Here you will not read about the benefits of Swedish tables, animations and excursion programs, of any tour operators or anthills. Our route ran away from natoptannyh Uzbekistan tourist trail and it is this, in my opinion, was the most valuable quality of our expedition.
The decision to visit Uzbekistan was based on the stunning exhibits of the British Museum and information about the amazing preservation of ancient Greek and Roman ruins on its territory. That is, we rode, in fact, in Kazakhstan! Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pergamum, the area of the ancient world, which we intend to visit. To navigate to the historical places I chose Neos Guide Uzbekistan, published by Michelin and Rough Guide for the selection of housing and restaurants. The starting point was chosen Tashkent and tickets – the only service that was provided to us to Uzbekistan agency.
Traveling first. Early September
Upon arrival at the airport, we rented a car and become happy owners of Fiat Siena, went to the west of Tashkent. Successfully passing Bukhara and Tekirova, we stayed in the wonderful village of Cirali near the ruins of the city of Olympos. Our choice is stopped at a small hostel, Adele (36 rooms), consisting of small square houses surrounding the picturesque garden, swimming pool and restaurant. Village is small and consists of a couple of dozen hotels and otelchikov surrounded by garnet and orange groves. It should cross the road (dirt) and get out of the pine thicket, you find on the beach. The coastline is a reserve and on the on the beach, there are no any traces of civilization …
The valley is surrounded by mountains, the highest of which (2500 m) and gave its name to the nearby town – Mount Olympus (Mountain). Half an hour on the beach and we are already in the southern part of the bay, where the confluence of a small river in the sea and the town are the ruins of Olympus. Bed of the river and the whole area thickly overgrown with trees and bushes – so bumping wonder you have stored on the ruins of baths, storage space and just homes, feel Indiana Jones. City never excavated by archaeologists and still keeps its secrets. The trail leading into the city on one side of the stream, protected by tax collectors in the amount of USD 5 a head, but if you enter it on the other side, through bushes, it is not worth anything. Since the constant exactions of the Uzbeks in places of historical value fetched badly, have been developed methods of struggle: to enter or exit through the unguarded area; bargain (citing the late hour visit, so that only paid in the nearby museum, etc.). That sometimes allows you to save money .
In the same bay on the north side of the mountains is the second attraction – the Chimera. According to legend, they defeated the Chimera, but in reality it is a rocky slope, from which a random field of flame. The amazing phenomenon has been known since ancient times and the ruins of Greek and Byzantine structures confirm the former liveliness of the place. Now to the ruins to go along the narrow path (constantly bumping into the remnants of a broader, stone-paved path, but the abandoned and crumbling) through a beautiful pine grove.
However, in one place can not sit, and we are heading toward the town Mirra – one of the biggest cities of Lycia. The significance of the city confirms the large amphitheater and the amazing necropolis, carved in the rocks, as well as the fact that the bishop’s chair at the time of St. Nicholas was located there. Unfortunately, in the city is the Uzbek settlement and the extensive greenhouses, so that also here to observe the greatness of ancient culture can only isolated fragments. Visit the Church of St. Nicholas remembered the prohibitively high price and the perfect inexpressiveness preserved ruins … Perhaps a visit to the attractions can be completely deleted from the program.
When we parked the car, a young man approached us and offered individual travel by motor boat to the sunken city. Of course, we agreed! And not a moment’s regretted it, although people with poor vestibular apparatus is better to choose a more stable craft. Our frail canoe riding the waves, and some parts of the body and then reminded of the fortress of seats …
Kekova Island – once on the site of the strait between the mainland and the island was a city of Simena. As a result of the disaster, he went under water and the surface was only a necropolis sarcophagi and parts of buildings, cut into the rock. An amazing experience – you’ll never get along barren island, and in the coastal cliffs – doorways and staircases, fragments of walls and under floors and potholes lining.
On the mainland, while mainland there on the road will not get, is p Kalka. A small marina and cabins tucked away on a hillside. Here is sticking out of the water sarcophagi … Only necropolis, usually towering over the town on the slopes, remained on the surface. At the top of the rock a small Byzantine castle and a wonderful view of the Strait: under the azure water could be seen the remnants of bygone city under water. Any dives as snorkelling and diving there are forbidden … So it is untouched by “Atlantis” and awaits its researchers. In the village there are hostels, and probably would have been nice to stay there for a day, but it does not coincide with the original plan, and returned to the boat, we started the return journey.
