Mountain Village - Selge; The Saint Paul Trail
Fri 10 Jun 2011 20:26
Thu 9 June 2011
We spent a lazy afternoon lunching at a trout restaurant on the river below the Koprulu Kanyon, which is very popular for white water rafting and gave us the opportunity to watch people making as much noise as possible and splashing eachother while hurtling downstream. I did some painting but it was hard to get on with it because everyone wants to chat. One lady said she was an artist and she seemed very frustrated watching my efforts! I asked her to paint it for me but she wouldn’t!
From the river we (Sandy, not me) drove up the switchback road to Selge, on a Toros mountain plateau at 1900 m on top of crags that go straight up. They have tractors but it is mainly people power with tiny old ladies trotting up the hill like mountain goats with massive loads on their backs .The village is beautiful in a Nepally sort of way – terraced fields, sping flowers and alpine houses (plus the odd satellite dish) – 500 years back with the occasional intrusion of 2011. And there is another Roman ruin . We were implored to stay in Selge by the chap who owns the Pansiyon, but had to do the 55km helter-skelter ride back down the mountain to get to the opera in the evening. So much to do!
Aspendos is one of the starting points for the Saint Paul Trail – 500km of rugged trekking – and we experienced just a tiny bit of it. The trail takes you up from the Mediterranean coastal plain into the Toros mountains, which have amazing rock formations and are home to the most extensive cypress forest in the world. Saint Paul set out from Perge, near Aspendos, in AD 46, heading for the Roman colonial town of Antioch in Anatolia. Along this route, he preached Christianity to non-Jews.
The Saint Paul Trail is definitely a must-do for future holidays.