Ancient mountain city and more boat guests

The anchorage close to the sweet village of Üçağız was as still as a lake but unlike the limpid turquoise waters we had experienced elsewhere in Turkey, the water here was opaque and green. This probably accounted for the fact that we had the whole anchorage to ourselves.

The still green (empty) waters near Üçağız

We didn’t stay to savour the sense of isolation for too long as we were on a mission – my great-niece and her boyfriend were arriving shortly from the UK and we needed to get up the coast to Finike so we could meet them from Antalya Airport.

This gorgeous dog was so snuggly. He just came and leant against me. I think he was at least part Anatolian Shepherd

It was very exciting to be having more visitors from the UK – despite Covid restrictions – but rather strange when friends and family in Australia and SE Asia were still quite severely limited in their movements.

Sunset in our isolated anchorage
Kayakers in Kekova Roads

We had an uneventful trip from Kekova Roads to Setur Marina in Finike and the entry into our berth was made very easy and stress free by the excellent assistance we received from the marina staff. We were also fortunate to have a big space next to us so there was plenty of room for manoeuvre.

Heading towards Finike Marina with the Taurus Mountains in the background
Such a beautiful part of Turkey

Barbaros, the manager of Setur Marina, was extremely welcoming and helpful and we really liked the marina in every way.

Entry into our berth was made very easy and stress free by the excellent assistance we received
We were fortunate to have a big space next to us so there was plenty of room for manoeuvre.

We were considering leaving Sunday on the hard there while we left for our daughter’s wedding and during the winter months. Unfortunately it didn’t have a travel lift big enough to take Sunday but Barbaros very helpfully helped us negotiate a year’s contract with Setur Marinas and for their marina in Kas to lift and store her for an equivalent price to the one quoted by Finike.

We negotiated a year’s contract with Setur Marinas although Finike was unable to haul Sunday out
Setur Marina Finike from the town
We liked the marina at Finike very much but it didn’t have a travel lift big enough to take Sunday

Having all this organised set our minds at rest as time was ticking by and we really needed to organise flights to the Netherlands before all the rules changed again and countries started closing down due to the predicted “second wave” of Corona virus infections.

It was a relief to have a marina contract in place
It’s difficult to make out but this was one of the many large turtles we saw in the marina.
The town of Finike was pleasant with plenty of restaurants
This was the firewood cut ready for the baker’s oven. The bread was delicious!
Finike is “twinned” with Mosbach in Germany. We wondered if Mosbach had assisted with renovation of the ancient wall in the background
Ahh! Love a good cup of tea!
We found a great olive shop
….which also sold all kinds of soft cheese

Our boat guests were arriving in Antalya in the evening so we had the whole day in which to enjoy the car we had hired.

We decided to take “the scenic route” to Antalya which took us through the Taurus Mountains and right past the wonderful remains of the ancient Lycian city of Arykanda.

These were the mountains we had to cross to get to Antalya
Getting closer to those mountains!
We found the turn-off – not a lot of warning though!

Built on a series of terraces, high up on top of a mountain, Arykanda had stunning panoramic views. Set amongst glorious cedar trees whose needle laden branches sounded like the sea as the breeze ruffled through them, it was easy to imagine what an incredible place it was to live.

Arykanda was perched on a mountaintop with panoramic views
Despite the passage of time and frequent earthquakes there were large parts still standing
The mighty cedar trees were much prized when Arykanda was founded
The needle laden branches sounded like the sea as the breeze ruffled through them

We were so fortunate to be the only visitors there for much of our visit so we could easily visualise what this incredible town would have looked like in its heyday – without the distraction of modern day people wandering into our view and interrupting our imaginings.

It was easy to visualise what this incredible town would have looked like in its heyday
The excavations are mainly from the Hellenistic and Roman times.

Some of the archeological finds date as far back as the the 6th century BCE but the excavations are mainly from the Hellenistic and Roman times.

The remains were spread over a series of terraces
A fabulous mosaic from Roman times

There were some fabulous highlights such as the almost intact row of windows of the Roman bath complex and an excellent theatre, built during the 1st century BCE which had 20 rows of seats, divided into 7 sections. At the edge of every row are holes that were used to support protective awnings.

The Roman Baths at Arykanda
The theatre was built in the 1st Century BCE
The theatre was in excellent condition

The town was eventually abandoned in the 6th Century AD after of a series of destructive earthquakes made life there untenable.

The town was eventually abandoned in the 6th Century AD
A series of destructive earthquakes made life in Arykanda untenable
It was amazing to see what had survived the earthquakes against all odds

After a few hours of wandering through the fascinating site we set off once again for Antalya.

Driving through the mountains towards Antalya
High up it was pretty dry and barren

We were amazed just how sprawling and highly populated this city is but later learned that its metropolitan population alone is over one million people and in 2019, 13.6 million tourists passed through the city.

The head of Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey,
We wondered if this cardboard cutout fooled anyone!

We eventually met up with our guests but only after waiting at the International terminal and then finding out there was a second international terminal just a few minutes down the road (no signs to indicate this whatsoever!)

Our boat guests!

The next morning we left Finike to head back to Kekova Roads with our guests. It was a sparkling day and Finike with its beautiful mountain backdrop looked gorgeous. We agreed that we would definitely have to return there to explore further next year.

Farewelling Finike
Finike’s gorgeous backdrop of mountains – we will be back!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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