The Lycian Way

Trip Start Dec 28, 2009
1
33
59
Trip End Aug 13, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Antalya Province,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 















 In the Mediterranean Sun
    I rest in your love
In the Mediterranean Sun
    My doubt remains
In the Mediterranean Sun
    Confidence is regained
In the Mediterranean Sun
    Question continues
In the Mediterranean Sun
    Why did you bring me here?
In the Mediterranean Sun
    I rest in your love

 
 
Kas is a small fishing village on the Mediterranean coast and part of the ancient 12th century BC Lycian trading route. The Lycian route is within the Mountains of Tarus where St Paul was know to have wandered. So I am wandering with Paul and he with me.

Kas is a beautiful village and I decided to stay here a week. Mostly, to rest from seeing and going to so many sites. Some call it "site fatigue". I just knew I wanted and needed to rest.  Here I met a great woman from Holland, she works at the hotel. She has brought me to a number of places where I have been able to meet, eat and drink with the locals. 

I think I picked a perfect spot to get the rest I needed and want. My room has a private shaded patio, the 5th floor lounge looks over the sea, I am a 2minute walk to an ancient intact roman theater where I walk to watch the sunrise, the sea is 100yrds and I ind myself walking to and hiking its cliff paths, the village center is a 5minute walk where there is great food and view, a beach about a mile walking has provided me my first dip in the Mediterranean....I am resting and feeling inspired. I have been reflecting and writing on my time in Mt Athos; an experience that has had a deep and wonderful impact on my life at so many levels that I am just seeing.

Yesterday, I took a bus to the town of Demre where I saw the Church of St. Nicholas. Yes Santa Clause (Noel Baba). He was the Bishop of this area in the 3rd century AD. Although his tomb was ransacked and his bones taken to Italy it was fascinating to see. It was interesting to me that this church, a site of Christian Pilgrimages, had not been turned into a mosque and was one of the most intact churches I have seen in Turkey; including the original altar and baptismal pool. Plus many of the frescoes and mosaics were intact.

From Demre, I walked about 2miles to Myra where in the 5th century BC the Lycians carved their family tombs into the sides of the mountain. These tombs were incredible and had been carved to look like the houses of the deceased. Walking through the small town of Myra I could see some of the same characteristics on the homes in town that were carved in the tombs.

It was in Myra that St Paul stopped by on his way to Rome: Acts 27:5

"When we had sailed
through the sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra
in Lycia."

I only know this because of the information sign in Myra...no Bible scholar here. I spent a couple hours in Myra; reflecting on the fact I was in the same place as Paul. It is hard for me to put into words what it is feels like to be in so many places where early civilizations have called home and where early Christianity set its roots. What I can say, is being in these places has given me a feeling of deeper connection to my faith. It is in awe and gratitude I am here. God's presence is all around me in history, tradition, beauty, people and most importantly in my Catholic Christian Faith. I am experiencing the commonality of religions and belief systems while realizing the incredible gift of the one given to me through birth and baptism. It is beautiful to see that others have received their faith in such completely different contexts but, all point and lead to One God.

3/20...I walked part of the Lycian Way

 

Only about 4 miles but here is how the guide described my route:

"...the low route entails scrambling down a series of rock steps on the cliff-face; it would be dangerous to do alone...." I did it alone danger and all, down to the bay and beach at Liman Agzi. I was told the trail was marked by red and white stripes painted on trees and rocks...I needed to look for these. Needless to say I had some difficulty but, here is what I learned. (not in any order but written as the lesson came to me along the way)

- the signs are all around; you just need to be aware and look
- sometimes the way is smooth but most of the time it rocky and steep - in any case it takes you to where you need to go
- as you walk the way it is sometimes OK and normal  to turn back because you are going the wrong way - try not to doubt yourself
- it never hurts to ask directions from those you meet along the way; often they have been there before and can show you the signs to look for
- even if you speak a different language the signs are universal
- on the way you will pass the present, past and future; all directing you forward to press on
- those from the past have made the way sacred and have chosen to die along the way - we will all die along the way
- thank those who have guided you on the way
- sit with those who have gone before you
- congratulate yourself as you make small progress along the way; especially when you overcame a fear or obstacle
- enjoy the achievement of reaching a destination - bask in the warmth - refresh yourself
- take time along the way to take in the view, rest in the beauty, and ponder the journey
- if you retrace your footsteps do so to rediscover the signs not to return to where you have come
- if you are to return home on the same way remember it is actually a new way for you are seeing it from a completely new perspective
- help others along the way
- remember others have taken the way before you and have survived and a few have not but, all have journeyed
- always walk with a sense of reverence and peace even when walking with another
- leave little trace you have been on the way so others may discover its natural beauty
- everyone you meet along the way is on the same journey taking it in their own way and rhythm - respect their journey as you respect yours for they are part of yours as you are part of theirs
- just when you are about to give up as God for a sign and one will be provided
- some carry light loads and others heavy but all are journeying on the way
- sometimes your journey leads you down an unknown path; you may reach a beautiful place or not - just enjoy where the path led and then get back to your way
- while you may meet others along the way and join each other for a bit; know that while it may look like you are going the same way; you are both walking to a completely different destination
- try walking at 1/2 your normal speed along the way and you may actually see the path and thee signs
- you have no other place to be then walking on the way
- some find a place along the way and call it home and others continue to walk and the way is their home
- rest when you and for how long you want a long the way
- keep your stomach full and your thirst quenched so you have the strength to move a long the way
- just because someone says there is mean dog to be avoided along the way, don't believe them - see for yourself and you may discover a field of wild irises
- sometimes the guide book is right - it is OK to follow it also

So my 6 hour of hiking gave me a glimpse of life!

-


    
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Comments

William Shaules on

As your journey continues I can see your growth. Stomach issues are always a hazard of travel. The only discouraging element is the separation you experienced at Athos. I don't understand it.

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