A Travellerspoint blog

Marmaris

Happy as 2 pigs in mud!

sunny 34 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

Breakfast this morning was around the pool of the hotel, and at 9am we left - continuing our journey along the coast in the south western corner of Turkey. I hadn't paid alot of attention to what we would be doing today - I've been flat out trying to absorb everything that we've done so far. We arrived in Dalyan to take a tour of the Mud Baths and Sulphur Hot Springs. What I didn't realise was that we would actually be getting in to the Mud Baths! In our haste to leave the bus with everything that we would need, I left my bathers in the van - and we'd already taken a boat ride to the Mud Baths, so I couldn't go back. So. My quandary was: 1. Not participate 2. Wear just bra and knickers 3. Wear bra and boardies. Well - I am a prude, but I didn't want to miss out on this. Red's words to me were - "I'll leave it up to you". My words were "Oh, stuff it". I opted for No. 3. I whipped off my top right in front of Yigit (oh my God, I can't believe I did that!) and went as quickly as I could into the mud baths. I thought that if I could cover myself in mud my bra might look like a bikini top. We covered ourselves in the mud, what a weird feeling to have the mud squish between your toes. Then we got out in the sun to dry. It's the same as a mud pack on your face but it's all over your body. When dry, your skin resembles elephant skin. It was hilarious! There were hundreds of people all doing the same thing - it looked like the finishing line of Tuff Mudder! Funny - when men are covered in mud - they go all "cave man" no matter where in the world they're from. Once it had dried we washed off the mud under outdoor showers and got in to the Sulphur Hot Spring (hot and smelly), then back under the shower and I was then able to put my t-shirt back on. My dignity? Nowhere to be seen today!
We got back on to our little boat and took a leisurely trip through the canals - they're everglades really. Just stunning. Carved in to the side of the mountains at Caunos are the Ancient Kings Tombs, built in the 4th Century BC. Our little boat stopped on the canal at the foot of the tombs - and Yigit provided us with one of his history lessons. On we sailed.
As we came close to Iztuzu Beach we stopped by a little boat and were shown a live blue crab - only just caught. We ate freshly cooked crab for lunch - cooked on the little boat, right there and then. Very sweet. Plus! We had a visit from a Loggerhead Turtle. The guy cooking the crab threw out a fish on a line to attract him in. What a treat that was! The Loggerhead Turtle has been living in this area of Turkey for 96 millions years - now that's a long time! If they survive, the turtles can live for up to 200 years.
We stopped at the beach for about an hour and a half and then made our way back through the canals back to Dalyan.
We've been driving for the last hour and are now just coming in to Marmaris - it's a huge port city with literally hundreds of boats and pleasurecraft berthed right along the bay. We're here for two nights.
We all had a really pleasant dinner in the hotel - along with Yigit and Yusef - with some great conversation across many topics. No luck connecting to the internet tonight. We'll give up and try again in the morning.
Approaching the Lycian Tombs.

Approaching the Lycian Tombs.

A simple life.

A simple life.

Narrow thoroughfare through the canals at Dalyan.

Narrow thoroughfare through the canals at Dalyan.

Iztuzu Beach.

Iztuzu Beach.

Fresh crab for lunch.

Fresh crab for lunch.

A Loggerhead Turtle came to visit us.

A Loggerhead Turtle came to visit us.

Peace.

Peace.

Sitting at the front of our boat as we cruised through the canals.

Sitting at the front of our boat as we cruised through the canals.

The Lycian Tombs of Dalyan - we sailed past them.

The Lycian Tombs of Dalyan - we sailed past them.

Some visitors to the Mud Baths and Thermal Springs of Dalyan.

Some visitors to the Mud Baths and Thermal Springs of Dalyan.

Although embarrassing - I had to include this photo! Sorry Carly and Ben!

Although embarrassing - I had to include this photo! Sorry Carly and Ben!

Proof that our crab lunch was freshly caught.

Proof that our crab lunch was freshly caught.

