Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Walk

Yesterday was a Saturday in December. I’ve been in Turkey for about five and a half months.

In the afternoon, I was studying Turkish while lying face down on the living room floor. Then I decided to go for a walk.

Ever since some cursory explorations, I wanted to explore further the ruins in the hillside of Old Talas. Old Talas dates back to 1500 BC according to the short, undisputed article about the town on Wikipedia.

I packed up a backpack and headed out on foot to the old city.

The day began with few clouds in sight, but by the time it was afternoon, it was overcast.

The monstrosities that are the apartment buildings still irk me, though now I don’t find them as strange as I once did. I told a friend recently that apartment living reminded me of a lot of little science experiments packed into boxes.
I had forgotten how far the hills behind Old Talas are from my apartment. After I’d been walking for fifteen minutes or so, I approached the Jandarma, which is a small army base that offers a respite of open fields to break up the urban sprawl.

Past the Jandarma, I found a pathway that went up the hillside among crumbling stone archways. Here, some young Turks walked together, stopping to take selfies and group photographs. Some people were also using the path to carry groceries from the valley floor to their houses at the top of the ridge. My favorite was an older woman using a cane and carrying her groceries as she went off-trail up the steep hillside.

Partially up the hillside is a mosque that was once a Greek Orthodox church (not the one pictured). The collection of history here, makes you feel as if every step you take has been taken before.

At the top of the hillside, I explored a room carved into the rock. The sandy floor was covered in animal paw prints, although the scattered trash suggested that humans commonly came there as well. I went as deep as I could without light, and eventually used my cellphone to light up the final room, which was strikingly large and cavernous.

The days here end at about four thirty, so I began the trek home as a light rain began to fall. At home Jena asked how the walk went, and as we began to relax into our Saturday night, we received a phone call from our friends. They suggested we go to Cappadocia to watch a meteor shower and to stay the night. In the morning, we would hike one of the valleys. We quickly packed, ready for exploration at another ancient site.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely to have such things close at hand... a meteor shower you'll never forget, I imagine!