Sagalassos Travel Blog› entry 526 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip:
My morning began in Isparta with a fresh cup of Turkish tea, and the enjoyment of Rasim's company. Around 09.40 we walked down to the centre together and he put my on the right bus to the terminal, which funnily enough had the same driver from yesterday. We exchanged smiles, but today i wasn't going to be asking for his help! Betul had found out the bus schedule to Aglasun for me, so i timed it nicely to catch the 10.30 minivan.
It was another belting day, with clear blue skies and warm sunshine, which accompanied by the fresh mountain air, made it ideal for walking. This was a good job to be honest, as i had a 7km hike up to the ruins of Sagalassos and then obviously another 7km back down again.
There had been some form of a settlement in the area dating back to 1200BC, although the Cities glory days arrived under the Romans. Other notable inhabitants prior to them had included the Pisidians, Hittites, Alexander the Greats rampant Macedonians and the Selucids. Sadly many of the occupants succumbed to the plague and when an earthquake shook the buildings to the ground in the 7thCentury, the remaining citizens abandoned the settlement for pastures new.
Entry was 5YTL ($3), which was more than reasonable for a site of this quality and other than three old people that were exiting the ruins, i had the place completely to myself.
The first significant ruins that i approached was a monumental fountain, which had been restored and had the original water source running through it. From here i walked up to the theatre, which was in pretty decent shape and had a particularly nice stage that was falling to pieces, adding to its character. I sat on the back row, eating some snacks and enjoying the breathtaking views, which stretched out across the ruins and the surrounding mountains.
What i love about places like Sagalassos is you have no idea what to expect, as there are no photos plastered all around Turkey telling you to go there.
Located just above the Nymphaeum was the equally impressive Heroon, which was the Hero's Shrine. Around the base of the monument were carvings of people and in the centre there had possibly stood a statue of Alexander the Great, although this space now lays empty.
In the mountain just behind the Heroon were several rock cut tombs and a path that led around to plenty of other crumbling buildings. With archaeologists trying to piece back together the ruins every summer time, i tried to imagine what the site could end up looking like. As people hadn't scavenged the site for its materials, most of the original stones used for the buildings still remain in the area, so I'm sure in time Sagalassos could rival Ephesus.
On my way towards the exit i took a look around the lower agora, roman baths and another fountain and then set off back down the mountain. It had been a great way to spend a few hours and thinking of what i had just witnessed, occupied my mind for the 70 minute walk back down to Aglasun. One amusing little thing i saw as i walked was a woman with a huge collection of wood on her back going down the mountain and a donkey with a full load heading up the mountain. I found it oddly amusing that grandmas and donkeys should be the two workhorses of the area, i wonder if the men were sat drinking tea and playing backgammon in a little cafe somewhere - i think i know the answer :)