Posted by Gibbo54 08:50 Archived in Turkey Comments (1)

Fettiye

A day like no other - sailing on the Meditteranean.

sunny 34 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

Yet another concrete slab for a bed!
After breakfast we were taken back to the beach where we were yesterday - which is about a 40 minute drive from the hotel. We got on board a Gulet (sailing boat) for what was described as a 12 Island Cruise. Once again, an absolutely beautiful day weather wise - we've been spoilt! There were about 30 people on board. We spent the next 8 hours cruising around and stopping in to little beaches - or just jumping over the side of the boat in to the beautiful blue water. It was so clear that you could see the bottom.
We had a really nice lunch cooked for us - and us 6 travelling companions clinked our Efes beers together and toasted a magnificent, unforgettable day. The scenery was breathtaking - the mountains literally drop in to the sea. During the afternoon we stopped at an island called Demiler Island - St. Nicholas' Island. This was a little community in the 3rd Century, with buildings, churches and a cemetery. We went ashore, climbed up to the top of the island and went exploring these ruins. We were really lucky because not many others had the same idea, so we almost had the area to ourselves. Enchanting would be a good way to describe this little island, and the views from the top - well - no words do it justice. Another magic moment for me.
Back on the boat and off sailing again to another little lagoon. One of the guys working on the Gulet (and what a magnificent specimen of a young man he was!) told us that if we swam in the water there for 5 minutes we would look 10 years younger - it didn't work! No matter, it was great fun and once again - a high salt content so it was very easy to float. This young guy then climbed up the rocks on the side of the lagoon - probably about 40 feet high, and then did a magnificent dive off the side in to the water - to huge cheers and applause. What a showman!
Finally at around 6.30pm we arrived back at the beach where it all started and were collected and taken back to our hotel. An exhausting but brilliant day.
The end of a long day.

The end of a long day.

View from the top of Demiler Island.

View from the top of Demiler Island.

Ruins of a community on Demiler Island on the south coast of Turkey.

Ruins of a community on Demiler Island on the south coast of Turkey.

Amazing views from the top of Demiler Island.

Amazing views from the top of Demiler Island.

Unforgettable day for us Gibbos.

Unforgettable day for us Gibbos.

Cloud reflection.

Cloud reflection.

Us 4 girls enjoying an Efes Beer.

Us 4 girls enjoying an Efes Beer.

A little piece of paradise. We docked here and walked along the gorge to a waterfall.

A little piece of paradise. We docked here and walked along the gorge to a waterfall.

Red about to do a bombie - into freezing cold water!

Red about to do a bombie - into freezing cold water!

Swimming in a cave.

Swimming in a cave.

The start of our cruise - looking back on the beach at Fettiye.

The start of our cruise - looking back on the beach at Fettiye.

Clean, clear water - the south coast of Turkey.

Clean, clear water - the south coast of Turkey.

Posted by Gibbo54 08:38 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Fettiye

A mecca for the European tourist.

sunny 33 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

For about the last week we've slept in rock hard beds - oh my aching back! Last night, as well as a concrete slab for a bed - we had no top sheet and just a cellular blanket to put over us. You know, those really rough ones? What the??
We had a pretty basic breakfast on the terrace - gorgeous view - and then departed beautiful little Kalkan at 9am and headed for Patara and then Xanthos. Both of these ancient sites house theatres built between 100-200AD - which were damaged by earthquakes. Great sites - we spent quite a bit of time here - really interesting. We saw tortoises in the bush at Patara - and there are lizards everywhere.
We then had quite a drive to the town of Kayakoy. We stopped at a little market place and had lunch - gozleme, cooked by a Turkish lady made in the traditional way. I videoed the process of rolling out the pastry, adding local vegetables, folding and placing in the stone oven - 1 minute and 22 seconds. This is the Turkey that we have fallen in love with - a simple way of life, basic, earthy, a sense of community and a sense of humour. Beautiful people who are genuinely happy. We 4 ladies in our little group purchased hand crocheted lace by the lady who cooked our lunch. Exquisite pieces of lace. Yes Carly and Ben - your Mum has bought some doilies!!!
After walking through the little market we started on a walk through the abandoned town of Kayakoy (Turkish name), Karymlassos (Greek name). This is now a derelict town - a ghost town, after the forced exchange of Greek and Turkish populations in 1923. The residents of Karymlassos (then known as Levissi) were made to relocate to Greece, and original Turkish people living in Greece were made to return to Turkey. This town was never inhabited again. There are over 500 buildings (houses) in this town - all without rooves, built up in to the hills. This was once a thriving community. The visual impact of Kayakoy is astounding. This is not just the ruins of a few ancient buildings - this is a large town which once housed between 2000 and 3000 people. You can see the original paint on some of the interior walls - blue appeared to be a favourite colour. Walking along the little laneways, I felt real sadness for these people - made to leave their homes. We arrived at the church - with much of it's mosaic floor still in place. Derelict is the only way to describe this once holy place. In the past it has been vandalised and pillaged - tragic. Thankfully, UNESCO has declared Kayakoy a World Heritage Site, and it's ruins will be preserved as an historic settlement. I will never forget this little corner of Turkey.
From Kayakoy we drove to Fettiye (pronounced Fettiyeah). Yusef and Yigit dropped us off at the main beach where we got changed in to our bathers and settled ourselves on the pebbly beach. Very hard to get your balance on a pebbly beach! We all had a swim while watching heaps of hang gliders taking off, flying above us and then landing. This area is a tourist haven for the Brits, Germans and Russians. British food is sold everywhere. The 6 of us had a coffee together and slowly made our way back to our van and then to our Hotel - which is right on the waterfront. Dinner in the dining room - and then finally - a good internet connection!
The Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

The Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

The derelict church at Karymlassos.

