Fethiye Blue Voyage and Selcuk
Trip Start Aug 19, 2005
9Trip End Sep 09, 2005
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Hope you didn't miss us too much during our three day absence, but our guess is that you didn't.
Anyhow, we had an outstanding gulet cruise along the Turkish Mediterranean coast. First - our arrival. The overnight bus was much better than anticipated, except for the timing. It's your typical sort of tour bus with somewhat reclining seats, a/c, and surprising aisle service - water after every stop, one offering of food as well as tea and cola. But, the stops were many, and the motivation was not always clear. Granted, there is no bathroom on the bus, but our last stop was about an hour-long breakfast stop for the driver. What happened to packing a sandwich? We were on the bus for 13 hours...we were told twice it was going to be 10.
So, we arrived AFTER our cruise departed, but luckily it hadn't gone too far and the tour company drove us to a pick-up spot only 15 minutes away.
The boat - MUCH larger than we would've thought as 24 people were on board. We were the only Americans. It was a 110-meter boat (you do the math) with a few decks, rooms below, etc. On board was a Scottish family of 5 (daughter of 23, her fiancee of 26, her brother, mother and grandmother), an English family with 2 young boys, an Australian woman in her 30's travelling alone on a 4-month vacation, a mid-50's hilarious British couple, a couple Spaniards, 2 Italians, and some turks to boot.
The rooms downstairs had a bed, closet, and bathroom with the faucet supplemented by a shower-head; we slept on deck as the rooms were TOTALLY nasty and humid at night. The crew, all very friendly, mostly English-speaking Turks were kind, funny and attentive. They cooked simple but good meals (pasta, chicken, lots of vegetables, fruit for dinner) in addition to breakfast and lunch and afternoon tea and cookies, biscuits.
We went to Butterfly valley (named as such because it is the exclusive home of the rare Jersey Butterfly), the Blue Lagoon, the 12-Island area and the Marina town of Gocek in which we did a bit of shopping. Each stop was more or less the same, but in a good way - beautiful blue and green water in which you could see to the bottom, great temperature, a nearby walk or hike, etc...
The people on the boat were very nice and sociable, though the bow and starbord (I think those are the right terms) split into the English speakers and non-English speakers more or less. There was also plenty of drinking which resulted in a great time on our 2nd night - it started w/ one passenger requesting a performance of authentic Turkish dancing by the crew. Seemed like a joke, but the next thing we knew, these guys were dancing for us - there was a sound system throughout the boat.
The Turksih dancing soon included all of us, then dancing to such songs as "Let's Do It Like They Do on the Discovery Channel" and "I will Survive." After that, the captain and crew declared it was time for a night swim, which turned into group diving off the side of the boat, which turned into taking a wooden dinner table, leaning it against the side of the boat, pouring water on it, converting it into a water slide, and people taking turns taking running starts and sliding on their stomachs, head-first off the side of the ship into the water...probably about 10-15 feet. Neither Jess nor I did that.
After that, a couple people skinny-dipped...it was a good time. Overall just very relaxing, with great weather, good company and perfectly tolerable food.
Though we could've slept 3 nights on the boat, the 3rd night was in the rather noisy, humid and bright harbor whereas the two nights prior had been quiet, cool, many stars, and a nice breeze...so, we stayed in a very nearby hotel.
Then, today, a 6-hour bus ride up to Selcuk (right next to Ephesus), where we briefly walked around St. John's Basilica (Where St. John was buried after moving to the area with the Virgin Mary, dates back to the 4th century). After that, on our walk back to our hotel, a man started asking us a few questions...we're familiar with the drill and knew it was someone trying to get us into his shop to sell whatever.
He offered tea, which we've been told and have learned is a traditional thing done here with no obligation to buy afterwards. I felt like tea, so we accepted. After tea, we purused the store, which was almost entirely Turkish Carpets. Now, if you don't know, Turkey specializes in carpets, it's their thing. But we didn't really want one...he offered to show and explain to us how they're made and what the different designs meant, no obligation to buy, and we didn't feel obligated.
We had spoken with this man, Nazmi, and he spoke excellent English, and had shared with us details of his 3-month trip to America in 2000. Anyhow, long story short, we bought a very nice, big carpet that will be arriving at our parents' house in 2-3 weeks. The debate is whether to unveil it now when Fluffer has been pooping everywhere. We think we'll wait.
WE'll save carpet details for later. We signed up for a guided tour of Ephesus tomorrow, then we leave the morning after tomorrow on a ferry to Naxos - our first day in Greece. We spend the day there (hopefully we can find somewhere to put our luggage), then take another ferry to Mykonos. Stay there for the night only, then another ferry to Naxos where we stay for a day and a half. After that, 2 nights in Santorini, then a flight to Athens where we finish up.
Hard to believe it's already been 12 days. Ok, thanks for making it this far. More to come in a few days.