Protecting the Apollo Temple
There has been a lot of controversy recently surrounding the closing of the road that weaves its way round the Temple of Apollo into Didim. The local businesses in the area are up in arms about the potential drop in trade.
I see it another way. If I had a business up there I would see it as an opportunity to really create a corner of Didim of which we can be rightly and properly proud – an area which really celebrates the ancient and traditional atmosphere of Turkey that you cannot get along the front.
We ate at Olios restaurant the other night. It was lovely. The food was good, but even better was the environment. Unhassled, cool, serene, a place that I would say had soul. We were cheeky. Because the roads were closed we sneaked round the back streets and managed to park in front of the restaurant. It was lovely to sit there, with the backdrop of the Temple, and not be blasted with the continuous revs of coaches, dolmuses, lorries, vans, cars, etc etc.
I understand that there is a Unesco pledge to help fund a redevelopment of the area (correct me if I am wrong). If I were mayor I would positively endorse the closing of the roads and ensure the following:
1. That a dedicated coach and car park be located nearby with pedestrian friendly access to the Temple area.
2. That the area as a whole be regenerated and sympathetically restored to recreate a traditional Turkish working village.
3. To encourage partisan type businesses to give visitors a taste of true Turkey.
4. To promote a series of ‘free’ concerts and street shows during the summer consisting of Traditional Turkish dancing, street sellers, music and singing.
5. Work up a selection of winter activities (eg local walks with breakfast and dinner start and finish points in the local vicinity.
This is one of the reasons why the Didim area is so exciting. We have the town itself – a thriving, buzzing, cosmopolitan place. The Didim Marina will add to the energy and modern mix of its future. The Temple area is there to feed its soul and put the place on the map as a major tourist attraction.
It is so easy to look at a Google Earth image of the area now and understand how all these elements need to be brought together.
Would that I were mayor…!