05.03.2013 - 05.03.2013 18 °C
Hannah opted to stay home today, to get a little more work done on her English course. One family member down, the rest of us climbed into our car (her name is "Zoe") and went off to find Myra. Our GPS kept leading us down unpaved roads, but because the Myra Ruins were supposed to be a big attraction, we decided to wait until we saw a sign. Unfortunately, no signs were to be found, and we opted to leave it for a while and drive on to Saint Nicholas's church in Demre, which is a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas had been a bishop in Myra during the third century; he was well known for his generosity as well as his gift-giving. We eventually found the church, but unfortunately, we had come at the same time as three large tour buses. We were pretty surprised at this because at most of the attractions we have been to, we are pretty much the only ones there, as a result of the" off season". I think my parents made a bigger deal out of it than they needed to. I just accepted the fact that we would have to walk around the crowds of people, but after we were out of the attraction, I heard complaints from them like "they were all so slow" and "just thinking of tours makes me sick".
I really enjoyed seeing the church, even though it was definitely classified as a ruin in my books. You could see where the structure stood, but the flood left it in pretty bad shape. It was easy to see that it had once been quite grand, especially when you took into account how much work it took to carve and sand just one pillar, let alone enough for a giant church. You could also see the remains of lots of works of art on the walls, even though most of the colour was already faded. Lots of the parts were under restoration. We were able to see the crypt, as well as a small amphitheater-like set of seats in the largest area of the building. Just out front, there was a statue of Saint Nicholas with a few children, and on the statue it had a statement about world peace. There were lots of flags from around the world on it as well, no Canada though. It was cool being able to get my picture taken in front of a statue of the "original Santa".
After we left we poked our heads into a couple of shops on the street sides, but soon we stopped for lunch. We all had a Turkish pizza (pide), and devoured them pretty quickly. But from there we went to have another go at trying to find Myra. We decided to follow our GPS, but in the end, we just found a very small village and drove around there for a while. It was still interesting though, seeing how the people there lived. It seems like a pretty harsh existence, as you could see that their homes were mainly made up of sticks and tarps.
On the way back home we stopped at another place called Kekova, but it turns out to actually appreciate the place, you have to take a boat tour. But even from the shore we were on we could see just how beautiful it would have been. We saw that most of the boat rental shops are closed for the season, and we weren't very into taking a ride from a stranger's own boat. To my mom, however, the whole side trip was worthwhile because she spotted the same man and his cart from whom she had bought baklava a couple of times. We bought a few more pieces and my dad and I tried some honey rings, which weren't so bad. We were followed by a few rabid dogs though, which made the experience a little less fun (you may remember I'm more of a cat person).
But this was the end of our journey, and we made the drive back home, and later enjoyed some fabulous lentil soup cooked by Hannah.