It was a beautiful, sunny Thursday and we decided it was time for a day trip. The bike, after all, needs regular exercise. Various destinations were debated but, in the end, we decided to go to Nyssa.
Nyssa is just outside the modern town of Sultanhisar which is almost half way to Nazili from Aydin. A couple of hours on the bike got us there.
The site is impressive. There were a number of archaeologists at work. Their current project is uncovering the streets that run through the town on a grid plan. They are finding all sorts of monuments decorated in low relief along the way and many of these were visible from the publicly accessible areas. We were the only visitors.
The site is quite extensive – the original Hellenistic buildings were arranged across a ravine, with tunnels giving access between areas. There has been some restoration, but it’s very tasteful – it’s quite clear which bits are original and which are new. We think it’s more of a ‘shoring up to keep the structures safe’ than a ‘the public won’t be interested unless we try to make it look like the shiny original’ type of work.
The theatre is particularly impressive (Hilary has a soft spot for theatres, especially Hellenistic style theatres) and parts of the original stadium seating can be seen. The library is clearly built on the same plan as the famous library at Ephesus but it is much less restored and none the less impressive for that. Though it should be said that it isn’t quite as big. The agora is huge, and very good for wildlife. We saw Agama, ophisops and several rock nuthatches (heard before they were seen) being considerably braver than is usual for them.
On the way home, just after we stopped for petrol, we smelled wet tarmac, then saw wet tarmac then we were treated to a brief but intense rain shower. So now the bike needs cleaning again!