Up, up and away

This will be our last post from Turkey for a little while as we have hauled “Sunday” at Kas Marina while we travel to The Netherlands for our daughter’s wedding and to do some land travel (Covid permitting).

Guess what this cat is up to?!
Yes she’s fishing in the clear water of Kas Marina

A few days before leaving we decided to have a day off from “winterising” the boat and had a fantastic morning at the ancient Lycian port of Andriake and then later at the Museum of St Nicholas in Demre (see my last blog entry).

The fabulous museum at Andriake
A statue of St Nicholas aka Santa Claus

In the afternoon we decided to drive back towards Kas and on through Kalkan to Patara, where the ruins of another important Lycian city lie.

At Patara, an important City from Lycian times

Patara was famous for its temple and oracle of Apollo, apparently second only to the oracle in Delphi. Later, in 333 BC Alexander the Great captured the city. After many occupations and invasions it was eventually annexed by the Roman Empire in 43 AD.

The city gate at Patara

The ruins of the city which was deserted around 1340, are numerous and spread out over a wide area.

The ruins of Patara are numerous and spread out

Visiting them in the late afternoon with that beautiful light that you get around sunset in Turkey, we found the ruins to be really atmospheric.

The ruins were really atmospheric

The amphitheatre, built in the time of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (born 86 AD) was in remarkably good condition. It was only excavated in 2007 having been buried under tonnes of sand for hundreds of years.

The amphitheatre was in remarkably good condition

Even more impressive was the “bouleuterion” – the parliament building where the elected representatives of the Lycian League (the first federation in history) met.

The amphitheatre taken from the parliament building
The Lycian parliament building was very impressive

The building has rows of stone seats arranged in a semicircle. Its stone-vaulted main entrances are intact, and so is the thronelike dais where the elected Lyciarch, the president of the League, sat.

There were rows of stone seats arranged in a semicircle.

While we wandered up and down the rows of seats it was easy to picture the chamber full of representatives from the 23 city states (one, two or three from each – depending on the size and importance of the area) listening to speeches and debating important issues.

It was easy to picture the chamber full of representatives from the 23 city states
The throne-like dais where the elected Lyciarch, the president of the League, sat.
It was quite a magnificent structure

There were many more beautiful buildings and a stunning column-lined Main Street to enjoy.

The stunning column-lined Main Street
One line of columns were marble and the other side were made from limestone
The long evening shadows of the columns on Main Street

While we were wandering around we heard the tinkling of bells in the distance and soon we saw a small herd of sheep stepping daintily along the dusty pathway.

A small herd of sheep stepping daintily towards us
The eternal search for something good to eat

Watching over them was a beautiful massive but gentle dog – we think it was a Turkish Kangal, otherwise known as an Anatolian Shepherd Dog. These dogs are specially bred to be flock guardians rather than as herding dogs. They live with their flock of sheep and actively fend off any predators.

The gentle Turkish Kangal or Anatolian Shepherd Dog
This gorgeous dog just sat quietly watching and guarding the flock of sheep while they ate grass

We were fascinated to see a 14-metre boat made almost entirely from reeds on display in front of the bouleuterion.

The 14 metre reed boat built by German archaeologist Dominique Goerlitz

The boat was built by German archaeologist Dominique Goerlitz, as part of an experiment to show it was probably on this type of vessel that Egyptian traders reached the port of Patara and other ports in modern day Turkey in in ancient times. It was modelled on the Egyptian reed boats seen in paintings from antiquity.

Another view of the Main Street in the evening sun

The trip back to Kas along the incredibly winding coast road – just as the sun was dipping into the ocean – was fantastic.

This must be the only piece of straight road on the coast road to Kas
We enjoyed the wonderful sunset views

The wonderful sunset views over the sea would remain firmly in our memories while we were away from Turkey in the coming weeks and months.

Driving past an amazing gorge
Such a pretty sunset
The views on this coast road were captivating

Back in Kas there was as always, a flurry of activity at the end to get our boat prepared for the haul out. Some things had to be done just before we left, like deflating the dinghy and storing it inside (it takes up a lot of room so that was very much a last minute thing!)

Mountains rising above the hard standing
This is the monster that was to lift Sunday

Haul out day finally arrived and fortunately everything went very smoothly and the workers were extremely professional.

The deflated dinghy in our saloon

Jonathan did a great job of steering into the narrow pen (with just a few centimetres to spare on either side) and very soon we were settled in our spot propped up safely on the hard.

There wasn’t much room to spare on either side of Sunday!

Despite all our preparations we were still working until the very last minute, flushing out the toilets, bringing in anything and everything that was on deck that could either blow off or be lifted off.

Off she goes to her winter resting place
Boats always look strange out of water!

We also had to run around paying our last bills, chivvying the marina to turn our water on, looking for our sails which were meant to have been delivered and doing lots of last minute jobs.

Sunday has flashy neighbours
Adjusting the blocks
Checking out one of the props – it had fishing line wound round it

Finally it was time to flop into the taxi that was taking us to Dalaman Airport.

Farewell Sunday!

On the way we stopped for a quick break and had some delicious gozleme filled with spinach and feta cheese.

Rolling out the dough for Gozleme.
Mmmm these were so delicious

Soon we were up in the clouds and on our way. Up, up and awayThe trip wasn’t too bad, people were generally good at social distancing and everyone wore masks.

We stayed the night at the airport hotel in Istanbul and the next morning we took off for Amsterdam and an emotional reunion with our soon-to-be-married daughter and her partner.

An emotional reunion!

The flight was made so much more pleasant because no one was allowed hand baggage and passengers had to stay in their seats until the people in front were on their way out. There was no leaping up immediately the plane had landed, no pulling bags down on top of other people’s heads and no one’s back packs shoved in other people’s faces! One good outcome of Covid!

Sunset in Pijnacker

It was such a relief to arrive in the Netherlands in plenty of time to enjoy the lead up to our daughter and her partner’s wedding. With the expected second hike in Covid infections we could have so easily found ourselves stuck in Turkey and unable to attend this very important event!

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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.

2 thoughts on “Up, up and away”

  1. What an impressive and atmospheric blog to finish your visit to Turkey-magnificent ruins in such pristine condition, beautiful views and sunsets and such a well told account of getting Sunday ready for the winter that we felt like we were running around with you!

    And then Dot, your face when hugging Hannah says it all, such relief to have made it back in time for the wedding, from all you been through in the past few months.

    Wedding Congratulations and wishing for future health and happiness to one and all!
    Much love
    Sally and George xox


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