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x0x A walk through the Land of Light

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    [See more on this subject by visiting the pages selected for you by Anita Donohoe: http://turkradio.us/k/lycia/ ] x0x A walk through the Land of Light By ERSIN
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1 12:24 PM
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      [See more on this subject by visiting the pages
      selected for you by Anita Donohoe:
      http://turkradio.us/k/lycia/ ]

      x0x A walk through the Land of Light

      By ERSIN DEMIREL

      Turkeys longest hiking trail at 509 km, the Lycian
      Way takes visitors on a journey in time and space
      through the history and natural beauty of the Land
      of Light.

      The hiking trails in the Kackars, in Cappadocia
      and around Istanbul are Turkeys leading centers
      for the newly developing branch of nature tourism.

      Most of us however are not even aware of the
      existence of the Lycian Way, one of the worlds
      longest such trails. The Lycian Way, which ranks
      with Annapurna (Nepal), Torres del Paine (Chile)
      and the Inca Trail (Peru) among the worlds
      favorite trekking routes, was selected 15th last
      year as one of The Best 50 Hiking Trails by the
      English magazine, Country Walking.

      The Lycian Way project, which won the prize for
      the environment category in a competition
      sponsored five years ago by Garanti Bank, is the
      fruit of an original and arduous study by
      Englishwoman Kate Clow.

      The route, which is marked out from beginning to
      end with signposts and the international sign
      system (Grand Randonne), is Turkeys longest hiking
      trail at 509 km. Steeped in natural beauty and the
      history of ancient Lycia as its name indicates,
      the trail follows the old migration routes.


      Starting out from Fethiye-Hisaronu, it rises
      hundreds of meters from the coves of the
      Mediterranean, welcoming visitors to the
      mysterious cities of ancient Lycia and culminating
      in the village of Hisarcan 25 km from Antalya.

      The Lycian homeland or Land of Light is the area
      between Antalya and Koycegiz on the Teke
      peninsula.

      The Lycians, who called themselves the Trmmili
      (Termilae), were known for their love of freedom
      and war-like traditions.

      Founding countless cities reminiscent of eagles
      eyries in this harsh terrain and scorching
      climate, they possessed an original culture with
      rock tombs and sarcophagi worked in the local
      limestone, and the Lycian League, whose capital
      was at Patara, was a forerunner of many modern-day
      systems of statehood with its concept of
      autonomous rule.

      The Lycians, who made their living as sailors,
      pirates and mercenaries, had a matriarchal
      society. But come now, let us set out on an
      extensive but pleasant tour through the Land of
      Light.

      STARTING OUT FROM HISARONU

      The Lycian Way begins at the resort village of
      Hisaronu-Montana. As the ancient migration route
      rises from the foothills of Mt Babadag, colorful
      hang gliders in a rainbow of colors are heading
      for the white sands of the Oludeniz.

      Following the red and white signs, I arrive at the
      brink of a precipice at Faralya. Below me lie the
      Kelebekler Vadisi or 'Valley of the Butterflies',
      where freedom and infinity stretch hand in hand,
      and Kabak Cove whose turquoise waters turn to
      azure in the depths.

      The four-hour climb to Alinca is one of the
      trail's most difficult segments. Then come the
      Yediburunlar or 'Seven Headlands' with their
      endless curves, unexpected patches of fog and
      swaths of emerald green sweeping down the hills to
      the heart of the sea.

      And, after the ancient cities of Sidyma and
      Pydnai, the endless beach at Patara, where the
      Ozlen Cayi empties into the Mediterranean...

      I am now on another waterway, the Delikkemer, an
      ancient aqueduct built centuries ago of colossal
      interlocking rocks, each with a hole in the
      center, to bring water to Patara.

      As the blue of the sea swallows up the sun's last
      red rays, Patara drifts off to sleep and the
      Caretta caretta lumber along the beach to lay
      their eggs in the hot sand.

      It's morning and I'm climbing from the seashore to
      the cool, refreshing highlands. Fruit trees,
      flocks of goats and triangular-shaped grain silos
      reminiscent of Lycian tombs accompany me along the
      way.

