After the excellent end-of-winter barbecue at Didim marina, we were absolutely ready to start the new cruising season but first we had one more “last time” thing to do – a meal at the amazing Yacht Club restaurant.
Our cruising buddies Sue and John had suggested this as they had a guest aboard – Raylee, from Sydney – and no visit to Didim would be complete without a delicious meal at the Yacht Club.
As usual we were given the best possible care by Nuri, the floor manager and head waiter. We were going to miss his warm and attentive personality!
The ambiance and food at the Yacht Club restaurant were also going to be missed!
The following day we set off – our intention was to turn north towards Istanbul but as this was Raylee’s first sail on a small cruising yacht we collectively decided to head back to Iasos (our favourite anchorage in these parts) as it was a short and easy trip.
Aboard Sunday we were able to raise our new Code Zero (a large and very light foresail) and had a great ride most of the way there. Raylee took some great photos – thanks Raylee!
As usual we negotiated our way through the various fish farms – this time we saw some action (usually there doesn’t seem much going on!) – a boat with a big scoop, looking like a mechanical digger and scooping up something, maybe fish?
At another farm a large group of white pelicans sat two by two waiting patiently for any fish that might have managed to escape from the farm or wild fish attracted to the smell of food.
We were happy to see our friends Lesley and Phil from Paseafique already anchored in Iasos and later we all took our dinghies to shore for an excellent dinner at the small hotel in the village (Kiyikislacik).
As we sat there soaking up the last golden rays of the setting sun, an elderly man drove his unruly gang of sheep, goats and cattle right past our table. Up close and personal with the locals – not something that happens every day!
We all had a laugh at the naughty goat who decided to have a nibble of the potted plants and the sheep who decided to take a separate route from the other animals.
The following day we decided to visit the museum which had been closed on our previous visits. It wasn’t that easy to find, although the village of Kiyikislacik is really tiny with one main street and a couple of small lanes branching off. We tried following Google maps but found ourselves ending up in a farmer’s field where we met a very cute donkey. After walking straight past our turn off we retraced our steps and found the correct dusty track to follow.
As it’s called Iasos Fish Bazaar Museum we had thought we might be looking at ancient fishing implements, weighing machines and reconstructed boats but actually it was full of antiquities from the nearby archeological site of Iasos.
Apparently Italian archeologists who first uncovered and excavated this site in the 1960s, thought this area was the site of the ancient fish market but later discovered it was in fact, a 13th Century AD mausoleum.
We walked through the grand entrance to the museum and were instantly captivated by the numerous sculptures, stone carvings, urns, parts of columns and other architectural artefacts such as marbles, friezes and decorated blocks, perfectly executed Greek inscriptions and of course, the mausoleum itself.
On our way back to the boat we found the village butcher’s shop and as we were expecting our carnivorous Kiwi friend Jackie to join us soon, decided to go in and buy a few meaty items for her.
Between the butcher’s limited English, my limited Turkish and with the assistance of Google translate, I managed to ask if he had some lamb chops for sale. (Vegetarians please do not read on!)
The butcher produced a half carcass and proceeded to dissect it to produce around 16 cutlets from one side for us and the same on the other side for Sue and John.
Through a series of graphic gestures we learnt that the lamb had been born and bred in the village and had spent its life wandering the Iasos hillsides, and the butcher himself had slaughtered it.
He was very happy to have made such a big sale and gave us bags of fresh home grown oregano to sprinkle on the lamb when we got round to cooking it.
Next stop was the bakery where a wonderful aroma of fresh bread wafted from the wood fired oven. We bought many delicious loaves and yummy looking rolls to nibble on.
On our way back we admired some of the street art that we had seen being painted by locals the previous year.
Later on we showed Raylee the fascinating ancient site of Iasos and also walked up to the Roman Villa to see the mosaics.
The following day we bade farewell to this delightful anchorage for what must surely be the very last time, finally heading north, past Didim to pastures new.