The title of this posts lists three ruin sites, but really it's all about Perge. Side used to have great ruins, but people taking advantage of the tourist location have set up shops, destroying the ruins in the process. All that's left now are remains of the Temple of Apollo, five rebuilt columns that you see in the photo on the left.
Aspendos seems to be a large site but it is either not fully escavated or it's mostly destroyed. What it's famous for is it's theatre. It's one of the largest in the area, capable of holding 30,000 people. It's also still in use today. Plays are quite frequent in the summer.
On my way into the Aspendos theatre I noticed some camels on the side. I went to take photos and was approached by a guy who put a fancy hat on my head and insisted I sit on the camel while he takes my photo. I knew he would ask for money after, so I declined. I took a photo and then he wanted money for the photo. I told him I'd rather delete it and he seemed to leave me alone. He wanted 10 Euros if I sat on the camel and 1 Euro for taking a photo of the camel. Ha!
At all the ruins there are locals trying to make a buck off the tourists. My favorite one is where they come up to you with ancient coins that they claim their family member discovered in at the site. They offer to sell them to you for real cheap and assure you that you can get thousands of dollars for them back home. The cute little old lady in the photo to the right tried to pull that one on me.
Perge was the real jewel of this sight seeing trip. Walking through its ruined streets you really get a sense of what it was like to have been there in its glory days. The place would have been covered in marble, awesome statues and carvings and shops of all sorts. One of the shop ruins still had a sign indicating it was a butcher shop. The bath ruins show an advanced underground draining system. The streets of Perge are marked with grooves from the weight of the Roman chariots. Just amazing! Many of the statues that lined the streets have been moved to the Antalya museum, which I'll make a point to see before I leave this place.
I have to mention, on my trip today I met an Argentinean guy by the name Oskar Delrosal. He's quite amazing. At 77 he's on his own traveling through Turkey and Greece with less baggage than I have. If I understood correctly, he's a retired University professor. When I was just a 1 year old, he was making his way around Europe. He seemed to share the same passion for history and ruins that I have. It was a real pleasure talking with him. Hope I can do the same at that age. To the left is a photo of Oskar at a beautiful park we stopped by known for the Kursulnu Waterfall. A peaceful park and quite beautiful with the autumn colours and leaves floating around in the ponds.
The photos I've been taking may give a sense that Turkey is still in the dark ages. It's quite the opposite. Turkey is quite modernized. Most people here drive better cars then I do. I just happen to avoid framing anything modern in my photos. Antalya is unique in that there's an "old town" area where modernization of the structures is forbidden. Though some of the villages that I've passed through on the way to these ruin sites do seem like they're a few years behind the times.