Monday, December 14, 2009

Who'll Stop The Rain?

By Chuck

In an effort to outrun the rain, or at least to arrive at a comfortable campground to sit out the predicted upcoming week of showers, we set our sights on Kaș—planning to stop at several sites along the way.

We left Sugar Beach following the directions provided by the owner to get back to Fethiye and the main highway in order to continue on. Have I mentioned that communication is sometimes an issue? We went about one kilometer before we realized that we were about to commit to a narrow road that might not have a turnabout space and that did not seem city-bound. Claire got out to check the road ahead: It did not get any better. Then she walked back to the last people we had seen along the road to see which way we should go. I remained with Homer, trying to determine whether it was better to do a turnabout in the limited space available or to back up to a better location for turning around. I know this may be monotonous for readers at this point—you've heard it all before. But, this is part of the stuff of our life on an ongoing, though not constant, basis. I am sure one day my grandchildren will groan as I repeat this theme for the 400th time.

We had to backtrack to Fethiye to move on to our first site. On the way we encountered the stone sarcophagus in the center of the street—this time coming from the other direction.

Sarchophagus in the Street

Our first site today was Kayaköy, a beautifully eerie town of 2,000 stone houses, and a ghost filled modern past. Although the history of the city dates back to 3000 BC, the limited number of sarchophagi and the rock tombs still standing are dated back to the 4th century BC.

Woman, Rooster and Cow - Current Resident of Ghost Town

Long known as Levissi, the town was deserted by its mostly Ottoman-Greek inhabitants after WWI and the Turkish War of Independence. The League of Nations supervised an exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece. With most Greek Muslims coming from Greece and most Ottoman Christians moving to Greece. The people of Kayaköy, most of whom were Orthodox Christians, moved to the outskirts of Athens and founded Nea Levissa. As there were far more Ottoman Greeks than Greek Muslims, many of the Turkish towns were left unoccupied after the exchange of populations. Kayaköy, as it is now called, has only a handful of long-term Turkish inhabitants.

We next stopped at Xanthos. This city was the former capital of the Lycian League. The most interesting story, for me, about this city is when the Persian commander, Harpagos, was about to overwhelm the city. “In desperation, they killed all their children and women, burnt the city to ashes, went out and fought and were killed, leaving Harpagos with a burnt out and uninhabited city.” I also find it fascinating that Brutus—of Julius Caesar “et tu brute” fame—razed the city to the ground in 42 B.C. and Emperor Mark Anthony—yes, the one who generalled for Julius Caesar and also married Cleopatra—reconstructed it.

We were impressed with the Roman theater, one of the best preserved seating arrangements we have seen. There are a number of Lycian tombs, here. Unfortunately, the original friezes of many monuments here now reside in London, removed by Sir Charles Fellows in 1838. Still, the copies are interesting. One mausoleum has the longest inscription in Lycian and records the adventures of Kherei, a Prince of Xanthos.

Picnic View at Xanthos

Byzantine Christian Church

Roman Theater

Claire Jumping for Joy on Appian Way Upon Sighting Yet Another Roman Theater

Frieze on Sarcophagus, including what looks like a wasp nest


Stone with Inscriptions in Lycian and Greek

One disappointment for the day was Patara. We had planned to go in order to take pictures of the town and to get postcards for our grandchildren, Sarah and Megan. Why? Because this is the town in which St. Nicholas, the 4th century Byzantine Bishop was born; you may know him as Santa Claus. We had looked forward to this for some time; we found the turnoff and headed down the narrow road for a while until we saw a ticket booth at the entrance to the town. They wanted us to pay admission to simply enter their town. One of us asked the question, "Do we really want to pay to enter a town that is simply a mild curiosity?" We both readily agreed in the negative.

Later, we discovered that we had actually already passed the scruffy little town; the admission was actually for the ruins and lovely beach. Oh well, with all the opportunities we have, we can afford to skip one or two.

We finally arrived at Kamping Kaș our destination for today—and, perhaps, for several wet days to follow. We like the people, the 20 TL price, the facilities—other than the solar heating limitations, and the view.

View on the Way to Kaș

Campground Beach

View from Camper

I note, in closing, my extreme disappointment over the wireless card of my ASUS netbook; it only receives a signal when it is close to the source; I routinely find that I either have a very weak (1 bar) signal or none at all while Claire has 3 or more bars on her HP Pavilion DV 3510 laptop. We got the ASUS to allow us to have wireless access in Egypt while carrying a very lightweight computer in our backpacks; now, we will probably leave it behind.


Tai said...

Chuck, before you give up on your netbook, here are a couple of things to try: (if you haven't already) That seems to be a b/g/n wireless card so try setting it to each of those individually if you have that option. I'm guessing that you will mainly encounter b and g routers, but who knows? The other thing is to experiment with different broadcast frequencies on your card. Some may provide a stronger signal than others. I found a lot of folks on the web with the same complaint about that unit - some got results with these measures.

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks Tai. I'll try to figure out how to experiment with these settings and I will follow up.
Chuck said...

It is snowing in Prague! Therefore, your picture of the open window with a beautiful sea view, the "bowl" of oranges and sunshine, (where is the rain?) is EXTRA beautiful to me at the moment!!! I am particularly interested in your journey south and am taking good notes. (A trip I hope to take (maybe next year? Hope you keep ahead of the rain! If not, it seems like a nice place to "hole" up and just read.


Chuck and Claire said...

The rain is definitely on its way. We have a combination of dark clouds, wind and tiny bits of sun and blue sky fighting it out. We're very cozy here and were ready for some down time. But, we're running out of mandarins and oranges!

Bob said...

It is raining here in SF too. No falls for awhile is good news. Claire are you ready to admit to that affair with Tiger Woods.Ho Ho Ho

Toni said...

What a beautiful campsite. I think you won't mind if you have to stay there for several days!