I posted a photo on Facebook this morning, and after reading some of the comments, I realised, that my first article about Alinda, is not here on my blog! I’d actually published it somewhere else three years ago! I have been back since then, and blogged about it, but it is definitely worthy of two articles, so here it is!
The Magic of Alinda
I’m always searching online, trying to find day trip places, and I’d come across a place that had taken my fancy called Alinda.
In no rush, we set off around 11am, drive through Akkoy heading toward the Soke Road and into Aydin. I roughly know the way; toward Aydin and take the turn off for Çine, but, as we have plenty of time on our hands, we turn off the Soke road and take the scenic route through Koçarli.
Mu stops a young boy walking along the road and asks him how far to Karpuzlu? He tells us we are around 15km away but we both know it’s a Turkish 15km! We cruise along overtaking tractors as we go and making lazy stops for refreshments and ‘comfort’ breaks until we come to the town of Karpuzlu with its funky roundabout in the middle of which sit two huge brightly painted watermelons.
At the end of the village we turn right and wind our way up the mountain as the landscape changes. Small village houses nestle in among the rock formations, their garden walls lined with old olive oil cans filled with brightly coloured flowers and lilac that trails like embroidery through the fabric of the landscape. I can’t help but exclaim ‘oh I love it here’. But I’ve seen nothing yet!
The higher we go the more scenic it becomes and the village melts away and merges into the plains in the distance.
At each and every turn I feast my eyes on natures colouring book and exclaim ‘oh I love it’, my insides churning with excitement. I really need to get out of the car and go exploring and its then I reiterate the comments I made this morning when Mu put on his shiny dress shoes!
The landscape is littered with huge rock formations that are allegedly the result of long ago volcanic eruptions but, I can find no reference to that anywhere online. Passing the Roman Viaduct, we continue until we come to a towering rock that sits high on the hill with a view to the fertile plain below. I just have to climb it!
We leave the car at the roadside and make our way up the grass verge through the wild lavender and to the base of the rock. Strewn around are lumps of rock shot through with silver streaks that glint brightly in the sun. Naturally some of these make their way into my pockets.
At the top of the rock we both sit in silence revelling in the tranquillity of this place. April in Alinda, Mother Nature is having a ball and she is wearing all of her jewellery!
The grass is emerald green, the hills are covered in a dark and velvety wild lavender, small natural stone walls wind through the landscape and in amongst it all are round and oval rocks that glint with silver and are covered in a red & white moss. It all sweeps away into the valley below, on top of which rests a clear blue sky. It is achingly beautiful.
We make our way back to the Viaduct so we can soak up a bit of history. Well, I’ll be doing the soaking, Mu will just accompany me in his shiny shoes!
Alinda historically, is the Anatolian City of Caria, a fortress which held the exiled Queen Ada. It was a commercial city with a Viaduct, market place, numerous temples and a 5,000 seat amphitheatre. It was even important enough to mint its own coins.
We wander through the Viaduct toward the castle, the path glints in the sunlight and is a mixture of earth and flakes of silver rock. If you have ever spilled a tube of kids glitter all over the carpet you will know, no amount of hovering will remove it completely and this rock has the same effect.
Ahead are a family of cows grazing, mother and child to one side and daddy standing directly on the path facing us with a look of ‘don’t come any further or else’ on his face! We respect his wishes and follow the path behind the trees.
Here we stumble upon the Necropolis. The Carian Tombs sit, in the majority, under the olive trees and all of them that we see have been opened, I assume by treasure hunters. The tombs are spread throughout as you make your way toward the castle. As far as final resting places go, I can think of none better than this.
On reaching the castle walls, Mu sits and rests while I, still very much a tomboy at heart, start climbing. It’s not too high and the views again are spectacular. Well worth the climb.
Again we take the scenic route home, this time through the mountain road of Mila. The only stop we make is one just past Labranda where a natural mountain spring cascades onto the road where we fill up our water bottles.
My pockets are filled with silver streaked rock and rose coloured quartz; my camera is full of beauty and in my memory will remain our wonderful day at Alinda, an ancient fortress that was once truly fit for a Queen.
If you want to read about my next trip here and see some more gorgeous photos, follow the link: On The Road