Söke to Milas Turkey

10 Eylül 2007 Pazartesi

Söke to Milas, Söke Turkey

The 86km ride from Söke, near Selçuk and Kuşadası, to Milas takes only 1/4 hours if you go nonstop, but so many interesting detours are possible that it may take you several days.

About 29km south of Söke there is a road on the right for Akköy (7km), Miletus and Didyma, described above. Soon aftenvards, the highway skirts the southern shore of the huge Bafa Gölü (Bafa Lake). This was once a gulf of the Aegean Sea, but became a lake as the sea retreated. About 13km beyond the Akköy turn-off are several restaurants, motels and camping areas, most prominently the Turgut.
About 4km further south-east is a small island bearing traces of a ruined Byzantine monastery, and just beyond this is Ceri'nin Yeri, a restaurant serving sea bass, eel, çarp and grey mullet which find their way into the lake to spawn. Ceri's has a few pension and motel rooms, and a camp site as well. Sometimes you can arrange a boat trip to Herakleia.

Herakleia/Kapıkırı (Latmos - herakleia salbace)

At the south-eastern end of the lake is a village called Çamiçi, from which a paved road on the left is marked for Kapıkırı, 10 km to the north, though it's actually less than 9km; watch carefully for the sign which is easily missed. Minibuses from Söke or Milas will drop you at the road junction but you'll have to hike or hitch along the side road unless you manage to catch one of the very infrequent dolmuşes. At the end of the wonderful, twisting, rock-dominated road, you'll come to the ruins of Herakleia ad Latmos in and around the village of Kapıkın. Behind the village looms the dramatic, fıve peaked Beşparmak Dağı, the Five-fıngered Mountain (1500m). This was the ancient Mt Latmos.
History Latmos is famous because of Endymion, the legendary shepherd boy. The story relates how the handsome Endymion was asleep on Mt Latmos when Selene, the moon goddess, fell in love with him. Myths differ as to what happened next.

it seems that Endymion slept forever, and Selene (also called Diana) got to come down and sleep with him every night. She also saw to the care of his flocks, while he slept on. And that's about it.

Ringed by mountains, this area was one of refuge for Christian hermits during the Arab invasions of the 8th century AD, hence the ruined churches and monasteries. The monks reputedly thought Endymion a Christian saint because they admired his powers of self-denial, though catatonia seems a more appropriate word.

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