Saturday 18th April 2020

written by Alison Ure

Good morning everyone,

Its another warm day in Antalya  highs of around 23 degree again but not unbroken sunshine like yesterday, I still recommend sunscreen though.

Thank you all for being prompt this morning so we can leave on time. This is the longest day but I hope you have all now adjusted to the time change and feel well rested for an active day. We will be leaving Antalya heading south on the D 400. Our first stop is ‘Black Rock’ I’ve no idea what the locals call it but that is what we call it and it’ll take about 1 hour to get there.

It was this rock that was the start of my research for trip number 1. I approached some English colleagues in Kaş who ran a Turkish travel agency and ran my idea of a geological and archaeological trip past them. They jumped at the idea and said by Turkish law I had to use a Turkish travel agency and they would provide a Turkish guide – another legal requirement. They would also book the hotels, restaurants, boats, coach transfer etc. basically everything on the Turkish side. They also suggested several geological sites to visit and took me round them in 2011. Between us we put together the trip. Karen and Mike sold Amber Travel to their co-worker Paul Forrester a few years ago and it was Paul who helped organise trip number 3 with me, along with this one. Hopefully you will get to meet Paul whilst we’re in Kaş. If anyone ever wants to come back to Turkey to do any kind of trip, walking, cycling, hiking, historical or cultural site seeing then contact Paul. He may be based in Kaş but he arranges tours all over Turkey.

Back to today. Mike and Karen showed me a photo of Black Rock and asked me if I knew why there was such a dark rock in a limestone area? I said no but I would find out. I bought Dr Jill Eyers, Rocks Afoot field guide series, called “Archaeology and Geology of Lycia southern Turkey”. This informed me about the ophiolites in the area, I had never even heard of ophiolites at that time but got quite excited about seeing old sea floor rocks.

So black rock is actually an ophiolite assemblage of dunite and peridotite altered to serpentinite and sitting unconformably against gabbro. When you get up close it’s actually green and red and their are a few large crystals in the assemblage. This strange outcrop is situated just inland from the town of Camyuva. You can see it on google map satellite HERE. It is close to the Merder resort Hotel.   We will only stop here for around 15 mins when the whistle blows please rejoin the bus.

The “Black Rock”. More photos HERE

We continue on the D 400 to the ancient site of Phaselis, where there are comfort facilities and snacks. But between here and there keep your eyes peeled to the right-hand side of the bus. Here the mantle rock becomes very clear with travertine sitting unconformably above it. The green of the serpentinite is quite clear in many road cuttings. You can see it better from the other side of the road so we will have the obligatory roadside stop all field trips have, when we leave Phaselis so you can take photos.

Travertine unconformable on serpentinite
Aqueduct. More Phaselis photos HERE.
The aqueduct appears to line up with this orange layer between the porous
travertine and the impervious serpentinite. It look like sand but is in fact

On arriving at Phaselis, Tolga will give you a short history of the place then you are free to explore this city with 3 harbours. The geology is fascinating too as the photos show. Most of the buildings are built from a conglomerate but the beach pebbles tell a different story! A mixture of grey limestone, black basalt, green gabbro and orange roman pottery shards make for a very colourful beach. You have just over an hour and a half here so enjoy the culture and have a paddle. I’ll blow the whistle when it’s time to go for lunch.  Walking sandals are fine for this site but take care on uneven surfaces under foot.

Theatre at Phaselis
Main Street of Phaselis
Beach at Phaselis

I hope you enjoyed your time at Phaselis. We’re now off to Ulupinar for lunch in the cool mountains. This is a trout farm so fresh fish is their specialty but chicken and vegetarian options are also available. Tolga will have taken your preference this morning and phoned the order through so we shouldn’t have to wait long. There will be a mixed meze to start with fresh bread, main of your choice with salad and chips, probably followed by fruit.

Walking up to Olympos

Now for your afternoon exercise we will visit Chimaera/Yanartas or the Eternal flames. From Ulupinar we are back on the D 400 for a short while before turning off toward Olympos, another ancient site. We turn off the road to Olympos to get to the car park for the flames. There are toilets and snacks here in case you didn’t eat enough at lunch, though an ice cream when you come down off the mountain is an idea?  The climb to the flames is about 1.5 km up hill, not too steep and a lot of the path is stepped. Some of these are uneven, worn and different heights so take care, I don’t want another sprained ankle in the group please! I recommend walking shoes/boots and a stick, to help those with dodgy knees on the way down. It should take most people 35/45 minutes to get to the top.

There is also some information in your handout about this site, so I won’t repeat myself.

I first visited these flames at night and stayed in a tree house close to Olympos. You need a torch as there is absolutely no light pollution and the stars on the way up seem close enough to touch, they are so bright. I would love to bring the group up at night but….

The Flames. More photos of Olympos HERE.

I trust you enjoyed that strange phenomenon, strange to think they have been burning for over 2000 years, the stories they could tell.  So now its back on the bus, does anyone need the loo? We have roughly a 2 hour journey to Kaş now, so time for a snooze after all that fresh air and exercise.

Wakey wakey, we’ve arrived in Kaş at the Phellos hotel, our home for the next 4 nights.

After a large lunch there is no set meal for dinner you are free to wander where you will.  Jane and I will take those people down who want to see the town centre around 8 pm so we’ll meet back in the foyer then. We can then suggest various eateries which I’ll be booking us into over the next few nights. Please wear sensible shoes as ‘slippery street’ lives up to its name!

I will need everyone’s passport too please to hand to the authorities for tomorrow’s day trip to the Greek island.

See you later or in the morning.