Notion – ruins, flowers, scenery

Notion-Theatre-treeEarlier this week a friend phoned and suggested a spontaneous expedition to Notion.  This is a ruined Hellenistic site about fifteen kilometres down the road, just before our favourite beach.  It was a beautiful day (though rain was forecast for ‘later’) and we readily agreed – just as soon as the cake was out of the oven.

The site is pretty broken up.  You can sort of make out structures and what probably used to be the agora, but without deep study or access to academic papers, it’s hard to make out much more.  The surrounding scenery is fantastic and it’s a haven for wild flowers.

Except we noticed that people had been digging.  We speculated – someone with a metal detector looking for coins or gold, perhaps?  Or other artefacts because there is a definite trade in illegal antiquities?  Maybe they were digging up şevketi bostan (a sort of thistle which is a winter delicacy and goes for a decent price on the market)?

Ashley finally solved the mystery.  Feeling around in one of the shallow and Notion-ruins-hills-and-holeobviously deliberately dug depressions he came up with a piece of salep bulb.  The bulbs of these beautiful orchids are used to make a popular winter drink.  They do fetch a good price and, obviously, it was well worth someone’s while to dig them up…

A pity though.

Notion-time-to-go-home

We walked, the clouds thickened and, eventually, we decided to go home before the heavens opened.  Though it didn’t actually rain here till quite late in the evening.

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10 responses to “Notion – ruins, flowers, scenery

  1. . . another nice spot – as for the orchid bulbs, it’s illegal, like much else, to dig them up. Sad thing is that in order to preserve the wild species there are vast areas that are cultivated for the production of salep. The project was started by the Forestry and Environment Ministry before this government merged them with urban developement. Something else that looks good on those useless bits of paper that politicians love to wave about whilst they stuff their shoe boxes!

    • Well, we will never know for certain which illegal things were being dug up. The digging was extensive and not by archaeologists or JCBs. It was not like that when we were last there in November… The site is very isolated and out of sight…

  2. Once again, lovely views; difference in the colour of the sea in the different seasons is always lovely. Looks very green at the moment.

  3. Do youknow the latin name of the orchid they use for salep?

  4. I still haven’t been here, despite everyone recommending it. Re the salep bulbs, I found a lad digging in my garden last spring – he couldn’t understand why I was so peeved.

    • Were you growing salep?
      I think you would like Notion. It’s unrestored and unlabelled so we have to use our imagination – we know your imagination is far more educated in these matters.

  5. It’s lovely!

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