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"Cruising the Carian Coast" is our second cruise in Turkey since October 2019, On this occasion, to give an impression of the experience, we are providing a kind of travel diary on our blog, following precedents from Greece, Ireland and Turkey. Rather than describing every day in detail (you can check our itineraries on www.petersommer.com for that), every day we will pick one image we took that day, accompanied by some explanations and thoughts.

Day 7:

The last day of cruising already. We were blessed today, waking up in a particularly beautiful cove, and for once our gulet stayed put until after lunch - we and our guests liked the location so much that we decided not to look for another anchorage. There was great swimming there, and the snorkelers among us got to see three or four varieties of fish in fairly large numbers...

Our morning excursion took us to the remote peninsular plateau that is known as the ancient site of Lydae. Little is known about this quiet place that seems far away from our modern world - and what there is known was written up here by my colleague Olivier not long ago - so check his article for a description of the antiquities and the two great mausolea that dominate the place. Personally, I find Lydae beautiful, but also unusual - it is strange to envisage an ancient settlement in this hard-to-reach corner of Turkey, and with such limited resources available...

On our walk (the plateau is reached in about 45 minutes ascent from the shore), we met a veritable menagerie of creatures. It began with a turtle, spotted in the sea during our zodiac ride ashore. Next, just as we were about to reach the beach, there was a squirrel on the gravel, dancing about briefly, then disappearing up a tree. As we started walking, Cem found a series of porcupine quills. And continuing up the path, we were met by three unattended donkeys on their way down to the coast - gentle and friendly creatures that stopped to inspect us and let us rub their heads. Of course, we knew whose donkeys they are!

Up on the plateau, after exploring the archaeological remains, we met our old friend Mutlu and his wife, Hanife. This wonderful and hospitable couple, the descendants of Turkish nomads or semi-nomads, live up there in a tiny encampment. Mutlu is quasi-caretaker of the antiquities, but also harvests olives, sage and oregano. He keeps those donkeys, as well as goats (who came to visit us in our cove later), chickens and at least one turkey. It must be a hard living, but the two of them are a friendly and relaxed couple and it was a great joy to see them after a long absence on my part. Their sage tea is the best I have ever tasted. On my Athenian balcony, a goat bell of theirs chimes in the wind, and in the illustrations to all the recipes I share on this blog, you will see wooden spoons made by the two of them!

Thus having seen our final archaeological site, but also having encountered what may be the last generation of locals to pursue an age-old lifestyle, we returned to the shore and our gulet for a final chance to enjoy the scene above and beneath the waves.

Finally, we had to continue, to our last berth in the lively yachting town of Göcek. I am about to go on a stroll to see what's happening and perhaps to have an iced coffee, and later a final dinner awaits us. Tomorrow, it's farewell...

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