Aphrodisias romance

Trip Start Apr 04, 2008
Trip End May 15, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Aydın Province,
Thursday, May 8, 2008

(C) We left Oludeniz today and headed towards Pamukkale, with a stop at Aphrodisias because the Rough Guide told us to.  Cheers on Rough Guide.  Aprhrodisias is one of the most amazing places I have ever been - it's up there with Paestum for Greek ruins and far and away the most incredibly profound Greek "ruins" experience in Turkey.  Although I have to say after visiting the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation in Ankara, my scope of history is skewed.  These Greek ruins are relatively new in the real history of Turkey, they are still so overpowering because of their size and preservation that they are a must stop for any traveler.  Note:  we later found that while the tourists are busy mobbing Ephesus, and a small handful are clambering over the hills at Bergama - Aphrodisias was relatively untouched by cruise ship photographers.
    We had the place to ourselves.  We got to the tourist office in the afternoon, and boarded the lonely bus to the site.  Once we got there, it was like an entire town that was opened for just us.  Sara and I wandered through an entire ancient town as if we were the first ones to discover it.  We started at the odeon, which was so impressive I felt like busting out with some Euripidean monologue to the empty theatre.  Sara was off taking pictures in the back of the theatre where the entire backstage of the Greek theatre is laid out in foundations and columns.
    After that, we wandered through the town through various temples to the Temple of Aphrodite, which remains one of the most powerful Greek ruins of all time.  The space, setting and architecture are overwhelming.  To see it at sunset is magical.
    After sitting on the grass and just taking it all in, we wandered back to the central part of town and caught the trolley to the parking area.  We only saw one other tour group the whole time and they were on their way out.
    We got back in our car, sort of in a daze, and drove to Pamukkale where we found this very expensive hotel.  But that is the price you pay when you don't get to town before dark.  No complaints though.  Our place is clean and right in front of the travertine formations.
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