Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Our trip to the ancient Cadianda site

Winter picnic on the stadium seats at Cadianda
Years ago I lived in a village in Norfolk, just four miles away from the National Trust Property Oxborough Hall. I lived there for eleven years before I finally managed to visit this property. During that eleven years I drove hundreds of miles to visit other historical sites much further away, so why is it that you never seem to look at what is nearly next door?

True to form we have been staying in Uzumlu for the last three years, and living here since last April but had never visited Cadianda which is only about 6 kilometres up the road. Last week on a lovely winters day we finally decided to give it  a look, so we packed a picnic and set off to see what the site had to offer.

I gather that it is possible to walk up to Cadianda from Uzumlu village itself, but not being as fit as we should be, we opted to drive up. We had heard that the drive to Cadianda which is on a single track road is fairly horrendous so we set off with some trepidation. But although some parts had to be taken very carfeully, due to rocks and divets, on the whole it was not too bad and we managed it fine in a normal small saloon car. Luckily we didn't meet anyone coming the other way, which could have been interesting as there are some tight bends as you would expect from a track that climbs so quickly, and only some places where it would be possible to pass another vehicle.

One of the information boards in the parking area

We finally arrived at the car park where there are three information boards - two carry details of the site, one in Turkish and the other in English, the third is a rather scant map of the site. In the summer months there is a man in the hut to take money from you to visit the site , but in the winter his hut is closed and empty, as are the toilets also locked up.

So carrying our picnic we set off along the well marked route, through the woodland that has grown up in and among the ruins. The track started with a gentle incline which after a short while steepened as it headed off to the right. We followed it's direction and suddenly we were high enough to enjoy the most spectacular views of Fethiye town and the sea down below us.

Fantastic views of Fethiye, the harbour and out to sea
We carried on climbing and eventually reached the stadium area, which still has the carved stone seats and a large grass area running along the front of it. I was fascinated how they had carved the stone to make a stairway up the middle of the seating area. This seemed a good place to stop for our picnic and a rest as the stones offered seating and a table.

The stadium - our choice of picnic spot

After refreshments we looked at the ruins of the Hamam (bath house) before heading off to see the Sarnıç - water cistern. The remains of the large underground water tanks were clearly visible, and one must assume that a constant supply of water must have been quite a problem for them to have gone to so much effort.

Substantial remains of the old city wall
Moving on we passed some underground rooms which clearly originally had painted walls. We really didn't know whether these were the remains of the older civilisation (pre-Roman) or were tombs.
We carried along the track now bending back towards the parking area and next we came to the old city walls. We weren't expecting to see the walls in such good order nor were we prepared for the stunning views over towards Ortaköy and Ören. The mountains in the distance were covered in snow, which seemed ridiculous when were standing in the sunshine. The drop from the city walls was a steep and sheer drop so quite a feat of early engineering, and not necessarily a spot for those who suffer from vertigo to be standing.

Stunning views across the hills to the snow capped mountains

Next we came to the Roman Theatre of which a remarkable amount was still intact, including the entrance and you could so well imagine an evening of entertainment taking place.

The Roman Theatre at Cadianda

Then back to the car parking area for a well earned beer and a slice of cake before heading back down the hill  enjoying the views over the valley to home.

Views over Uzumlu and Incirkoy
Roman tile
So what did we think of our first trip to Cadianda -we loved it. We are both interested in historical sites so we were fascinated by the ruins themselves. We were amazed at the size of the place, it was obviously a vast city in its heyday. We were surprised how intact parts of it were as we had been told it was just a few stones laying around! It was amazing to walk amongst such history, seeing columns and Roman tiles just laying there to touch and enjoy, not just to see behind the glass of a museum display case.

Roman tiles lay around the site
The track was rough at times and wouldn't suit anyone with walking difficulties and it is quite a long walk round, so you need to allow time.

You need to be careful in parts as there are lots of holes some of which are quite deep. Some of the track is also quite steep so you would need to be fairly fit to view it in the summer heat.  But the track is clearly marked and their are signs in stategic positions to inform you of what you are seeing. All all things considered we had a wonderful day and I am sure we will visit the site again.

Columns left where they have fallen over the years

It is worth the effort for the stunning views alone. I bet there are thousands of visitors to the area on holiday who don't even know it's there, this gem in the mountains only 24 kilometres from Fethiye.

Cadianda dates back to the 3rd-century BC although apparently there are no remains older than 5th-century BC visible on the surface of the site.

For those wishing to visit Cadianda you head to Yesil Uzumlu. Turn right into the village and when you reach the village centre turn left at the mosque, after about 6 kilometres there is a sign on the right for Cadianda, you then follow the mountain road for a few kilometres before finally reaching the site. It is possible to walk to the sight from the village centre, but it is a 5 kilometre uphill hike so only for those fitter than we are. You can get a dolmus from Fethiye (20 minutes) then walking up the hill past the Uzumlu Winehouse you will find a track at the top of the road, follow the signs. There are also organised trips by jeep to Cadianda, and during the mushroom Festival which Uzumlu holds in April transport is provided to visit the site.

