CONTRIBUTED BY EMILY SMITH
The weather is fantastic right now in the Adana area. Spring time is a great time to get out and explore Turkey.
A few weekends ago, I went on a ruins exploring trips with a few friends. I thought I had seen so much already, but I was once again, pleasantly surprised to see some beautiful sites in Turkey.
Our first stop was to Cambazli Church. I had a blast photographing this ancient church site. Although very much in ruins, all four walls of the church are standing. Turkey does do quite a bit in the way of preservation, but so many times I’ve thought that in the United States, we would never be allowed to explore historic sites with such freedom.
There are no ropes barring you from getting an up close view. I’m free to take photos with or without a flash, whenever I want to do so. And I’m thankful that I can do this, because without the preservation aspect, who knows how many more generations will be able to visit these ancient sites.
Our next stop on our ruins exploration route was Olba Aqueduct. This was not my first time visiting Olba, but it was the first time with my fancy new camera. And it was my first time to hike back into the canyon.
We hiked about a mile into the canyon, and there are several side trails into smaller valleys. Ruins and evidence of ruins and cave homes line the canyon. From reading about the canyon valley, called “Şeytan Deresi” or the Devil’s Valley, it stretches about 10 miles from the aqueduct to the Mediterranean. The impressive aqueduct sits at the entrance into the valley.
It was a beautiful hike – not hard at all – and I took my 3 year old and my 20 month old with me – my husband is currently deployed, so this was a great trip to do with friends with my kids in tow, and not feel like I was ‘wasting’ this beautiful weather by staying inside or on the base.
Cambazli was a quick stop on the road to Olba, about 15 minutes away from Cambazli and then just a short two minute drive down the road from Olba is the historic Roman ruins town of Uzancaburc . (Post coming soon!) When I visited Cambazli, I just quickly jumped out of the car, did a quick walk around the ruins, took a few photos and then we were on our way to Olba Aqueduct.
Parking for both Cambazli and Olba Aqueduct were on the side of the road, no charge. Plan to spend about 5-10 minutes at Cambazli and anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours at Olba Aqueduct, depending on if you just want to take some quick photos of the aqueduct or hike in to the canyon valley.
Both locations are very quiet, very tranquil, with very little local population. You might see a local herdsman with his goats, but other than that, the locations are sparse with few local residents. Bring water, snacks or lunch as there are no places to purchase food along the route. There are also no restrooms. The nearest restroom is located in Uzancaburc which is about 2-3 miles away from Olba Aqueduct.
GPS Coordinates for Cambazli: 36.575038, 34.033262
GPS Coordinates for Olba: 36.586874, 33.968369