domingo, 24 de novembro de 2013

Side, por Les Walsh

Templo de Apolo, em Side.

Side is unlike other Roman cities in that it is in the centre of the modern town. Approaching it from the West there are almost no roadsigns, but a huge parking area tells you, you've arrived. Find a place between the dozens of holiday buses, cross the asphalt and you are in the centre of Roman Side. You are also immersed in a tide of humankind, Italians, Russians, Germans, Japanese, Brits, all are weaving their way to the modern town near the seaside. One or two peel off and check out  the amphitheatre or Via Maximus, but the majority don't seem to notice these piles of old stones.
Side is the face of mass tourism, hemmed in from East to West by twenty kilometres of high rise hotel and beach trade (eighty thousand beds), extending as far as the eye can see.
I'm sure it provides employment for many Turks and low cost beach holidays but for the individual traveller it is a nightmare. Persevere however for as you arrive at the quay the beautiful Temple of Apollo stands to your left, fenced off from the barbarians; the stone urns near the museum were being used as rubbish bins so not much is respected. We made an exit for the Museum which seemed like an oasis of quiet in its sarcophagus strewn garden. 

Just before we had been invited into Side's only carpet shop. I am a sucker for carpets and I passed this one without looking but when a voice asked where we were from and the answer given, we were ushered inside, "you're the first Brazilians in my shop, I had a girlfriend from Fortaleza, her name is Eliete." So after apple tea ("tourist tea") I asked him how Side had changed. Yes, too many people but we shouldn't complain, he said, and his business? Not bad, but people don't come here to buy carpets, they go to Istanbul.
The crowds were drifting back to the buses now and we entered the stream and departed. Not again in our six weeks in Turkey would we see such a mass of tourists.

O Museu se situa nas antigas termas de Side.

Um comentário:

  1. I sometimes wonder Les why on earth are we so bloody proud of our soulless modernity !!
    By the way that carpet shopkeeper should have held on to Eliete and try his luck in Fortaleza. He might have managed to sell quite a lot of his carpets to the Fortaleza Lulaian emerging burgeoisie !!