Meeting Mustafa and the Aizonoi ruins
Cavdarhisar Travel Blog› entry 530 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Mustafa (Turkey)
Having eaten a hearty portion of Gozleme with salad and ayran (2.5YTL/$1.55), i wandered down to Kutahya bus terminal to catch the 13.00 bus to Cavdarhisar. I managed to find the correct dolmush, which had a friendly young driver called Mustafa, who immediately struck up a conversation with me. During the hour long journey (5YTL) we talked about his village and the ruins and he volunteered to guide me around all of the important sites.
Arriving into Cavdarhisar, we had a quick drink of tea and then walked to the nearby Temple of Zeus. Aizonoi was a Roman settlement, which was the third largest in Turkey, only surpassed in population by Ephesus and Pergamum.
Walking to the site we crossed one of three ancient Roman bridges that the town still boasts and plenty of crumbling, yet character filled houses. Mustafa's Dad was in the ticket booth (3YTL) when we arrived and he gave us the keys to enter the sacrificial room, which is located directly under the Temple and now contains fragments of the Temple, which are stored there for safe keeping. There are also other nice stone carvings outside the Temple, which included the head of Medusa and several Roman tombstones.
After the Temple we visited the nearby Stadium and Theatre, which was the first complex built with a dual purpose in mind. Situated on the road leading up to the Stadium was a Roman baths complex, and i wondered if they were scrubbed down with guys in orange gloves, like i was the other day! Little remained of the stadium, although you could vaguely make out its outline. What really impressed me though was the Olympic Medals which were on display, carved into a large stone. The theatre was more intact and enjoyable to wander around for ten minutes and there was a wonderful carving of a lion catching a cow.
The last place to visit was a colonnaded street and circular market building.
There was a dolmush heading back to Kutahya at 16.00, but i decided to stay an extra hour or so to hang out with Mustafa. He introduced me to many of the villagers, before we went and drank some tea and played Tavla. I managed to win 4-1, which was quite a surprise, but i think i had the luck of the dice on this occasion. I caught the 17.15 bus home, really happy with how the day had materialised, I'm sure that i wouldn't have had such a great time had it not been for meeting Mustafa.