Turkey Termessos 2001.04.12

Mountain Fortress

Termessos, high in the mountains 34km northeast of Antalya, is probably the most spectacularly sited ruined city in Turkey. Inhabited by the Termessians, it remained independent when Alexander the Great was fought off in 333 BC. We visited en route from Olimpos to Göreme, which is only possible by reaching Antalya no later than 13:00 from Olimpos. From Antalya to Göreme, buses depart nightly at 20:30. The bus company will store luggage for free.

Termessos is not accessible directly by local transport. Buses running between the Antalya bus station and Korkuteli will drop-off at the road junction to Termessos for 1 million TKL. The latest return bus to Antalya is at 18:00. From the Termessos junction, it's 9km uphill. The walk takes about 2 hours at a steady pace. Alternatively, taxis waiting at the junction charge about 5 million TKL one-way by meter. We road a taxi both up and down to ensure we would have time to catch our bus to Göreme. Those who walked the 9km to the Termessos parking lot didn't look happy to realize that it's another 20 minute steep hike up to the ruins. The Termessians must have been one physically fit population.

For further information on Termessos, please visit Tim Spalding's web site http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/termessos/

Masami stands next to the ruins of a huge gymnasium that's overshadowed by a giant mountainous rock.

The Termessos theater is in a breathtaking setting normally reserved for serious mountain climbers when they've reached a peak.

Large tombs rest on steep hillsides around Termessos. Some have engravings that are well preserved.

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