Aannsha’s Blog #219 – Visiting Olympos with Patreon friends

It’s always a pleasure to meet subscribers and Patrons. So when two of our Patrons Thorsten and Kerstin let us know that they would be visiting the Antalya region of Turkey, we were delighted when they suggested meeting us at our marina in Finike.

Thorsten and Kerstin Courtesy of Kerstin Wilkens Fotografie

We had a wonderful first meeting down below in A B Sea’s saloon and chatted and chuckled over a cup of coffee. We went for a walk around Finike and Kerstin and Thorsten explained that they’d hired a car and were visiting different ancient sites in the area and asked if we’d like to come along with them.

One day when there was a break in the rain, they picked us up from A B Sea and we headed to Olympos, which is situated in a river valley very close to the coast, 46.3 km north east from Finike. This is an amazing site, with many ancient ruins is set in the valley which is bordered by beautiful high mountains, dotted with many trees, and has a couple of creeks running into the main river which cuts the site in two, and flows to the sea at the other end of the site.

Olympos was a member, and one of the six largest cities, of the Lycian League although the date it joined the League is uncertain. It is known however, that the city started minting Lycian League coins from around 130 BC.

You may remember that we visited this site last year with our mate Kevin, but there was still a lot of the ruins that we hadn’t explored, so we were happy to revisit Olympos with Thorsten and Kerstin.

We had a great day and despite it being overcast in the morning, we still enjoyed discovering other features of the old city, including the bath house in the Bishopric building.

The doorway to this building is the largest one I’ve ever seen and to me looks more like one of the more ancient walls similar to those we saw in Arykanda. The other walls built onto this gigantic wall are built in a totally different, Roman style, although the whole structure has been designated Roman. But I’m not an archaeologist, so what do I know. Whenever it was constructed, it is still incredible today. The blocks have razor straight walls and fit perfectly together. And the doorway itself stands over four times taller than me and could fit at least three of me with arms outstretched.

The other feature I was surprised to see in such excellent condition was the ‘swimming’ pool in the bath house. You can even see evidence of the tiles that lined the bath, and as it had rained recently, the bath also contained water, to give it a much more recently used feel.

We had a shared picnic near the house with the mosaic floors (that are covered over to protect the tiles from the weather). The sun had come out from behind the clouds and was dappling through the trees and we sat on a bench enjoying our simple fare close to one of the streams.

The Lycians had a knack for building in areas that to me vibrate with an almost palpable, magic energy, and Olympos is one of those places. And Kerstin, being a photographer, took the opportunity to capture the magic with her professional camera (some of which are featured in this blog, thanks to Kerstin Wilkens Fotografie.

As we walked back to the car that we’d parked on the opposite side of the river (do you remember the rickety bridge from last time?), the boys were leading the way about 100 metres ahead of Kerstin and myself. We were both engaged in a great conversation when, pretty much at the same time, we both smelled coffee from the only coffee shop that was open – due to the time of year. The lads didn’t hear us call out to them, so I did a wolf whistle, which everyone else in the area heard, but not Baz and Thorsten! Kerstin resorted to phoning him and they trudged back to join us in the eclectic outdoor café, before returning to the car.

On our return to Finike, we got some great shots of the snow covered mountains. The countryside here is so majestic. When we got back to the marina, Thorsten and Kerstin kindly shouted us dinner at Altın Sofra, which is the meat and fish restaurant at the marina, where we had a great meal and continued out buoyant conversation.

The first four photographs in this gallery are thanks to Kerstin Wilkens Fotografie.

They were returning to Germany the following day, so we made the most of our time together and I want to say we thoroughly enjoyed being with them. We look forward to seeing them again, when they return to Turkey.

If you’d like to see what I’ve just written about, then check out this week’s video here.

Until next week, I wish you health, wealth, courage and a healthy dose of wisdom, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.

Courtesy of Kerstin Wilkens Fotografie

Courtesy of Kerstin Wilkens Fotografie

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