40km Pirlibey to Geyre

The main gate at AphrodisiasOnce again, we’ve been amazed by Turkey’s archaeological wealth. We both learned in school about the Roman empire but neither one of us seemed to remember just how much of it still lives on in Turkey. Today we visited Aphrodisias, a once prosperous city that is now one of the best preserved sites anywhere. We took our places on the seats of the stadium, imagining the chariots racing round the track, then wandered from the top of the theatre onto the stage, around the market square with its central swimming pool and finally out the ornate city gates. Amazing.

Aphrodisias is more or less in the middle of nowhere so it was a pretty nice day’s cycling as well on quiet roads, under mostly blue skies after some early morning rain cleared off. We’ve moved out of yesterday’s flat farmland and are now into mountain foothills. At least five passes await us on our route between here and the sea.

Aphrodisias stadiumAfter two days of wild camping we were due a shower and we were lucky to meet the French-speaking owner of a local hotel on our way into Geyre. He offered us a free camping spot on the grounds of his hotel, complete with a shower, as long as we ate at his restaurant in the evening. We didn’t feel like cooking anyway so that was a good deal for both of us. Over tea we watched the news together. More Turkish troops have been killed near the border with Iraq and it was very moving to see how upset our host and the staff of the hotel became watching news of the deaths. There seems to be very strong support here for Turkey to do whatever it has to do to finish off the PKK, whether that means crossing the Iraqi border or not.