Saturday, October 25, 2008


It has been a busy few weeks since our return from Turkey and I had not planned to post as little as I have done.

However a busy time at work and a PC failure at home have taken their toll on my internet time. Thankfully the PC is sorted, even complete with an upgrade to a wireless router. As the weekend is here, I am posting a couple of photos from Turkey.

These are the ancient ruins of Heraklia on the shores of Lake Bafa. A wording of warning to anyone who ventures this way. The present day settlement at Heraklia is inhabited by some of the most pushy people in Turkey (and that's saying something !!).

On entering the village we were sold "tickets" by two men in what looked like a garden shed. The tickets were for "the site". As the remains are scattered amongst the contemporary settlement, these tickets were essentially to the modern village.

While tickets to the site were reasonable (if dubious in authenticity) it was unclear where to park. While deciding, a reddish haired fat boy emerged who could have easily passed for a German or north European. He turned out to be Turkish but in a high voice and broken English offered a "tour" of the ancient sites. A polite "maybe later" was definitely the wrong thing to say as we were quickly surrounded by a small group of children and a larger group of old women trying to sell linen, beads and even soap. One even tried to exchange Euros with me.

While a bit of enterprise is not to be denigrated, it was really too much as we were followed every step of the way by this group.

I was shown a "Roman Theatre" and then asked for money. With our son in a buggy, the smell of manure everywhere and harrassed by a group of locals at every turn we decided to beat a retreat. A French couple looked similarly fed up and also left. That was a pity as the Greek and Roman history of the site deserved more attention. If the locals were slightly less pushy I am sure they would do more business.

Lake Bafa is spectacular with a ruined monastery on an island in the lake. The rocks around the site make it almost look like another planet. I can recommend it but be careful if you drive into Heraklia !

Below are two photos that in order to take I needed to pay two liras to fob off a group of local children who were bugging me !

The locals in Heraklia were unusually pushy. It is not typical at all. Normally they politely leave you alone when it is clear you are not interested in buying anything.

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