Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Monday, January 21, 2008

A day for reflexion in the heart of Lycia - Lycia Coast 7

A day to relax, what else can I do? Breakfast at 8.45 a.m. is served as usual under the outside awning and our table is as richly provided as ever. Beside the tasteful Turkish bread, we have a choice of sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, green and black olives, spam with pistachios, goat cheese, yellow cheese, yoghurt, jam and honey. Eggs are served in various ways: soft boiled, hard boiled, scrambled, sunny side up or as eggy bread, i.e. French toasts. Water, coffee and tea ad libitum. Nobody is still hungry after that!

The motor is started and we head for Üçağız to get supplies. My companion travelers go ashore but I stay behind, feeling kind of lazy. I get a nice cup of Turkish coffee from Fatuşa, our cook, and move to the shade of our big awning, legs up on one of the big rolls and a cushion under my head. The rocking of the boat is soothing and I fall asleep. Around noon the shoppers return and I wake up. The gulet now moves to the next cove that is unfortunately crowded with day tourists swimming and screaming, having a good time celebrating the end of Ramadan – I guess.

Everybody is enjoying a wonderful swim (except me, of course). Some are even daring enough to take a solitary kayak peddle along the spectacular coastline. Gee, how I envy them. The goats in their black, white and beige furs watch us with skeptical eyes.

After lunch and a short siesta, my fellow travelers head for Kale, ancient Simena, for the afternoon walk up to the castle of Kaleköy, meaning “castle village". The top of the village is dominated by a well-preserved castle built by the Knights of Rhodes partially on top of ancient Lycian foundations. The castle houses a small theater, cut into the rock, seating about 300 people, a sign that this was a minor settlement in Roman times. I have decided not to go along and to give my ankle time to recover. Besides, this is the one place I visited already in Spring on my Alexander tour, so I am not really missing much. The climb to the summit, as I remember, through the small village was very worthwhile. It was wonderful to just sit in the little theatre and gaze out over the bay to Kekova below. The odd Lycian tombs lying around reminding you of where you were and the one Lycian sarcophagus popping up from the water seemed to come from another world altogether.

As I am making myself comfortable, a local woman oars alongside trying to sell her colorful goodies: beads, scarves, napkins, doilies, etc. Then all is quiet and I grab another nap. When I awake the sun is setting in a perfect scale of oranges and my companions return.

Tonight we are having octopus for dinner, the captain’s catch. I never tasted octopus before and I find the meat surprisingly tender, somehow reminding me of mackerel – yet in a much nobler form, of course! Fatuşa serves it baked garnished with dill. As usual there is much more food to go around: backed aubergines with chopped meat, rice, baked potatoes, grated radices marinated in lemon and a mixed salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. For desert, more healthy stuff: a choice of yellow melon and juicy pears – pealed and ready to eat. By the time we finish this lavish meal it is 10 p.m. and time to turn in. See what tomorrow will bring!

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