Sunday, September 23, 2007
Ms T and myself spent the last two weeks in Turkey, in the village of Gelemis on the South coast. The sun shone all the time, and the water was warm, so much swimming was done. Eating was also a priority, and the food was excellent.
The most interesting thing about that area is the remains of ancient cultures dating back to when Gelemis was called Patara, and its ownership passed between the locals, to the Greeks, and finally to the Romans.
Their remains are everywhere. They're not fenced off or patrolled by men and women with tabards holding clipboards, as they would undoubtedly be if they were in England. You can go and sit where people sat two thousand years ago to get their entertainment, pass laws, walk where they did their shopping and venture into their baths.
There's writing everywhere, on stones and walls. The Lycians had an intensely literate culture, based on Greek, and some of their letters we still use today; a testament to their power living on long after they disappeared.