Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Tourist pollution

We traveled mainly through inland Turkey and had a lot of welcomes. When we arrived at the coast, we had a hard time to adjust. The whole coast was polluted with large scale ugly tourist flat resorts! The atmosphere changed stunningly. We were not invited anymore, but watched with unfriendly faces, all of a sudden people were not greeting us even! It is hard to say if this is only cause of tourism, or because of social problems, as a lot of citizens in the area might be Turkish refugees from Greece and Balkans, this used to be Greek dominated areas until the twenties. But it was quite a difference, and we felt really unwelcome where ever we went.

One morning we entered a national park. Ok, maybe we should have been warned that the entrance sign said ´picnic area national park´. We paid the 7 Euro entrance fee, expecting wonderful, unspoiled nature. Parking between lying around trash and picnic benches, we realized something was wrong. This got stronger when we found out that the once beautiful waterfall river was used as irrigation system for nearby olive farms, and all not that natural but spoiled everywhere with constructions of concrete! Wherever we walked, we were still surrounded by picnic benches. Then suddenly the path ended with a high barbwire fence and a sign saying this was the end of the picnic area. When we went back to our van, hundreds of tourists were streaming out of their busses. Before we even knew it, we were surrounded by tourists filming and photographing us as if we were some native tribe dressed in traditional clothing. When we told them to stop photographing and tried to walk away, they even stopped us angrily, expressing they were not ready taking pictures of us. This shocking event was for us a quite clear example for how polluting tourism can be. We have seen a lot of pollution from tourism, like lying around trash and all the ugly resorts. But maybe the worst pollution is the mind and culture of people. Time for some cleaning!


Anonymous said...

It´s really striking what a difference there is between your way of travelling and the mass tourism way. What would happen if all those masses of people started to go on their own around the country... would they be permitted? Would people stop greeting them after a while? Or would the world slowly change into a friendlier place! Optimistic Ulla

Frans and Cecilia said...

Yes, this question we also discussed. At least there would be less tourist reosrts and more campings this way. It is no solution for touristic pollotion though, if everyone would travel the way we do it would also be a mess. The best is still to just stay home after all.

Anonymous said...

like us! :)

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