Another reason for choosing Aphrodisias over Laodicea is that it was supposed to be easier to get to, as pensions in Pamukkale often arrange trips to Aphrodisias for a reasonable price. In the end, the four of us were the only passengers, and our driver offered to stop in Laodicea. We declined, partly because I was hoping for a chance to visit the unexcavated mound of Colossae after we were finished with Aphrodisias. (This will be my third year in a row teaching the book of Colossians in Greek Exegesis I, and I thought it would be fun to show some pictures of the site, excavated or not.)
The trip to Aphrodisias, which must have taken over an hour along winding roads, through grain fields, villages, and mountain forests, was an excellent chance to sample rural Turkish life. I discovered after checking the Barrington Atlas that our route also followed closely an ancient road from Laodicea to Aphrodisias: And no wonder--we had to circle a mountain to get there! Here's a satelite shot with modern roads highlighted:Unfortunately, when we raised the idea of stopping at the site of ancient Colossae after we were finished at Aphrodisias, our driver wanted another 40 YTL to take us there, which seemed exorbitant, especially as it was not entirely clear that he knew where it was we wanted to go. Once we made it back to the major city of Denizli, we were in no mood to set out through city traffic again.
Oh well, it is good to have a reason to go back!
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