Saturday, October 8, 2011

Famished in Phaselis

Schedules may often be more like suggestions, "no"s may sometimes mysteriously turn into "yes"es, and procedures may change from day to day, but if there's anything you can count on in Turkey, it's that there will be a dolmuş (private minibus) going where you want to go, and that when you get there, someone will be selling something to eat.

So there was no reason to doubt the Lonely Planet Turkey guide when it said you could buy snacks at the site entrance to Phaselis, the ruins of an ancient city set along three small bays on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.

"Snacks," though, turned out to be a cooler of sodas and a few overpriced candy bars. My faith in the certainties of Turkish travel badly shaken, I bought a Twix bar and headed onward. I had spent three hours on the dolmuş to get here; there would be no turning back in search of tost.

The ruins and beaches, fortunately, were exactly as advertised.

Remains of the aqueduct in Phaselis.

The southern harbor in Phaselis.

An enterprising boatsman had even set up a juice-squeezing stand on one of the rocky little shores. Now that's the Turkey I know and love.

TO VISIT: Dolmuşes running between Kaş and Antalya will stop at Phaselis in either direction, though it's much closer to the later (about 56km from Antalya). From Kaş, it's a 2.5 to 3-hour ride, depending on how many stops the driver makes. The site is open every day, from 9am to 7:30pm in high season (April to October) and 8:30am to 5pm the rest of the year. Admission is 8 TL.

Bring your swimming gear -- the crumbling, but atmospheric ruins run stretch between three beaches, two pebbly and one sandy -- and something to eat.

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