After a brief stop in Konya (where Ferit and I enjoyed a wonderful cafe near Alaaddin Hill while Mom toured the Mevlana Museum), we headed for the town of Side (pronounced "See-Day").
Side is well-known as a resort town. Fortunately, the height of the tourist season had come and gone. Unfortunately, Side was nonetheless quite touristy, with its many souvenir shops and foreigner-focused restaurants still in full-swing.
Side is also well-known for its Roman ruins. Probably the most well known of its ruins is the Temple of Apollo. Though not much of the temple remains standing, it offers a magnificent view, with the Mediterranean in the distance.
|The Temple of Apollo.|
It never ceases to amaze me how many of the ruins that we've visited have piles of random pieces strewn about. I expected all of the pieces to be organized and cataloged and ready to be glued back together again.
|In a field set back from the main ruins,|
pillars, walls, and random blocks lay strewn about.
|Some of the already "glued-back-together" ruins at Side.|
|Though currently residing in predominantly Muslim territory,|
the crosses on many of the ruins are a reminder that
the area was once inhabited by Christians.
Aside from simply being known as a "resort town with Roman ruins," I think Side should be known as a "resort town with Roman ruins and incredibly friendly street kitties." Others may not agree, but that doesn't bother me.
|As we sat on the breakwater,|
Mom and a kitty quickly bonded.
|After hanging out with Mom for a bit,|
the kitty hopped onto my lap for some loving...
|...before jumping onto Ferit's lap for some ear scratches.|
|You may have noticed in the previous photo that our Turkish guide, Ferit,|
was transformed into a hippy pirate for our visit to Side...
|...and then later transformed into a masked hippy pirate.|
|Mom enjoyed the breakwater.|
Later in the afternoon, we drove about 15 km to see the Greek ruins at Seleucia. Well, actually, it's unclear whether the ruins are those of Seleucia or those of Lyrbe. Regardless, the ruins were top-notch.
The ancient city of Seleucia/Lyrbe sits atop a hill, with expansive views of the glistening Mediterranean in the not-too-far-off distance. The ruins of the city are scattered amongst mature pine trees, with many trees and plants growing through the cracks of the ruins and atop what is left of the city walls.
Given its rather remote and difficult-to-get-to location, the ruins have not yet been plundered for building materials, nor have the souvenir shops and busloads of tourists infected this site. This made the ruins all that more special.
|The ruins at Seleucia/Lyrbe were tucked away in the forest.|
|The ruins were well-preserved...|
|...as you can also see here.|
|Tiny me, standing in one of the magnificent doorways.|
|I just love the geometry of these ruins.|
Can you spot me?
|Mom meditated among the zen-like ruins.|
|...standing in the Sarah-sized doorway.|
At one point, a herd of goats and their goatherd wandered through the ruins.
|Goats wandered through the ruins.|
What a magical moment!
|A goat stood with his front legs against the ancient walls|
as he reached for leaves a few feet above the ground.
|More goats. I love the expression of the guy on the right.|
|A goat peered down from atop the ruins.|
After a little while, the sky turned a dark blue and we could hear rumbles of thunder and see flashes of lightning in the distance. This made for quite a dramatic experience at the ruins.
As the thunder and lighting intensified, we walked back to the parking lot. We made it to the car just as the skies began to open.