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AlindaWay back in April 2010, Murat and I took a Sunday drive and ended up in a Fairytale. I remember thinking then that the scenery was perfect for a film set, magical in-fact and with my fertile imagination, it was not difficult to imagine Jim Henson Puppets wandering over the lava rock or Disney animals frolicking through the wild lavender.  It doesn’t appear to be that well known this place which appeals to me greatly. It adds to the mystique. Wandering around this feast for the eyes and a massage for the soul without any tourist chatter to shatter the peace is bliss.

With that in mind, I suggest it to friends as the location for our next trip out with the cameras.  Of course, it’s now autumn and I suspect Mother Nature has changed out of her ball gown and is wearing something a little more subdued.

I’m up and dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Murat takes one look at me, as he stands there in his jumper and says ‘bu ne’ pointing to my shorts.  Silly me, its October so I should have my winter woolly’s on even though the sun is shining. I shoo him away and he skulks off to the village for breakfast making me jealous. Karen and Dave are due at around 9:30am so I am missing out on the village this morning.

I’m pottering and organising myself when the phone rings. Obviously Murat has grassed me up as Its the mother in law.

Dursun ‘’Kym what are you wearing’’

Me ‘’Shorts and a T-shirt’’

Dursun ‘’Kizim, the weather is turning cold’ put some more clothes on’’

Me ‘’OK’’

And believe it or not, I do – Pfffffft

And so, when Karen and Dave arrive, I wander out into the bright sunshine wearing track suit bottoms and greet the two of them, insensibly and enviably dressed in their shorts.  Picnics are stowed away in the boot, cameras are charged and waiting and we are off.

???????????????????????????????Chatting amicably as we head out of Didim, I give a brief overview of Alinda, well the bits I know anyway.  A Carian City from around 330 BC that was reigned over by exiled Queen Ada.  Living in Halikarnas (that’s Bodrum to you and me) Queen Ada lost her throne when her husband died and she was exiled by her younger brother.  On his quest to rid the area of Persian Invaders, Alexander the Great came to town and this is where the two meet. Negotiations take place and Ada Offers Alex the rule of Alinda if he will return her to her rightful throne. She also offers to adopt him. For a far better explanation than that, have a look here: http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Post/244111

Right that’s the history out of the way.

We are fast approaching the turn off for Kocarli and, as this was the way I went last time, It’s now the road we take though the scenic landscapes and picturesque villages. In fact, that is where my memory gets a bit hazy; it throws an image at me of the watermelon roundabout at Karpuzlu which is where we need to get to and then……….errrrrm, well there is nothing in between. Hmmmmmmmmmm

We have been driving for over an hour when we leave the village of Kocarli and find ourselves on a motorway that I don’t remember. It’s one of those times when your tummy does that watery thing and you want to whistle, cast your eyes to the sky and hope no-one asks you anything. If you are really lucky, they won’t even look in your direction.  Pulling over, we accost a man and ask him the way. He confirms we are heading in the right direction. Phew!

I really don’t remember the journey taking as long the last time, and for future reference and for anyone that would like to go, I would recommend that instead of taking the Kocarli turn off, you continue along the Soke road and take the turn off for Cine that will take you on the motorway…it will be much quicker!

???????????????????????????????We do of course make it to Alinda and drive up the mountain road into a different world.

Finding a scenic spot to picnic is not difficult. There are views to marvel at no matter where you look. Kicking away a few cow pats, I lay a blanket and a table cloth on the grass as Karen unpacks the picnic. Dave has already abandoned us and is roaming with his lens.

When it comes to camera time, I switch mine on, wander over to some gnarled olive trees on a hill, climb up and point my lens out into the distance. Click…..Click….Click….red light. Eh? I can’t believe it, the battery light is on.  As I realise there must have been something wrong with my charger, it also dawns on me that this is the beginning of our adventure and I am now reliant on my phone for photos.

I think I am going to cry……I have obviously said that out loud as I hear a voice say

”Is that because it’s so beautiful here’’

I turn to Karen and say ‘’No it’s because my *”@**!*~* battery has died’’

Dave, who has returned to munch on a sandwich, offers me the use of his spare camera.  Naturally, as a pro, he carries a spare. I decide then that I am a little bit in love with him.

???????????????????????????????I take them back to a photo scene from 2010 in search of my rock. We find it, climb all over it, pose on it and gaze at amazing views.  It is here I decide that these unusual and unexplained rocks are actually the fossilised remains of dinosaurs and giants and if you look at the photos, I’m sure you will spot a beak or two, a nose here and there and most definitely a giant Fido making friends with Dave.

Next we head for the Carian tombs and the castle and I’m excited as this time, we are on the lookout for the amphitheatre and the agora, the two places that Murat and I shelved for another day.  Paths that were once well worn are now covered in tree roots, rocks and the passage of time. Tilted steps take us down small hills with rocky outcrops that make convenient hand holds.  Below us, the Amphitheatre slowly reveals itself, step by step as it unfolds under a canopy of olive trees. I sit and wonder about the residents of long ago; Roman feet encased in thin leather among all this stone. Dresses that caught on dried thistle leaving tears and frays. Crowds cheering gladiators. Are we sitting on spilled wine and bloodshed?

???????????????????????????????From our perch above the plateau we snap away at columns that line the Agora, the walls of its market place still remarkably intact.

It is another wonderful day in this wonderful country and I spend it in with friends in the sunshine with my tracksuit bottoms rolled up to my knees……Thanks Dursun.

Leaving the site, I think the quickest road back will be the one Murat and I used last time…..Through Labranda.  We head in that direction and everything is fine for the first five minutes or so, until the road turns into hardcore and we approach a digger and a crew. They wave us on so we go, thinking, if they have waved us on, the road should be normal up ahead. We are wrong. In fact, it gets worse. As we clunk over the hardcore, it seems to ease up but then I look ahead and see it has been replaced by pure, thick, gloopy mud.  Errrrrm. Without hesitation, Dave goes for it and we slide through on a wing and a prayer. Next we come to a junction and on asking directions from Bruce Forsythe….ok not the real one but the Turkish one, we turn right onto more hardcore and for the next few minutes I am actually at the fairground on a Waltzer.  Approaching us now is a Lorry. The driver motions for us to stop and winds down his window.

‘’You will find it very difficult to get through there’’ he says, ‘’the road is broken’’

‘’But is it possible?’’ we ask him

He says yes, although he doesn’t look convinced. He then throws in a ‘’take it very very slowly’’ in warning.

We decide to turn around and when we pass the initial road crew, I am sure they are sniggering into their hankies at the madness of foreigners.

If you want to read about my first trip to Alinda, you can find it here: http://the-farmers-wife.hubpages.com/hub/Fit-for-a-Queen

As much as I would love to keep this place to myself, it is far too beautiful not to share. If you get a chance, get there and have your own fairytale…