Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Side & Temple of Apollo

Saturday, October 18, 2015

Touched a camel!
It was such a joy to host our Fulbright friend, Sarah Khalbie, this weekend. She has so much energy; she’s charismatic; and she’s such a lively spirit. She is not afraid of befriending strangers, making new friends, and taking risks. We needed a little bit of Sarah this weekend, and we are so glad she was able to visit Antalya before weather starts to cool down.

On Saturday, Sarah, Elizabeth, Alex and I visited the historical city of Side (pronounced “sea day”), which is the ancient name for the fruit pomegranate. After 1.5 hours on the bus, we reached the ancient ruins. First thing we did was drink freshly squeezed nar juice (Turkish for pomegranate).

Selfie in front of the ancient ruins.
There were broken Ionic, Corinthian, and Doric columns everywhere. I felt like I was walking inside a world history book. In high school, when I took AP World History, I never thought I would “live through” the Greek and Roman empires. It was so special to walk through the ruins and realize that ancient rulers occupied this very land. It is said that Alexander the Great occupied this city-state and introduced the people of Side to the Hellenistic culture, which flourished in arts and sciences from the 4th to the 1st century BC.

After some really great model-esque shots in the ruins, we relaxed at the beach. Sarah, Elizabeth, and Alex spent a lot of time in the water; I read a good book on the sand, as I cannot swim (hope to learn one day). At the beach, we ran into an American guy named Russ who recommended we eat at the Apollonic restaurant. So we packed up and marched towards the touristy area for food. 

Modeling in the ancient ruins.
We walked through the bazaar filled with shopkeepers luring us to buy their goods or check out their menus, just like the streets of Kaleiçi The sun was almost setting, so we picked up our pace and walked to the end of the Side peninsula, where we were taken aback by the gorgeous Temple of Apollo. Oh, it was a magnificent sight! Lights shone directly on the columns as it got dark, and tourist continued to snap photos with their Nikons and Cannons. I admired the beauty from afar: a deep blue sky served as the backdrop, a moon smiled from above, and the pillars stood still like models posing for paparazzi. The structure was so perfect with its cracks and brokenness, debris surrounding it, large stones casually lying around. It was picture perfect...see for yourself!

Elizabeth, Sarah, Alex, and myself at Side, an ancient city in Antalya.

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