Before setting sail this morning we had one more land excursion, to a very touching ghost town, Kayaku, high in the hills above Fetiye, our port town. This community once numbered over 300 homes and several churches. It was occupied by Greeks for hundreds of years, until about 1900, when the Greek and Turkish governments made a deal to force the repatriation of those Greeks, who had never lived in Greece, and replace them with a similar group of Turks who had been living in Greece and had never lived in Turkey. The heartbreaking stories we heard this morning were about people torn from their homelands without notice, not allowed to bring many possessions, and forced to leave their entire village behind. Many left behind their children's dowries, their hand hewn furniture, their livestock and food supplies. Some had to leave so quickly that family members who were away at the time returned to find the village empty and the family torn apart.
The returned Turks, however, did not like this mountainside village they were given, so it became abandoned while the Turks built a newer village in the valley below. As we walked the streets of this sad place, those stories resonated. We saw strikingly beautiful stonework everywhere, and the remains of painted walls and simple mosaic floors. Everywhere we looked we saw the work of human hands, unsophisticated and beautiful, and infinitely varied.
Finally at around 11 am we set sail on our beautiful 110 foot sailboat. The water in this area is clear and bright turquoise close to land, and then a deeper cerulean blue in the main channels. We went first to a small cove where we tied up for lunch and swimming from the boat. Then we continued through the afternoon to a second cove, called Cleopatra's Baths. Indeed there are some ruins of a small Roman bath here, and the story is that Marc Anthony gave this land to Cleopatra as a little love token. Here we have sheltered all night, in such beauty and silence you could hardly imagine. We are surrounded by mountains, some snow-covered in a cove the shape of an oriole's nest.
Last night, in Cleo's honor, all the women put on heavy eye liner and eye shadow for dinner and a photo op, and great laughter. Food on the ship is outstanding and abundant. We lie around on deck, sipping cool drinks, chatting, reading, dozing, and feeling like gazillionaires on holiday. Finished off a wonderful day with a rousing game of Spite and Malice!
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