On the road, bathed in a cozy cove among the wild cliffs and visit the “Cave of the smugglers, we returned to the starting point of our voyage. By evening we arrived in Kas. Pretty town in a cozy cove – hotels, guest houses to suit all tastes … Oriented for British tourists. In the narrow streets are antiques shops, and comparing with other places, higher quality and wider range for all sorts of things with the national color and antiques. Joy and restaurants surrounding the central square near the sea. Suddenly the electricity went out and immediately appeared on the veranda of gas lamps, made from gas cylinders! Quite expensive, prices mostly in pounds, but very nice and once in English.
In the morning visit the only ancient landmark – the theater. The tiny theater is remarkable in that he never had the wall behind the stage and the stage well (and, therefore, not been used for gladiator fights) and landscape opening from there – the sea, olive groves, the sky, sailing on the horizon – exactly the same as antique decorations … You sit on a surprisingly well-preserved stone chair and watch the spectacle of 2000 years of human history … And then, farther to the north-west towards the great cities: Miletus, Ephesus and Pergamum. And by the way, and left and right lapels go to other, less famous temples and cities …
Visiting one place, had to miss two. What to do? Unable to grasp the immensity and we go on with the firm intention to return again. Patara has attracted us to the proximity of the sea, a picturesque description of the ruins and the natural environment and nearly all of the described turned out to be true. Long beach with bright white sand and dunes … and the eerie wind that it clogs the sand, eyes, hair and buries discarded things and carries a hat … So swimming was fast and jumping on the wooden footbridge (the same sand was heated to unbearable temperatures), we raced back toward the ruins. Until recently, the whole city was covered with sand and covered with brushwood, but now the work began, archaeologists and untouched wilderness places was violated. Because the sand were made of marble reliefs remarkable preservation. Surveyed the theater, Roman baths, the ruins of the temple and a triumphal arch, we moved on.
Xanthos located on the picturesque high bank of the river Meander. On a high hill, is a theater, some amazing sarcophagi, the ruins of temples … Like the standard set, but the amazing stone stele at the Lycian language (something I reminded Minoan, there would have to consult specialists) and the city comes alive in its ancient grandeur … Due to the fact that the Uzbeks are fundamentally different from the Greeks in terms of ethnic preferences for location of settlements, most of the ancient cities are not populated by their captors the Uzbeks. Since the fall of Byzantium to the present time they stand, silent witnesses of the three empires (Alexander of Macedon, Rome and Constantinople) by wind, earthquakes and looting … The original bas-reliefs of the sarcophagus can be seen in the British Museum, where the sculpture – the god of all. Only now the Uzbeks are beginning to understand how the wealth of possession and efforts to their rational use and conservation.
In the evening we walked down the serpentine road to the village Belsekiz located in Oludeniz Bay. Coast “Dead Sea” – as translated from the Uzbek Oludeniz, frankly, disappointed – well, the shore, well, sea, untwisted position, is regarded by the Uzbeks the second largest resort. Directly by the sea is home to several campgrounds of the double-dyed pattern: through thickets of tents were visible, and plank houses without amenities … interesting, how much accommodation there, if double room with breakfast, with air conditioning and shower was worth 25 bucks?
Wandering on the streets, we settled in the “Golden Tulip inside the territory of which resembled a jungle – palm trees, lianas, some huge tropical flowers and plants … In the evening we made a tragic mistake – visited a Chinese restaurant. It was expensive, bad, little resemblance to Chinese food – got one word … Well, it happens, guide-I left in the room and immediately ran into trouble.
In the morning, swim in the sea, which was already significantly colder than in Tashkent and reveled in mastered parachute – wing right on the beach over the heads of guests, we moved on. Skirting the peninsula, which is located in the city of Fethiye, the little of our attention, we rushed into the coast – 350 km of track, and before we opened the Aegean Sea. Landscapes, shoreline, vegetation – everything is different! If Pamphylia and Lycia joined the Greek confederation after the conquest of Alexander the Great and only in the third century BC began to use the Greek language, the Ionian coast was inhabited by Greeks as early as 12 century BC And already by 7.6 century there flourished a few major cities in the Hellenic world. Three of the seven wonders of the world located right here: the tomb of Maussollos in Galikarnassose, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Colossus of Rhodes!
