Friday 24th April 2020

written by Alison Ure

Good morning everyone, 

I slept like a log last night after yesterday exertions followed by that delicious wine, my aching muscles are looking forward to a more restful day though. Sadly the weather has deteriorated but I think we should just about stay dry for this morning site visits, they are only brief.

So today is the penultimate day of the trip and we go back to Antalya over the mountains and plains on the northern edge of Ancient Lycia. But first we’ll visit Telmessos, the ancient town of Fethiye, and then a road side stop to look for chromite ore.

We’ll drive down through the pine forests, so different from the olive groves we walked through yesterday. The changes to the base rock in the areas we have travelled over, affects the soils and ultimately the plants that grow on them. This in turn affects the fauna living in the area so there are some places where there are endemic species, blocked in migration by the changes to their environment. Butterfly valley is one such place, though I think the location would give some species a challenge to migrate out of.

So we say goodbye to Muzzy and his hospitable staff and head north through the pine forest. We’ll stop to view some fabulous house tombs, remnants of the ancient Telmessos.

Amyntas’s tomb, son of Hermapios, 4th century BC. More photos HERE.

We then continue on through the town of Fethyie, much of built on the ancient town, to our next stop outside a chromite mine.

We are unfortunately unable to visit a chromite mine, though I did manage to sneak into one in 2011 where I took the photo in the handout. No one stopped us, in fact no spoke to us, but I think a coach load of geologists might be considered unwelcome. Mike and Karen did contact the mine and they said on no account were they open to visitors. I suspect their lack of health and safety might have been an issue. We did see women in their swirly trousers and scarves standing over the conveyor belt picking out rocks! It did look like an accident waiting to happen. So the next best thing is a chromite mine midden, beside the road, outside a mine. I have a big piece of ore, similar to the photo, which was found here by an eagle-eyed member of the first group in 2012. You would have seen it in Kaş when we met in the Hideaway Bar, along with schist from yesterday’s walk.

In the geological handout you will see a map of all the major chromite mining areas in Turkey and Fethyie was one of them. Chromite comes from mafic /ultra-mafic basement rock as the green peridotite altered to serpentinite in the photo indicates.

The brown hills we became familiar with south of Antlaya, which disappeared around Kaş and Kasaba, reappeared around Fethyie indicating the ophiolitic mantle rocks from the Tethys Ocean seafloor, part of the Lycian Nappes.

We now head back onto our old faithful the D 400 back towards Antalya, and then cross over to the D 330 to head inland. There will be a comfort stop along this road in the not too distant future. We follow the D 330 are far as Sögüt where we then turn right onto the E 87 heading back towards Antalya.

On the drive over the mountains , back to Antalya.
On the drive over the mountains , back to Antalya. More photos HERE.

The views on this drive are spectacular and the terrain so varied you could almost do a week’s trip on this drive alone. I only hope the weather allows you to see it all. Just past Korkutelli we stop for lunch at a mushroom restaurant, Manta Evi (Mushroom house) where everything on the menu is made from mushrooms, even the ice cream! I can highly recommend the soup, it’s the best mushroom soup I’ve ever tasted.

At Manta Evi

Did you enjoy that, it’s certainly an original place. We continue on our way down from the mountain back towards the Antalya plain and turn left when we get there to head north again to Karain cave. This is situated only a few miles south of where we started at Kırk Göz. Karain cave is another UNESCO Heritage Site and has been occupied for some 200,000 years.

Find photos of Karain Cave HERE.

The steps up to the cave can be slippery; especially if it’s wet which I think it’s going to be today, so I recommend walking boots and sticks for this site. It is a 20 min climb up the steps but well worth it when you get there.

The view across the plain from Karain cave, It will have looked very different
200,000 yrs ago. More photos HERE

So that’s it for today, now it’s back to The Atelya Art hotel for our last night in Turkey. We will meet in the bar at 6.30pm to walk down to the Mermeli restaurant overlooking the old harbour for our farewell meal. I hope you’ve enjoyed today, sorry about the weather.

See you in the bar later.