We went on a sailing holiday to Turkey with our friends Richard and Andrea. They own a boat which is harboured in Marmaris. They were already out there and we were to meet them at Fethiye. The flight was early on Sunday morning from Gatwick to Dalaman, so we spent the night in the Crown Plaza, still rising very early for the 6.30 flight.
We arrived at Dalaman, and found the pre-booked taxi to take us to Fethiye. The taxi had a wifi hot spot so I could check my emails etc on the drive to the Yacht Classic Hotel. From the hotel there is a short walk down to the pontoon which mainly had charter boats waiting for punters to come. Instructions given by Richard were excellent and we soon found the boat and stored our hand luggage aboard.
We were not sailing to day, so spent some time looking at the sights of Fethiye, and finally had a meal at the Yacht Classic Hotel. The mooring fee is discounted when you have a meal at the hotel.
We set sail across the bay to Tomb Bay, which is about 19 miles. A gorgeous, picturesque bay. Here Rosemary and I walked along the coast and up the hill to the tombs which overlook the bay. The way up was a scramble, and only I did it in the end. But Rosemary was happy cos found an orchid & several land snails while I scrambled up. After the walk we showered in the facilities at the moorings, this was icy cold though Rosemary, who was last, claims she had warm water.
We ate at the Olive Restaurant. There are two sets of moorings and two restaurants. One was closed, but was being worked on. The second (southern) where we moored was open. The restaurant was heated with a great fire in the middle of the room. The food was good traditional Turkish fare.
During the night we had a huge thunderstorm, hail and rain. Rosemary woke with water pouring in from an open hatch. Suspect she thought we must have been sinking.
Today we headed off to Kalkan. This was a long trip of 46 miles in over 7 hours. We saw Mount Babadag and spotted some paragliders coming down. We also went past a very long beach with sand dunes, and tantalizinh half glimpses of ruins, before turning left into Kalkan.
There was a long time in deciding which restaurant to eat in, much wandering up and down. Eventually we chose the Small House. It seemed to be run by a husband and wife. Wife cooking and the husband as front-of-house. The restaurant was tiny and busy. We had chosen well. The walls were decorated with writings from visitors from the UK and other parts of the world. Wifi was available which I used when the meal was over.
Today we took a sightseeing trip to Patara, an ancient, deserted port city with amphitheatres, some of which have been repaired. It lies behind the long beach we past yesterday. We took a taxi, which then waited for us while we viewed the ruins. Taxi back to the boat where some emergency work was undertaken on the gang plank (Rosemary having bust it….!) before we set sail for Kekova., another enchanting bay. Here we anchored in the bay and intended to call on the services of a restaurant to transport us to shore for dinner. Alas the restaurant was closed because all the customers had decided to stay away. At this early time of year the restaurant relied on Germans and Dutch walking the Lycian Way. But the Germans and Dutch were staying away because of potential political problems in Turkey. We were assured he would open for us the next night. Today was our one and only main meal on board the boat.
Today Rosemary and I were picked up for a visit to the ruins of Myra near Demre and also a visit to St Nicholas’s church in Demre itself. St Nicholas was born in Patara. The visit was arranged through the restaurant, and a chap took us in his car to see the sites and for us to have lunch.
The trip to Myra was fascinating, we saw acres of polytunnels growing vegetables. It seemed one whole valley was covered in plastic. We arrived at the ruins of Myra, empty of tourists, the staff had to quickly person the ticket machines and the entrance for us. The hill side had a number of tombs, and the floor under the cliff was a huge amphitheatre. The vaulted roofs were in good conditions making the place look tremendously strong and well built.
We left, pausing at the gift shop for Rosemary to try and purchase a guide book and fridge magnet with the blue eye. No luck. We continued our journey into town to visit St Nicholas Church. I think Rosemary was a little disappointed in finding the church under an artificial cover. Here we came across our first tourists; coach loads of Russian Orthodox visitors. The audio guide was good, the wall paintings were in several grades, ranging from unrecognisable to OK.
After this we ate lunch in a Turkish restaurant, where Rosemary made the rookie mistake of ordering a beer in a dry restaurant.
We then travelled back to Kekova, and were ferried back to the yacht. Tonight we were again ferried back to land for supper in the restaurant that had been closed the previous day. It was opening for us. We had already ordered our meals, fish, meat or chicken. I had gone for the fish. Simply fried it was gorgeous.
