It is Kurban bayram in November. One of the holiest days in Islam, the holiday commemorates the Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice of Ishmael (or the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac). It is also a 4-5 day national holiday. Unfortunately, anything out of Turkey is over 700 lira, so we decided to explore Southern Turkey instead. We just booked a 4 day tour to explore the ancient ruins and beautiful beaches of Lycia. Lycia was a federation of 23 city-states, which eventually became a part of the Roman Empire. Lycia is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as an ally of Troy, and in the Federalist Papers as the earliest example of a republic. The Lycian League was the first elected body of government on record. It is predicted that Patara (the major naval and port city of Lycia) will have the same significance as Ephesus and Pergamon in the future. However, Pergamon was first excavated 120 years ago. Patara was excavated for the first time 20 years ago. The world does not know what is hidden below the ground where this ancient civilization once stood. Archaeologists have barely touched the surface. Situated along the Mediterranean, this area also has some of the most amazing beaches in the world, as well as beautiful national parks and seaside villages. Needless to say, I am excited.
For more information about Lycia, go to: http://www.lycianturkey.com/index.htm