Travel

Spring Break: Turkey (Day 4 – Olympos)

I’m not much of a hiker, but I do love fitness and  being active. So the chance to go on my first real hike was well received and I was excited to see more of the nature in this part of Turkey. It wasn’t so massive a hike that we would need pack or anything of the sort, just some choice snack and bottles of water and we were on our way.

Crossing the stream to the otherside
Crossing the stream to the other side

We began out journey by precariously crossing to the other side of the shallow river and we’re told to follow the red and white trail. It would lead to a journey over the mountain and down a the beach. But that’s all of the information we received, nothing about how long it would take us to reach that beach or even how long our overall journey was going to be. My need to be in control of situations and know where we were going and how long it might take kept getting the best of me as we head out on this obscure adventure.

We began by getting fortunately lost in the ruins that we saw the day before from our route to the beach. It was nice to see more of the faded greek writing, an old theatre and some more empty tombs. We even came across a turtle! I’ve never seen a turtle before (yes really)! I was pretty excited by this small encounter. We may have spent 30 minutes with the turtle…but I digress.

A closed, very intact tomb
A closed, very intact tomb
More ruins
More ruins
Turtle!!
Turtle!!
Upper portion of an outdoor theatre
Upper portion of an outdoor theatre

After spending more time then necessary hitting all of the spots along this historical route, we found the trail we should have started on to begin with, up the mountain. It was a nice warm day and the sky was clear, sunlight was streaming through the trees and rocks above. It was a beautiful, arduous journey scaling boulders on this trail, but nothing we couldn’t handle. After a few hours, I was starting to get wary and we kept thinking we were reaching the summit. After, a third false alarm we saw an area of broken down trees that we thought has landed us in the top, but there was no place left to go. After a bit of back tracking and searching we found the trail again and pressed on.

View at the start of our ascent
View at the start of our ascent
Broken down trees, near the top
Broken down trees, near the top

When we finally reaching the top, there was a lea of beautiful flower that I could not appreciate because of my tired feet and shins. The break at an old broken down picnic table for lunch was well received as we gobbled down some of the sandwich fixins we acquired in the pension from the breakfast buffet. But, there was no rest for the weary, we still needed to get down.

Finally made it to the top
Finally made it to the top
Beautiful flowers that lined our path
Beautiful flowers that lined our path

GP and SS decided to take the longer, more difficult route back the way we came. But the other four of us just wanted a break and choose the path down the other side that some other travelers told us about.

View from our lunch bench
View from our lunch bench
Interesting flowers on our way down
Interesting flowers on our way down
Gross! I stepped in mud!
Gross! I stepped in mud!

The path made my quite cranky because we kept losing the trail, my sneakers kept slipping on the rocks and I sank into a big puddle of mud (the start of my misfortunes). It was slow going and even the music blaring of my favorite tunes from my iPhone couldn’t unsour my mood. I just wanted off the trail and back into civilization. The view however was epic and we stopped at many points along the way to take pictures of the other mountains beyond.

Making our way down
Making our way down

Further down we went, slipping and sliding the whole way until we found an open field that we knew was near the road. And in that field was a herd of goats. Who began to follow us, probably in hopes of getting some food. It was funny and intimidating at the same time. A little too close for comfort, but eventually they saw we weren’t giving anything up and moved on. And a few minutes later we emerged onto the street not far from our pension, relieve to be back and read for a nice hot shower.

Heard of goats walking with us
Heard of goats walking with us

We had a lovely evening by the fire again, resting from the intense endurance of the day and readying ourselves from another adventure in the morning.

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