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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Afrodesias Geyre, Turkey, Friday, 15 January 2010 4:13am

Afrodesias is the best set of classical ruins I've seen on this trip so far. Impressively large, well-preserved, remote, almost empty. There were long periods where I was walking around the amphitheater or the stadium where there was nobody else in sight.

The sites in Athens definitely have these buildings beat for individual size and historical importance, and Delphi may be in a prettier location, but Afrodesias has a town's worth of monuments all together, with no nearby town or traffic visible, and no throngs of tourists. And the on-site museum has a surprisingly large collection of intact and nearly-intact sculptures that decorated the various buildings.

One of the people in my minibus tour was a Spanish woman. I think she'd been away from home a long time, and hadn't run into many Spanish speakers, because when I said that I spoke some Spanish, she spent the rest of the ride back (1.5 hours) talking to me almost without stopping for breath. I don't know how the Spanish sustain that rate of speech. They speak much faster than anybody I've heard from the Americas.

It's kind of exhausting, mentally, to listen to a partly-known language for a long time. When I've been speaking Spanish for a few weeks, I can get to the point where I don't have to translate everything into English before I understand it, but I'm nowhere near that right now.

She had just gotten an electric blanket (apparently she's been staying in guesthouses where the heat doesn't work too well), and asked for clarification of a few things in the English version of the manual (there's no Spanish translation). I tried my best to explain what a "quilt" is and that "between when" is probably missing at least one word.

It turns out that she went to Morocco a couple years ago, so we talked a bit about visiting places where people were outwardly friendly, but really just wanted to sell you things. She gave me some tips about where to go in the western part of Turkey.

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