"Cruising the Lycian Shore" is our first 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 and Ireland. 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.
Today, all I want to do is smile.
Why? Because I am where I am.
And where's that? On the gulet Kayhan 11, at anchor off a tiny islet in the Bay of Göcek (also known as the Bay of Fethiye, or of Makri, or of Telmessos), on the coast of the region in southwest Turkey that was known as Lycia in antiquity.
I've been here many times before - so why does it make me smile?
Because it's Peter Sommer Travels first Turkish trip in nearly two years, and my first time with a group in the same amount of time. Like most travel operators, we were hit hard by the pandemic. It's only in recent weeks that we have been able to resume more or less normal service, running two trips on Hadrian's Wall in England, and our first two cruises in Croatia (more to follow). Today, we begin the Turkey season, and in October, Greece will follow...
I knew I missed this - but perhaps I didn't quite realise how much.
Not much really happened today. We met our lovely guests in the laid-back resort town of Göcek and began getting to know them (except for those that I and my fellow guide, Uğur, knew already from past trips, with whom we exchanged reminiscences and affectionate fist-bumps). We transferred to our beautiful gulet (the picture was taken as we approached her), cruised a short distance, and dropped the anchor. Those who wanted took their first refreshing swim and finally, we enjoyed our first dinner of freshly prepared seafood and other Turkish specialities. In other words, a normal first day of a cruise.
But how we enjoyed it! Finally having a group to tell about this fascinating part of the world again. Finally meeting new people and learning about their experiences and interests. Finally, being on a gulet, feeling it softly rocking on the swell, savouring the touch of the wood, and the sound of it creaking, smelling the sea and hearing its ripples. All of these are standard experiences, the bread and butter, so to speak, of what I do with Peter Sommer Travels, but today, every sight, every sound, every smell, every flavour and every touch was enhanced. Every step revived memories and retriggered half-remembered routines, like a return to a long-abandoned home or a much-missed embrace.
It was a good start!