where the mountains are vertical with rocky coastlines. The Mediterranean is calmer with long beaches.

Simena is the name of this ancient village that you can only get to by boat. Sailors and tourists stay here. It was a pirate’s paradise.

Today we get to see ancient ruins by sea. There are even remnants of an ancient port on the pier.

We sail along the sea on an indescribable color of blue.

The captain flashes a mirror to point out an ancient church. An inexpensive laser.

He reveals a window at the bottom of the boat so that we can see broken pieces of pottery.

No one lives on the island anymore due to access to fresh water. They used cisterns.

When Marc Antony was fighting Octavian, he cut down all the pine trees here to make his fleet of ships. There are none today. Ancient deforestation.

A gulet is a type of boat that is like a floating hotel. It is made with teak. There are families who are on a gulet for vacation. The best winds for sailing occur in fall and spring.


Andriake

We arrived in the ancient city of Andriake where lots of trading occurred along the sea port. There is a huge virtually intact granary building where winches were used to load ships. These were often short boat hauls…like semi trucks today.

I asked where archeologists decide to excavate? The answer: wherever they will learn the most. If they have excavated a temple, no need to excavate another as they have already learned from the first. They are not trying to reconstruct the whole city. Also, the condition of the ruins is considered.

Here is the intact cistern found at Andriake. I see the light!

Here is a Lydian theatre mask that we saw in the granary museum.

Each store room featured a Lydian city. The sides were flanked with artifacts and descriptions, and the ends had an electronic display.

Ertunga had never been in the museum as it just opened. They only started in 2017. It was so well done that I could have spent hours there…which is saying a lot since I am inclined to get museum fatigue.


Church of St Nicholaus aka St. Nick

His father was very wealthy and when he died, the money came to Nicholaus. He was dedicated to help the poor and shared his wealth with the people. He was born in Patara and then lived in Myra which is modern day Demre.

Here is the story or legend’s origins. (Finland also has a version.)

There was a poor man who had 3 daughters and lived in the mountains. They did not have enough for a dowry. One day a bag of money was thrown through the window. There was just enough money for the eldest daughter to marry. The next year, the same thing happened. The next year, the man closed the window so he could thank the person who was giving the money. He was drying his socks by the fireplace, when the money bag came through a hole in the roof.

Certainly, an important person named Nicholaus lived in this area. A church was built and dedicated to the people living here. Russians revere St. Nicholaus and often visit. Russians have a name day and many are named Nicholaus.

As we look inside the church, we see a fresco much like a mosiacs in Hagia Sophia except it it a mirror image.

There is a fresco of the last supper. Judas can be noted as he will have a hand on the table and/or no halo.


Myra

Mrya is an important Lycian city. It was smaller (it only had 2 votes in the Lycian Union.)

Formerly Myra was a port city, but now it is silted over. You can tell that most of the theatre was underground. This was certainly the edge of town as there were rock mountains behind. The theatre held 15,000 people.

There is a whole city that can be uncovered but likely never will be. It is surely for the best since sometimes uncovering an artifact starts the decomposition process.


Finike

We drive by the coastal town of Finike. It is known as orange town as this is where all of Turkey gets its oranges.


Antalya

Antalya is the second largest tourist city behind Istanbul. The city has a population of 2 million. Lots of Russians and Germans visit as there are many small neighboring villages and resorts nearby.

We are staying in the old town for the next three days. This part of town is from the Ottoman days.

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