27.02.2013 - 27.02.2013 18 °C
Since our previously planned outing didn't end up materialising, we chose today to try again. It ended up being a gorgeous day to go sightseeing, and we were all ready to get out of the house for a bit. I, for one, am starting to miss travelling and seeing new things every few days (the thought of the withdrawal I'll go through after we return is looming in the back of my mind as I type). This is not just because I've started doing regular schoolwork, either.
The highways here range from relatively new and smooth to gravelly and bone-rattling, and we had a good mix of both as we headed to Patara, an ancient site with some Lycian ruins, including an amphitheatre, and a long sandy beach to its name. Still, driving with the ochre cliffs on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other tends to be pleasant no matter how much you're bouncing around in your seat. We took a little video of our twists and turns, if you're interested.
We paid to enter the site, and then continued on, keeping our eyes out for anything interesting enough to stop at. The first ruins we came across looked a little like they had been tossed to the side as the road we were on was being constructed. We've noticed this a bit in Turkey, actually. When we got out of the car, we were greeted by a raucous and somewhat strange cacophony of animal noises. After listening for awhile, we identified the creatures as frogs. The chorus was such that they almost seemed to be laughing. If you'd like to hear them for yourselves, click here.
There were also quite a few bees. Personally, I found the frogs more interesting than the ruins, but they were still kind of cool, and my dad exercised a freedom he hadn't had in Greece or Italy and went climbing on them.
As we continued, we found more haphazard ruins and a few goats and cows keeping them company. We were actually able to get quite close to them, and they were tethered, so nothing to fear there (although Abby got a bit nervous when one of the goats started to approach Mom). There were also a number of shelters with plants being grown under them. Personally, I found a historical site an odd place to grow produce and such, but whatever works.
Moving on, we ended up finding a proper parking lot amidst a number of goats and cows, and went to see the amphitheatre. It was grand, as are all the others that we've seen. I wonder what our count is so far this trip. Mom and Dad's inner performers seem to emerge whenever they step into one, and they decided to use the stage and echoes to perform for us. There were some other ruins around the amphitheatre, such as engraved stone tablets and rows of pillars. There was some flooding in between the pillars, and a number of tadpoles had made their homes in the warm shallows. Unfortunately, there were also quite a few dead ones dotting the surrounding area. Other wildlife spotted included a large lizard sunning himself on a rock wall, who scampered away when I approached. No good pictures, I'm afraid.
We took a brief walk around the wetlands that were hosting the many perpetually croaking frogs, and then we were off to the beach. It was blustery, and the beach lacked slightly in the cleanliness department, but we entertained ourselves by running up and down the dunes and digging our toes into the powdery sand. It definitely didn't feel like February, to say the least.
We had lunch in Kalkan (which was virtually deserted), and enjoyed our meals alongside a massive tub of bread. I'm not even exaggerating. We received a 10L container that was filled to the brim. Mom was thrilled. Our lunch was pretty good, a variety of Turkish fare that we'd pointed at because we thought it looked tasty. They offered rice pudding for dessert, which we accepted gladly. It was not at all like ours back home. It was thinner and colder and sweeter, and I loved it, even though I'm not a huge rice pudding fan. It made my recipes-to-research list. We were happy and full and, as it turns out, oh-so-easily taken advantage of. Our meal came to 74 Turkish lira (about 42 dollars), which we mightn't have questioned if we'd never been out to eat in Turkey before. This was double the cost of any meal we'd had in Kaş, and it wasn't exactly tourist season in Patara, either. So Dad confronted him, and got ten lira for his trouble. He lamented that it still wasn't adequate, but hey, everything's an educational experience. And the rice pudding was still delicious.
After going for a bit of mosque-spotting around town, we drove back home to our seaside villa (how I love being able to write that). Sights include some more ruins that we didn't want to pay to visit and a turtle that I spotted in the middle of the road. We did a 180 and took some pictures of the little guy, who was actually pretty darn fast for a turtle. Arriving at home, we spotted Guslev's scooter parked outside. This prompted a harried tidying frenzy. She turned up a little later with an update on how the patching up of the ceiling and reparation of the heater was going, and in turn my mom asked her about where to get a haircut. We've seen several barber shops, but salons seem to be few and far between, and it doesn't hurt to get a recommendation from a local. She said it'd be easier if my mom just followed her to the hairdresser's. I decided to tag along. The salon was down an alleyway and the windows were curtained, so it was probably a good thing that we had her help. Though small and sparse, the salon was clean and welcoming, and the hairdresser seemed kind and not opposed to tourists. What followed was a hair-cutting process rather similar to the Western one, except she washed my mom's hair after the cut, and did the washing in a back room roughly the size of a walk-in closet. It wasn't that expensive, either, just 45 lira. Mom wants Abby and I getting haircuts there, too. We're not so sure we want them, though.
We came back to a spotless home (thanks, Abby and Dad), and had a thoroughly average evening that isn't really worth writing about. If you've already read this far, then I'm sure you're not going to be interested in yet another excessively detailed paragraph on what we had for dinner or what show we watched (I'm certainly not). I'll just sum this entry up by saying that we are now a little more informed about the Turkey outside of Kaş, and are continuing to enjoy our travels. Hoşçakalın!