Day 5 – Çıralı, Aspendos, Antalya 

Today we drove to Aspendos, an ancient city (already established by 333 BC when it was conquered by Alexander the Great) that was part of the Pergamon Kingdom in the Attalid Dynasty until it came under Roman rule in 133 BC.  It reached its height in the 2nd & 3rd centuries AD.

This theater was built during the late 2nd century during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and could seat up to 15,000 people.

My legs pooped out after climbing up and down the 93 marble steps, so I enjoyed the shade while Keith, Jen and Onur explored more of the Aspendos ruins. Check out Jen’s blog (kabby88.wordpress.com) for more photos.

From Aspendos, we circled back to the Düden waterfall just outside of Antalya.  It’s a cool, green oasis in the middle of dusty, dry suburbs — a real gem.  The waterfall pours over cliffs that include limestone caves, so you can experience the waterfall from above, behind and below.

And unlike any of the waterfalls that I’ve visited at home, you have to navigate around various ancient Roman tombs on the grounds.

Then we drove into Kaleiçi, the old part of Antalya.  (City driving in Turkey is not for the faint of heart.  Our rental car beeps whenever you get within a few inches of an object on any side of the car.  It was beeping almost continuously due to cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians playing chicken with us.)

Kaleiçi was a walled Roman (then Byzantine, then Selçuk Turkish, then Ottoman Turkish) port city, with narrow winding streets, charming alleys, tall crenelated walls, and garish pirate-themed tour boats in the harbor.

(I have more photos to post, but the internet is excruciatingly slow tonight and it’s late, so I’ll go with what I have for now.)

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