The derelict church at Karymlassos.

Paint is still visible on some of the walls.

Paint is still visible on some of the walls.

Village of Kayakoy - hand made products for sale.

Village of Kayakoy - hand made products for sale.

This lady made the Gozlemes that we had for lunch in the little village of Kayakoy.

This lady made the Gozlemes that we had for lunch in the little village of Kayakoy.

A simple life.

A simple life.

Selfie in the Politarium at Patara. How blue is the sky?

Selfie in the Politarium at Patara. How blue is the sky?

Yet another Amphitheatre - this time at Patara.

Yet another Amphitheatre - this time at Patara.

If these walls could talk ...

If these walls could talk ...

A haunting site - the deserted township of Karymlassos.

A haunting site - the deserted township of Karymlassos.

Karymlassos - once a thriving Greek town.

Karymlassos - once a thriving Greek town.

Exploring the Ghost Town of Karymlassos.

Exploring the Ghost Town of Karymlassos.

Newcomers in the little village of Kayakoy - in the shadows of Karymlassos.

Newcomers in the little village of Kayakoy - in the shadows of Karymlassos.

World Heritage Site - Xanthos.

World Heritage Site - Xanthos.

Patara - damaged by a severe earthquake in 141 AD.

Patara - damaged by a severe earthquake in 141 AD.

A window in the Politarium at Patara - a natural picture frame.

A window in the Politarium at Patara - a natural picture frame.

Red takes the floor in the Politarium at Patara - ancient House of Parliament.

Red takes the floor in the Politarium at Patara - ancient House of Parliament.

Early morning view of Kalkan from our balcony.

Early morning view of Kalkan from our balcony.

Posted by Gibbo54 08:31 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Kalkan

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better ..........

sunny 33 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

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!
Fleur, Lesley, Jacquie and Anne - at dinner in the mountains above Kalkan.

Fleur, Lesley, Jacquie and Anne - at dinner in the mountains above Kalkan.

The whole bunch at dinner - including our guide and driver.

The whole bunch at dinner - including our guide and driver.

A sinking sun over the Meditteranean - close to Kalkan.

A sinking sun over the Meditteranean - close to Kalkan.

Remains of lunch!

Remains of lunch!

Lunch on our boat whilst moored in a small bay at the site of a sunken city - Kekova.

Lunch on our boat whilst moored in a small bay at the site of a sunken city - Kekova.

Beautiful fish lunch - prepared by our Captain Hassan and his wife.

Beautiful fish lunch - prepared by our Captain Hassan and his wife.

Captain Hassan cooking lunch on the back of the boat.

Captain Hassan cooking lunch on the back of the boat.

Red and Paul exercising their synchronised swimming skills.

Red and Paul exercising their synchronised swimming skills.

Sunken city at Kekova.

Sunken city at Kekova.

Remnants of a house - destroyed by earthquake in 530 AD.

Remnants of a house - destroyed by earthquake in 530 AD.

Delightful lady - the wife of our Captain - being helped aboard to help cook our lunch - Kekova.

Delightful lady - the wife of our Captain - being helped aboard to help cook our lunch - Kekova.

A close-up of the mosaic tiled floor of the Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

A close-up of the mosaic tiled floor of the Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

Our final breakfast in Antalya - with a gorgeous view of the mountains.

Our final breakfast in Antalya - with a gorgeous view of the mountains.

the lights of seaside town - Kalkan.

the lights of seaside town - Kalkan.

The town of Kekova - with a castle above - built in 1440 AD.

The town of Kekova - with a castle above - built in 1440 AD.

The port at Kekova.

The port at Kekova.

This is the colour of the water close to the shores of the sunken city at Kekova.

This is the colour of the water close to the shores of the sunken city at Kekova.

The alter of the Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

The alter of the Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

One of the corridors within the Church of St. Nicholas

One of the corridors within the Church of St. Nicholas

The Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

The Church of St. Nicholas - Demre.

