The charm of Kas enchants me. There is a marina, lots of old buildings, restaurants and affordable hotels. As well, there's an antique Amphitheater with a splendid view over the bay and Kastelorizo. Young people meet here at sunset. Russians perform a theater play here. Actually, many young Russians are here, hoping to avoid being drawn to the war.

Kas from the ferry Amphitheater just before sunset Kas at night

The journey leads me along the Lycian coast. In Kekova I visit the ruins of a Byzantine castle and marvel upon impressive Lycian stone tombs. Near Finike, there are the ruins of the antique Metropolis of Andriaka that has been an important harbour for the Greek and Romans and the Crusaders. Again, millenniums of Mediterranean history melt in rubble. However, the museum shows some great multimedia animations how things have been back than. Between the villages and towns are vast fruit and vegetable plantations to feed nowadays cities.

Feeding the cities End of the season Kekova

The weather on the coast is ideal for cycling and for a dip in lonely small beaches, and there is not much traffic on the small roads I'm on for now. Like on Crete and Rhodos, the tourist season is over, most of the cruise boats are ashore and not many hikers do the Lycian trail anymore.

in the museum of Andriake lonely beach for cyclists and hikers Colors of the road

I visit the ruins of the ancient cities of Limyra and Phaselis.

Remains of a tiled road in ancient Limyra Lycian rock tombs roadside shop


Running away from the clouds in the mountains Aquaeduct in Phaselis in Phaselis

Afterwards, it gets more difficult to avoid the coastal highway. With only my summer sleeping bag and no stove, I don't dare to escape to the mountain ranges. Entire towns of luxury resorts are along the shore, designed for mass tourism from Turkey, Russia and Germany (according to all the advertisements).

hotel ship Peaceful hike in the Göynük gorge

The old city of Antalya is indeed charming, yet I only stay one night. After an early morning stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, I venture on. Luckily, there is a bicycle track along the shore promenade which saves the cyclist many kilometers on the coastal highway. I am on my way to Mersin where ferries depart for Cyprus. And I feel I'm really getting closer to what has been merely a fiction: my journey to the Promised Land.

Old town of Antalya Marina in Antalya Hadrian's Gate (me haven't had a beer in a week)

It's been raining a bit today, and my ears are half deaf from the traffic noise of the wet highway. Before Manavgat, I escape the busy D400 and cycle for a while through vegetable plantations and then between luxurious giant hotels and tourist shops again. At a random small junction, I decide it's time to find a place for the night. I lookup my GPS and find myself at the entrance of the historic city of Side. Luckily, I find a small, charming down-to-earth hotel with a basic room with a terrace and a nice view.

Hotels like these... I hear you ordered fish?

I stroll the streets and trails of Side twice - in the late evening and again in the early morning hours. Compared to the other historic sites, Side is still alive. Between all the ruins, houses were reconstructed and used as restaurants and shops. On the way back from Side in the morning, I meet this ragged young cyclist from Denmark who's been on the road for a year or so. We talk a bit, and when I offer him a hot shower in my place, he accepts instantly. We talk a lot, and eventually I stay another night and invite this guy to stay in my place. Feels just like being a warmshower host. Ironically, the roof of my apartment has holes. Therefore the stuff Lukas was happy to dry during the day gets wet again during the rain in the night.

Temple ruins in Side Where is my fish? Leaving Side

Luckily, it is less and less traffic on the D400 after Alanya. I enjoy fine Gözleme for lunch, climb some hills on the coastal road and stop at a lovely decorated guesthouse in a small village called Zeytinada. In front of the guest house, the owners run a small simple Gözleme restaurant. They don't speak any English, however as one of their sons arrive, he tells me about the green farming and volunteering that is going on here. Volunteers were expected in the eventing and more in a few days. Since there is much more rain in the forecast, I might as well volunteer for a few days here, as I did on Rhodos.

Alanya beach on the way to Melody Beach Guesthouse in Zeytinada

Timea, Seb and Paula help the family a little in the restaurant, but mainly picking olives. Here, really every olive is picked up. The whole clan with children and grandchildren joins the harvest. In the evening, we eat together in the restaurant, and later the volunteers spend some time on the rooftop

Gözleme, yummie hiking with the volunteers Hidden beach - of course I had to swim here

In Anamur I discover that I lost a dental seal. Luckily, a young and well equipped dentist fixes the problem. After Anamur, I actually spent my first night wild camping in Turkey - on a beach beside a bustling 24/7 highway restaurant.

Russian warplane in Anamur Anamur Castel

I reach Tasucu, fetch a ticket for the night ferry to Cyprus. In town, I meet a German cyclist couple that are as well on the way to Cyprus. Waiting for the departure of the ferry behind wire fences at night feels odd. However, I look forward for the next episode, and hope for some Greek island spirit in Cyprus.

Waiting behind the fences for the ferry

Hallo Welt