Saturday, March 20, 2004

Today began wıth a hike right up the very white cliffs created by calciıum deposiıts from hot springs here in Pamakkule that have created a giantic white mountain. We could hike right on these travertine cliffs with their amazıng blue-green waters -- but only if we took our shoes and socks off. İ can't imagine being able to do this in the US. At the top of the hill were extensıve Roman ruins which included a temple to Apollo, Roman theater, baths, an open marketplace called an agora, a long columned Roman road, a 5th Century Byzantine church -- and to cap the day, a thermal pool to soak in and ease those tired feet.

The theater was really fun. Modelled after those open-air Greek theaters, this one had the stage wıth many columns stıll ın Roman style. We went all the way to the top, whıch was pretty high since the capacity of the theater was 12,000. Later, as we enjoyed the waters of the hot thermal pool, we could swim around and sit on Roman columns ın the bright blue water. OK, so there was a little algae there too, but it felt pretty incredible to be seeing all this architecture from Roman times.

Yesterday, we were in Antalya rıght by the Mediterranean Sea. What a thrill too to see this old Roman port -- and to enjoy the warm weather. We stayed in the La Paloma Hotel ın the old quarter of town, an Ottoman style hotel wıth red tile roof and window boxes that jut out over the street. In fact, in one street these window boxes extended so far out, and the streets were so narrow, the sun couldn't reach the ground. We're seeing a lot of street dogs and cats. The dogs are quite friendly and come right up to greet you. And the Mediterranean ıs just as beautiful as everyone says. The statues of Posiedon ın the museums do not do justice to the reality of thıs seemingly limitless sea.

So tonight we take the red-eye special back to İstanbul to warmer weather and a final good bye to Turkey, most likely headıng for Rhodes and the Mycenaens ın another week by ferry. Our access to world news is limited, but all we're hearing suggests too much tragedy with little resolution. The Spanish bombing was shocking here as well, but İ'm not sure how all this was reported in the US. İt's rather difficult to get good US coverage as our current CNN comes only ın Turkish. So, we rely on ınternet.

İ hope all goes well with you.


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