The ancient city of Phaselis

The ancient city of Phaselis is just down the road from Antalya.  I’ve been there a bunch of times, but I’ve never written a blog about it.  Maybe ’cause I’ve never been there by bicycle?  The site is used more as a beach hangout than to explore the ruins, but of course you can do both.  The photos that I’ve managed to find for this post are from visits with Bektaş, Seda, and Defne in October 2015 and August 2019.  Be warned that Phaselis gets very crowded on hot weekends and has a pricey entrance fee (36tl/person in 2019).

There are remains of an aqueduct:

DSCN9566 by bryandkeith on flickr

some walls:
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A walk in the snow at Davras

Yesterday I got a message from one of my Nepal cohorts saying it was the day we were scheduled to be at 5800m.  Instead I’m at home in Antalya, and I keep finding more old photos to help me remember what it’s like to be wandering around in the snow or, heck, to be outside at all!

The two closest ski resorts to Antalya are Saklıkent (I skied there once and biked there once) and Davras.  Saklıkent is quite a lot closer by distance, but because the road is so curvy and you have to go over a pass (down and up again) to get there, it doesn’t take a lot longer to drive to Davras near the provincial capital of Isparta.  I tried skiing at Davras once: Guillaume, Megan, and I drove up on a weekday, but the lifts were closed (supposedly) because of wind.  We had failed to be prepared enough that day to skin up the mountain so we visited the ancient city of Sagalassos instead.

These photos are from a short walk I did at Davras about five years ago with one of the outdoor groups in Antalya.  It was quite a casual day, but, as is very clear with the current covid 19 stay at home restrictions, it’s always good to get out.

DSCN8249 by bryandkeith on flickr
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A (pathetic) Gömbe summit attempt

After Aladağlar and Kaçkar, I had some training days planned in Antalya for a little more mountaineering before Nepal.  One of my ideas was to revisit Gömbe between Elmalı and Kaş.  Well, Sars-Cov-2 didn’t only cancel my Nepal trip, but it’s also keeping me from getting out to nearby mountains as well.  As an alternative to actually going to the mountains, I found some photos of my very frustrating attempt to climb Gömbe about five years ago.

DSCN8279 by bryandkeith on flickr
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A craft beer journey in Turkey

Since Sars-Cov-2 canceled my trip to Nepal, I’ve had time to get caught up with important things that I’ve been putting off for some time — such as researching Turkey’s craft beer scene!  Bars, restaurants, and intercity transportation are all shut down so most of the beers I’m able to taste right now are the ones available at Kurt Tekel Wine Shop near Laura AVM in Antalya.  Eylem Kurt, the owner, claims to have the best wine selection in the country, and it’s certainly the best beer selection I’ve seen at any shop in Turkey.

Turkey’s craft beer scene is not exploding or even booming, but new breweries seem to pop up about once a year.  One of the oldest (and one of the best, as it turns out) is Gara Guzu in Muğla (the city).  I’ve never been to Muğla, but I’ll make an effort to stop by the brewery if I end up there.  I’ve tried eight of their beers, and the only ones I didn’t care for are the three rather hoppy ones.  Hop heads, however, will like both the Summer IPA and Tersköşe IPL (India Pale Lager) according to Ferda.  Their Mayhoş (citrus flavor; a saison?), Porter (roasted/burnt malt flavor, sweet), and Karlı Kayın Ormanı Winter Ale (true to style) are all among the five best Turkish craft beers that I’ve tasted.

Mayhoş (saison style), Weiss, Porter, Karlı Kayın Ormanı Winter Ale -- all from Gara Guzu in Muğla by bryandkeith on flickr

Also in Muğla (province) but at the other end of the quality scale is Pablo in Bodrum.  I didn’t bother visiting the brewery when I was in Bodrum a year and a half ago.  Ironically after tasting five of their beers, I thought the IPA (tasty, crisp, clean) was the best!  Their Pale Ale was more hoppy than their IPA, and the Weiss was drinkable if you expect a light crisp pale ale instead.
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Five winter days in Kaçkar with İsmet and the Bulgarians

Training for Nepal, part two.

I wanted to call this post “skiing in Kaçkar”, and, well, the week started with skiing, but it didn’t end with skiing.

I took an overnight bus from Niğde to Erzurum, went straight to the hotel where I always stay in Erzurum, and was able to check into a room in spite of the early hour (7am).  It was a 15-hour trip from Recep’s place in Martı Mahallesi to the (famous?) Kervansaray Hotel in Erzurum.  Zekeriya, the manager, recognized me, but I didn’t recognize him at first — he lost weight, grew a beard, and had on a spiffy pink dress shirt.  Looking good.

As arranged by İsmet, I met Yılrıdım at his shop and picked up some rental AT (aka randonnée) gear — boots, skis, and skins.  Before heading off to the (somewhat remote) Kaçkar Mountains for five days, I took a taxi up to Palandöken to test the equipment at the local ski resort.

I'm about to use AT/randonnée gear for the first time by bryandkeith on flickr

This is what one might look like after spending three hours skinning up 900m to just over 3100m.
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