On Tuesday 20th September we say goodbye to the White Garden which we have enjoyed a great deal (lovely staff and excellent food), taking a taxi back to the airport. We have a mix up with the directions to collect the hire car (go to the International terminal instead of the domestic), but we eventually we pick up our car for the week and set off at 11.30 to the Turkish lake district area in Western Anatolia, driving through dramatic mountain scenery (plus a heavy thunder storm!) for 220km to Egirdir.
On route we take a detour to Sagalassos located high in the Ak Dag (White Mountains), a sprawling ruined city that began in 1200 BC but was abandoned in the 7th century after a large earthquake. Today it is being excavated as a very large archaeological project with some parts being reconstructed with the original stones. Indeed, there is an archway into the agora being reconstructed during our visit. We spend 2-3 hours exploring the extensive site, starting at the upper parts with a huge Roman period theatre (eat some snacks bought at the nearby village) which provides dramatic views across the site and the surrounding mountains and plaines. Then onto the Doric fountain house, the Antonine nymphanium (a huge fountain complex reconstructed so that water is flowing again and with replica statutes), a bouleterian (council house), and then onto the lower part of the city which includes a temple to Emperor Hadrian, yet another agora (market square) and a marble street. We have the place virtually to ourselves (see only 5 other people!), but the shop is closed (so no guide book again).
We then continue on our journey to reach Egirdir at 5.00pm. We check into the Choo Choo pension which is located on the small headland that protrudes into the lake. We eat at the Halikarnas restaurant that the family also run, and end the day with a walk around the headland to enjoy the views of the lake and mountains. The weather is cloudy and windy after the heavy showers (which we managed to avoid being out in).