Aspendos // Do All Things With Love

Date: 10 September 14
Local Time: 8:00pm
Location: Kemer, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 7

We departed Side after our homemade breakfast at the hotel, and headed to the nearby ruins of Aspendos. It was an ancient city founded by the Greeks in 1000 BC and changed hands many times. The theater in Aspendos is one of the best-preserved ancient theaters, which seated about 7,000 people.

Aspendos // Do All Things With Love

Aspendos reflection in a rain puddle

Aspendos // Do All Things With Love Aspendos // Do All Things With Love

We walked around the theater first, which is the main tourist stop but as we were leaving I noticed a directional sign pointing up the hill and asked if we could explore for a minute. This always leads to the best things. The rule of thumb in Turkey should be: always take the path less travelled, the smaller forested road or the food stand on the side of the road. Every time it has been the best decision.

Aspendos Arena // Do All Things With Love

Aspendos arena

Aspendos basilica // Do All Things With Love

Aspendos basilica

The trail led to a huge complex of ruins related to the city of Aspendos: a citadel, a city street, arena, basilica, and aqueducts.

Aspendos theater // Do All Things With Love

Aspendos // Do All Things With Love Aspendos // Do All Things With Love

On our way up to Kemer we stopped for lunch at a small roadside köfte restaurant (remember what I said about good decision making?). A lot of locals were stopping by, which was another good sign. The köfte was totally delicious.

köfte // Do All Things With Love

After lunch we made it up to Kemer, which should have been amazing – located right at the base of the Toros mountains and at the ocean, but ended up being disappointing. It was another overwhelmingly Russian tourist town. One of those places that just makes you feel gross: there is loud club music blasting from every hotel pool and even on the beach, the mobs of tourists are there to get drunk and go clubbing, and every single local person is trying to sell you something. It was really uncomfortable. After walking around and talking to five different hotels we finally settled on one smaller resort-type place that seemed ok. It wasn’t. It cost us 440 TL ($200 USD) for one night for five of us. The cost included three meals a day, and included a bus to the local beach where they had a section of beach chairs and a small bar, free drinks and beach chairs were supposedly included (they weren’t). The rooms were tiny and not very clean. The food was terrible: processed mystery meat patties and cabbage cooked six different ways. Moral of the story: avoid any resort-type hotel and try to find a town that is smaller.

Toros Mountains // Do All Things With Love

Toros Mountains from our hotel

Kemer resort // Do All Things With Love

We had a nice time swimming on the beach, but that was about it.

Kemer beach // Do All Things With Love Kemer beach // Do All Things With Love Kemer beach // Do All Things With Love

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