Old memories: Ruins and everyday life from Side, Turkey

To suddenly stand amongst all the ruins in Side, Turkey almost felt like stepping back in time. I stayed at a pretty quaint hotel with that “ruin-feel”, ruins all around and perfect location; almost just across the greek amphi theatre.


The view from my hotel restaurant where I had my breakfast almost every morning was incredible, there were ruins wherever I turned my head.



I’ve already written about my charter trip, and showed you some of my photos from Side, which in my taste is just slightly too touristy. I love the ruins everywhere, and the fact that they were preserved, I love the lovely marina, but there were too many average restaurants and average handicrafts all over.


side marina


There is plenty of beautiful handicrafts in Side too, but there is so much junk everywhere so for the untrained eye it’s actually hard to tell the crap from the gems.



I’d love to go back one day just to once again feel that powerful feeling you get by walking on ground with ruins as old as 2000, and they’re still standing – incredibly powerful! However, I don’t think I ever will go back, because of crap like this:


This was the beach outside of my hotel, which with all the ruins was so nice on the front, but on the back and the boardwalk it just turned to crap. A shop next to my hotel sold a whole lot of clothes for the prices of nothing – hence Ullared, which is home to an extremely famous Swedish outlet store. Today it even hosts its own reality show!


It was possible to avoid the wellbeaten track in Old Town, Side, by just getting a bit further away from the tourism. I found authentic restaurants, where even Turkish people sat down for a meal. Cheap, tasty and perfect, even though we did have our language troubles. Somehow it always works out to simply point and nod!


turkish food


During my meal – cats showed up – and I felt a little cold at heart. In Asia it’s more usual to shoo away the little hungry ones, and I so want to feed the tiny-tinies, but you never know what might offend, so I stayed a bit cautious.


Judge by my surprise when a Turk simply stepped forward and put down a small bowl of food for the cats.


My heart just overflowed with joy. I must surprisingly admit I never expected this nice gesture towards my best friend.

The Turks just love their cats!


However, back to the task at hand, and Old Town was where the ruins was, and the reason I chose Side, so I didn’t wanna venture too far in my search for food.


Ruins here, ruins there, ruins everywhere…


Off on another walk, straight out into nowhere from my hotel I found this ancient Byzantine hospital. To know these ruins had been a hospital gave it a certain ghostly air. I was there just before sunset, so when the sun had set I suddenly started to feel kind of creepy, so I rushed back to safety, totally convinced I’d walked amongst ghosts!


byzantine hospital byzantine hospital


Last, but not in anyway least, I have to include the ruins of ruins – the king amongst the ruins – the mighty Temple of Apollo – placed in such a lovely and magical place, at the end of the marina. If I ever go back to Side it would be because of this magical temple, I could sit there for hours and just enjoy the surroundings. If I only could erase the annoying human beings disturbing me all the time…



“Ruiner och vardagligt från Side, Turkiet” was first published on my Swedish Blog.