|We are constantly surprised at how interested we have become in the ancient, mostly Greek, ruins we visit. Neither of us has been particularly interested in ancient history in the past but we keep being drawn to these sites - well, you can hardly avoid them as they are scattered all over the countryside!
We drove through an agricultural area that was densely populated with greenhouses full of tomato plants and fields of cotton and tobacco - bumping over the usual narrow, rural roads that snake through the villages. We always create a fuss with our big "American" motor home slowly edging its way through the narrow villages, causing the men sitting at the little tea houses to stop and stare, and wave, as we pass.
We stopped at Letoon, another 2nd Century BC Hellenistic ruin that was located right in the middle of a village. What delighted us about this particular spot was the use the villagers made of it: a group of young children were playing soccer in what was the stage of the old theatre, then running up and down the 2,000 year old marble steps playing tag! As we wandered through the half submerged remains of the ancient civilization, we noticed an older man sitting on a marble slab sharing an orange with two small children - no doubt his grandchildren - and a woman leading her cow through the site to tether it where it could graze along with the goats wandering freely. It is so gratifying to see that this site that was populated so long ago can still be a gathering place for the villagers today.
We spent several days in the village of Kas where we caught up with Stephan and Christine, the French couple we spent Christmas with, and two German couples (one of them in a huge Canadian made motor home they had drive across N. America in several years ago) - all of us camping right in the middle of town at the marina. There was a washroom, showers and laundry facilities so it was like we had our own private (free) campsite. Unfortunately, we handed our laundry in to the rough looking (but charming) man who looked after the facility and discovered an hour later that he had washed it and hung it all across the parking lot of the marina. Boy, was Moe's face red seeing her underwear out there for the entire village to see. Kas is a village where political dissidents used to be sent - but it seems a very charming place to be exiled. The stunning harbour is watched over by a 500 m high mountain and the Greek island of Meis is just offshore (we cannot get over the number of Greek islands that lie immediately off the coast of Turkey - obviously dating back to the political sharing of the spoils of war). The village is expanding to include dozens of holiday homes so the German/British invasion is happening all along the Turkish coast. It has obviously driven the prices up as holiday villas were selling for about $750,000 (but quoted in pound sterling!). Some villages are restricting where "foreigners" can buy land and build just to stop this inflation of property values in small villages - and perhaps that is a very good thing.