Christmas Eve! While many get ready for a day of feasting and scoffing, we at Amber Travel have a day of trekking in the rain! It as not always sunny here, even in the land of light!
Just this year, the Culture Routes Society decided to modify and extend the Lycian way trekking path to include Istlada, Hoyran and Trysa, 3 interesting and beautiful sites which were missed out in the original route.
We walked from Hoyran, which is a quaint village of about 20 families living in a fertile plain surrounded by ancient remains.
WE descended below Hoyran Wedre, the spectacular boutique hotel run by Suleyman and Canan, that we use on some of our tours an were met by a fearsomely sized but very friendly Kangal, one of the traditional Anatolian sheepdogs. The dog escorted us down the hill at one point bravely protecting us from some rival sheepdogs. An nasty fight ensued, but fortunately there was more noise than violence.
As we descended the newly marked trail we were treated with views along to the Museum of Lycian Civilizations in Andriake, the roof of the building being the only new part of the Roman Granary which was converted into a museum a few years ago.
The Path is the old mule track that was the only route until about 40 years ago.
We descended into Istlada. Istlada is one of the least visited cities in Lycia, in probably due to the lack of signage or road connections.
One of the most notable features of this city is the number of door frames that have survived intact. As you walk into the valley that is the entrance to Istlada you can really feel like you are walking into a town, with shops and emporium on both sides of the street, a bit like the famous 'Uzun Çarşı' of Kaş. Very well built buildings, seem to be mostly Hellenistic period or early Roman. Ther have been no excavations here so information is scarce.
We continued the descent to our picnic spot at Gokkaya, when the sun came out, and after a sit down break at Smugglers bar, we tramped through the extremely sticky mud of the flat fields approaching Simena, the most photographed castle in Lycia. Ending the trek at the graveyard, we were pleased to find a hose to wash off the mud, before our poor driver Mustafa had a fit. The local red mud, leaves indelible stains!