Kold Hard Kas(h)

Trip Start Jan 06, 2006
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Trip End Sep 02, 2008


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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

For continuity's sake this is a short entry on Kas. "Kas" has a little squiggle below it but it won't show up on this webhost if I try to type it, and it the city's name is pronounced "cash."

I left Fethiye by dolmush. Again this meant fairly slow progress and, since I was doing the old point A to point B thing (rather than an A to B and back to A), I had my pack with me, slowing down things some, particularly after the long walk last night.

At the dolmush stop, Josef and I parted ways (I neglected to mention that he and I were at the same hostel in Fethiye. We had previously met in Canakkale. And he was worried for me when I came back so late from my walk. Amusing anecdote: When we met he was in the dorm room reading some religous rubbish that attempted to disprove evolution. There are lots of these sorts of books in hostel book exchanges, probably because these books are free in the first place. They are quite prevalent and there are lots of titles in English for the person willing to read it. I asked him why he had it and he said he couldn't find anything else but at least it was improving his English. But he said he would rather be reading Harry Potter. The next evening I was in Bergama where at the B÷blingen Pension there was a copy of the fifth book. Chance had it that he chose that pension the day after I left, and he stayed there three days reading it. Unlike myself he is going to be in Turkey for 2 more months, remaining until the full solar eclipse on the 29 of March that will darken the entire country).

My dolmush dropped me off on the side of the highway at the turn-off for Xanthos. This site's relevance, unlike that of Tlos, sticks in my memory.* Xanthos has some of the best preserved and informative Lydian tombs available. A Brit did a number on the site 150 years ago and took a lot of items to England in a warship (the site is just off the Med. coast). In the 1950s some French archaeologists dug things up and made the site a lot more presentable. I made the 1 km hike to the site easily along a deserted road and found the site was deserted as well, nice because it was free again (I am being spoiled). The only people nearby were some locals having a picknick by a corner of the site.

Xanthos has the usual blend of theatre, agora, church, etc but there are a few nice grave markers - two are about 8 meters high, 3 meters wide and rectangular. Impressive size to put up - these pillars are like the stones of stonehenge, so it can be done - but they are up on the side of a hill so it must have been hard to do. It also has some caves carved into the hillside - like at Dalyan and Kaunos but these are carved in a different style. Specialists have discerned that these tombs resemble traditional houses. Not the insides though I imagine because they would only be fine if a person didn't have to move around. One interior was carved to fit six bodies and it had the most exceptlonal acoustics - I was humming a tune to myself when I realised it. It must have been accidental because no other one I tested had any resonance; besides the dead don't hum. As far as I know.

A fourty five minute wait by the highway could have been divided into about six naps on the pavement, had I been so brave, and a bus came along to take me to Kas. We made slow progress and, because I was sitting up at the front of the bus, I glanced over to see what speed we were traveling at. We were doing about 3000 rpms but apparently 0 kph. The speedometer was kaput. Well at least we weren't speeding on the windy road. It was on the very edge of the country; only a few meters below us was the sea. This singular driver was cautious.

Kas was a welcoming place. A tout was so interested in my business that I was hardly off the bus before he was asking my life story and all. I dodged him and, with an guess aided by my guidebook's minimap, made it to my desired pension in a few minutes. It was all but closed at this time of year, but there was free internet and it was not expensive in the least. The owner himself let me in and showed me around - he owns two places and he was on the roof of the hotel next door overseeing the addition of another floor. These days his presence there as an overseer would be probably pretty necessary. I'll leave it at that.

But Kas was nice and not kold or hard but my title has a nice ring to it. False advertising is nothing special here anyway! I sat on the roof of my place (not under construction) and watched the sun set, listened to a very echoy call to prayer (the echoes of the mountains to the north made it sound ethereal) and sipped the last bit of wine I had from my adventures with Bill.

*upon the realisation that I was visiting sites with no relevance, I have accordingly reconsidered my itinerary. But ruins are fun and a person can easily get oneself carried away.
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