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  • Writer's pictureConstantinos Koushiappis

Turkey 2014 (part 4)

Τhe next day after a good breakfast, we went out for a cigarette on the veranda, carrying our luggage as well. A guy from the hotel's staff together with 2-3 other people were waiting for us to treat us some coffee and discuss a bit. They gave us directions on how to get out of town for Sardis and after taking the necessary photos we left for Sardis.

Sardis was an important city of the ancient world and the capital of the kingdom of Lycia, despite that had a lot of conquerors during its history.

A huge complex of buildings in the lower part of the city is its characteristic. The size was over 5 hectares and had bathrooms, palestra and gymnasium.

Sardis was a center for trade in goods, ideas, culture, beliefs, knowledge and traditions between Mesopotamia and the Greek Ionian Sea.

The city is one of the largest synagogues in size, discovered Worldwide.

The main deity worshiped in the city was Artemis and the temple that was dedicated to the goddess is among the seven major temples of ancient Greece. The size was double the Parthenon.

The same day we continued until Pamukkale. A unique natural phenomenon, natural springs that gush thermal water with calcareous salts and dresses the side of the mountain in white, creating natural pools at different levels of the slope and small waterfalls. The name was given later by the Turks, which will say "cotton castle".

It is considered to be the oldest spa in the world since it is used since the 2nd century BC when the King of Pergamon Eumenes founded near the springs the city of Hierapolis.

The establishment of Hierapolis is a clear indication that in antiquity were known for the therapeutic properties of thermal waters of Pamukkale, the ruins of which exist until today.

Hierapolis sixty years after the establishment, passed to the Romans and in the next two centuries was destroyed several times by earthquakes, while 87 A.C Apostle Philip was crucified there.

There are two entrances to see the Hierapolis and Pamukkale. South entrance is located from the side of the necropolis of Hierapolis in which there are over 1000 sarcophagi while the other entrance it is on the side of the village of Pamukkale and leads directly to the pools.

The weather was bad when we got to Pamukkale because of a storm, and we had to leave without having the chance to see it. We found a hotel and decided to stay another day to enjoy it.

Pamukkale impressed us but we had to leave. We felt the end of this journey approaching since we only had three days to return to Tasucu.

We took the D585 and started our descent to Antalya again. We did not want to spend the night again in the same city and decided to move up to Alanya which is a tourist town to enjoy a little nightlife before returning.

On our return to the Tasucu we realized that we didn’t do something significant in these 18 days in Turkey and we had to do it before leaving. Therefore we sat down to drink a traditional tea in one of the various cafes that exist in different parts of the mountains, using the tea maker brazier that they have in the yard.

There we drank the last Turkish tea and met a remarkable gentleman who spoke English so well that we even had a political conversation.

He said he was against the Turkish invasion in Cyprus at 1974, he said the phrase "If I have a garden, that I can not sustain, what is my business in the neighbour’s garden?" So criticizing the Turkish government policies that have left a gap between classes in Turkey and dealing with expansionary policies.

Unfortunately we did not have too much time to enjoy the discussion. He had already spent almost an hour and we had to leave because we wanted to arrive early at Tasucu to see if we would have a problem with the paperwork of my motorcycle and solve it before 12 that the ferry was leaving.

Fortunately there the clerk was fully aware of the misunderstanding that had been made at our entrance and we didn’t have to do anything.

At 11 pm we loaded the motorcycles on the ferry and this trip was over for good.

For sure this trip started with one reason and ended otherwise, but we don't regret that all went wrong and finally we stayed in Turkey. We enjoyed the trails and the history of Asia Minor and of course we don’t have the same view for the people of this country who hosted us, helped us and gave us their hospitality whenever we needed.

Anyways, traveling on a motorcycle is synonymous with adventure, and if all goes as planned on a trip, it means that something is wrong.

Safe Travels and keep the rubber side down.

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