Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Since the Marmaris "adventure," I've had a day at the beach and a Dalyan tour. At the latter outing, I met someone originally from Zimbabwe. I originally thought that she was not only English but "veddy" English. Not so! Anyhow, we met at - of all places - Dalyan's nearby mudbaths, talked for quite a while (minus the mud) and left it at that. As luck would have it, we ran into each other just a few hours later, talked some more and set up drinks for the next day. I dunno, I guess in our 45 minutes of conversation, I so charmed her with my knowledge and good looks that she immediately left town. Yeah, I didn't see her again after that. Unless someone barricades themselves in their room, it's impossible not to run into them in Dalyan - especially me, as I am traipsing all over town a lot. It's just too small of a place. So that happened.

But the following day, the weather was again on the bad side, so I resolved to go to Tlos. It's a Lycian/Roman/Seljuk ruin located on the other side of Fethiye. I've been there before. This was back when I had my car. I remember almost nothing about it except that the so-called Tomb of Bellerophon and a very large fortress on the acropolis are there. Well, the journey there was pleasant enough. The rain held off although the clouds persisted. The bus strategy was as follows: Dalyan-Ortaca, Ortaca-Fethiye, Fethiye-Tlos. Or that was the main idea. The only problem is that the bus doesn't actually go to Tlos; it goes near it. The driver stops and says: "Everybody out of the pool!" or some such in Turkish and you walk the rest of the way. The sign at the bottom looks like this:

Not only did they spell it wrong, they also guessed at the distance. Boy, were they off. It wasn't four kilometers but more like six miles. And it was all uphill. Seriously, every step of the way was uphill. For six miles. The reason why I remember nothing about it from years ago is that I didn't have to walk it. I had a car. Now I will never forget it. If the sun had been shining full-blast, I probably would have died. It was a tough walk. It was also quite scenic as you slowly rise from the valley floor to the commanding heights. By mile five, the road was getting steeper and I was quite the sweat-monster. A nice Turk (is there any other kind?) stopped and gave me a ride the rest of the way. And then I explored. Here's what it looked like:

Now, I'm no architecture expert, so I'm just a little puzzled that the official sign points the way to a "Hellenistic Acropolis," but what's up there is this:

That looks an awful lot like Seljuk fortress style to me, guys. Uh, guys? Wow, this is just like Ukraine; there's nobody to complain to! Anyhow, my suspicions were correct; not only was it built by the Seljuks, but it was built as a stronghold by this famous Seljuk thief. Take that, battered signage! Here is a view from said fortress:

Here is their interesting jumble of a theater:

All the pieces are there. It just needs to be put together. In the meantime, please retain your ticket stub. You're in row N, not row H. We're speaking Greek here:

This is a view down to where I originated, six miles distant, where everything was flat and pleasant:

Note the moodiness of the weather. It tried a few times to rain, but it was largely unsuccessful. Well, all this is very good and fine, but most folks come for the tombs. Here are a few:

A warning to all tomb owners: this is what your tomb will look like if you leave it outside for 2,500 years. People actually don't come for those tombs. The real money is on the so-called Tomb of Bellerophon:

They call it that because there's a relief of a guy riding a flying horse. You can't see it, but it's up there. It's not the actual tomb of Bellerophon. As far as I know, just like Jesus and Rutherford B. Hayes, Bellerophon didn't exist. Here is the tomb next door:

This is the so-called Tomb Next to the Tomb of Bellerophon. This is a nice ensemble shot:

And then my camera's battery died and I left.

These nice tourists in a rickety rental jeep gave me a lift down to the main road and I caught a dolmus to Fethiye. I've gotta say that all manner of bus drivers from dolmus to those huge Pammukale/Metro land yachts have always gone out of their way to help me. This one did not. I told him that I was going to the Fethiye otogar (a good Turkish word for bus station; it's a fun combination of "auto" as in "autobus" and "gare" as in the French word for train station) and he totally fudged the drop-off. Instead, he let me out a mile from it when he could have dropped me a block away. I didn't say anything because I though he was going back that way. Well, he wasn't, so I had to walk it all the way back. Now, I am sure that there are some of you saying: "Hey, Fethiye isn't that big. You can't still be in downtown Fethiye and walk a mile to the otogar, which is also downtown." I assure you that it's that big. If you want, we can fight about it, because, while it's no giant metropolis, Fethiye is really stretched out and you can end up walking in it forever for minimal return. And that's why I'm staying in Dalyan. Anyhow, although a bit maddening (I let the guy know that I was displeased and he was appropriately chagrined although he did nothing to help other than smiling and shrugging), I managed to make it back to Dalyan by 7:00 - just in time to clean up, change and get stood up by the girl from Zimbabwe.

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