Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tombs and Trails of Kaş

Posted by Melissa
Mid October 2010

After settling in our new apartment, it was time to explore the town.  We immediately noticed the large number of rock cut tombs in the area.  Modern Kaş was built atop the remains of the ancient Lycian city of  Habesos or Habesa, built in the 4th century BC.  It is one of the oldest settlements in the region of Lycia.  The Greeks later called it Antiphellos. Phellos, the Greek word for 'stony place' was a perfect choice!

This tomb, called Krai Mezari (King's Tomb), is right at the top of our street. It was carved from a single block and has eight lines of script in the Lycian language which have yet to be deciphered. The lid of the sarcophagus contains four lion heads, two on each side.
Krai Mezari (King's Tomb)
Other tombs are scattered throughout town.  This one has a house built right on top of it!

This one is carved into the hillside a few blocks from our apartment, near the edge of town.

I guess when you have so many tombs around, they just don't seem as special as they might if they were discovered in, oh I don't know, maybe Grass Valley!  This tomb is in a dusty area used as the parking lot for the weekly market.

As we were exploring town one day, this little lady motioned for us to follow her.  She took us down a little street, past a snarling dog, through rocks and brush and then to this tomb.  Amazing. 

And then to this one.  Of course, she requested a little compensation for her efforts which we were very happy to pay.  We would not have found these on our own.

We discovered this tomb overlooking the harbor at the edge of town.

After a few days exploring in town it was time for a bigger hike.  We headed out to the Lycian Way, a 509 kilometer trail that extends Fethiye to Antalya.  I think just a few miles will do for us today.

To get to the trail, we hiked south out of town, down to this little beach and back up the other side.

Through oak forests that remind me a bit of California.

And up through some homes built above the beach.  Thane loved this sign!  I wonder if they get many clients stopping in after hiking the trail.  I'll have to keep this in mind for the way back out!

It took a while, but we finally found the trail.

And a guide!  This little guy found us before we found the trail.  He stuck with us for the entire hike.  He seemed to know the trail very well and encouraged us to to follow him whenever we came to a fork in the trail.  We eventually decided to trust him and he did us right!

We passed this house a couple of miles into our hike.  With no road nearby, it appears that they have to hike in just as we did.  The lady of the house was standing on the back patio washing dishes and waved a hello to us.  It seemed like a history book photo come alive!

Another day found us heading north out of town, hiking around a peninsula of newer, very upscale homes over looking the Greek Island of Meis.  Although it is only a 20 minute ferry ride from Kaş, and we were there for three weeks, we somehow didn't find the time to visit. We attended a couple of parties with the mayor of Meis and he chided us for our oversight.  I guess we'll just have to go back!

Our next hike had a nice surprise for us - a torrential downpour.  We ducked under cover to try to wait out the storm.  When Thane pointed the camera at me I thought he was just playing around.  Nope, he captured a soaking, tired, me giving him a "what are you doing?" look. 
Time to head back to the apartment for some hot tea and a warm shower!

Up Next:  More about Kaş, the people, the doors, the festivities!

No comments: