After 6 days on the bikes we already seem to have passed a lifetime since we left Birmingham airport but being the 7th day it was time for a rest for body and mind to recuperate and attend to mundane things such as washing. We couldn’t have chosen a better place. After a week of talking more or less only to each other, Charly’s Pension was a melting pot of nationalities. We met people from England, Germany, Khazacstan and Brazil. We booked to go on a trip arranged by the Pension to the ancient ruins of Sagalossus deep in the Taurus mountains and 6 of us set off in a minivan. It was rather strange to be whizzing along in a motorised vehicle!
The Site of Sagalossus was amazing. It must be in one of the best settings we’ve ever been to, perched high on the mountains overlooking a valley below. For anyone who has ever been to Ephasus or similar and battled with coach loads of tour groups this was completely the opposite. A few cars in the car park, a few people dotted around the enormous site and we were free to wander around pretty much anywhere.
We climbed first right to the top of the site to the 9000 seater ampitheatre that looked down on the whole site and over mountains and valleys, The city had been mostly destroyed in an enormous earthquake in 560 AD and completely abandoned not long after following an outbreak of plague. It was rediscovered in the early 1700’s but true excavation has only been relatively recent and still on going, Most of the seating of the ampitheatre was intact but you could see how large parts of the structure had tumbled down in the earthquake and lay scattered, Above the ampitheatre they had just started to excavate a large area containing pottery workshops, which produced pottery on an industrial scale for across the Roman empire. Fragments of 2000 year old pots were scattered everywhere.
Working our way down were market places, arches, burial sites, monuments and an incredible fountain. “Fountain” is an understatement as it was a whole ornately carved facade. It was only re-attached to a water source in 2010 to become a working fountain again. The place was atmospheric and well set out and we really enjoyed the visit.
After the cultural influx we had lunch in a cafe in the village below and then were driven on a longer route back through the mountains on small winding roads. A foretaste of what we would be tackling the next day.
Back in Egidir we brought additional cheap sleeping bags to supplement our current ones. More weight but we were going to even higher altitudes so decided we needed them, I am sure we will be grateful for them before the trip is out. We finished the day with a pleasant meal and fascinating conversation with Debbie from England and Aray from Kazakhstan (who is the same age as Becky). Feeling rejuvenated for our next section, 3 days to get to the city of Konya.