There are sunny days and grey days; even when you are in a adventure, the grey days come changing the mood, making all dull. That was one of those days. It was cloudy, the wind colder than usual, and no word was coming from me or the guide. I had no idea why that inexplicable silence took us since the breakfast, I wondered if he was missing his family and friend, probably I was missing my son. We were on the road an hour at least when suddenly, we arrived in a very nice place. There was some tour buses parked and people coming and going from the caffe and the ticket office. “A touristic place.”; I thought.
“Here we are. I have a surprise for you.” The guide mood had changed again, now he was smiling. “Come on.”
I left the car without understand where we were. Crossing the car park and a road, soon I was able to hear the sound of water falling. An waterfall?
“This is Düden!” He told me.
Well, I could hear the water, but couldn’t see the falls. We entered in a park, some tea houses in a beautiful scenario, some gift shoppings, people walking, and the roar of the water as a soundtrack.
“Where is the waterfall?”
“It’s not one, they are two: this, where you are, and another one near the sea.”
I needed to understand why the waterfall wasn’t on my sight. I open google an read about how Düden worked. Everything begun in place near the Antalya-Burdur route, their the terrain made of soluble rocks formed two big karstic sources. This sources, merge after a short flow and disappear in a sinkhole, form there the water travels 14 km underground and comes out again at Varsak pit. After a short-fall, the water disappear again, coming out in Düdenbasi. The water pressure is created by the Kepez Hydroelectric that uses the water to movement its turbines. From Düdenbasi the water split into a diverse number of streams, and finally ends its journey to the sea in a 40 m fall to the Mediterranean.
So, Düden was a underground waterfall? Yes, and no. I will understand better after walking more few metres.
Crossing a bridge, the guide point the water running very fast in a canal. Then, we went down to some caves where the canal water went to the ground. Some veils of water created a beautiful scenario, mixing the white brume with the green around. Firat guide me to a cave behind one of this falls. It was magic!
After walking some other touristic places in the park, we sat in a tea garden and asked for pancakes. I was expecting something similar I ate in France or America, but those pancakes where different, some were filled with potatoes and others with cheese and spinach, to drink the guide chose ayran – ‘It’s the best to have with pancakes!’. I ate with pleasure, after finished our snack – yes, that was a snack – we had a çay. We spent arounf one hour there, then we head to another ancient city: Perge.
Cones, sections of cones, hyperbolic, parabola, ellipse. Oops! I’m talking about geometry or Perge? Actually, Perge is the city of the mathematician and astronomer Apollonius, who led the study of the cone and the creation of the words I quoted above. Furthermore, he studied the planetary system, arguing the planets orbits were concentric and elliptical; and the moon, by which he showed great interest, had two movements: one around the Earth and other around its own axis. Today there is a crater on the moon with his name.
Perge, like Aspendus, may have been founded in the 13th century BC, however, we only have records from the fourth century BC. Perge was always a centre of pilgrimage, a sacred site. First in the cult of Artemis of Perge, and after, the cult of the Virgin Mary. St. Paul and Barnabas passed through Perge. The existence of basilicas in Perge proves its importance for Christianity.
Perge lies on a plateau, so we would not have to climb mountains. My knee still resented that adventure on the way to Bodrum, so I was happy to have an almost flat ground ahead.
The ruins were many The city was sprea. Everything was too interesting and the place was packed with tourists. Well, crowded for me. Fırat said I needed to see how it looks in summer. No, I do not…I can imagine, and summer there must be really hot.
I saw the baths’ pools. The tower. Houses, and what was most impressive to me: the stadium. Gigantic. That’s where the chariot races took place. If you close your eyes, you can imagine how it should be. The people sitting in the hallways on the track. Once in a while someone goes to buy something in stores that were under the bleachers. Very interesting.
We left Perge and begun our pursuit to another waterfall. Kursunlu. This one definitely captivated me. The place was delightfully, even it was winter, the sun burnt and warmed in Perge, that way, we could refresh ourselves in Kursunlu. The waterfall was smaller then Duden, but the park around was beautiful.
“Come, we need visit the Antalya Museum!’
Visit a museum like that in less than one hour was an affront to me. But the guide, made me do that. I was angry with him, but he wasn’t listening to my complains. He drove to the city centre and drag me to the Hadrian gate. “Gel, gel…” (Come, come) he was saying while we crossed the gate to took some photographs before the sun sets.
Again, after the rush between the museum and the gate, we could sit and appreciate the city centre, people were coming and go, the coffee houses where full of people and the mosque was calling to the pray. The guide decide to have some photos inside the mosque while I took some time to record my impression on my diary.