Just when we thought it couldn't get any better ..........
04.05.2013 - 04.05.2013 33 °C
Our last breakfast in this beautiful part of Turkey - another gorgeous morning. We left at 8.30am and are currently travelling along the southern coast in to the Lycia Region - through the mountain ranges. The scenery here is gobsmackingly awesome - sorry, a terrrible phrase, but I'm trying to get the message across that this area is prettty damn fantastic!
We stopped at Kumluca - at a lookout on the side of a mountain and looked out over the city - a great photo moment. Red and I had our first Turkish Coffee here. With sugar - it was really tasty, and should keep me going all day. The main industry in this area is agriculture. There are hundreds of hothouses here - growing the local produce - tomatoes. Citrus and olives are also grown here.
We visited the famous Church of St. Nicholas in Demre. St. Nicholas was a 4th Century Bishop noted for his generosity. He was known as the patron of fishermen and children. At Christmas time he would give the children in the area a small gift - to make them happy. There we have it - the dawn of the Christmas gift tradition.
From Demre to a little fishing village called Kekova - and on the way we saw the most beautiful scenery around the coastal road. Kind of like the Great Ocean Road - but so much better. The ocean is a deep indigo blue changing to turquoise and then pale acqua - closer to the coast.
We boarded a boat with Yigit our guide, Yusef our driver and Captain Hassan and then proceeded to sail by ruins of a sunken city - devastated by an earthquake in 530AD. The water was so clean and clear that we could see walls under the surface and the remnants of homes that were destroyed. Just amazing! The weather is perfect today - it was a case of pinch, pinch - am I really here? On the way we collected Hassan's wife and 10 year old daughter. His wife helped to make our lunch. Hassan put down the anchor and we berthed in a small bay. We then put on our bathers and jumped off the boat in to the pristine deep blue water. Yes. I jumped off a boat. The water was really salty so we could float really easily. We could actually stand upright in about 5 metres of water without sinking - a very strange feeling. We swam back to the boat and had a lovely fish lunch. Hassan cooked the fish on the back of the boat - chargrilled brim - one complete fish each with salad, rice and beans - and an Efes Beer. Turkish tea followed lunch - which we had at a big table outside under a canopy. Absolutely magic!
All the ladies bought scarves made by Hassan's wife - with an intricate crocheted edge. She actually gave us a demonstration - she is very adept at crocheting. We made our way back to the fishing village - and then boarded the bus for our accommodation in Kalkan. We drove along the coast - what brilliant scenery. We checked in to the resort that we're staying in for the night - on the side of a hill on a bay, overlooking the town - very pretty at night.
We had half an hour to get ready to be taken out to dinner - a Trout Restaurant in the mountains. Fish again - I don't eat fish for 9 months and then twice in a day!
We drove up in to the mountains. It was interesting to see how the real estate down at sea level was quite western and of good quality and the higher we got up the mountain it became more and more basic - while the road became more narrow and ended up at almost a track. The restaurant was perched on the side of the hill/mountain and was right beside a natural spring which gushed with the water from melting snow high up in the mountains. We had to combat an influx of mozzies (the restaurant provided us with insect repellant) - and had a really nice meal amongst great company.
We made our way down the side of the mountain in the dark - thank God for Yusef (a great driver). We found out that Yusef drove Julia Gillard around when she was in Turkey for Anzac Day last year - and she travelled in our van. She sat in the front seat (behind Yusef). So we've christened that seat - Julia's seat. She was apparently very polite to Yusef - but there was no conversation after the initial pleasantries!