We had a lovely day out with friends. We were driven around Lake Bafa (stopping off for tea at a very pleasant café with excellent views of the lake) to Kapıkırı, the modern village around ancient Herakleia. We were treated to a traditional lunch of salad, vegetables, home made bread, lake fish and mountain water. Afterwards we went off on our own exploring. Which was fun. We got up high above the village and took photographs. The scenery is wonderful – we saw the five finger peaks from the other side back in spring when walking with the Zirve club.
Then we went looking for the theatre. That might have been a mistake…
A small crowd of local ladies decided to guide us to the theatre and show us the cistern and the city walls. They were not to be dissuaded. They were very pleasant, chatting away in a mixture of English, German and Turkish. They showed us an ancient olive tree. They took us to the theatre. They gave us some peace in which to take photographs of the theatre…
The lovely thing about the theatre is that, although pretty ruined, it is pure Hellenistic. Not a Roman theatre at all though, obviously, late for a Greek theatre. We would have liked more time to look around it but the ladies were certain that we were not really interested in poking around but wanted to see the rest of the sights.
Then, when they learned that we had to go to meet our friend who had the car, they opened their bags of wares. Oh, we knew we would be expected to buy something. We were happy enough to buy something. The trouble was that each and every lady wanted us to buy something from her. We had to be very, very insistent. We ended up buying a tablecloth that we wanted and a headscarf we didn’t really want. And getting hassled all the way back down to meet up with our friends.
Later, under more peaceful circumstances, we bought more – a lovely scarf and some farm produce.
We stopped off at the beach and at the castle on the way home. The castle is quite interesting, some of the foundation wall is Hellenistic, much of the rest is post Byzantine. Beyond the castle, on the lake shore, are various tombs. The castle is also a great place for taking photographs of the lake and mountains.
Obviously, on a day trip, one is pretty limited in what can be seen. There is a lot more to see in the area. There are more ruins and some cave paintings which are best accessed with a guide as they are hard to find and the mountains can be treacherous, but that would require a weekend away. Something to think about, perhaps, for next year.