The next day the group met with a locally-based Turkish friend of one of the couples who took them to see historic sites before they left Mersin.

The next day the group met with a locally-based Turkish friend of one of the couples who took them to see historic sites before they left Mersin.
 
This photo is in Ayas a huge city dating back to the 2nd century AD and currently being excavated by archaeologists from Italy.

Then they were taken to the Cennet Ŧ#x000F6;küğü which literally translates as the ‘Paradise Pit’.  It is a huge crater some 250m long, 110m wide and 60-70m deep.

You enter it via a staircase of 426 steps which takes you down to the bottom of the crater where trees grow and birds nest.

At the bottom there is a cave chapel dating back to the 5th century with a fresco of Jesus and his disciples.  When this group visited they were entertained by a choir from Ankara having an impromptu sing-song in the chapel.

Their guide rounded off the tour with an excellent fish lunch, with rakı to drink, and then they headed off for Gaziantep, a drive of some 350km.

Fortunately the whole journey was on a toll motorway, took around 3 hours and, at a total of 3.75TL in tolls, puts the cost of the Göcek Tunnel well into perspective.

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