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    [See more at: http://turkradio.us/k/yedi/ ] x0x Yediburunlar By ERSIN DEMIREL At Yediburunlar nature and history stand eye to eye, as do the cliffs and golden
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2006
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      x0x Yediburunlar

      By ERSIN DEMIREL

      At Yediburunlar nature and history stand eye to
      eye, as do the cliffs and golden sands bathed in
      sunlight.

      Because the route of the Fethiye-Kas highway is
      inland, most people are not aware of the treasures
      hidden along the stretch of coastline from
      Oludeniz (the Dead Sea) to Patara. Here, if you
      only know how to look, you will find green forests
      dipping their branches in the blue of the
      Mediterranean, virgin inlets each more beautiful
      than the last, capes extending into the sea with
      the intricacy of lace, and a trove of ancient
      ruins.

      A BREATH-TAKING VIEW

      I first discovered Yediburunlar (Seven Capes)
      while hiking along the trail known as the Lycian
      Road. As we came to the village of AlInca, having
      emerged from an inlet named for squash, the sight
      of the pineclad hills between Karacaburun (Cape
      Karaca) and Yediburunbasi (the start of the Seven
      Capes), and the view of the golden inlets bathed
      in sunlight, took our breath away. In ancient
      times Seven Capes was called Hiera Akra, or Sacred
      Cape. The area is tough on sailors, for storms can
      break out suddenly and the waves are wild. Even
      today, boats pass carefully and at a good way out.
      Most of these capes rise abruptly towards the
      land, turning into hills and mountains, while the
      streambeds find the sea at tiny inlets. The slopes
      are rocky in places, and elsewhere covered with
      pine forests and scrub.

      A PICTURE OF INFINITY

      I pitch my tent in the yard of Sevki, former
      headman in the village of Alinca, and make my way
      up Bakacak hill, from which there is a panoramic
      view of Seven Capes.Below, Balartli and Sancak
      Harbor are like a blue-green tunnel that lifts the
      imagination to soaring heights. Suddenly a gray
      cloud comes off the sea to cover everything in
      haze. I'm not really surprised, for whenever I'm
      here the sea's moisture shapes a fog to cloak the
      high hills.

      Then we climb a short way up to the village of
      Karaagac, for the mound behind it affords an
      incredible view. As we gaze into the chasm where a
      deep, green valley ends in a small beach at the
      Squash Inlet, the feeling of time and space gives
      way to a sense of infinity. Farther on stretches
      the Bay of Fethiye, looking like a smooth lake
      between Capes Iblis and Kurtoglu. And still
      further in the distance lies the island of Rhodes,
      its evening lights winking at the sky.

      DOWN TO THE SEA

      In order to explore Seven Capes, and the virgin
      inlets along the shore, one must hike along at an
      altitude of 300-500 meters. From the village of
      Bogazici, Turcan and I descend a steep trail to
      the inlet named Yalancisancak. Here the vegetation
      conceals an ancient settlement, and apart from the
      ruins of buildings one notes the defensive walls
      on the sea side. The inlet has two small natural
      beaches. Leaving the main trail we follow a goat
      path and descend the slope of Ince Burun (the
      Narrow Cape) to Sancaklik Harbor.

      This is a magical spot, where the color of the sea
      shifts back and forth between turquoise and green.
      What makes this inlet special is its blend of
      nature and history. The ruins that extend as far
      as the sea are those of Kalabantia, a city which
      is thought to have been the port for Sidyma in
      ancient times. Leaving the ruins behind us, we
      forge ahead parallel to the shore. Hiking among
      the red trunks of sandalwood trees, we come to a
      beach called Balartli--it takes its name from fig
      trees--and give our tired bodies up to the
      ice-cold waters of the sea.

      Bogazici, lying between Alinca and Seven Capes, is
      relatively flat compared to the other terrain in
      the area. Its terraced fields, reminiscent of Inca
      agriculture, are planted with wheat and tobacco,
      and among them rises a striking Ottoman tomb.

      LIVING TRACES OF THE PAST

      The next day we call on the ancient city of
      Sidyma, in the village of Dodurga. Rising out of
      the fields, the remains of the buildings seem like
      living traces of the past, as do the ancient
      stones used to build houses, and the altars
      standing casually in a kitchen corner with holes
      in their middle. Most intriguing to me are the
      twin sarcophagi. We spend the night in the
      district of Yediburunlar, famous for its colorful
      handwoven carpets and kilims.

      Accompanied by the chatter of birds and the sound
      of bells from the goats, we make our way to Cape
      Sancak. After some hard hiking over rocks with
      holes like Swiss cheese, I find myself at a point
      where I can look at Capes Inkaklik and Kotu. The
      name Inkaklik comes from the salt that collects in
      the small caves on the shore. Our goal is to reach
      the lighthouse on Yediburunbasi, but halfway there
      we are suddenly enveloped by fog and have to turn
      back.

      PATARA BEACH, 18 KILOMETERS LONG

      In the morning I set out again and come to
      Belcegiz, where there are a few abandoned houses.
      Mt. Sandak (Kragos) looms majestically in the
      distance as I give up the idea of hiking to
      Gavuragili, where the last two capes are, and
      travel by car via Esen to the eastern tip of Seven
      Capes.

      KIlIc, the name of the second to last cape, means
      "sword," and the promontory resembles one. Behind
      it stretches Patara in all its glory, one of the
      longest natural beaches in the world at 18
      kilometers. The western end is separated from
      Zeytin Burnu--Cape Olive--by a small river called
      the Ozlen. This river starts at Karadere (Black
      Creek), and after a short journey reaches the sea.
      On its bank stands the ancient city of Pydnai,
      boasting defensive walls that have eleven turrets.
      Clearly the sea in those days used to come this
      far. The area has been dried up with eucalyptus
      trees, which suck up water, and has dozens of
      greenhouses.

      A VACATIONER'S DREAM: THE SQUASH INLET

      The last day we drive up a dirt road that rises
      out of the Kidrak area of Oludeniz--the Dead Sea.
      Arriving shortly in the village of Faralya we look
      out over the Valley of Butterflies. Green between
      walls of rugged rock, the valley ends at the
      whitecapped waves of the sea, and from the
      precipice we relish the scenery and the taste of
      freedom.

      Our last stop is Kabak Koyu--the inlet named for
      squash--which lies deserted with its rich habitat,
      Aladere falls and magnificent beach.

      For visitors to the region, the nearest
      accomodations are at Patara (the village of
      Gelemis) or the Dead Sea. The local people are
      incredibly hospitable, and travelers who wish can
      stay in cool village houses of stone. To reach
      Seven Capes you must turn off at the sign for the
      village of Esen (Sidyma) on the Kas-Fethiye road.
      If your target is Ozlen Cayi--the Ozlen River--and
      Gavuragili, take the Letoon turn-off and the
      Kumluova-Karadere road. Other historical and
      natural beauties to see in the Yediburunlar area
      are PInara, Tlos, Saklikent (the Hidden City)
      Canyon, Letoon and Xanthos.

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