The ancient city of Rhodiapolis

At the end of my last blog we were admiring the Roman theater at Limyra.  Well, the funding for that theater came from the millionaire philanthropist Opramoas from nearby Rhodiapolis.  The ancient city of Rhodiapolis is situated on a hill above the modern agricultural town of Kumluca.  You can see both the modern city and the sea of greenhouses surrounding it in these photos:

IMG_20190529_141313 by bryandkeith on flickr

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The ancient city of Limyra

While my family was visiting Antalya, I couldn’t help dragging them to a few ruined cities.  On previous trips I had already taken my parents to Termessos and Aspendos, Arıkanda and Myra.  Of course it was easy to find any number of sites that they hadn’t seen already — and some that I hadn’t visited either.   The first one was Limyra near Kumluca.  We were staying in Çıralı for a few days so it wasn’t a long drive.

As is common in this region Limyra’s known history starts with the Lykians and their rock cut tombs.

IMG_20190529_120055 by bryandkeith on flickr

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Another four days in Kapadokya

Every time my Dad has visited Turkey, he’s asked when we’ll visit Kapadokya (Cappadocia).  We finally made it this year on his fourth trip to Turkey.  For my brother and his family, well, they didn’t have to wait so long.  For the four of them it was their first time in Turkey.  And me?  It was my 4th trip to Kapadokya, and just like the others this visit was also short.

In just four days we managed to see some of Kapadokya’s highlights like the Göreme Open Air Museum, a “castle” or two, an underground city, and Ihlara Vadisi.  A couple of our favorites were places I hadn’t explored before: Çavuşin Kalesi and Bağlıdere Vadisi.

We rented a 10-passenger van in Antalya and stayed for three nights in Göreme.  Arriving from hot Antalya in the evening we first came to the base of Üçhisar Kalesi, got out to look around, and were surprised by just how cold it was.

IMG_20190531_192923 by bryandkeith on flickr

Jasper was so excited to see the “castle” (closed for the day) and couldn’t wait to come back and explore it some more.  A “castle” (kale) in Kapadokya is a lot like the castles in the Frig valleys: a tall rock, easily defended, with rooms carved into it.

Here’s a sunrise photo I took of Üçhisar Kalesi five years ago: Continue reading

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Another fantastic week on the Frig Yolu

My first bicycle tour on the Frig Yolu was six years ago with Banu, Deniz, Cengiz, and Dinçer.  On that trip Banu was the only woman in a group of five.  This year I was the only man in a group of five.  Ferda arranged this trip for a number of girlfriends who had never been on a bicycle tour before.  Those three cyclists were Tuğçe, Ebru, and Hacer.  I knew Tuğçe was a strong rider.  I had never ridden with Ebru before, but she’s a very competent rider who chooses to walk (very quickly) when the terrain gets steep.  I think Ebru and I were the only ones who didn’t crash during the six-day trip.  Hacer only learned to ride a bicycle this year, and she did great as well.  Everyone wants to go on another tour, and the idea was that now they’d be experienced enough to head out on their own.

Here they are.  Tuğçe, Ebru, Hacer, and Ferda in Bayatçık on the first day of the trip:

IMG_20190629_124357 by bryandkeith on flickr

I tried to let the four woman do most of the planning, but since I was the only one who had been to the Frig Valleys before, I did get involved with the general route selection.  The main thing I wanted was to do the loop clockwise since I had traveled counter-clockwise through the heart of the Frig Yolu previously.

The route we took this year is in red while the blue route is what I cycled six years earlier.

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Wrapping up Portugal: Porto and Lisbon

Bicycling through Alentejo and Beira it didn’t seem like there were many tourists in Portugal.  I remember being quite surprised how few tourists there were even in the historic center of Évora.  Well, we found them.  In addition to Sintra everyone seems to go to Porto and Lisbon.  Lisbon, ok, I get it.  There are some fantastic museums, and Jerónimos really is one of Portugal’s great attractions (especially if you haven’t been to Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça…).

Porto, on the other hand, well, I didn’t quite get it.  Locals claimed Porto gets more tourists than almost anywhere else in the world, something I haven’t been able to collaborate with my internet research.  But I can hardly blame the locals for thinking so.  The streets were indeed crowded with tourists, and there’s not really that much to see in the city.

One of the draws to the city is actually the azulejos (oh my gosh, haven’t we seen enough already??!!).  Indeed if you arrive to Porto by train like we did (we left our bicycles in Lisbon), then the very first thing you’ll see are the azulejos at the São Bento Railway Station.

Welcome to Porto by bryandkeith on flickr

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