Rainy bicycle touring at the Aegean: Fethiye to Milas

My first (and last) bicycle tour in Turkey in 2018 didn’t start till December.  Ferda wanted to go to İzmir and help out Seda with her new baby.  She took the bus — actually, I guess she flew –, but I decided it made sense to bicycle there.  Since I had already cycled two routes between Fethiye and Antalya, I took a bus to Fethiye and started my tour to İzmir from there.

Although overall my route focused on old Roman cities, this first week of touring was more about the scenery, and as it turned out, some interesting historic sites from the Ottoman period.  I also visited a number of modern Turkish resort cities including Göcek:

IMG_20181208_160924 by bryandkeith on flickr

Marmaris:

IMG_20181212_153119 by bryandkeith on flickr

Datça:

IMG_20181213_152307 by bryandkeith on flickr

and Bodrum:

Bodrum Kalesi by bryandkeith on flickr

On these tours usually I camp, like at this nice spot I found on the first night of the trip:

IMG_20181209_085104 by bryandkeith on flickr

I felt a little indulgent splurging on a hotel in Dalyan on the second night of the trip, but I arrived in the late afternoon, and, really, it was raining quite hard.  The following morning I enjoyed the sunrise at nearby Kaunos, the most impressive Roman site I visited on the first week of this three-week tour.

IMG_20181210_091518 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181210_085306 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181210_091645 by bryandkeith on flickr

Much of the best scenery I saw was on the unexpected out and back between Sultaniye (near Köyceğiz Gölü) and Büyükkaraağaç.  A nice quiet road, beautiful wetlands, and a stunning bay:

IMG_20181210_155508 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181210_155731 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181210_165401 by bryandkeith on flickr

But why was the place so deserted?  Well, it turns out that all through roads are closed, for military access only.  🙁  Thankfully the (much longer) way back around via Köyceğiz Gölü (a lake) was also pretty.

IMG_20181211_104247 by bryandkeith on flickr

A second unexpected disappointment was that access to Kedrai, an old Roman city on Sedir Adası (an island), is closed in the winter.  In season small boats leave from the pier at this pretty bay:

IMG_20181212_115426_30 by bryandkeith on flickr

However, with unexpected disappointments came unexpected surprises as well, like the narrow winding streets in the center of Marmaris:

IMG_20181212_161903 by bryandkeith on flickr

and the scenery between Marmaris and Datça:

This is the sea, putting off some steam in the cold morning air. by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181213_111602 by bryandkeith on flickr

For me the biggest surprise of the week was all the old Ottoman-era cisterns, mostly between Bodrum and Milas.  Later I learned that there are over 300 of these cisterns in Muğla Province (İl), designed by Mimar Sinan and constructed during the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent.

The date on the sign on this cistern says "1967".  Is that the date that the cistern is built?  Or the date is was repaired and dedicated to "Osman Uyar"? by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181214_145926 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181214_153457 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181214_164806 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181215_123208 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181214_142745 by bryandkeith on flickr

Perhaps my favorite site of the week was the ruined Ottoman city of Beçin.  I’ve seen so many ruined Roman cities (stayed tuned, there are some good ones coming up in the next blog…), but I’ve rarely visited Ottoman city remains.  I certainly enjoyed a couple hours wandering around the Beçin ruins.

IMG_20181215_133642 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181215_132226_35_blended_fused by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181215_141751 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20181215_144824 by bryandkeith on flickr

That afternoon I coasted into Milas and spent a couple nights in a comfortable hotel there, waiting out yet another rainstorm.

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1 Response to Rainy bicycle touring at the Aegean: Fethiye to Milas

  1. kerem says:

    Looking fwd for the next post 🙂

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