At last the Internet is back

After my resolution, clearly announced in my previous post, that as from the new year my posts would become regular, I have clearly fallen at the first hurdle as it is now almost a month since making such a foolish statement.

In my defence I have been without a reliable Internet connection ever since I said this. Which brings me to think about the value of and reliability of the Internet in Turkey. I see again and again in forums for ex-pats living in Turkey queries about Internet connection and the cost thereof, here.

I had a computer at home for many years before I moved to Turkey and joined Face book some time ago, although admittedly more to keep track of what my staff were up to than for any other purpose. You would be amazed at how many people will call in sick, then just moments later are on Face book bragging about the wonderful party they are at, or posting pictures of themselves dressed up to the nines in a night club! Face book nowadays is a must have management tool.

Living in Turkey however, Face book offers a huge amount of support to us ex-pats. There are local buy and sell groups which are an excellent platform for seeking reasonably priced items of all kinds that you need, as well as off-loading all the things you were persuaded to buy from the unrelenting Turkish salesmen but didn't actually need at all. Local ex-pat pages give us the opportunity to ask others for any advice we need or ask where a particular item can be purchased. We have a group dedicated to announcing bargains currently in the shops so you don't miss out on reduced items and our village even has a site where we are notified of any events and entertainment going on, as well as any other news.

Obviously we use email a lot to keep in touch with our friends and relatives in other parts of the world, and we also have an Internet phone which enables us to keep in touch without the cost of call charges.

I have always loved books and in the UK I owned a ridiculous amount of them. As we moved here only with suitcases they were too heavy to bring so I had to part with them. The Christmas before our planned move to Turkey, we bought each other kindles for our presents, and I have got into the routine of checking Amazon's free books top 100 daily to add any good ones we don't have. We now have over 800 of them lets hope we live long enough to read them all. But it's another regular job dependent on the Internet.

As apart from a very few favourites I also had to leave behind my cookery books, I also look for recipes on the Internet. One good thing is that I have tried a lot of new recipes from Turkey as well as elsewhere. Some have proved successful, some have been complete disasters but it has broadened our horizons in the culinary stakes.

So all in all we are heavily dependent on the Internet for living here, and after a month without it, I realise just how much. What an electronic age we have become for just everyday living, even us oldies are adapting to it.

We have found some of the groups so helpful, that I have added a link page to our blog for others to share. If you have information of any I have omitted please let me know so that I can add them. Please note that some of these are closed groups and you may have to wait for approval to join them.

As for our lapse in Internet connection, I truly don't know the answer to that. Generally we have very good connection here and since a visit from an electrician, and his subsequent phone call to our provider all is back to normal - long may it stay that way. I just wish I'd called him a month ago instead of playing the waiting game.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Christmas in Turkey and the new year's resolutions begin

I have to confess to having become the worst blogger in the world. My blogs have been spasmodic to say the least, I am finding too many distractions since living in this beautiful country. However, it is 2nd January 2013 I have recovered from the obligatory hangover from new years eve and the new year's resolutions begin in earnest, the first of which is to ensure that I make regular contributions to our blog. Lets see how long that lasts!

In the run up to Christmas we thought long and hard about how we would like to celebrate, finally deciding that we would have a traditional English Christmas at home. I had been back to the UK briefly before Christmas so was able to bring quite a lot of our decorations back with me, all we really needed was a sizeable tree to accommodate the numerous decorations we had collected over many years. We were surprised that Christmas trees were so readily available locally, but disappointed that we could not find one big enough. Having trailed all around looking at trees in Fethiye and Ovacik we were about to admit defeat when at the last minute and on the way home to Uzumlu we saw the perfect tree outside someones shop. We persuaded the shop keeper that our need was much greater than his and leaving his decorations on the pavement we bundled the tree into the back of our friend's car and away.

Tom triumphant at the top of the tree

Peggy not quite so sure of herself but determined not to miss out

We still have the kittens that returned to us - Peggy and Tom and wow do they love this tree! Even now after two weeks the novelty has not worn off and Tom enters the lounge at a sprint and leaps straight up the middle causing havoc as he goes, with the puppy waiting underneath to cart off any baubles that may get knocked off as he climbs to the top - inside the branches so it's nearly impossible to get him out!

Anyway with the house decked with decorations, and all the traditional Christmas goodies sourced or made, we had a wonderful Christmas Day joined by friends to over indulge as ever, and a good time was had by all. Next Year we may do things differently - dinner out, or a barbecue on the beach who knows but this year we couldn't quite bring ourselves to sever the ties to a good old traditional Christmas Day.