Last night, I stayed in the cheapest place of the whole trip so far (a rockin’ $9.00, with a refrigerator— at least in the communal kitchen on the ground floor).That was in Anamur, about 150 Km (due east— AtCF [As the Crow Flies]) of where I was in Side the night before.

So a long day and got to Anamur and moved in, wrote some, downloaded the pictures, and was asleep early (with the drapes open so the early light could help me wake up early) — which it did!

So I headed out to Anamurim, an old city west of town about 5 Km and I was the only one out there until almost 8:30, so I was firing away— it was abandoned after the pirates got done with it after the Moors got done with it, after the Romans, and Hittites, and Macedonians. . . . you get the drill.

So it’s a hillside right on the beach with old defensive walls and lots of ruined buildings, and here you go.

And I saw the biggest grasshopper I’ve ever seen— luckily it was really early and he (she?) was too torpid to attack me — I grabbed a big stick just in case– but it was about as long as my index finger.


They’re vegetarian, aren’t they?

Turkish Treasure

About 9:00, I pulled up on a side driveway of the next thing I wanted to see— the wonderfully turreted (39 of them) Marmure (crusader) Castle where lots of movies had been shot.

And I’m sitting there getting the food box out of the back seat of the car, and the ticket-taker for the castle comes out and invites me into the little replica turret ticket booth for breakfast.

He said “besh” and pointed at his watch so I guessed he meant five (besh) minutes.

So I shot the beach scene and the car in it to show you what the place was like and headed inside with my cheese, tomatoes, peppers, bread (and I even know the terms for all these in Turkish!) and they’d started brewing tea in little double-boilers.

The water heats in the bottom pot, and the tea (chai—spelled ?ay) in the top barely smaller pot that sits right on the bottom pot.

That way you can get hot chai (not quite a syrup, but it gets more and more condensed up there) poured into your little tulip glass, and the amount of water that gives you the strength beverage you want, and everyone can use the same water and the same chai but make their own the way they prefer.

Pretty smart.

So we are yakking away and I have the English-Turkish dictionary out, and he’s telling me he planted all the roses around the place, and about 40 minutes later (after we all ate—they provided chai and olives and pomegranate oil, like olive oil, but different).

Then he leads me on the special tour, and some of my first thoughts had to do with the current state of geriatric orthopedic care in Turkey.

Well, I thought the day before I’d gone up and down from the sea to the tops of ridges, getting an upper-body workout, but today’s workout was almost as bad, as he was scampering up and down some pretty narrow (and no guard rails or railings or, sometimes, even good handholds) like a damn goat, and he says “go slow” and I certainly can’t argue with that. . . . and if I was any slower I’d still be up there . . . . ten hours later.

I have a kind of approach-avoidance hyper-sensitivity to high narrow places anyway, and this was the Olympics of the Edge Anxiety event— and I won.

I was half wacko with fear and anxiety and the back of my thighs twitching uncontrollably the whole time we were up there and of course, he turns into the Stephen Spielberg of Turkey, saying, “Guzel (good) panorama here,” and “come this way” so of course I shot them all.

We were out on his special tour for over an hour— but I felt like returning POWs kissing the ground when we came down from the narrow, un-even, stone-strewn (did I mention narrow?) ledges.

I think I’ll never have a motorcycle because I have a really good imagination about what kind of havoc one could cause to the carcass, and I was thinking for most of the tour up there that if I messed up and slipped a step, this trip could be about over.

I kept thinking I needed some experienced rock-climber to help an old man cross the street, or at least up help him and down the stair cases and along the cat-walks, named, I realized today, because there’s only room up there for a cat.

Seeing old things for the first time.

Here’s something I have heard of since I was really little, and I’ll bet you have, too, but like me, you may never have seen one.

Here’s the whole thing, what it produces and I’ll bet all I have to add is this, and you can Name That Tune in four words:

Here we go ’round. . . .

Yes—it’s a mulberry bush.

Here, Snipe

On the way from Marmure Castle to Silifke, I saw a sign for a ruin (Afrodisias) and it said only 4 Km so of course, I turned. The 4 Km I think was the vertical distance to the top of the multi-switch-backed ridge, before I dropped down the other side to the water, found the resort, and found where the Templo d’ Afrodite used to be, but where there is almost nothing now— except snipe.

Originally written for Two Minutes in Turkey

posts by Robert