Each year since we’ve had A B Sea, Barry and I have answered questions that our patrons, subscribers and viewers have asked us. We think it’s a great way to end one year and begin another. Following our tradition, we hired a car and went to four different ancient sites (which will each be featured in separate YouTube videos) and answered some questions at each place.
As we are based in Kaş, which is on the Lycian Way in the Antalya region of Turkey, we took the opportunity to visit more spots where Turkeys ancient ancestors built very impressive towns and structures.
Tlos was one of Lycia’s six principal cities and was a member of the Lycian Federation dating back to the 2nd century BC. It lies fairly close to Saklikent Gorge on the eastern side of the Xanthos valley.
The first thing we noticed after we parked at the site was the acropolis which is a rocky cliff with temple-type tombs cut into the rock and several Lycian sarcophagi set in front of them. Walking up the hill to take a closer look, we had a wonderful view of the surrounding valley.
Along the path just past the necropolis were the ruins of the fortress built by Kanlı Ağı ('Bloody Chief Ali'), who was a notorious Ottoman feudal lord. He erected this structure on top of the Lycian fortress foundations.
We had a picnic there and took in the 360 degree view before we filmed some of the Q & A’s.
We then explored the rest of the ruins, which included part of the town: a large stadium, market hall, baths, and a large amphitheatre.
Myra, which is about 1.5Km north of Demre on the Kaş-Finike road, was a leading city in the Lycian Union, larger even than the well-known Xanthos. The majority of the ancient ruins are still covered with greenhouses as the area itself is obscured by fertile alluvial silt and ideal for growing tomatoes.
Today the main features include a very well preserved amphitheatre – actually the largest in Lycia, and many impressive rock-cut tombs in the cliff behind the amphitheatre. Myra is thought to date back to the 5th century BC.
One thing that impressed Baz and myself were the stone carvings many of which are theatrical masks from the theatre and which line the side of the pathway going to the amphitheatre.
After we’d thoroughly explored the site and marvelled at the double-vaulted corridors, Baz and I found a great spot high in the amphitheatre and filmed a few more Q & A’s.
Olympos is an amazing ancient Lycian city to visit. Why? Because it is vast, and it is nestled in amongst leafy trees and hills, next to a river which flows into the sea via a beautiful beach. It is about 70Km from Antalya in Kemer town and takes its name from a nearby mountain. This place has spectacular views from the acropolis, and many well preserved ruins including mosaic tiled floors. While the city dates back to the Lycian times there are also Roman and Byzantine remains there and the outer walls date to the Middle Ages.
To get to this site, we had to park the car on one side of the river and cross a rickety wooden suspension bridge which was a bit of an adventure in itself, especially when more than one person walked on it at a time! But more about that in another blog.
After exploring some of the vast site, Baz and I stopped to eat lunch by the sparkling stream in golden sunlight that dappled through the trees. For winter, the weather was perfect. We then found a bench with a view of the river (that flows to the sea), and answered more of the Q & A’s, before heading home.
What can I say, Arycanda is incredible. It’s one of the oldest Lycian sites; the name itself, ending in ‘-anda’, points to its Anatolian origin which dates back as far as the 2nd millennium BC.
Built on the side of a steep cliff in the mountains behind Demre and Gömbe, Baz and I got a good workout as we took the whole afternoon to walk around the ruins. And there are many to see. And they’re huge. Well built. Impressive. These also include mosaic covered floors and plumbing for both fresh water and sewerage. Baz and I noticed three different styles of building on the massive site. But considering its age, that’s not surprising.
After our tour around the largest bath complex in Lycia, the shopping agora, amphitheatre, triple-doored ornate odeon, stadium, council meeting area and necropolis, Baz and I filmed the last of our Q & A’s. If you’d like to read the questions, Baz has listed them in his blog.
I’m looking forward to bringing you more details on each of the sites, both in these blogs and also in our weekly YouTube videos.
To watch the YouTube video that accompanies this blog, just click here.
Until next week, I wish you health and happiness, as you take the actions that bring your dreams to life.