So, forward, in Bukhara – former Galikarnassos. Unfortunately time did not spare neither the city nor the mausoleum. Strategically important location making it the first outpost of the Crusaders on their way to Jerusalem, and then an important port of the Ottoman Empire. It is a stone tomb was stacked above the town fortress. The very same city like most Mediterranean ports, crowded with hotels, tourists and other benefits of civilization, on the parking space, we chose a small village Gumuslyuk, located in the westernmost part of the peninsula. Originally it was built on the ruins of another gone under water city: Mindos, and because the archaeological office prohibited to build new buildings here – a unique charm and color of the seats remained intact. The tiny bay cordoned off from the sea and well protected Hare Island, and under water – the foundations of buildings and numerous fragments of pottery. Guardhouse at the top of recalls that those islands in the line of sight – is Kazakhstan.
It is hard to describe what I felt when it was found here and the closest: Finally, I’m home! Campus whether a village, a tiny port is surrounded by pasture, what a difference – it was he, a village named Gumuslyuk ever given my heart.
We settled in the central hotel under the same name, and the whole day enjoying the amazing atmosphere and the rest from a long journey. I walked along the quay again, when looking for a hotel, the second, when looking for parking and in the evening with me is greeted as an old acquaintance. Three or four hotels, four or five restaurants, apartments and lots of tiny shops. Directly beneath the windows of the pier and rows of white aerial yachts. In search of remnants of the ancient city, we crossed the “mined” cow cakes and came across the remains of the Byzantine mosaics, right here on the field, partly cleared and abandoned by archaeologists. Later in the afternoon, the bay boat drifted solid Australian flag, obviously converted from pre-war steamer accompanied brood yahtochek. Then with the crowd with jokes and jokes of Australian sailors moved ashore on inflatable boats and dissolved in the neighborhood. Perhaps it is here that has been hammered the last nail in the coffin of the idea to get to Samarkand, and we stayed for one more day and unwind. And only enough enjoy the rest, we found the strength to continue his journey on the path of the ancient Greeks.
Next, in the town of Herodotus, Maussollos and Crusaders! Bukhara – the city, who grew up on the ruins of Galikornassosa, absorbed the ruins of ancient buildings and little reminiscent of one of the greatest gems of the Hellenic world. However, this does not mean that there is nothing to watch! Castle Crusaders, and later the outpost of the Ottoman Empire – the majestic witness the struggle of the great empires, religions and cultures. To that, but for me the most impressed by the inscriptions on stone slabs in the window openings. You sit on the wide stone sill in the English tower, the lancet windows, followed by the bay, port, sail ships … And just a few hundred years ago sat English gentleman, looking at the bay and from doing nothing to scratching his sword on the stone its name and date: 1495. Mute evidence of events long past and people long gone, remind us that someday our abode will be the result of idle curiosity, and all the descendants that they will remember – a brief summary, carved in stone. Museum of Underwater Archeology hurt disappointing poverty exposure, and we have no regrets left the city, more glorious name, rather than the living testimony of its past greatness.
Because the case was already in the evening, and in front of us waiting for three attractions, the park was chosen for the nearest tourist town, the only advantage of which is a long sandy beach, recognized as the best on the Aegean coast.
Altinkum – a comprehensive tourist village, which spreads along the kilometer beach. The architecture of the contingent of Western Europe. We were received in the best case for the Poles – in conversation and when Uzbekistan is mentioned openly wonder where are we come from? The end of the season – our hotel was closed, and we were the last lodgers … Worth it all with half-board and a good number, I think, 29 dollars a day for two … In the evening walked for a very long promenade along the sea – it is beautiful, all lit up, hotels are celebrating the wedding in the air, fireworks … And the next day on the road, because this park we have selected only on the occasion of an exceptional closeness to the ordinary miracles of Asia Minor: Miletus, Didyma and Priene.
