We just returned from our week’s vacation to the Mediterranean Coast. I am not sure what I enjoyed the most. Was it the beautiful turquoise shores? The Waterfalls of Manavgat? The non-stop buffets of the resort? The breath-taking ancient ruins? I just can’t pick a favorite. So why don’t we start at the beginning. The road to Manavgat.
At first the drive from Ankara was pretty straight-forward. It’s a long mostly two-lane highway, that cuts through the heart of Anatolia. The flat farm lands reminded me of the mid-west. About 260 km (160 miles) or so into the ride, we passed through Konya. Konya was the final home of Rumi, a poet and teacher, whose writings play an important role in Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to men of all sects and creeds. You can learn more about Rumi, and his famous followers – The Whirling Dervishes – by visiting the Mevlana Museum in Konya (or on the internet.)
As we drove, mountains eventually appeared in the distance – the Taurus Mountains. (Toros Dağları). These are the mountains, running through southern Turkey, from which the Euphrates and Tigris descend into Iraq. It divides the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau.
The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris in the east. It has many peaks rising above 3,000–3,700 m, (10,000–12,000 ft). The Taurus complex is divided into four ranges.
The return ride was just as beautiful. We stopped to purchase locally-made honey. We also stopped to enjoy a traditional Turkish treat. Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish hand made and hand rolled pastry. This one was stuffed with feta and parsley. It is cooked on a round griddle. We enjoyed it with tea, sitting out under the pines in a wooden box made specifically for this type of thing, and just before the rains came.
The ride home was much the same as the ride to Manavgat, save the rain and the beautiful sunset.