Friday, October 11, 2013

Hearing friends talk about the lovely weather lately in Fethiye got me thinking how it’s already been a year since our grandparents visited us in Turkey.

We are fortunate to still have one set of grandparents living. And at age 90 and 84 years old, respectively, grandpa and grandma have promised to come visit us in Warsaw next summer. I hope they continue to have good health so that visit comes to fruition. I also can only hope that my husband and myself still are traveling around the world at that age!

Last year around this time, we took our grandparents to Fethiye for a weekend getaway from the hecticness that is Istanbul. Grandpa loves the water and was ecstatic about our hotel located in the Fethiye Marina.

I wrote about how they spent An Afternoon at Yakapark, but what I didn’t tell you about was our visit to the nearby ancient Lycian ruins of Tlos, about 38 km from Fethiye. Well, we left grandpa and grandma to relax at Yakapark because climbing around “a pile of rocks” just isn’t their idea of fun anymore.
Part of the necropolis tombs and the Ottoman-era fortress at Tlos.
Tlos, perched high up on a hill overlooking the beautiful Xanthos Valley, is one of the oldest and largest settlements of Lycia. This ancient city later was inhabited by the Romans, Byzantines and eventually the Ottoman Turks, making it one of few Lycian cities to be continually inhabited until the 19th century. You’ll find Lycian-era rock cut tombs and sarcophagi, dating back to the 3rd century BC, as part of the necropolis, as well as remnants of the Ottoman-era fortress and stables on the hilltop.
The climb up isn’t easy going so I definitely recommend wearing a good pair of athletic shoes and lots of sunscreen and bringing a bottle of water. Imagine our surprise when we found ourselves entirely ALONE climbing amongst the ancient ruins and overgrown pathways of wild thyme! These are just a few of the reasons why I always enjoyed exploring all the ancient ruins in Turkey – there are no barriers. You are free to wander and explore!
Don't do this if you have a fear of heights!
Did you know that Tlos also is home of the mythological hero Bellerophon and his winged flying horse Pegasus? How could you not want to visit here? Unfortunately, we missed seeing his tomb, located on the northern slope of the Acropolis.

Below the fortress, you’ll see a large open field home to a recently-excavated Roman stadium with a capacity of 2,500 people, complete with a swimming pool in the middle, and a 150 meters-long agora (market) next to it.
Looking out over the stadium, swimming pool, Roman baths and the theatre in the background at Tlos.
Near the stadium, you’ll find the ruins of the Roman baths with stupendous views overlooking the Xanthos Valley. Here you’ll also find the dramatic set of seven stone arches called Yedikapi (Seven doors or gates in Turkish). I’m always amazed at how these architectural pieces have survived over the centuries!
On our way back to the car, we bought a few souvenir trinkets from a nearby stall and walked over to take a few photos of the Roman theatre, which was closed off to the public. The what-looks-like-badly-damaged theatre once seated 6,000 viewers and dates back to 141 A.D.
We only spent 90 minutes at Tlos, but easily could have spent at least 2-3 hours. We rushed back to Yakapark only to find grandpa drinking his Efes beer and grandma with a glass of red wine. Grandpa asked us why we were back so soon.

Gotta love grandparents!

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

i would probably be down in yakapark with grandma and grandpa. i am horrible when it comes to heights!

BacktoBodrum said...

It's a great site isn't it - I've never seen more than one or two folk there each time I've visited.

Joy said...

@Joyce, ha ha! Most of the site is on kinda flat terrain except for the hilltop. It's still pretty to see!

@Annie, Definitely great site! Didn't get to Xanthos-Letoon like I wanted to, but maybe someday!

Unknown said...

Looks wonderful - I do love a ruin and we are certainly blessed with them here. Need to put this one on my list :-)

Julia said...

Tlos is my favourite archaeological site in date. ;) Love climbing around there. Did you go to Fethiye Museum to see the statues they dug up from Tlos? Pretty impressive. :)

Joy said...

@Kym, always so much to see and explore in Turkey! :-)

@Julia, Nope, didn't make it to the museum...but I do remember seeing them in one of your blog posts awhile back. Another time hopefully!