Saranda, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Sarandë, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Nokovë, Albania on April 21st

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The ancient city of Termessos... possibly the best ruins site yet!

Only 30 kms (18 miles) from our apartment in Antalya is the ancient city of Termessos. But while Antalya is virtually at sea level, the city of Termessos was built in the mountains, 3,000' above.

I had done some research and seen some photos, and the site looked spectacular. Despite it being so close to Antalya, it is a fairly quiet ruins site because it's not accessible to the masses. Most people drive from the entrance gate to the parking area, and even then it is a fairly steep 1 km (.6 miles) hike to actually get to the ruins.

But I had a great idea that we should hike up from the entrance gate. The guard at the gate spoke a little bit of English, and when we told him we were walking, he said "but it's 9 kms (each way)..." holding up eight fingers and a thumb!

We said yes, we know... and he shrugged his shoulders and reminded us that they close at 5:00pm.

And off we went...

We are headed up into those mountains.

By 10:45am we were starting to get a bit of a view.

Looking back at the city.

The main highway cuts through that valley.

Cool tree!

Like I said, the road up to the parking lot was about 9 kms (5.5 miles), and it was all paved and all uphill... but very gradual. It gained about 1,500' in that 9 kms, and it was pretty consistent.

The King's Road.

We're guessing that much of what is now the modern paved road leading up to the site was the original route to get up there 2,000 years ago. But we're not sure. Just guessing.


About the half way point we started coming across some ruins.

This one is different because some of the stones are actually notched.

Scenery along the way.

This looks very Indiana Jonesish!

Part of the city drainage system.




The Tomb with the Lions.
(as the sign told us)

We found another tomb with lions, but this one had no sign.

There has been no archeological excavation work done at the ancient city of Termessos. We expect part of the reason for that is the logistics of getting the necessary equipment up there to do the job. Moving all of those rocks around would be a lot of work nowadays. We still can't figure out exactly how they did it 2,000 years ago!

Anyhow, my preference is for these sites that have had no work done to them. I have no problem imagining in my mind what it used to look like when this city was at it's prime. And I understand why they reconstruct some ruins sites like the popular Ephesus here in Turkey and the very popular Machu Picchu in Peru... I just like the natural sites better.

So Termessos was really neat for me. 

One of the reasons that Machu Picchu is so popular is because of the scenery up in the mountains. Well Termessos has similar scenery, and the ruins are actually in better condition!

Look at that wall!



The remains of the baths and gymnasium.




View from the ruins site.

What lies beneath all of this??

Tombs up in the cliff.

A helmet? Not sure.

The best part of the site is arguably the theater. Left totally in its natural state, the theater's location in the mountains is spectacular.

I wish I had a wider angle lens to fit it all in!







I took a video for you...


They sure knew how to build walls to last back then.











Going downhill at a pretty good pace we did the 9 km (5.6 mile) hike down in about an hour and a half!

Our buddy at the gate laughed and pointed at us... I think he was impressed we made it back down by 4:00pm!

Including the exploring we did at the top, we hiked a total of 21.7 kms (13.5 miles) yesterday! It's been a while since we've done that kind of distance in a day.

We have now walked 392.7 kms (243.5 miles) since we arrived in Turkey October 13th.

Today, we are off to our appointment at the eye hospital... full story in tomorrow's blog post.

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12 comments:

  1. Those ancient builders were certainly remarkable. It boggles the mind that they made those spectacular buildings without the technology they use today AND so much survives in an earth quake zone. Just amazing.

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    1. They sure are! We have a hard time trying to wrap our heads around how they built these amazing places as well and how long it took them without all the modern day equipment and technology. Mind you I think they had quite a few slaves there to help them out!

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  2. It is amazing how those Well Built Ruins have survived over the years.
    Not many people have your endurance for those kinds of hikes.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your appointments.

    It's about time.

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    1. It really is amazing to see how well this ruin site has stayed so well preserved without any additional reconstruction of it. We really enjoyed seeing this site and there was still more to see but not enough time to go further into the area to explore more.

      We want to get in a few good hikes like that to get us prepared for Kilimanjaro. I know that none of our hiking days there will be that long but it is good to get ourselves prepared for it, even though we do a lot of hiking to start with. :-)

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  3. I'm so glad I stumbled onto this blog! Staying home because of Covid is hard and I always wanted to go to Turkey. Your posts are helping me re-live the year long trip my husband and I took, settling for three months each in Rome, Croatia, London and Venice. Maybe Turkey next.

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    1. We are glad that you found our blog too and that you are enjoying our adventures.

      Sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful travel year, especially being in each of those four places for three months. That gives you lots of time to go out and really explore the area. Out of those four places we have only been to London. One day we will make it to the others. :-)

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  4. Wow wow wow, just a magnificent setting. I'd like to replicate your entire itinerary but I doubt I'd ever have the time. Termesso's not to be missed if I ever do get back to Turkey,though, that's for sure!

    The Turkish Tourist Board should be comping your whole trip. I suspect you're generating a lot of future business for them documenting your visits to all these off-the-beaten path places. It almost seems like even *they* don't know all that they have in the way of stellar tourist attractions.

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    1. It really was amazing to see! Well if you do decide to go make sure you contact us and tell us what areas you want to visit and then we can give you some ideas, or just back and read out blog posts again to pick out your favourite places. And again, we have only touched the surface, there is so much more to see!

      Lol, it sure would be nice if the the Turkish Tourism Board comped us for this trip or at least part of it! ;-) We are just happy if we make a few more people think about coming to Turkey for a visit, we would certainly recommend it.

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  5. Replies
    1. It certainly was! We really enjoyed our visit at Termessos. :-)

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  6. I can't believe there's as much left and in perfect standing condition. I look daily at the earthquakes and there's a lot in Turkey and surroundings. I can't believe you haven't felt them, or just not mentioning any. Amazing area. Thanks for the details.

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    1. We can't believe that there is still so much left standing either after all the earthquakes that they have in Turkey.

      We did feel the big one back at the end of October, the one that did a lot of damage in İzmir. We did write about it, so maybe you missed the blog post or just forgot about it but that is the only one that we have felt since being here. www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2020/11/earthquake-and-very-cool-cave.html

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