Excursion in Turkey

Posted by barb on Mar 28, 2006 in Pictures, Travels |

I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about going to Turkey, almost more nervous than going to Egypt. Why? Because Turkey is a strongly Muslim nation, and I’m a US citizen. Sure, Turkey is the most secularized of the Muslim nations, but that wasn’t much comfort. I’ve said before, I’ve lead a bit of a sheltered life.

Our port, Antalya, seemed a bit like the Myrtle Beach of the States – a sea-side town built up with lots and lots of hotels and resorts. My fears of Turkey were quickly forgotten as I saw women dressed much as they would have been in the States: skirts of all lengths, jeans and slacks.

Roman Statues

Our first stop was the Antalya Museum. We had hesitated about signing up for an excursion that would put us in a museum, since, presumably, we could see similar things at a museum near us. However, the other stop on the excursion, Perge, sounded interesting, so it wasn’t like our entire time in Turkey would be stuck in a museum. Once again, our apprehensions were silly. Despite its small size, the Antalya Museum is now on our list of favorite museums, and I think we’d be happy if we could go back sometime and spend much, much more time there.

Head of the Statue

There were about three rooms filled with Roman statues, the remains of which were found in Perge (our second excursion stop). One thing we really liked about the museum was that they displayed even half-complete statues. They didn’t fill in the missing parts. Instead, they mounted the pieces that they had allowing spaces where the missing pieces would go to allow the imagination to fill in the full statue.

Another unique thing at the Antalya Museum was its displays of finds by different researchers. There were several cases showing pictures of archeologists with a brief background on the researcher and the site where they were digging. The cases held random-looking items, all of which found during a dig with the showcased researcher.

Calligraphic Panel

We didn’t have enough time to explore the other rooms at the museum, but would love to return sometime to see all of the treasures in the Antalya Museum.

Ruins at Perge

The next stop on our excursion was Perge (pronounced “pair-gay”, so I can remember that later), the remains of a Roman city just outside Antalya. On our way into the site, we saw the remains of an amphitheater, which, unfortunately, is not currently open to the public (its not entirely structurally stable), and also the remains of a stadium. We by-passed those, and fought our way through the maze of buses to get to the main city.

The city is just jammed with ruins, from columns to tablets to stones from walls. We walked through the old baths, where some of the mosaic floors still existed. Then through the Hellinistic gate, with two imposing towers. And finally up a colanaded street with a trench in the middle (which would have had flowing water, not for cleaning or sewage, but for the relaxing sound and atmosphere. Our guide, Sibel, showed us to a set of four columns in the middle of the street which sported reliefs of some of the gods. Unfortunately, my pictures of those columns did not turn out, though I did get a postcard with them on it, so that will go in the scrapbook.

One of the towers   Marble floors near bath   Perge colonade

Butcher's store sign

Another thing that our guide showed us was an almost intact store sign that had been found. While not my favorite store (a butcher’s shop sign), it was still pretty cool.

Unfortunately, the renovations and excavations of the city are not currently going on. However, most of the ruins that we saw sitting around were marked with numbers, so presumably the pieces are all cataloged. Hopefully the money will be available sometime soon to continue with the restoration of the city. The site was spectacular.

On our way back to the ship, we stopped at a jewelry workshop, where Andrew bought me a beautiful opal pendant. What a great Turkey souvenir!

Check out all of my pictures from the day at my Turkey Excursion Flickr photoset.


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