Our drive from Pamukkale to Cıralı took us over an upland plateau where we saw patches of white opium poppies (no photos unfortunately) which were just coming into flower – I think we were a couple of days too early to see them in full bloom – although we saw many more in fuller flower just after Sirinhisar. We also saw pale purple irises in bloom and more poppies around Kumavsarı. There was still quite a lot of snow on the surrounding mountain peaks.
After Antalya we stopped off at Phaselis to see the ruins of an ancient harbour town constructed around 3 bays – it was a beautiful place.
There didn’t appear to be anywhere to get any refreshments so we left my husband sitting on one of the benches while we went off to explore. On the other side of the headland we found an enterprising man selling freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juice and also – as we discovered – one remaining beer. Pete went back to fetch DH and Chris and I admired the view of the bay, the two puppies and a squirrel that comes regularly to feed on the bread the orange juice seller puts out for it. As we started to walk back to the first bay DH realized he didn’t have the car keys with him so I raced ahead to try and find them. Fortunately they were still there where he had left them on the bench – a lucky escape indeed.
We then drove further along the coast until we got to our next destination, Cıralı. We had booked into the Ay Gun pansiyon (again recommended by friends who said we should stay in the smaller one rather than the Ay Gun Grand). The rooms were very basic, the beds just had a blanket and a thin bedspread (called a pike) which only just covered the surface of the bed with no overhang. There wasn’t a top sheet either so DH had the bedspread and I had the blanket. The pansiyon’s courtyard was covered in a metal frame supporting a roof of ivy and vines providing a shady dining area.
There were masses of dark red amaryllis flowers in the flower beds in the village and at the pansiyon where also I spotted the purple Moses-in-the-basket flowers (tradescanthia) I was so fond of as a child.
At 19.10 Leaving DH reading in the car, Pete, Chris and I started our climb up to the Yanartaş which literally translated means burning stones (chimaera). The hillside was dotted with grey sage, yellow gorse and broom against a backdrop of grey rock – really beautiful. The climb took us half an hour with frequent stops as the steps are very uneven and the track is quite steep. By the time we got to the top the flames were easily visible.
This time we were also able to see the ruins of a Byzantine chapel.
We started back down while it was still light and only needed the torch as we neared the bottom. We dined at the Ceylan café/restaurant where you can choose what you want to eat from a selection of dishes on view in the kitchen.