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Dalyan-Caunos : A Daily Tour To The Museum City

Feb 6, 2008
Dalyan is 25 km. from Dalaman Airport and 77 km. from Marmaris, Turkey and its beautiful locale and rich history make it the ideal destination for a one day boat tour originating in Marmaris. I would like to give you an idea of what you can expect when you visit Dalyan.

This is a fantastic boat trip because you will visit one of the rarest corners on the earth : Dalyan Turtle Beach. This beach is one of the last breeding grounds of the loggerhead turtles and it is surrounded by fresh water on one side and salt water on the other. Sailing on the river boats through the maze-like passages of Dalyan Delta will surely remind you of "The Afrıcan Queen". A stop-over at the magnificent Rock Tombs carved high in the cliff gives you the chance to get all the information about the resort. And finally there is a "fountain of youth: in the form of Mud Baths. It is fun, it is rejuvenating and it, surely, is great chance for an unusual snapshot.

Without climbing up to the Acropolis in Caunos, it may not be possible to feel how dangerous were the threats the Caunians lived under when they founded this city, at an elevation of 152 m. In addition to the striking panaroma, the break points of your tour will also appear : Amphitheatre, Church, Roman Bath, Terrace Temple, Fountain and Necropolis.

The City walls surrounding the acropolis, has different characteristics peculiar to different civilizations and ages, regarding the form, measurement and workmanship of the stones. It is hard to notice the distinction between Caunian, Greek, Persian, Roman and Byzan-tium traces on the same structure. The Acropolis is on a peak overlooking the southern area and interior seaport. From this viewpoint it seems easy to imagine ancient shipyards and merchantmen of that time. This high altitude point had also been used for rituals, feasts and wine parties.

One of the best preserved buildings is the Church. A cross on the entrance still remains. It's 2500 year old domes and marble columns adorned by religious figures are wonderful. The Roman Bath was originally designed as complex building divided into rooms for education, sporting activities and meeting. The gigantic windows that were been built for athletes to warm up by sun after a bath with icy waters, also provided them with dazzling sights. Two columns found in the Terrace Temple were the first discoveries that started Caunos excavations. The Temple, which you can't help being charmed by, remains almost as it was. The inscriptions on its marble columns mention the Caunian Gods. The most interesting part of this fascinating Temple is of course the Sacred Stone. It's told that the object depicted on the ancient coins of the 4th. century B.C. represents the stone. There are a lots of inscriptions like this all around.

Love of Byblis : A legendary story

According to an ancient legend, Byblıs was a daughter of Miletus and Eidothea and sister of Caunus. Byblis was in love with her brother Caunus. This was a love that could not be between sister and brother. And as her love grew from day to day Byblis fell incestuously in love with her brother Caunus and declared her love to him in a letter. Caunus, horrified, rejected her. He fled from his sister, but she followed him through Caria.. He came to this part of Caria and founded the city of Caunus. As for Byblis, she pursued him as he fled her but could not find him. She was weeping so much and was about to die from grief and exhaustion when she was turned by nymphs into a fountain. This is the legendary story of the origin of the city of Caunos..

The Human Factor in Architecture

Another majestic building of the city is the Fountain. It is interesting to note that the Caunians never designed a city without a fountain. They were used by visitors coming from distant seas to freshen up. The fountain that also functioned as a meeting point for women at the time, is now being reconstructed for the new visitors. The most striking stage of the journey is the Necropolis. Of 167 tombs, 'The Temple Faced Ones' engraved into rocky cliffs belong to the noble inhabitants of Caunos. These Stone King Tombs are the symbols of the city.

So if you are visiting Turkey it is worth seeing Marmaris with its natural attractions, daily sea excursions, caretta caretta turtles, and with the possibility of visiting ancient city ruins such as Cnidos, Caunos, Cleopatra's Island, Loryma and many others..
About the Author
Gurhan Ebren is a retired naval office and currently runs El Paso Travel, a travel agency specializing in yacht and gulet charters and cruises in Turkey. You can learn more about holidays and vacations in Turkey and get great ideas for visiting historical and scenic destinations in Turkey at his website http://www.elpasotravel.net
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