      Descending from Gediktepe to Antiphellos (Kas), I
      send greetings to the neighboring island of Meis
      which lies opposite. The Lycian Way now proceeds
      parallel to the coast, passing one by one through
      the ancient cities. Apollania, Aperlai, Teimussa,
      Simena...

      Cyprus acacias with their yellow blossoms,
      euphorbia, fire-red poppies, anemone... Boats on
      'blue cruises' bob gently up and down over the
      ancient sunken city of Kekova.

      Soon I reach Father Christmas's home of Demre and
      the ancient city of Myra, noted for its unusual
      Lycian tombs.

      ON TO TAHTALI FOR THE HARDY

      The ancient way rises sharply from sea level to
      Eren and Alaca at an altitude of 1900 m.

      The other alternative requires strength and
      fitness. The goal is the summit of Mt Tahtali, at
      2366 meters the highest point on the trail. I
      leave the waves pounding the shore behind and set
      out for Tahtali, which in winter requires some ice
      climbing.

      From the summit of the mountain a vast panorama
      lies spread out before me. Its sister peak,
      Kizlarsivrisi (3070 m), the Bay of Antalya in all
      its splendor, and the Bolkar and Dedegol mountains
      in the distance complete the scene.

      Coming together again at Gedelme, the ancient road
      leaves the Goynuk highlands behind and enters a
      narrow canyon. Then, returning to sea level, it
      allows travelers a breathing space before heading
      once again into the rugged hills. When I reach the
      base of the Saricinar transmitter (1900 m), it's
      only another 5 km to Hisarcandir, the end of the
      road.

      FOUR SEASONS IN A SINGLE DAY

      The trekking season is long here where the winter
      months are quite temperate due to the prevailing
      Mediterranean climate.

      The other alternative requires strength and
      fitness. The goal is the summit of Mt Tahtali, at
      2366 meters the highest point on the trail. I
      leave the waves pounding the shore behind and set
      out for Tahtali, which in winter requires some ice
      climbing. From the summit of the mountain a vast
      panorama lies spread out before me. Its sister
      peak, Kizlarsivrisi (3070 m), the Bay of Antalya
      in all its splendor, and the Bolkar and Dedegol
      mountains in the distance complete the scene.

      Coming together again at Gedelme, the ancient road
      leaves the Goynuk highlands behind and enters a
      narrow canyon. Then, returning to sea level, it
      allows travelers a breathing space before heading
      once again into the rugged hills.

      When I reach the base of the Saricinar transmitter
      (1900 m), it's only another 5 km to Hisarcandir,
      the end of the road.

      FOUR SEASONS IN A SINGLE DAY

      The trekking season is long here where the winter
      months are quite temperate due to the prevailing
      Mediterranean climate.

      But the best time for hiking is early spring when
      you can see at once the snow-capped mountains and
      the wild flowers that carpet the earth.

      Nor should it be forgotten that the four seasons
      can be experienced in a single day on the mountain
      peaks. Since hiking the entire trail in one go
      takes some 35-40 days, its best to divide it up
      into steps. For details, you can consult Kate
      Clows guidebook, published in English, whose
      detailed map is a boon for trekking buffs.

      Anybody who wants to can walk the trail by simply
      following the red and white lines. A red x means
      you deviated from the trail, and twice-repeated
      red and white signs are a reminder that you have
      come to a fork in the road. Placed at
      approximately every 50 meters, the signs are
      renewed at regular intervals by volunteers.

      The signs nonetheless may sometimes go missing due
      to natural conditions, occasional vandalism, and
      the opening up of new forest roads. In this case,
      returning to the last sign and calmly
      reconnoitering the area again will ensure that you
      find the right way.

      You too should experience this matchless adventure
      in time and space, to savor solitude, serenity and
      nature as well as the thyme-gathering mountain
      nomads, the tart taste of carob, the mysteries of
      the Lycian homeland, the summit of Tahtali and the
      Mediterraneans endless blue.

      --
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