final days in Turkey
We are doing a loop trip - Istanbul to the coast involves a couple of solid days driving. We are taking a regional flight on our return to Istanbul, having a 3 day stopover in Dubai then home. I’ll try and get the map working so you can see our route.
All the felines in Goreme would await Oli’s pats and little morsels that found the way from our table, via serviettes, to their demanding mouths. We had to warn of rabies before he stopped this practice! To leave Goreme was difficult, but the thought of the coast lured us on.
We arrived late into Konya so literally found the hotel, had a quick walk around nearby streets, then headed to bed. It was a necessary stop so expectations weren’t high and rightly so. That said we were interested in seeing the Whirling Dervishes but were told they don’t perform on the night we were there - disappointing really because we got a lot of mileage out of stirring Oli about this not-to-be-missed cultural experience! Being ‘blonde’ seemed a disadvantage and the only place where I felt like this. I insisted on walking between Oli and Rex (who I allowed to hold my hand despite it being sweaty). Rex didn’t think the looks were overt and that they (men) were just interested because we (me) were of different skin colour. Hmmm.
What we saw of Antalya was lovely and a welcome stop after a day’s driving. We stayed in a family-run 150 year old Ottoman house situated in the historic area. Amongst the maze of cobbled streets there are beautifully preserved old buildings and many fine dining choices. We had our best meal yet, but I’m ashamed to say ‘Vanilla’ had an international menu and a British chef! Fairly pricey, but so worth it.
Sorry to be repetitive, but the road trip to Kas was beautiful, really beautiful. Massive mountains, some in the distance were snow-capped (how was this possible in the searing heat?). Conifer forests, wildflowers, aqua-coloured lakes, marshlands - a squirrel, turtle, wild horses. Shepherds herding goats. Almighty big rock on road, around corner heading downhill. Didn’t see. Grinding stop. By now we knew the drill. Don’t move from the location. Take photos and file a police report. Await pickup truck. Huge rigmarole, hours wasted, hot and exhausted. Car finally replaced.
Revived with a good flame-grilled Bream and Turkish smorgasboard from the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Jhan is a good-looking, personable, young waiter with a wicked sense of humour. He was really matey with Oli and kept us all entertained coaching one of the shy waiters in matters of the heart. Now at the coast we found a good swimming spot and spent plenty of time there with Rex and Oli climbing the cliff to dive. We all caught too much sun. Beaches comprise pebbles with little sand and make me homesick for Tasmania’s beautiful beaches. The water here is clearer and warmer however.
At Bodrum we mainly took it easy by the magnificent pool which we had mostly to ourselves. We visited the Castle of St Peter that now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology(recovered pottery, coins, glass, jewellery) and admired all the luxury boats that were docked in the harbour.
The main attraction of Kusadasi is Ephesus - one of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world with remains of ampitheatre, chapels, houses, etc. A pilgrimage site particularly for Christians. Big names in history have shaped this place - The Virgin Mary, St Paul, St John, Alexander the Great. Such a significant place to visit. Kusadasi is also the departure point for our Greek foray.