Along the Lycian Trail

One early morning I take my backpack, leave a short note on the kitchen table and set off into the mountains to never come back - something I'll deeply regret a couple of hours later, but for the time being I feel happy and free. I stumble along the Lycian Trail, a footpath
stretching about 500 km from Fethiye to Antalya through the ancient land of Lycia on the Turkish Aegean Sea. As I feel in full feather and like a real adventurer I consider walking all the way to Kaş, where a friend of mine is staying at her summer house at the moment.
"That will take you about two weeks," say some young Turkish walkers who I meet on my way up the mountain. They share their breakfast with me and show me the route on their map - confronting me with my being completely unprepared for such an extensive trekking tour.
"When did you start walking?", they ask me.
"This morning," I say.
They nod and smile encouragingly.
"You don't have a tent?"
I shake my head.
"Do you have a mosquito net with you then?"
"Yes," I lie.
"And the scorpions don't crawl inside?"
"No, haven't seen any so far."
I walk to the village of Alınca along a stony, narrow path through a mountainous scenery with amazing views over the Turquoise Coast. I'm soaked with sweat as I reach theAlong the Lycian Trail peak and it begins to dawn on me that I probably better not hike all the way to Kaş but just to the next bus stop - which takes me about three hours. It's hot and I know that I'll have a terrible sunburn that evening, but I enjoy hiking through the beautiful, hilly Southern Turkish landscape. I reach the main road that leads along the coast from Fethiye to Antalya and get on a bus without knowing whether I'm really welcome at my friend's house. They arrived just the day before and I think I'm actually being quite impolite to literally knock at their door without even calling in. But Isolde turns out to be much less complicated than I'd be in such a situation. She smiles and hugs me, and houses me immediately in their guest room.

The following days I have a revival of a proper family holiday. I go walking in the hills around Kaş with Isolde and her husband Diether, who turns out to be an expert in inscriptions on Lycian tombs. While stumbling across stony fields and along rocky paths in the hot midday sun Diether explains me a lot about this ancient culture that populated the area from as early as 1500 BC to 550 BC. According to wikipedia, the Lycian League was the first federation in the world with democratic principles which later influenced the United States Constitution. The most impressive remains of that culture are situated near the beautiful sandy beach of Patara: an old amphitheatre, a promenade and several bunches of stones that might have been former mansions or administrative buildings. Along the Lycian Trail
In the afternoons we lie at one of the picturesque beaches around Kaş and in the evenings we have dinner and Rosé on the balcony. And after five days I also find a new job: I'll start my new career as a cleaning lady in the run-down "Fullmoon Hotel" the next day.

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