From Göreme we rode straight south to Mersin, passing Adane.
Our route continued along the Taurus mountain range. This is one of Turkiye’s three largest mountain ranges. It’s located near the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, therefore you can easily admire the great waters from amazing steep cliffs.
A Plethora of Ruins
The entire southern coast on my map is covered with pins marking where the ancient ruins are located. During our tour, we managed to see just the peril of what Turkiye has to offer.
Many of these ruins are “wild.” No entrance fees or tickets are needed, and there are no tourists there. You just need to know where to look. Adventure anywhere!
These Rocks Have Been on Fire for More than 2,500 Years!
Yanartaş – “burning stone” in Turkish. This is a unique place, with the largest abiogenic methane emissions ever discovered on land. Interestingly, the gas emissions are not of volcanic origin.
It’s believed that the ruthenium present in the magma rocks beneath the flames acts as a catalyst, enabling the formation of methane at temperatures lower (below 100°C) than would normally be needed.
The Element of Water
After playing with fire, it was time to cool down. We headed to the beautiful Düden waterfalls in Antalya, and then…
… we were surprised by a powerful cloudburst. It extinguished our hopes of visiting Saklikent National Park. Almost as quickly as we entered we were evacuated because of the threat of flooding in the canyon.
Of course, we tried to ride even in the rain. Every now and then, however, a short but intense downpour, accompanied by nearby thunder, appeared. In such moments, we waited it out under a roof we found. Turkish hospitality is something that will live long in our memory. Each time, the hosts of the inns welcomed us with a smile and a hot çay, and sometimes even with a snack.
Pamukkale Cotton Castle
They are said to resemble cotton. In my opinion, Pamukkale looks more like an open-pit salt mine. I know there’s no such thing as an open-pit salt mine, but it was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the travertine terraces.
At the site, hot springs rich in calcium and carbon dioxide compounds cool at the surface and precipitate calcium carbonate. This process has been going on continuously for about 14,000 years!
How Much Does the Trojan Horse Weigh?
At the end of our tour, we crossed the remarkable 1915 Çanakkale Bridge. It’s 4608 meters long which makes it the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Interestingly, there are some symbolic figures associated with the bridge. “1915” in the name, the date of the bridge’s opening (March 18) and the height of the towers (318m) commemorate the Battle of Çanakkale (March 18, 1915) and the victory of the Ottoman Empire. The span of the bridge (2023m) symbolizes the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic (1923-2023).
There’s another interesting thing associated with the city of Çanakkale. If you are familiar with the 2004 film Troy, in which Brad Pitt played the role of Achilles, you’ll probably recognize the horse in the photos below. This nearly 12-meter giant was given as a gift to the city of Çanakkale after the film shooting ended. And to answer the title question of another – this time Polish – film: this Trojan horse weighs 11 tons!
I’ll Be Back
The closer we got to the end of our trip, the more wonderful experiences I had. All of them made Turkiye etched in my memory as an adventurous place.
This is a country that I would certainly love to return to. What attracts the most is the variety of historical and architectural sites, works of art, cuisine, as well as the great hospitality of the Turkish people. It’s a region where motorcycle travelers are more than welcomed, and so far no European country has made such a positive impression on me as Turkiye.
Let’s end this journey with Turkiye’s most spectacular landscapes.
Read the first two chapters of this adventure: