|The city of Antioch, or modern day Antakya, was founded in 300 BC. Later it became the 3rd largest city of the Roman Empire.
|Since Roman times, Antioch has been ruled by Arabs, Byzantines, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Ottomans, and the Turks.
|Antakya is located on the Asi (Orontes) River. After WWI, it was part of French-ruled Syria, then returned to Turkey.
|We stayed in a Catholic church hostel in the old town, so we could walk to many interesting parts.
|These mortar and pestles are very heavy, and used for grinding spices.
|A nice collection of tiny sultan statues for sale.
|I love all the antiques, but of course I wouldn't want to carry them for another month, even if I could afford to buy them.
|Fancy children's clothing for sale.
|Backgammon is a very popular game in Turkey. I've been used to dominoes in the Caribbean.
|My friend Gwenn took this shot of a produce vender.
|In the mountains of Santa Cruz county, there used to be a Tree Circus. It eventually made its way to the Gilroy Gardens amusement park. I was surprised to see so many of these in the pedestrian shopping area in Antioch.
|I love the traditional clothing in Turkey.
|We walked to the archaeological museum across the river from the bazaar. They had many mosaics and sculptures.
|More relics from the archaeological museum.
|Since it was Ramadan we splurged and ordered a sweet dessert called künefe.
|They brought us two pieces with a glop of clotted cream on top.
|Künefe is sweet and chewy because of the cheese they add.
|Even though I'm not usually a fan of white bread, it's hard to resist when it comes out of the oven.
|Then we drove out of town to a mountaintop monastery. The windmills were huge and constructed by the US and Israel to provide power to the nearby towns.
|The Monastery of San Symeon the Younger is mostly in ruins.
|Phyllis in the ruins of the monastery. Note the wind mill on the hillside nearby.
|The Monastery of San Symeon is very close to the Syrian border.
|Michelle and I in the ruins.
|The intricacy of the stone carvings was very impressive.
|A watchman took us around and showed us the mosaic under the dirt. He says there are mosaics everywhere, but they leave them covered up to protect them.
|Next we drove from the monastery to the Roman tunnels called Titus Tunnels.
|Here's the sign directing us to the Titus Tunnels. All of the brown signs indicate historic sites, just as in the US.
|We hiked into the tunnels and tombs.
|Roman ruins were everywhere.
|Here's a cool antique bridge that shows the strength of an arch.
|Michelle took this picture of us on the bridge with our new friend Aisha.
|The tunnels were built during Emperor Verpasian's rule to divert floodwaters from the coastal town of Samandagi.
|The tunnels were completed by Vespasian's son Titus. This impressive cutting runs 4,527 ft through solid rock.
|The tunnel is 23 feet high and 20 feet wide.
|The Besikli Cave Tomb Monument is located next to Titus' Tunnels.
|Here are some of the tombs.
|The view from the tombs down to the Mediterranean Sea.
|I bought a little jar of natural massage oil from Aisha and her husband.
|When I asked them for a picture together, Aisha was embarrassed when her husband tried to steal a kiss.
|Aisha pointed out that we had matching pants, so her husband took a picture of us together.
|The view of Samandagi, an Arabic-speaking resort town near the Syrian border.
|Michelle, Phyllis and I went in for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. The water was perfect and so refreshing after such a hot hike.
|My "modest" bathing suit for the Muslim country of Turkey. On the west coast, European women wear bikinis at the beach, but I try not to call attention to me.