The setting is blissfully peaceful and the description a history buff's dream: Kapıkırı sits on the remains of Carian Herakleia which was later settled by Byzantines. The city walls are well preserved with plenty of accessible look-out towers. Climb higher and caves reveal prehistoric paintings and Christian frescoes. The modern village with it's ancient ruins, nestles just below the Latmos mountains, a name which evokes the image of a libidinous Selene, goddess of the moon and the object of her passion, Endymion, destined to sleep forever for being too gorgeous.
The approach skirts Bafa lake, recognised as a wildlife treasury and duly accredited protective status as a national park.
|Rock cut tombs|
But we had been warned. Home to a female sales force described in various guides as "robust", "persistent", "relentless", "intimidating" and "annoying", the women of Kapıkırı will hunt you down to get a sale. They lurk on corners waiting for a hire-car or minibus to arrive and then shoulder their bundles of jewellery and headscarves and hurry off in pursuit to badger and pester new arrivals.
We had our secret weapon - a Teomanater - my husband can not be described as shy and retiring; on London tubes he is fond of engaging the local loony or drunk in conversation, causing all other passengers to hide behind their papers in case he picks on them too. As our first saleswoman, Ayşe, approached he subjected her to such a barrage of questions that she had to sit down and didn't even get chance to open her wares.
We'd been lucky so far and our arrival at the agora coincided with that of a minibus of more obvious potential and we were allowed to pass by unbothered. From the vantage point of a teahouse, we watched the ladies stalk any obvious tourist . We asked the menfolk sipping their teas what they thought of this commercial activity and not one had a good word to say about it. They'd also heard about the derogatory comments in guide books and on the web and weren't happy. So it's obvious who wears the trousers in this village and they are flowery baggy ones.
As we walked back to the van we spotted Ayşe in the street but before we could get too close she had darted back into a garden and pretended not to see us.
There is a 3 TL entry fee to the village.