Sunday, May 09, 2010

Along the Mediterranean Coast

After the swinging resort atmosphere of Antalya, we got a look at a big stretch of Turkey's southern coastline yesterday. Much of it reminded us of California's Hwy. 1 south of Carmel. We wound around soaring mountains and drove along steep cliff edges. Our wonderful driver, Abul, negotiated them like the manta mountain goats we saw along the way.But all the towns along this coast are truly agricultural areas. We saw literally thousands of greenhouses, mostly all growing tomatoes for export to Russia and Europe. We would typically be coming around a bend, high up on a mountain road, and we would spot a town down below that looked like a huge white-striped crazy quilt. As we got closer, the stripes were revealed as greenhouses bursting with huge tomato plants.We could see Greek islands as we drove along, and small beaches with sparkling turquoise water and white sand. In fact, this is called the Turquoise Coast for the striking blue water. Europeans vacation here, and Turks, but not many Americans so far.

We made two stops today. One was at another Roman city site, Myra, where there were chamber tombs carved into steep walls, another amphitheater, and many more beautiful walls and carved stones. We also went to the town of Demre to the church of Saint Nicholaus, the original Santa Claus, who is rumored to be buried there. The old structure has lovely frescos, and the whole area has a lot of homage to Jolly old St. Nick.. Turns out he was the patron saint of sailors and children - who knew?

We brought a banana slug t-shirt and gave it to Erol, our super guide. It has been fun to watch him wear it around these various Turkish locations. He did not know what a banana slug was, imagine!?!Last evening we arrived at our home for the next few days, a lovely wooden sail boat, for the exclusive use of our little group of 14! We have a crew of 4 jolly guys who cater to us like royalty. Rosemary, I keep thinking of you and knowing you would be green with envy. Had dinner on board last night, wonderful sea bass and lots of veggies. And I've just woken up from the best night's sleep in days in our cozy cabin. Today we set sail!!!

-- Posted from my iPad

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