Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I've always considered Fethiye a necessary evil; if you want to get anywhere on the Lycian peninsula, you have to go there. Under no circumstances, however, would I stay there. It's pretty charmless (though not nearly as bad as Kas down the coast) and you have to get on a bus and travel about ten miles to find a decent beach. What's the point of that? Sure, there are ruins there. In the bygone days, it was the Lycian city of Telmessos. Little of that remains today. There are tombs, both rock and the regular kind, here and there, but little else. So if everything was normal, I wouldn't even consider going to Fethiye. But things weren't normal. The weather was again on the blink. I've seen more rain this time than all previous trips combined. I guess that's what happens when you travel in October. Turks don't seem too alarmed by it. Anyhow, with it raining once again in Dalyan, I decided to take a bus into Fethiye. Here's what I found:
That first one is the Tomb of Amyntas and it is BIG. But they were charging eight lira (damn nearly six bucks!) to trudge further up the hill and peek into it, so I used my zoom function instead. The one and only curious thing about Fethiye is that there are Lycian sarcophagi strewn all around town. They just left them where they were. Here's one right in the middle of the street:
From the look of the other side, several people have crashed into this poor thing with their cars. But it remains standing.
Another point of interest is the Crusader fortress on the hill above town. There's nothing up there except walls, but you do get a nice view of Fethiye:
Curiously enough, a turtle was there:
Lord knows how he got there. I mean, I had to clamber up quite a few steep rocks to reach the top. Turtles have never been known for their clambering abilities, so I'll wager that either: a) he flew, or; b) somebody put him there. Perhaps it was Allah. There's no way to tell.
Fethiye's museum is small, but it has a pretty potent collection of local stuff and artifacts from the area, including the so-called Rosetta Stone of Carian, which was found at Kaunos a few years ago. Thanks to that, they know what all those Carian inscriptions mean now. Well, that's nice. I didn't take any pictures of it, as it's not very exciting. But you'll be glad to know that I saw it with my own eyes. Here are things that I thought looked interesting:
This last item is what they call a "promise stele." Back in the olden days, when they wanted to fulfill some kind of important promise, they went and had one of these made up. They had six hanging up together. They're all the same: a guy wearing a large belt, riding a horse and waving a club around. They didn't explain the meaning of any of that, but it was strange enough to attract my attention.
After that, I wandered around and ran straight into Market Day:
When you think of a Turkish market, you imagine lots of guys in fezzes trying to sell you figs or daggers, right? Well, this particular Turkish market sold mostly designer knock-off items to British tourists. And there wasn't a fez in sight. It was almost uniformly the same: incredibly ugly "designer" jeans, towels with sequins, t-shirts bearing the logos of every ritzy label around, you get the idea. I wasn't in the least tempted to buy anything, although our British cousins were scooping up even the gaudiest of items. I wandered some more. I saw this when I walked by the soccer stadium:
Either this is where opposing teams enter the place or we now know where the entrance to Hell is located. It's in Fethiye.
The more I wandered, the less interesting the town became, so I went to the otogar and hung out. I hear you meet a better class of people there. My bus eventually got me back to Dalyan and I was once again grateful for everything about that beautiful little town - except maybe the rainy weather. That evening, I played backgammon with a real Turk. He totally kicked my ass.