Posted by Gibbo54 08:25 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Antalya

A jewel on the Meditteranean.

sunny 34 °C
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We started our day this morning with a great breakfast, which included my first piece of Turkish Delight - for breakfast? Oh well, we're on holidays! We had brekky outside looking out at the spectacular mountain range just a few kilometres away. These mountains compare with those in Yosemite National Park in the US - jaw dropping, and so unexpected.
We took off at a very comfortable 9am and headed east for about an hour to the town of Aspendos. Here we visited a Roman Amphitheatre - build in 162 AD. It is the best preserved Amphitheatre in Turkey, and seats 12,000 people. Currently undergoing some renovations, we could easily imagine how it would have looked in it's heyday - it's in brilliant condition. The accoustics - perfect. The architect Zeon really knew what he was doing. I've learned something in our travels over the last couple of days. Greek theatres are built in to the lay of the land (into a hill), Roman theatres are free standing buildings (eg. Colosseum).
From Aspendos we drove on to Perge (pronounced Perger). Perge was a wealthy city but was abandoned in the 7th Century. Both Perge and Aspendos became victims of a silt problem in the port surrounding these cities. The area became very moist due to the build up of silt. This created a problem with mosquitoes which in turn spread the disease of malaria. The commercial hubs needed to relocate in order to be able to trade, therefore the population also needed to relocate.
The ancient city of Perge is really impressive. There are the remains of the Turkish baths complete with the underground heating system, a main road lined with columns and huge cobblestones, an Agora (marketplace), the entrance to shops and little houses. I stood inside the remains of a little shop and tried to imagine life back all those centuries ago. A perfect warm sunny day with no breeze, silent apart from birds chirping - magic moment.
After our time here we did a bit of cheap shopping from little stalls in the car park - irresistible! Then! We were taken to a jewellery shop like no other jewellery shop that I have ever seen! Colourfully ornate walls, ceilings, lighting (I would hate to have to pay the light bill!). This was a high class, EXPENSIVE jewellery shop - and way, way out of our league! We were given refreshments and the guy who was provding all the necessary information - an okay kind of guy - kept making references to our credit card with a big smile on his face. We (as in our group of 6) were polite but all left after about an hour without making any purchases. If I'm making a sizeable purchase I want to be able to associate a good feeling (happy memory) with it - not a feeling of being backed in to a corner. I was relieved to get out of there - this is one part of being on a group tour that I do not like.
Anyhow - back in the bus and to lunch at 3pm in the Food Court of a modern shopping centre. This could be the Gold Coast - it was interesting to mix with the locals. We did get some strange looks though. Who are you, where are you from and why are you here?
Then back to our hotel and down on to the beach for about an hour and a half. The 6 of us paddled our feet in the Meditteranean Sea on what is the hotel's private beach. The "sand" consists of large pebbles - quite hard to walk on and easy to lose your balance. Then back to Paul and Fleur's room for a beer and a wine, and then another lovely dinner downstairs out in the open. Antalya is a beautiful city.
Our mate Paul - the King of improvisation.

Our mate Paul - the King of improvisation.

Having fun on the beach at Antalya.

Having fun on the beach at Antalya.

Six aussies - relaxing after a long day of travelling.

Six aussies - relaxing after a long day of travelling.

View from the beach in Antalya.

View from the beach in Antalya.

Pebble stone beach - Antalya, Turkey.

Pebble stone beach - Antalya, Turkey.

The grounds of our hotel in Antalya - in the shadow of stunning mountain ranges. This photo was taken at about 7pm.

The grounds of our hotel in Antalya - in the shadow of stunning mountain ranges. This photo was taken at about 7pm.

There are hundreds of apartment blocks in Antalya - in most Turkish cities for that matter.

There are hundreds of apartment blocks in Antalya - in most Turkish cities for that matter.

View out of the front windscreen in our van - arriving in Antalya.

View out of the front windscreen in our van - arriving in Antalya.

The remains of the Agora (market place) of Perge.

The remains of the Agora (market place) of Perge.

The ruins of the heating system for the Turkish baths at Perge - really well preserved.

The ruins of the heating system for the Turkish baths at Perge - really well preserved.

A Turkish Bath in Perge.

A Turkish Bath in Perge.

Cats are everywhere in Turkey.

Cats are everywhere in Turkey.

The Amphitheatre at Aspendos - still providing amazing accoustics.

The Amphitheatre at Aspendos - still providing amazing accoustics.

The beautifully preserved stage building of the Amphitheatre in Aspendos.

The beautifully preserved stage building of the Amphitheatre in Aspendos.

Sunrise in Antalya.

Sunrise in Antalya.

Posted by Gibbo54 08:19 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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