Famous Five's Adventure

Friday 21 June 2013

We are still at Annie & Teo's. Our excuse, as if we needed one, is that we are sitting out a heatwave as the temperature has been up to 38 degrees over the last few days . Having been lazing around the pool for days on end we decided if we were going to get out and do something we needed an early start and a plan! Both were a bit of a shock to the system. So at 7am the five of us were up and away, stopping to buy fresh simits and ayran (Turkish yogurt drink) in Mumcular on our way. 

On arrival at Lagina we parked up under an ancient olive tree, said to be 2500 years old, and tucked into our breakfast before setting off to discover the ruins.This was a new adventure for the 'Famous Five' as none of us had been here before and there is very little information on the internet or at the site itself. Another free site and one we had all to ourselves as it is some distance away from any major road. Partly excavated it has an interesting history - which Annie & Teo gleaned from the friendly and hospitable site warden over a cup of tea in his hut.

The Famous Five in 2013

Dave and Teo (aka Dick & Julian) solving the mystery of the carved stone symbols
Stratonikeia, a short distance away from Lagina and said to be linked by a sacred procession way, is a site which we had visited together in the 80's. Annie has been back a number of times since then and has watched the site emerge with each period of excavation. It has been occupied during many era's from the ancient Greeks to the Ottomans to the 'modern' Republic. Only a few people live in the village now as most were moved out to make way for the huge lignite mine that spreads across the nearby land. The photo below shows the ancient ruins, with Ottoman engraving on one section and 'graffiti' from the Republic era on the lower blocks.

The theatre which is thought to have seated 15,000 is, even today, still being excavated. The two photographs below, taken over 25 years apart, show how much work has been undertaken in excavating the site but it is a slow process. 

Kath, Dave & Annie exploring the site first in the 80's

The theatre today - still being excavated

As the temperatures soared we headed back to the van and tried to find a riverside spot for lunch  but the fast new dual carriageway has very few quiet shady stopping places unlike the spot we managed to find in our younger days.

Dave, Annie & Kath (plus Brian under the table) in the 80's

In Uyku Vadisi (Sleepy Valley) Dave and Teo walked up through a gorge in search of some caves only to find them locked. Annie and I saved ourselves the effort and waited in a shady cafe beside a waterfall enjoying refreshing drinks until they returned. Another steaming hot day meant Dave had no hesitation in cooling off under the pummelling water on his return!

Back at the house we all tucked into a glass of Annie's lovely home made Ginger Beer - yes even me!! 


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