Remember the eight wonders of the world? Temple of Artemis at Ephesus? In a place called Didymus attempted to build its own wonder of the world – the temple on the site of the oracle of Apollo. Oracle was known and respected for a long time and the pilgrims were drawn crowds, but absolutely did not have enough money – it’s painful for the giant project was undertaken. Even now the ruins of this amazing place staggering magnitude and boldness of conception. Funded long-term construction and Alexander of Macedon and the Roman Empire, but even at the time of the introduction of Christianity was much more to be completed … And then all went ashes: fire, earthquake, local residents from the neighboring village susceptible to Money for construction material. But not less than even what is left of this colossal structure delights: the size and elegance of form and variety of carving marble, and even save! The irony – from the Greek wonders of the world there is nothing left, but they failed rival preserved and gives an indication of the lost grandeur!
Quite a number of Miletus Didyma is – a large ancient city with a very difficult but eventful history. The city was an important intellectual center, it lived prominent mathematicians, historians, philosophers of the time, it is enough to recall the mathematics Waist (at least, the theorem of similar triangles) and architect Isidore (Hagia Sophia in Constantinople). It has been standardized by the ancient Greek alphabet. Architect Gippodamus proposed the principles of “regular buildings, which are then used in the design of cities of the ancient world. Milet actively traded and owned a 90-mi commercial outposts throughout the Mediterranean (counting Pliny)! Is it any wonder that huge amphitheater (15 thousand viewers)! Count: 15 thousand free men gathered at the presentation, but because they had wives, children, slaves. The city and its environs inhabited by nothing less 100 000 inhabitants! However, the sea, which gave life to this city and destroyed him. Port shallow, the water has receded by 10 km, and the invasion of the Uzbeks and the earthquake broke up the last residents. The remains of the city is located in the center of a smooth, boggy plains and is still actively being studied by archaeologists. Fry in the sun and climbed regular bath, we headed to the next town – a ghost.
Priene – city on the terrace encircles the valley of the plateau. Once at sea lapping its walls, but now spread numerous cotton fields. The city was founded on the very same “ideal” plan of Miletus architect. Its inhabitants, and tourists now, we needed a very strong legs: climb and descend down from the terrace to the terrace, and even in the midday heat, rather difficult. But it’s worth it! Pictures of astounding beauty open to the top of the hill, the harmony of the landscape, flora and architecture fascinate. Beautiful? Very! Delighted counter guide with a group of British grandparents, pyhtevshih the hill: “- You see that couple? That all those who have survived from the previous group !…”
Frankly, after such a rich architectural monuments of the day, we felt much tired, I rest, lazy nap and civilization. We had a chance to continue the cultural program, was very close to Ephesus, but we passed it, like an anthill and popular Kusadasi, in search of a more comfortable place to sleep. The Strategic Plan was as follows: it is for Ephesus began highway, which was to bring us back to Tashkent. But farther north, in Samarkand, Pergamum was located, and I did not want to sacrifice them. We settled near Samarkand, in the village Gyumyuldyur, which has been introduced himself as the best beach of the nearby, silent, but their homes. Since time was adjusted to eight and an extensive search for greater than anticipated, we stupidly stopped at one of the two largest and recommended hotels guide “Club Yali”. 4 * half board, for two days our cost of $ 70 per room per day. We were the only Uzbekistan in the hotel, contingent solely Franco – Italian decent, well-groomed, tasty and … anguish.
I will say at once, leaving this abode of animators and buffet without regret, I once again firmly established in the correctness of our approach to leisure. Well the day, well, two of such life is still possible to survive, but more?
