October 20, 2011
The next morning we awoke to the braying of the donkey in the yard behind the pension and the call to prayer by the local muezzin. There are 5 calls to prayer and we got so we could tell what time it was by the call. All the mosques have an external speaker system so you can’t avoid hearing the call. Surprising often we were able to sleep through the sunrise call.
Breakfast was the usual Turkish country breakfast consisting of a myriad of small dishes; tomato, cucumber, olives, jam, yogurt, spicy red pepper paste. Along with these small dishes, we also had bread, an egg, and a rolled up savory fried crepe. The Turks usually have tea in small tulip shaped glasses with breakfast but we opted for coffee.
We asked the host for information on doing a hike. We pointed on a map and asked if we could do a hike up to the ruins of Heraclea. No – that takes 6 hours. He suggested the hike/walk to Yediler the 7th century ruins of a Byzantine monetary. I had done some web research on hiking options the previous night. I found a helpful photo blog from a Seattle couple who had visited the area in 2000. The Seattle couple had also done this hike so I had a good visual idea of the trail.
The trail starts at Golyaka 4 km from Kapikiri. We drove to the village – delayed again by a cow roadblock. We were uncertain where exactly to find the trail. It was no problem. Next to a restaurant, there was a large sign that said trail to Monastery along with information on how to hire a guide and ‘free’ parking. We pulled in and quickly got out to avoid being approached for a guide.
We started up the ‘street’ next to the restaurant. It was mostly cement but pretty broken up and batched with asphalt in places. Village houses were on both sides along with the villagers animals. The houses were usually two stories with the first story being partially open to house the family animals. We saw donkeys, cows, sheep and chickens all housed around the houses. None of them had big yards. You could definitely tell it was a farm village by the smell, hay and droppings.
After a couple of wrong turns, we arrived at the top of village. We looked around for the trail knowing it would follow along a stone wall fence. The fence was pretty easy to find and after a bit we located the footpath. It wasn’t marked with paint as we seen on trails in France and Italy but it was easy to follow by watching the boot tracks. The hills were brilliant green, the sky clear blue and the trees were mostly olive or shrubby oak. We were pleasantly surprised to find fields of the daffodils below the olive and oak trees. The views down to the lake and villages below were stunning.
Soon we could see the ruins in the distance. We climbed up some more following between two stone fences and through a couple of gates which we finally figured out you open by untying and retying the plastic rope.
The ruins were just beyond...