Well, the few days has very definately been a holiday for us. We spent a lot of time on the water, as we were slowly making our way from Olympos to Fethiye.
We started on the boats on Tuesday, when we signed up for a day trip out of Olympos, so that I could go scuba diving. The boat was a bit crowded, as there were many day trippers on it, though only three people, including myself, going scuba diving. The diving here wasn’t as great as the Red Sea. There are certainly a few fish around, and these neat anemonie things that have a beautiful flower/tendril thing sticking out, and then retract into a tube when there’s movement nearby, which are kind of neat. But there was no corral, and the more tropical fish we saw when we went diving out of Aqaba were quite missing.
We continued our boating by booking a 3 night/4 day cruise to Fethiye, having finally found a good deal in Turkey (only 150 lira per person, full board, but of course this price is highly variable depending on who you talk to). They advertise it as going from Olympos to Fethiye, but they actually put you in a van for about an hour and a half and the boat departs from a small port town called Demre.
It’s surprisingly not very busy. We were told that in some of the stops where there was only a couple of other boats, there are normally anywhere from 40 to 100, a trend that we’ve noticed throughout Turkey, where there’s relatively few tourists around, compared to the ammount of accomodation and other tourist infrastructure. The current theory of choice is that most people who can’t make it to Germany right now are staying home to watch the World Cup, which just kicked off today. One effect of this was that the company we booked our cruise through actually put us on another company’s boat, something we were just as happy with, since we’d heard mixed reviews about the company we actually booked with.
Perhaps as a result of this lack of business, we had a great time. We had some great swimming spots all to ourselves. I find that swimming off a boat is a lot easier than swimming from shore, since when we start from shore we always inch into the water, complaining about how cold it is, but this way, the only way to get into the water is just to jump right in, and once we were in, the water really didn’t feel all that cold.
We had some weather trouble, as it was unusually rough on all but the last day of the cruise (edit by Kathy- and it turns out to be quite a challenge to get out of bed and up on deck with the boat rocking, without being sick), which meant we missed out on a couple of stops, as what they call the “Pirate Cave” and at the Sunken City (a Lycian/Greek/Roman/Byzantine city which partly collapsed into the sea in an earthquake), both of which we just sailed past as the sights were pointed out by our guide. We did, however, in addition to all the swimming stops, successfully stop in Kaş where Kathy finally found some shorts and some sandles that suited her, and we both got haircuts, with me also getting a shave in the bargain. Our other stop of interest was St. Nicolas’ Island, related somehow to Turkey’s claim on the Santa Claus mythology. There were some interesting ruins there, or at least I thought so, which were a lot of fun to hike around, though everyone else turned back after about 10 minutes.
Anyway, we’ve now arrived in Fethiye, rather sunburned from too much time in the sun, and we’re quite rested up now, and ready to head out into more adventures
PS – there are a LOT of auzzies in this part of Turkey – it seems that the big pilgrimage for them is to go to Galipoli at least once in their lives, to commemorate the sore defeat that they were handed by the Turkish during WWI. It’s not something that I really understand, as Canadians certainly don’t pilgrimage to Dieppe in droves, it just seems like a kind of sad thing to do. But there you have it, they all go to Galipoli, and since they came all this way, they traipse around the rest of western Turkey for a while. It’s really quite amazing that for a country with only 20 million people, so many of them seem to travel. Some auzzies also tell us that because Oz is so darn far away from everything, that if they are going to bother going somewhere, they might as well stay awhile, so many auzzies end up travelling/working abroad for 2 years – and we have certainly encountered a few doing that. They have the same ease of obtaining a UK work visa that Canadians do, so why not, eh?
To put it into perspective, a trip from Edmonton to London is about 8-10 hours. Oz to Europe is somewhere around 24 hours, to Los Angeles is minimum 15 hours. Ouch.
Tags: Cairo to Budapest and Beyond, cruise, Turkey