Turkey Day 6 - Bronze age cave homes, King Midas City and lots of snow

Mezar Aniti (Monument Tomb)


Today we leave our lovely hotel – most likely to be the most impressive rooms I will stay at in my life time. By 9am we have had our breakfast and are in the car heading out of Eskisehir. The whole point of visiting Eskisehir was to visit bronze age ruins nearby, but instead of visiting while staying in Eskisehir it was decided to visit them on the trip out.

The weather has been really good to us, snow while in Eskisehir but nice and clear on the day we leave, the problem is that even with lovely blue skies there is still snow everywhere.

After an hour of driving we came to the Phrygian Valley; the Phrygians were a tribe that ruled in the area between the 8th century BC until the arrival of Alexander the Great and then the Romans. The most famous Phrygian is King Midas of golden touch fame.

We found a side road which pointed to where the ruins were and luckily there was no snow on it, so it must have been cleared sometime over the last couple of days.

Side road through the snow and what fantastic scenery to drive through. An added bonus to the holiday. 

A house with icicles that we passed, must be cold inside.

We spent around 45 minutes driving before seeing the sign to the first ruins ‘Dogankale’ (Falcon Castle) and ‘Deveboyu-kale’ (Camel-Height Castle). The road leading to these ruins was rough and had not been cleared of snow. I drove around 500 meters than as the snow was getting several feet deep I stopped the car. After a discussion it was decided that Julianne and I would head out on foot carrying Luke while Grandma and Robin stay nice and warm in the car. It was a 1.5 km hike and most of it was not in the snow as the banks of the road were mostly clear.

Julianne walking through the snow to see the Phrygian Ruins while carrying Luke.

I was not sure if it the walk was going to be worth it and I am pleased to say it most certainly was worth it, the hardest part was the cold. It turned out the ruins were carved living quarters directly into the rock. It was quite magnificent to see something like this which straight out of a movie in real life. Because of the cold we couldn’t stay long but I still got a good explore before heading back to the car.

Phrygian Ruins, Bronze age settlement carved into the rocks – very cool to see in person.

Luke and I exploring.

And taking a nap.

Julianne Breast Feeding in the old housing in the cold.

The view back to the road.

Heading back to the car.

The car and the tracks I made before the snow got too much.

Once back with Grandma & Robin I had to back the car out through the snow and ice which was tricky but was made easy with the reversing camera of the car. By this time it was 12, so it was lunch before hitting the road.

After driving along for a bit Julianne spotted the next place to visit with her eagle eyes, Mezar Aniti (Monument Tomb) which was about 1km from the road.

Mezar Aniti (Monument Tomb)

This time I walked out on my own. I saw photos of the Mezar Aniti at the museum yesterday, and at the time I thought I hoped to find it tomorrow and now I am there which was quite neat. This tomb was something like out of an Indiana Jones film and was a tomb created by the Phrygians and looks impressive from the outside. There is only one main compartment with 2 smaller compartment to the rear and lots of spaces for bodies to lie. It is so much more real when visiting something this in person than just seeing in a museum.

tombs inside Mezar Aniti (Monument Tomb)

The view from inside Mezar Aniti (Monument Tomb) back to the road.

There was also a brief stop at ‘Kucuk Yazilikay’ (little inscribed stone) which was near the road and required a climb up through this snow bank.

The top of ‘Kucuk Yazilikay’ (little inscribed stone).

Then it was on to Midas City. The city is so named because of the impressive 17meter tall relief ‘Midas Tomb’ carved into the rock face, which includes King Midas in the surrounding inscriptions. Unfortunately because of the snow we couldn’t get far around the city but did get to clearly see the large Midas Tomb and some of the surrounding tombs, there was a lot of snow in this ruined city that was for sure.

Midas Tomb.

Julianne looking up at the huge Midas Tomb.

More walking through the snow with Luke in the baby carrier. The snow got too much and we had to turn around.

Interestingly the unfinished tomb, only the top half had been done. So they clearly started from the top and worked down.

By the time I got back to the car it was about 2-20pm and was exhausted, I had been either driving or walking non-stop since 9am and still had a four hour drive on the wrong side of the road to go but I was happy in seeing what I had during the day. The lonely planet guide had proved vague in Eskisehir and this section seemed even more vague so along with the snow I was pleased I got to see what I did as I expected to be disappointed.

We arrived in Egirdir around 6-30 and we are staying in a lovely hippy type pension right on the edge of the lake but of course had no direct road access. So I parked after driving down this tiny lane and Julianne rushed off to the where we are staying. As I was so tired we didn’t even bother unloading the car, we just ordered dinner and relaxed. The people who run Charlyes Pension are super friendly, nice and helpful which is just what we needed after a long day.

This room is the first room where we are all staying together in one room, the room itself is nice and bigger than I thought it was going to be but is hard to keep tidy and we do seem to be on top of each other all the time which is challenging. 

Adam Weller