Early morning we had been disturbed by rowers, and today we were further asked to move because there was going to be a race in the morning. Richard upped anchor and moved. The boats were skulls, pairs and fours
Well, the race never came near us. We had been asked to move for no reason. Typical. We suspected he was checking out potential restaurant customers. Today we set sail for Kas, but first we took a look Simena Kalesi from the sea. This was the fort we could see from where we had anchored. We also motored near to the island of Kekova to see some of the sunken city.
We arrived at Kas Marina with some sailing. It is a very large and modern Marina, with an over burdensome computer system which appeared to take almost an hour to complete the formalities.
After the formalities we had a shower in the excellent showers and then walked into the main town of Kas. We wondered around searching for a sarcophagus, bread shop and a place to drink a beer (the first tow being targets set by Andrea). We were to meet up with Richard and Andrea for a meal in the evening. The beer was an embarrassment, we sat in a bar and ordered an Efes. We were asked whether we wanted another beer, no we said, we wanted Efes like the others were drinking on another table. So off the waiter went, we waited, and then saw him wander off to a shop ,come back with some bottles and then come out with some cold beers. We looked at the menu, no Efes on the menu, and realised that the others drinking Efes were in the grounds of another bar. We profusely thanked the waiter for his trouble. We whiled away some time watching various children playing. One had a pedal car and would he share it? No, he would not. Dread to think what he’ll be like when he’s older.
That evening we ate at the Ora Kebap where we ate Pizzas from a large outdoor pizza oven. There were some magnificent flowering blooms that overpowered the area with their scent, luckily the breeze was blowing the scent away from me. We somehow got tangled up with a Turkish birthday party on the next table.
As we went to bed, we checked the weather forecast, there were gales forecast for tomorrow evening and heavy weather for the next few days. So it was decided to make a dash back to Fethiye in the morning and then decide what to do.
We spent most of the day travelling back to Fethiye where we moored up at the Yacht Classic Hotel again. On the way the breeze was very light so we motored most of the way. We saw masses of paragliders flying off Mount Babadag. In the Fethiye bay there were two large cargo ships offloading yachts and motor boats.
We moored and Rosemary and I went for a walk, to look at the shops and somehow we eventually ended up having a tour of a local Mosque. That evening we ate again at the Hotel, and then went to bed. During the night there was a short spell of very windy weather. We often played Triominos which were kept on board, but we sometimes took them to the restaurant.
We ate in the restaurant for breakfasts and evening meals. The breakfasts were excellent, choice of a large Turkish breakfast or a more Western one. I loved the large honeycomb where you could break off chunks. The dinners were presented very well, they looked very pretty on the plate.
The showers and toilets were good. Plenty of hot water, and very clean.
There were two pools, I tried the larger. It was fine, plenty of seating and bar to hand.
It was deemed the wind was too much, so we stayed in port and did some more sightseeing. We started off by visiting the Amynthas Rock Tomb. There are several of these tombs overlooking Fethiye. The view of Fethiye from there is excellent. After a tea we headed back down and caught a local bus over to Kayaköy (Karmylassos) Antik Kenti. The local buses were frequent, chep & very, very clean. Kayaköy is an old Greek village which was cleared in the 1920s when there were country boundary realignments. The Turkish people did not take over the village and it was left to go to ruin. Now work is being done to preserve some of the old churches. There are hundreds of houses in various states of disrepair.
Although the history of the city dates back to 3 thousand B.C, the limited number of sarcophagi and rock tombs still standing are dated to the 4th century BC.
The buildings on the slopes were constructed during the second part of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. Shortly after the proclamation of the Turkish republic, the Greeks living in the region were exchanged with the Turks resident in Greece, which resulted in the houses being left vacant. Subsequently the wooden constructions were ruined due to natural causes. As a result of which the city assumed its present ghost like appearance.
There are about 350 – 400 houses in the city, 50 square meters each, built in such a way as to allow for the panorama and avoid over-shadowing one another. There were two large churches, one school and a customs house.
We returned to Fethiye by bus, and in the evening ate at the hotel.
The wind had dropped, so we set sail to Gocek, which was nearer for us to catch a taxi to the airport. We sailed across the bay in a quite light wind (where were all these gales). The boat was refuelled, no facility in Marmaris. Rosemary and I looked around the town, Rosemary finally finding an eye fridge magnet. We ate an early supper in a restaurant, where Richard joined us a for a beer. I chose a lovely piece of fish.
Taxi picked us up from the Marina, and we were soon waving goodbyes & thank yous and thenn back at the airport for our flight home. Security was strict at Dalaman, two sets of inspections while checking in, and then a hand search at the boarding gate. Flight back and then car pickup. Turned sat nav on, good thing, as it routed us a different way back avoiding all the closed junctions on to the M25.