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Tire, Herakleia and Lake Bafa

More quaint and picturesque villages

sunny 20 °C
View Jac and Chalky's Excellent Adventure on JacChalky's travel map.

Leaving Selçuk behind we delved into the Aegean heartland, to a small nearby town called Tire, at the bottom of the Bozdağler Mountains, which boasts a thriving weekly market. We arrived at the bustling market, and thankfully managed to find a park. The market was heaving with stalls selling deliciously juicy-looking fruit, brightly polished vegetables and colourful clothes. Women sat on the curbs and pavements, wearing white headscarves, with fresh leafy greens for sale in front of them, chatting away and probably catching up on the week's gossip.

We had a wander through the market, stopping to taste and buy olives, strawberries, figs and cheese. We also tried to find the Tahtakale neighbourhood, which was meant to have felt-makers, but unfortunately didn't find any. We did have some local guys point us up some outdoor stairs when we asked directions, and we stood there shaking our head, repeating that we wanted to find Tahtakale, but they kept nodding, smiling and pointing. It turned out they were only playing a joke, as it was simply a prayer room that we clearly wouldn't be going into.

We drove onto Lake Bafa to find a pension for the night, stopping to snap the reflections on the water as the sun set. We found a pension overlooking the lake, run by a friendly Dutch woman and her adorable cocker spaniel. then tucked into the red wine, our olives, cheese and figs from the markets of Tire on our balcony.

The ruins of Herakleia ad Latmos was in the rustic village of Kapıkırı, nestled by Lake Bafa. The village was very quaint, with dogs chasing cats chasing chickens, and men leading their donkeys. There was a ticket office where we paid 3TL (NZ$3) to enter. It was on the mountains looming over Kapıkırı that according to Greek mythology, that Endymion fell into his eternal sleep. We drove through the very narrow streets, wondering how we'd turn around, and left the car to explore. A local woman, Zena, asked us if we wanted her to show us tombs and a Christian fresco. We followed her on a almost hour-long trek through the village hills, past roaming donkeys, colourful spring flowers, old Roman walls and huge smooth boulders. The view over the village, the ruined Byzantine castle and lake were terrific. We saw the fresco that Zena had been talking about - still brightly coloured, albeit worn away by the years (and perhaps by anti-Christians, due to the faces all being scratched off). It was fantastic, seeing this ancient fresco, in a small, open cave that we'd walked to. No ticket booths, no fences, and no other tourists.

On the way down, Zena kept saying something that sounded like "Showush showus", which we took to mean 'slowly slowly' or 'be careful' as we descended treacherously slippery rocks. She invited us back to her house for tea, where we met her pretty teenage daughter and big, bouncy newborn baby boy. She showed us her handicrafts, scarves, tablecloths, and also knitted gloves and hats, made by her daughter. We sipped tea and shared our peanut bars with Zena and her daughter before we warmly thanked her and bid her farewell.


Fruit stall

Juicy fruit at Tire's Tuesday market

Local women selling vegetables

Grammaphone on wheels

Got cold feet?

Colourful formalwear

Box of fluffy chicks

The mosque

Local women selling vegetables


Lake Bafa and Kapıkırı

Headed to the village of Kapıkırı




Chalky and Lisa admiring the view with Zena

A local lady selling scarves

The view on our walk

Jac and Lisa pass a Roman wall

An exposed tomb

Bright spring flowers

Fantastic views of Lake Bafa, and the Byzantine castle in the distance


Makeshift cattle fence


The Byzantine fresco


Zena admires the fresco

Jac, Lisa and Chalky

Zena, her daughter and big baby boy

Lake Bafa




Posted by JacChalky 21:40 Archived in Turkey Tagged round_the_world

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