AN EXCURSION INTO ANATOLIA TO DISCOVER ITS TREASURES
The programme would not have been complete without an excursion enabling the participants to discover the beautiful treasures of the Anatolian region. Thus it was that a whole convoy of coaches awaited the tourists on the morning of October 24th.
We set off via Antalya to Perge, our first stop. Perge is a magnificent Roman site, and our eloquent guides gave us a very complete account. We were amazed at how much the Romans built and carried on building! We saw the Agora, the Citadel, the Aqueduct, the Amphitheatre, the Stadium etc. Obviously time and man have caused some deterioration, but now the needs of the tourism industry dictate that what is left of the site is guarded – and very well guarded at that.
Memeth, the French-speaking guide, a real mine of information, explains St Paul’s journey in Anatolya …
Our second stop was the ancient theatre of Aspendos. This is a marvellously well preserved site where a festival takes place each year, as well as shows and concerts. There is room for a seated audience of 15,000, the acoustics are excellent, and Aspendos is the finest of all surviving ancient theatres. It was in this marvellous location, rich in history, that the large AEHT family got together for the indispensable family photograph.
the traditional photograph of the beautiful AEHT family
A little later at around 1.00 pm came the welcome lunch stop in an enchanting location beside a river: the choice was between a trout or a kebab, served with salads.
Then came our final stop at Side and its temple of Apollo. Little remains of the temple, but these few columns reflected in the turquoise sea and standing out against the blue sky had something magical about them. But what a shame that, to get to the temple, we had to weave our way through several hundred metres of shops where the hawkers invited you inside using every possible persuasion! Nevertheless this stop allowed everyone to walk around freely and to absorb the rather calming atmosphere of this timeless sojourn.
the marble remains of a superb temple dedicated to Apollo
On the return journey we encountered some problems as we crossed Antalya at around 5.00pm because of the rush-hour which is a characteristic of all large towns at that time of day. But we kept more or less to schedule and those who had taken part in this day of discovery were back at their hotel at 6.15pm, delighted with their excursion.
VISIT TO ANTALYA KOLEJI AND THE OLD TOWN
On October 26th the organisers had planned a visit to their school, located in Antalya town, and around 200 conference delegates took part. They were impressed to discover a first-rate school with 180 teachers and 1650 students aged from 5 to 18, divided into four sections: science, arts, tourism and the traditional syllabus. Over the school fluttered the Turkish flag, the school flag – and the AEHT flag. The visitors were treated to lunch in the canteen, served by staff wearing face-masks and gloves, and also to music from the school brass band which performed in the school yard. Dr Fatma Kizilirmak gave a welcome speech to the visitors, wishing them an excellent stay in Antalya, while a recording of the first bars of the European anthem was played throughout the school. Following this rapid but very informative visit the participants also had the opportunity to admire Antalya’s historic centre before returning to Kemer in the evening, in time to get ready for the closing ceremony.
Antalya Old Town
Antalya Koleji main entrance
lunch in the school canteen
Fatma Kizilirmak speaks to her guests
The school’s brass band serenades the visitors