As an optional side-trip, this morning a few of us visited the ancient Roman ruins at Aspendos and Perge, both located outside Antalya. Aspendos has a one of the most completely intact Roman amphitheaters anywhere, big enough for up to 12,000 people to watch the gladiators or the comedies and tragedies presented on the huge stage. The scale was jaw-dropping, and the beauty and majesty of the stones nearly brought me to tears.At Perge, there is an entire city, perhaps population 100,000, built by the Romans. The remains of the massive Roman bath complex alone must have covered a few acres. Then there were the market place shops, a huge stadium, paved streets, mosaic floors, marble walls, columns again beautifully preserved and massive in scale. It was an inspiring and awe-inspiring walk through history, as so much of this visit to Turkey has been.This afternoon we were "at leisure", quite a change after the fast pace we've kept so far. I used the time to sit by the pool and catch up on email and blog posting. We also enjoyed a video chat with Desmond, who is so much loved and missed!
Tomorrow we leave Antalya and head west along the Mediterranean Coast. We'll be boarding a small boat called a "gulet" and will spend the next 4 days sailing around the western coastline of Turkey, to Izmir, our final stopover before returning to California next week. There will be no Internet access on the boat, so we'll be silent and out of touch for a few days, although we will stop and hike at various locations.I'm feeling much better. But sleep has been difficult in Antalya. It is such a party town than music and noise blares loudly well into the wee hours. We are not amused. Bit as I write this we are listening to the "call to prayer" which is chanted so fervently about five times a day, beginning around 4:30 am, and broadcast on loud-speakers across every town in Turkey. I have come to love hearing it and find it centers me here, in this beautiful country, where my heart is attaching itself in so many ways!
-- Posted from my iPad