"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.
Again, I'm smiling.
Two weeks ago, I wrote a similar post marking the beginning of our Lycian Cruise. Then, I was smiling about being on a gulet again after 23 months, and about leading a Peter Sommer Travels tour again after all that time.
Today, I'm in the same kind of mindset, but the excitement is about familiarity, too. I spent the day In Bodrum, the place where all our Greek cruises, most of which I tend to be on, start and end. In a normal year, I might be in Bodrum six or eight times or more - but it's been two years! It was a joy to walk the well-known streets, see the familiar views and watch the gently swaying forest of gulet masts that rings the city's ancient harbour (Bodrum was once Halikarnassos), to drop into familiar places and taste familiar treats. A greater joy even was my visit to the Crusader Castle and the museum of local and underwater archaeology it houses: it had been closed for major renovations and much has changed, so I saw things I'd never seen before - an ultimate joy!
To be fair, I have been known to sometimes find Bodrum too busy and too flashy. But today, even those things that might irk me were familiar and welcome. Familiarity might breed contempt at times, but absence makes the heart grow fonder.
The greatest joy, however, was to embark on the Sunworld 9, a gulet I have spent many weeks and months of my life on. Every step on her is familiar, from the teak-paved decks via the cosy saloon with its shiny wooden fittings to my well-remembered berth, a place I can navigate even in my sleep. Half the crew is familiar too, trusted faces and old friends. That also includes Cem, my superb colleague on this trip.
Even the guests we welcomed in the afternoon included familiar faces - one couple had been with me in the Cyclades some years ago, and we swiftly developed a friendly rapport with all the new ones! We did our introductions, left port for a nearby cove, had a wonderful seafood dinner and got to know each other through a long and vibrant chat across so many topics! As I am happy to be on this boat, our guests clearly are so, too. A promising start to an itinerary I have led many times, but not in recent years. It will be fun to discover Caria once again.
Shortly, I'll fall asleep to the sound of rippling waves and creaking wood. I can't wait for tomorrow and Knidos!