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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Drive to Roman Ruins

by Fred Moore - January 2011

It’s another of those wonderful three-day weekends and we have to make use of it for educational and relaxation purposes; never pass up the opportunity to recharge the brain cells (HaHaHa). We begin on Saturday, packing the car with our overnight supplies; we drive a couple hours from home past beautiful snow-covered mountains and check into a hotel. We’re holed up on the seaside just west of Erdemli; arriving late in the afternoon we simply want to relax. The wind and temperature outside make staying in for the afternoon and evening far more comfortable than being outside. Our hotel is right on the water’s edge and the waves crash against the seawall, throwing the water 8 and 10 feet in the air. We leave the balcony door cracked a little so we can listen to the raging waves; it’s always calming to the stress-filled mind. The view from our room is lovely out across the rough waters of the Mediterranean Sea. There are a couple oil tankers well out on the horizon; they’re massive ships even from this distance. Most people come to the seaside in summer but ‘fun in the sun’ is not our style; this time of year is also wonderful but without the sunburns.

Sunday morning we begin our day by visiting several local outdoor markets. Villages have these markets every day of the week on a routine schedule; the village closest to us has one on Sunday and Thursday. This is where the local population comes to resupply their kitchens and pick up dry goods they may need. Think of this as an outdoor department store; there are a number of vendors selling fabric, yarn and clothing. There are vendors selling dishes, pots and plastic goods, artificial plants and flowers, shoes (more than most stores) and produce of every variety. It’s always a real treat to walk through the market and see the brilliant greens, reds, yellows and oranges of the vegetables, fruits and nuts of all kinds. Some markets even have live animals, eggs and cheese or other farm products. The crowds of people milling about these markets make them true cultural experiences; don’t miss your opportunity to get truly fresh produce and mingle with the locals! Carol stops at one vendor tent and buys some cotton fabric with animals printed on it for quilting; it’s somewhat whimsical zoo animals and a fun print. In another village market she buys some knitting needles with a cable loop and then some dried apricots, a favorite of hers.

The day is still young so we decide to drive off into the mountains above the sea in search of new discoveries. As I continue to tell you, these hills and mountains are filled with ruins to be discovered (like the aqueduct just off to the side of the main road); they’re just waiting for your visit. The road is paved and patched to almost making it a patch with a little road included. The road is narrow and it climbs and meanders through rock-strewn landscape. The historic sign at the intersection of the coast road has given us direction and we follow it. We begin by looking for a church; the road splits a couple times up in here and we have no future signs to guide us (I’m never surprised by the lack of signs once off the main roads) in our decision making. We stop to ask a gentleman sitting beside the road if we’re headed in the right direction for our quest; he’s not quite sure what to make of these odd folks in the strange car but after a few minutes tells us we’re headed in the right direction, so we press on.

Minutes after leaving the old gentleman with the quizzical expression, standing rubbing his head, we drop down a slight grade, make a curve and there on the left on the hillside stands the old Byzantine Church; this is Hasanaliler Kilise. We park just off the edge of the road and climb the hill to look around. The intact nave still stands as it did thousands of years ago and connected to it is the pillars and arches of what must have been a majestic structure. There’s a farmer in a field right next to this ruin and he looks up every once in a while probably wondering what all the fuss is about with these rocks in his backyard. I say that but then think he’s probably seen it all before and simply thinks, “There are more of those inquisitive foreigners.” I continue to wonder myself about what goes through the minds of these local villagers when we stop and mill about in their back lots. After 15 or 20 minutes of exploration we get back to the car and drive on. We’re doing about 20 or 25 MPH on this road and simply enjoying the ever-changing views as we climb and curve our way through this extraordinary landscape.

We’ve passed through a number of small villages and now come to another; I’m sitting at the intersection wondering in which direction to turn when I notice another historic sign. This one offers us the opportunity to see three or four historic sites to the left and we turn in that direction. As we progress I notice off to the left a couple donkeys and a camel foraging in the scrub brush and sparse vegetation. I point this out to Carol and she raises her camera for a photo; the camel turns away spoiling her shot. I’m sitting in the middle of the road but Carol insists the camel will turn back and a photo will emerge; there he goes, looking us straight in face – nice picture!

Minutes later we’re at the first site listed on the previous sign; we park just off the road and climb the hill; we’re truly in someone’s backyard on this walk. We walk close enough to the house to knock on the door; the house across the path we’re walking up is only a little further away. Then we see the rock carved crypts; these are carved right into the hillside walls and two have lids but the others have long been absent. One of the carvings is filled with trash and debris, another has a tree growing from it and another is full of green stagnate water. No one is paying us any mind and we walk around the hill to discover some ancient door arches and stairs on the hillside; this was obviously a major site in its day. Feeling somewhat uncomfortable in this village neighborhood (not for our safety but because of the closeness to occupied homes) we walk back to the car and drive down the road.

The landscape up here simply blows my mind; any little bit of flat space (there’s little of it) even enough room to park two buses gets cultivated for some wheat or other grain, maybe a patch of lettuce or cabbage or other garden produce. It has to be extremely difficult to make any kind of farm living up here outside of herding sheep or goats. Coming from a farming background, I find it really hard to imagine how anything can grow in this landscape of rock gardens.

