27-Nov-2003 -- At the end of the month of Ramaḍān, we have the religious "Şeker Bayramı" (Sugar, Sweet Festival) in Turkey, which lasts 3 days, although the government usually adds up the remaining days of that week resulting in a holiday of 9 days. Me, my brother and his wife decided to spend one day of this holiday for some outdoor stuff. The former night at our father's house, my brother Arkun suggested that we go up the Spil mountain in Manisa to visit the remains of the ancient city of Tantalos (Tantalis), where, according to some serious references, Atlantis (or at least another Troia like city) was claimed to be lying. Since we had no maps of the region available at the moment, and the trip could be longer than we assumed, I offered them a confluence hunt to a nearby CP (39N 28E). As the reported altitude was 1120 meters, I warned them that this journey could be a tiresome day than fun. The idea appealed to them, and we set out at 10:30 in the morning.
From Manisa to Akhisar, we took the D555 (İzmir-İstanbul highway), and turned right after exiting Akhisar towards Gördes. We reached the Doğankaya village by noon. We pulled the car to a stop about 2.5 km to the CP, and fortunately the mukhtar (local governor) of the village was there, and we told him about the CP project. He, in turn, told us some interesting facts about the hill we were about to climb. He was very polite and friendly, and told us that there were water wells at the summit, which had very fresh water with appetite enhancing effects, and that there was some old sacred tomb worth to be visited. After this small talk, we set out for the hill lying ahead of us.
The climbing was tough and steep, requiring multiple resting breaks. But the view of the valley below was astounding. Though we hesitated to take Selin, my brother's spouse, with us for the climb, she did not disappoint us with her ample energy and dedication. Smoothly, the flora of the mountain turned from scrub (maquis) to progressively getting taller pine trees. The altitude of the road and the village was around 700 meters, and now we were at the Confluence and the altimeter of the GPS and my Casio watch read 1090 meters. After a brief confluence dance Arkun managed to pinpoint (well, almost) the CP and we took the pictures. The trees and bushes were dense, so all I could capture was the small area around the point.
The descent was easier and the only subject to be mentioned was a very small and cute snake, which seemed to have forgotten to hibernate. We were too tired to go for the wells at the summit. As we thanked and congratulated the Ramadan holiday of the village people, they asked us why we had chosen the hard way to go to the hill, instead of the dirt road, which could take our car to the summit in five minutes! We told them that we enjoyed every minute of the climb, although I wondered if I would consider the easy way up. We then headed home happy and content.