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Turkey: From Köprülü to Ephesus

Published: 15.12.2012
Lets leave gray everydayness and take off on a flying carpet to the Köprülü National Park. There we will stay overnight in a pleasant camp by a river and on the next day we will move off to the spring of the Köprüçay River. After this we will continue through Antalya and Pamukkale to Dres.

Pohoří Taurus po cestě do Denizli

We descend a narrow pathway all the way to a stream bed. We reach a cliff where is no other option than to jump down. Fear is not necessary; the height is only 8 meters. A jump is exciting; we fall down to a crystal clear and freezing cold water (despite the fact that the temperature is attacking 50 degrees Celsius) and another jump… Relieved we swim casually onwards. Rocks surround us, there is no way back and our way onwards disappeared. The thing is we have to submerge and swim under a cliff to the other side, says the instructor. We crawl through and we start feeling freezing cold water, even in neoprene and brakes with tea that carries our instructor Hassan. We hear teeth clacking of other people and you think, when you start trembling too. Lips are getting blue color and suddenly we jump into rapids enriched with falls that streams from cliffs on our right side. A torrent gives us out to shallow lakes, which are warmed by the sun. These lakes remind us of thermal springs . We let them warm us up and we feel warmth in our bones. We continue by rafts on rapids 14 kilometers through beautiful secluded places and nature. Mountains surround us. Once in a while we can see minarets and mosques. So we hurry into wild rapids and when we lift up our heads we can see beautiful cliffs along the river, tall pine trees, and you eyes will feast on crystal blue green water in the river that glitters under the sun.

Antalya

To have another adventure we go to Antalye, a city 50 kilometers away and we continue to on a direction to Denizli. 10 kilometers after we see a turn to a strange city of Thermessos that lies high in the mountains. Not even Alexander the Great didn’t conquer this city. We park our car and we start our tour in this city forgotten by touristic industry. During our steep moving up we pass by Roman spa, agora (marketplace), gate, houses of rich until we get to the city’s highest place where is an impressive theater. The theater is above a wild valley not far from which is a glittering sea. We feel like eagles flying above us. The road starts to descend and we return to our parking lot. We pass by a necropolis where are beautiful sarcophaguses decorated with reliefs and many spells devoted to those who would try to interrupt an eternal rest of dead. Full of impressions, we continue north to Denizli city. The nature is very dramatic – endless plains lined with mountains and almonds, which look like rest places of migratory birds on they way from Europe due South.

Pamukale

In Denizli they have well-known species of rooster that is able to crow the longest time of all rooster species. That is the reason why they have one beautiful rooster at a roundabout. In distance we can see white cliffs that look like a hillside covered with snow. Finally we reach Pamukkale aka cotton castle. It is a well-known attraction with hot springs flowing through a limestone canyon and creating adorable lakes. You can paddle there and enjoying a spa atmosphere of the ancient city of Hierapolis. King Eumenes II built the city above these terraces.

In the evening we accommodate in one of thermal hotels and on the next day we head west to Dres. On the road we notice turns to the beautiful city Afrodisias - unfairly forgotten by many tourists. There is almost no one, as in case of the city Thermesos. Thus we have an opportunity to take beautiful pictures of a stadium, probably the one that is in the best condition in whole Turkey. We also make photos of monumental Athena and Apollo temple and “absolutely necessary” shopping center. Worth visiting is also museum where you can admire beautiful works of well-known sculptors and stonemasons. Next we continue straight on an old Roman road leading from Ephesus to Pamukkale. The road was first a part of a king’s road, later known as the Silky Road .

EfesEfes knihovna

We are here! It is an unforgettable experience for all fans of history. The monumental city Ephesus . It is a birthplace of Heraclitus (“you cannot step into the same river twice”), a notorious haven of early Christians, a residence of the cult of Artemis, and also a place, where you can find one of Herodotus’ 7 Wonders – the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Ephesus – a glorified place of education and scholars, where is a monumental library (the third largest during ancient times). The city had also night lightning. The city was a center of various cultures, philosophies and religions. A cosmopolitan city where an equality of men and women was preserved, and where any new opinion and thinking were welcomed.

During the history of men the city was built fie times. For the first time, Amazons, women warriors who cut one of their breasts off to have better accuracy during firing from bows, built it. For the second time, Androklos who sought the sign of fire, fish and a boar built the city. For the third time, one of Alexander the Great generals built the city that is admired by tourists today… Seljuqs built the fourth city – a castle on a hill reminds their rule to us. And the fifth city is today town of Seljuq.

The name Ephesus means a bee bearing honey. The same name had a queen of Amazons who founded the city. But that was a long time ago…

 

Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková



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