Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Road Trip to Kas

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The southwestern coast of Turkey has tons of little towns that each have at least one attraction that is their claim to fame.  When we were researching where to go, it was overwhelming because we didn't know which towns were worth spending a whole day in and which ones were small enough that we could drive to   We finally settled on Fethiye and Kas as our home bases where we would stay and then added a few other sights and towns that we wanted to drive through.

So, after three nights in Fethiye, we packed up the car and hit the road with the following list of sights and towns to see.

Before we even made it to our first destination, we ended up behind a caravan of Jungle Safari Jeeps full of what looked like college age kids.  The Jungle Safari is a popular tourist attraction everywhere in Turkey and this caravan looked like they were having fun.  They had water guns that they would shoot from one Jeep to the next, although they squirted a goat on the side of the road, which I did not appreciate.  Mike was irritated with them because they were not easy to follow and jumped on the opportunity to pass when it was presented.  I think he was just jealous we weren't in on the fun.

Saklikent

 Our first stop!  Saklikent is the second largest gorge in Europe and it's pretty incredible.  You have to go with a tour guide to get very far into the gorge, which we declined just out of time, but it's definitely a cool place.  I'd go back and do the tour because the little bit we saw was gorgeous.

The Turks love their flag, even more than Americans love theirs, which I didn't think was possible!

Just so you guys can see how big this flag is, that little person is Mike!!











 Xanthos

Our next stop was Xanthos, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight.  We originally planned to get out and walk around, but after getting there, we realized it was smaller than we thought and you could see a lot from just driving by.












After all of our travels, we've seen our fair share of ruins. After a while, a coliseum looks just like the other five that you saw on your last stop.  The part that made this road trip so worthwhile was seeing how close together these huge buildings were to each other.  I always just assumed that these coliseums that could hold hundreds of people were few and far between.  In fact, they're actually really close to each other, which means there were tons of people living in these cities.  Probably more than in some of the cities today! 

Patara

Patara is the birth place of Saint Nicholas!! They don't have anything to commemorate him there, though, but Mike and I both wanted to stop, just to say we went.  Plus, there are ruins (surprise!) and a great beach!! You drive through the ruins to get to the beach, so we didn't stop and get out to walk around the ruins, but we did eat lunch at the beach cafe. 








This was the first beach that we've seen that was actually like our beaches on the east coast.  Big, wide, and lots of sand.

Not to bad of a lunch view!

 As we drove, we were amazed at the views.  We really stumbled upon a hidden gem of beauty when we moved here.



















Demre

For some reason, Patara doesn't have any sort of memorial for Saint Nicholas, but Demre does.  There is an ancient church and museum there in his honor, so we knew it was a must see.  Demre is actually an hour past our destination of Kas, but we figured we'd go and check it out since we were already hitting all of these little towns.


Two great men, Mike and St. Nicholas!





I have no idea who that guy is.....




Our last sight we saw was goats! Totally unplanned, but equally as exciting as some of the ruins.  






I'm glad that we did our day of driving how we did it. None of the places that we stopped at could have occupied us for a whole day, but they were all pretty cool stops along the way.