Thursday, September 20, 2007

Turkey Trip (part 5 : Fethiye and the Turquoise Coast)

After Egirdir it was off to the Turquoise coast, Fethiye and a 3-day pleasure cruise. We stopped in Isparta to change buses, and there was rows of stores selling rose oil… all in the same gaudy containers. When we stopped off a bunch of children approached us (well Rachel) with a scale and started to try and weight her. Apparently this is a service one is supposed to pay for… buy Rachel would have nothing to do with it. Her and the little kid had an exchange that went something like this.

“Weigh?” said the kid surrounded by his lackeys.

“No” replied Rachel.

“Yes” said the kid.



“No” and so on. We eventually got away and the kids found a new target.

Our second bus ride there was fantastic, ad the bus driver had one of those musical horns, and blasted it out at any and all people we came upon. We also drove through a forest ravaged by forest fires, and acres and acres of land was clearly toasted.

Fethiye itself was very, very touristy. Large bars blasting western music, restaurants with western foods, MacDonald’s, and the GAP were all available for the western tourist. There was nothing terribly interesting in town, although the natural beauty abounded.

After our one night there we were supposed to meet at the Marina restaurant @ 10:30 AM to get on the boat. So we went to the Marina and walked to the restaurant inside... and waited... and waited. Getting concerned I started running around looking for our boat. I found out there was another restaurant called the Marina Restaurant and after a little bit of running here and running there we were on the boat and off into the Mediterranean.

The boat contained about 10 cabins and we had a nice mix, a family of four Italians, 5 Turks, 4 Australians (including the El Capitan's girlfriend), and 4 people from Queens. It was a fairly good mix. There was one Australian guy in particular about 25 years old, who was refreshing, he was well read, politically active and informed and a pleasure to talk to.

So we set off and drifted from island to island. We jumped off the boat and swam in the water (well for myself something that resembles swimming). I got to snorkel quite a bit, which was a blast. The first night we spent below a Greek ruin, I didn't leave the boat though as Rachel wasn't feeling well. After dinner we climbed on top of the boat and watched the stars, occasional shooting stars burning upon entry to the atmosphere.

The next day we stopped at an Island where we got off and walked around an olive grove, which was littered with jagged outcroppings of rock. We found an oddly constructed circular pen... some bones, big ones, femurs of some animal... the place had this whole Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe... which was cool. After Rachel headed back to the boat I headed up to the top of the mountain, just cause. There were these winding paths cut into the side of the mountain where the goats walk. And for the most part I followed these paths up to the top, which gave me a stunning view of the surrounding area.
We stopped in a cute little town the last day we were on the boat and I got an Iced coffee ice cream float. Yum. The food on the boat was just as good. We had a fabulous seafood meal the second night, with calamari, shrimp, and fish all straight outta the sea. The last night we had barbecue that was absolutely delicious.

After three days of floating around the Mediterranean I was ready for something new and when we got off the boat we headed for the bus station with visiting the ancient city of Pergamon as the goal.


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