Marmaris and Dalyan River with ancient tombs in Turkey
Wednesday 18th November 2020
Our first day in Marmaris was quite a productive one. Tim went out with Martin to find a gas refill for our gas bottles. Luca, Nina and I went to town. Luca wanted to go to the stationary shop, Nina and I visited the wool shops with Luca impatiently waiting outside, we stocked up on some groceries and had a quick visit to a café with fast, free internet.
I made some veggie soup for dinner again and we invited the Pisces 2 crew over to share our meal. Its one of our highlights to have those catchups with likeminded people and hear about their adventures on the sea.
The 2 days where rainy days. We had some morning tea to share a cake at Yvette and Martins boat and afterwards I tidied Nina’s room, which always gives me a bad mood. I just can’t understand how she still gets herself into such a muddle with so few belongings in such a small space…I changed the salt brine on all our olives, made some more soup, stewed some apples, did crochet on Luca’s blanket, updated the budget while Tim was doing video editing.
On the 21st November we left Marmaris for Dalyan / Turtle Beach. We left around 10 am and arrived 3 pm. It was a 20 nm trip, again mostly motoring due to the lack of wind.
Once we where anchored we went for a walk at the sandy beach nearby. I started to crochet a reusable advents calendar for the children today. It turns out there are no Advents calendars in Turkey and the kids always had one. My mum used to send them Chocolate and Lego ones from Germany.
The next day we had a lazy morning on the boat and around lunchtime the Pisces crew decided to try and take the dinghy up the Dalyan river to see the tombs. There are usually day boats taking tourists up and we had heard mixed reports as to if it was permitted or not for us to go up there. The Pisces crew reported over radio it was all good, so we decided to give it a go too. We even took Lucy in the dinghy for an adventure.
The beach is called Turtle beach, because the turtles are breeding here between May and October and people with boats can’t go anywhere close to the beaches. But we are here out of the breeding season, we didn’t even see a single turtle and still haven’t seen a singe dolphin either! Up the river are some pretty impressive rock tombs and mud baths alongside holiday villages, restaurants and shops. But its all pretty much closed now, being out of season.
Here is some more info on the rock tombs from Dalyaninfo.com:
“The spectacular rock-cut tombs which meet the eyes of the visitors coming to Caunus by way of either sea or land are undoubtedly the most significant examples of funerary architecture in Caunus. The group of six rock-cut tombs, including the largest, unfinished one have been borne dumb witnesses to the events throughout the past thousands of years. In addition to this type of temple rock-cut tomb, there are deep rectangular rock-cut tombs known as “pigeon nests”, niches and sarcophagi which, together with the chamber tombs at special locations, show the variety of the types of funerary architecture at Caunus. These tombs provide us with valuable information on the burial customs of the city.
Of the rock-cut tombs, none of which can be dated to before the 2nd quarter of the 4th century BC, the most important group are those with the facade of a temple. They consist of a stepped front chamber behind the facade. The facade has a pediment and columns between the projecting side walls and the burial chamber is accessed through a door. In front of the back and side walls of the roughly square in plan, burial chamber there are carved stone benches for the bodies of the deceased, in some of them there are also tables for offerings dedicated to the deceased. The niches, into which the upright funerary urns were placed, were closed with stone plaques that were carved with depictions of temple facades. The longer lateral sides of the chest-tombs, which were built next to each other, were formed by vertically placing the stone plaques of the same height. The narrower sides, one of which faces the bedrock, were mostly made from a single block. The tombs were covered with large stone slabs which were coated by a thick plaster mixed with gravel of various sizes.
This type of tomb is generally dated to the period from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. Only two of the chamber tombs, which were built apart from the other tombs, upon higher hills, are preserved. One of these tombs is situated on the hill behind the entrance to the site, the other is in the Mezargediði area, 4 kms. to the West of the site of Caunus.”
Going through the maize of the marsh leading up to the river was quite an adventure itself. We used google maps to guide us through, but we still took a wrong turn and ended up at a fish farm. Eventually we found our way to a manned gate over the water that leads into the river. The guy just waved us through and up we went to see the beautiful and impressive tombs. While admiring the tombs Yvette, Martin and Jason came back and caught up with us. They went further up the river, but it was pretty much all closed up and getting late, so we all decided to head back.
Yvette and Martin invited us over for risotto dinner, so since we didn’t have to cook we quickly made a thermos of tea and went for another walk at the sandy beach, which Lucy hugely appreciated. The day before we already had a good explore, the kids sliding down a big sand bank. I found some wild thyme, we found some pretty shells and lost Lucy’s frisbee. We had a nice cup of tea in the evening sun and I went for a walk along the beach to see if I could find Lucy’s frisbee from the day before. Early in the morning we had heard lots of shotgun fire and where wondering if they might be hunters. I wandered out from the sand dunes into the nearby Olive Grove and found a whole lot of of brand new shot gun cartridges. Walking a bit further I found broken glass bottles lined up on some rocks that they obviously shot at, leaving both the cartridges and glass all lying around. Makes me mad things like that. Its all good having a bit of “fun”, but why not clean up after yourself – its really not that hard.
I found some more wild thyme and once back at the boat stripped it all of the stalks, so we have more for our cooking. I love putting the wild thyme in soups, stir fries and herbal teas. Its got such a lovely aroma.
After a really nice and yummy dinner and lovely catch up with the Pisces crew including Monopoly Deal playing with the very enthusiastic Jason we went happily to bed for a good sleep.