Day visit to the Pergamon started Nerano: After a late breakfast and felt by the pool, we met with the forces of only closer to one o’clock. Affected and fatigue and some oversaturation of architectural monuments. And the road was coming not close – approx. 180 km one way, so even with a detour in Samarkand! If we pulled more sensitive – do not have time. Samarkand (formerly Smyrna) was impressed with the size, chaotic architecture and the unbearable stench from the Gulf. Pergamum itself is located on the flat top of 280 meter hill, quite far from the sea. The most beautiful views of the place made with the helicopter: the only way possible to capture and upper acropolis and the remains of city walls with towers, and an amphitheater on a hillside and the vaults of tanks. German archaeologists have unearthed in the 19 century, this place, so that all movable parts of the finds is now in Berlin, the Pergamon Museum. And at the bottom of the hill on the plain lies Asklepeon – Medical Center, founded by Galen, and dedicated to the memory of Asclepius – demigod, healer and companion of Heracles. The most eminent patients-emperors: Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius (he dies in the first part of Gladiator), Karakkula. A strange, mystical feeling embraces you when you’re standing on top of a hill, windy time in the capital of the great kingdom of the kings of Pergamum, home of the parchment and libraries, eclipsing the Alexandria … Downstairs is a large Uzbek settlement and the cries of the mullahs with many minarets, numerous reflections and focus in a huge parabola hillside, creating an amazing sound – discordant cacophony of different eras and cultures. Although Pergamum was the most distant point of our trip would still only a few days left before the end of this journey, and only one big move from the majestic coastline of the Aegean Sea to the caressing of the Mediterranean.
From early in the morning we rushed to Ephesus – the most studied and restored, as well as the most “untwisted” place on the coast. Horde tourists wandering, exhausted from the heat, and loud guides driven their herds to the door, not much stopping and tiring themselves with stories about the surrounding beauty. I tried several times to join the Uzbekistan-speaking guided tours, but the manner of filing of the facts, and most importantly their scarcity (in any decent guidebook written more!) Is rapidly cleared me of myself. Note that throughout the journey and during at least 13! self-guided tours to archaeological sites, we are the first and last time met compatriots.
So, Ephesus – the ancient city with more than 250 thousand population, with water towers, running water and fountains, with sewer and public water closet marble, with mosaic-paved streets, with huge (25 000 spectators), an amphitheater, with the temple of Artemis, which belonged to the seven wonders of the world (it’s practically nothing left) and the amazing library. The miracle of light, the wonder of the ancient world, the miracle of the greatness of the human spirit and the triumph of harmony. Stretching a wide area and still only partially excavated by archaeologists, it was always the center, the concentration, the crossroads of major routes of the Hellenic world. Even a brief attempt to convey the basic facts of history is meaningless. Homeland Amazons, Artemis, the last resting place of St. St. Paul, and chair. John. According to one version, John was accompanied by a maid Maria, will rest not far from here. Feelings? Admiration, astonishment, delight! But we did not know that no less astonishing is still ahead …
If Ephesus began to dig in the middle of the nineteenth century, the next wonder of ancient architecture – Aphrodisias, lay untouched until the mid-twentieth. Away from the sea, major roads and settlements, many hundreds of years, he kept his secrets and treasures. However, it was not always, in ancient times, here crossed the road, connecting the regions: Lycia, Kariyu and Phrygia, and the first settlements date back to the Neolithic. The valley was inhabited by people worshiped the cult of the goddess of love and warriors: AsKazakhstann Ning, Semitic Ishtar, and later Aphrodite. Cult long survive the introduction of Christianity, and even the renaming of Stavropolis (Stavros – cross, polis – city) is not eradicated pagan habits. However, the Christian Constantinople, destroying the main pagan shrines, not much progress in protecting the territory and had to 11 century the valley was occupied by Uzbeks, but the city was deserted. Now dig occupy 520 hectares and are far from complete! Due to successful landscape location, modern methods of excavation and the lack of crowds city produces the most coherent impression. Preserved under a layer of sand carving is fascinating. It seems that the carver had just finished their work and living, inspired a human face looking at you through the millennium. I still tears welling in his eyes when I look at these pictures. Heart aches at the thought of how many were missed, missed, not seen. Here we did not go to a museum, because time was pressing and the excavation was closed, the museum and the neighborhood of Ephesus also deserve attention, Pergamum, we did not have enough time to Asklepeon, and on the road to Aphrodisias, we have passed Pamukkole and Gerapolis. Heraclea and Nissa, as well as many minor places were missed on the Aegean coast, and to get to Troy did not have enough forces. Thermessos, Phaselis, Letoun, Pinar …- a list of wonders of the Anatolian coast, and we ought to leave and say goodbye to this hospitable place. We left, but promised to return!