Day 6 - Friday - Selçuk to Dalyan, via Alinda>
Another day, another day on the bus.
Our midday stop for the day was at a site not far from the town of Karpuzlu - the ancient site of Alinda. This was not like other sites we had visited so far, as there was no tourist car park, no hawkers. In fact, if you did not know it was there you'd drive right past.
In keeping with the site's mystique, our local guide for the day would remain silent - he spoke no English, and was merely there to make sure we all got around and didn't attempt to bring anything back with us. But I challenge you to pick up any of the masonry at Alinda and take it back in your luggage.
Alinda was a Roman settlement, and the first structure we came across was an aqueduct. There followed a smattering of damaged sarcophagi, some impressive lookout posts and another theatre. This theatre was also the location for our picnic lunch, the contents of which we'd picked up on our departure from Selçuk.
We were the only people there. Randomly distributed around the seating area - largely based on wherever there was a bit of shade from the fierce midday sun (34 degrees) - we all sat and took in the atmosphere. It felt very special. We would probably be the only people there that day. The only other living creatures I saw were the hordes of ants who were quickly amassing their workers to ferry back every piece of bread or cheese that fell to the floor. I sat and watched as five ants grouped together to carry a piece that was easily 20 times the size of one ant, and continued throughout the picnic to check on their progress over the yellowing grass, stone and thorns. A feast awaited their friends back at the hill.
After our break, we continued on, back downhill in the still fierce sunlight, past a derelict Roman agora (market place) then down on through the outer reaches of the town of Karpuzlu. The feeling that we might be one group among very few visitors to that site was reinforced both by the lack of hawkers and the genuinly friendly faces who all said a cheery 'merhaba' to us. Along the way we spotted some typically tumble-down houses which had made use of the nearby ancient masonry lying around, so it was not unusual to see a genuine Roman frieze on the corner of a house surrounded by the standard brick and concrete materials.
In the evening we stayed at the King Hotel at Dalyan. Skipping the group meal, Manda and I headed in to the centre, armed with a tripod and camera to get a night-time shot of the rock cut Lyceum tombs. We had not seen them yet, but guessed that they would be floodlit at night. We were right, and got a few shots off for good measure. While we were heading back the hotel, others from the group were heading in to town, so no one was around at the hotel. An early night.