We continue our drive on this rolling broken pavement and there’s our next site, Pasli, a Roman village with a fortress and 40 to 50 houses according to the literature. This ruin clings to the rim of a major gorge and we look across to the other side to see more ruins (have to be another time for those). I park off the side of the road and walk out across the site to the remains of the large fortress. There are a few walls and doorways still on the surface but age has taken its toll on this structure. As I move deeper into the ruin I find more walls and more foundations of antiquity; standing on one of the remains, I find myself looking into an incredible canyon. I trudge over one fallen wall after another giving the place a full view as Carol is taking photos half way back. This is a massive complex and covers a great deal of the mountain cliff top here. Carol calls out to me to be careful and I conclude my discoveries and climb back in her direction. Once I’m on flat, though rock strewn ground again, we walk out to the car together.

Another historic sign across the road directs our attention to a mausoleum. I turn the car around and head down this gravel/dirt lane off the main road; it’s only 2 Km down this lane and I feel confident we can make it. I usually hesitate to leave paved roads but this looks fairly good and it hasn’t rained in weeks. The lane curves and dives and then rises again, in ten minutes we’ve come to the end of the lane and a nice grassy parking area. The Mausoleum of the Fearless King is a stunning structure standing just ahead of the car; we get out and begin walking toward it. This building is probably 80% intact and the highlight of our day. We make our way around to the front of the structure; the columns supporting the front of the building are massive and I stand in awe of the historic significance before me. I climb to the front of the structure and find along the side a rather interesting way to get into the building; someone has piled rocks up the side. I carefully step up on the pile and it teeters. I change position a couple times and find a more solid footing; I’m up on the terrace. The interior is not as big as I anticipated looking at the exterior; the books say it is about 25 feet up from here and each column is 7½ feet around. Carol gets close enough below me so I can reach the camera with my cane and I take a few shots inside. As is always the case, locals have had a number of fires in here and the place is coated in smoke. It continues to astound us that structures like this are just ‘out there’—waiting for someone to discover their secrets and protect them for future generations.

This wraps up our day’s adventures and we head back down off the mountain and back to the hotel; it’s always a real treat to go off on these little explorations. Today has been no exception!




Fred´s Farewell
A Day Trip in January
Drive to Roman Ruins
An Autumn Drive
Cappadocia - Once Again
A Trip to Ephesus and Pamukkale
Fred´s Tarsus
Northern Cyprus Over Thanksgiving
Cilician Drive
Kocatepe Mosque - Ankara
A Visit to Anıtkabir
Fred´s Weekend in Ankara
A Day in Anavarza
Driving in the Heartland
Spontaneity by Fred
A Trip to Soğanlı and Gülşehir
An Antakya Weekend
A Weekend Around Adana
A Rainsoaked Adventure
A Mediterranean Adventure
Fred's Bor Adventure
Fred's Weekend Escape to Ihlara
Fred's Lecture on Carpet
Fred's Weekend Away
Uzuncaburc with Fred
Museums of Cappadocia
Göreme - A Different Way
Night Train to Ankara
Cave Home Tour
A Trip to Kayseri - Özkonak
Kastabala in August
A Bittersweet Adventure
Silifke, Anamur and more
Around Adana
Catalhoyuk & Aksehir Adventures
Nigde Exploration
Cappadocia Again
Kahramanmaraş Again
A Trip to Kayseri - Sultanhani
A Morning Walk
Sunday Lunch Overlooking the Lake
Fred's Kahramanmaras
Holiday Drive to Mersin
A Sunday Drive to Yumurtalik
Fred's Tarsus
Fred's Cappadocia
Botas Seaside Drive
Fred's Konya Museums
A Bus Tour to Antakya
A Walk with Cuddle
Ankara Again
Gaziantep Museum by Fred
Moores' Anniversary Weekend
Shopping in Sanliurfa
The Seaside at Karataş
This is Ankara
Tour to Gaziantep-Harran
Trip to Konya
Birsen's Horizons
Fred's Trip Logs
Bahar's Views on...
Business World
From Members' Pen
Interviews with Members
Moms & Kids Corner
Pets with Dr. Demirel
The archives of The Guide
The Archives of Turkishtime
Teen's world

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Fred's Trip Logs
Fred´s Farewell
A Day Trip in January
Drive to Roman Ruins
An Autumn Drive
Cappadocia - Once Again
A Trip to Ephesus and Pamukkale
Fred´s Tarsus
Northern Cyprus Over Thanksgiving
Cilician Drive
Kocatepe Mosque - Ankara
A Visit to Anıtkabir
Fred´s Weekend in Ankara
A Day in Anavarza
Driving in the Heartland
Spontaneity by Fred
A Trip to Soğanlı and Gülşehir
An Antakya Weekend
A Weekend Around Adana
A Rainsoaked Adventure
A Mediterranean Adventure
Fred's Bor Adventure
Fred's Weekend Escape to Ihlara
Fred's Lecture on Carpet
Fred's Weekend Away
Uzuncaburc with Fred
Museums of Cappadocia
Göreme - A Different Way
Night Train to Ankara
Cave Home Tour
A Trip to Kayseri - Özkonak
Kastabala in August
A Bittersweet Adventure
Silifke, Anamur and more
Around Adana
Catalhoyuk & Aksehir Adventures
Nigde Exploration
Cappadocia Again
Kahramanmaraş Again
A Trip to Kayseri - Sultanhani
A Morning Walk
Sunday Lunch Overlooking the Lake
Fred's Kahramanmaras
Holiday Drive to Mersin
A Sunday Drive to Yumurtalik
Fred's Tarsus
Fred's Cappadocia
Botas Seaside Drive
Fred's Konya Museums
A Bus Tour to Antakya
A Walk with Cuddle
Ankara Again
Gaziantep Museum by Fred
Moores' Anniversary Weekend
Shopping in Sanliurfa
The Seaside at Karataş
This is Ankara
Tour to Gaziantep-Harran
Trip to Konya

Focus On
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