Expat Magazine

Life Among the Ruins

By Ellen @ElleninTurkey

Life among the Ruins


Before I moved to Turkey I hadn't given much thought to ancient Greek and Roman ruins.  I knew about Epheses and Troy of course, but I didn't realize just how many of these ancient sites were in Turkey.  In the area where I live, there are several ancient attractions within an hour's drive.
The most impressive of these is the amphitheater at Aspendos, built around 1,000 b.c. and still in use today for opera performances.   One of the best preserved ancient theaters in the world, it seats 7,000; almost twice as many as my home theater, the Metropolitan Opera.  I've seen a few ancient theaters, but this is the only one I've seen with the stage and back stage area intact.  I could actually walk through what must have been the dressing rooms. (They were smaller than those at the Met, as this theater pre-dates by centuries the age of the diva.)  We were lucky to have visited on a beautiful day in April which allowed me to take photos that look like postcards.  There were a few tour groups there, but nothing like what it will be like in the summer.

Life among the Ruins

My post-card shot of Aspendos.

Not far from Aspendos is Perge.  Originally a Hellenistic settlement during the time of Alexander the Great, Perge became a Roman Imperial city, the outlines of which can be seen today.  There's the Agora, surrounding shops, and a boulevard lined with columns.  Of course, you do have to use your imagination to fill in these outlines.

Life among the Ruins


Another ancient site in this area is Side, also about an hour's drive from Antalya (by car), but a longer trip by bus.  I went for the day with my friend Gaby, who lived in Side for a year before moving to my neighborhood in Konyaalti.  Side is a popular tourist destination because it combines ancient ruins with a sandy beach.  The beach in Konyaalti is actually more beautiful, but it's made of rocks and is less comfortable for walking.

Life among the Ruins


One advantage of Side being more touristy than Konyaalit was the availability of actual coffee.  Several beachside bars had signs for Illy or Lavazza, whereas Baki Beach offers only the dreaded Nescafe.

Life among the Ruins


We even found an Italian restaurant that served prosciutto and melon with actual prosciutto!  Prosciutto, being a pork product, is hard to find in Turkey.  I haven't seen it on any menu in Antalya.Side also has a picturesque harbor.
Life among the Ruins

Actually, I don't have to travel further than my local bus stop to see Roman ruins.  There's the remains of a bath that I pass by almost every day.

Life among the Ruins

Roman baths in Gursu, Konyaalti, Antalya.

Besides, why travel at all when I live in the city Ataturk described as "undoubtedly the most beautiful place in the world"?

Life among the Ruins

Antalya's harbor

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener