Tag Archives: gulet

Taking a Hike: Ancient Byzantine Ruins

After a few days on the boat bobbing along the southern coast of Turkey, we came ashore to stretch our sea legs on dry land. We hiked a gravely path up into the hills, encountering some local wildlife along the way.hike hike1

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We emerged from the forest into an open field with ancient ruins in the distance.  hike6

It comes in handy having a fiancé who studied Medieval History. We were able to identify the ruins as being from the Byzantine Empire and estimate they date between 12th and 14th centuries. The Byzantine Empire arose when the Roman Empire split and took the eastern half.  The folks who built these structures would have been Greek Orthodox and ruled from Constantinople (now Istanbul) which eventually fell, after a long decline, to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

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The scholars among us tried to translate some of these huge tablets – but it’s all Greek to me! hike12 hike13 hike14 hike15

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We scurried back down the hill, where our dinghy was waiting to shuttle us back to the boat.

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That evening we cruised into the port of Fethiye as the sun set.

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There might have been an impromptu dance-off on the roof…

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Despite my best moves like Jagger, I think I lost that one.

We pulled into the Fethiye marina at dusk, as canapés were being served on deck.

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After a nibble, we set off into Fethiye for a bit of shopping in the buzzing shops of the bazaar.

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A humdinger of a day – on land and at sea!

Somewhere Off the Turkish Coast

“On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.”                 ― Rumi
                                                  

Every so often, I receive an invitation that is so incredible, so exciting, so too-good-to-be-true, that I would drop everything – move heaven and earth – to accept it! So when a dear friend asked if I wanted to spend a week on a boat in Turkey, I could hardly get the words out fast enough, squealing “Absolutely”! I actually might have done a little dance of ecstatic delight. What better way to spend a week with friends than aboard a beautiful luxury schooner sailing off the majestic Lycian Coast?

With my passport stamped at Dalaman airport, I met everyone at arrivals, and we headed to the marina to start our adventure. It was dark when we turned up, so we clambered aboard with our luggage and bunked down for the night.

The next morning, we awoke in our bright and spacious en suite cabin onboard the opulent Ecce Navigo. The sleek interior is clad in gleaming mahogany panelling. Above deck, there are lots of little terry-covered nooks to explore and oodles of space to sprawl out in the sun.

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We padded up the stairs towards the wafting aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and discovered we were no longer in the marina, but moored in a shimmering, placid cove – just as breakfast was being served. Having a five-star chef onboard was the ultimate indulgence – heaping plates of fresh fruit, giant bowls of thick yogurt with nuts, tomato and herb salad, Mediterranean olives and squidgy slices of local cheese. I was in food heaven!

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There was a yoga instructor onboard, so we continued our healthy start to the day with a gentle session of stretches and poses – and an obligitory series of sun salutations. What an invigorating way to greet the sunshine while awakening the body and breath – as light glinted off the rippling water all around us!

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yoga yoga1 yoga2After our class, it was time for a dip in the dazzling sapphire waters of the Mediterranean.

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Okay, maybe one more dip (this time, without the form and finesse)…swim jump

If anyone asked how the water was, we called it refreshing. Some days it was so refreshing, we needed to sun ourselves on the bow for a while to warm back up.

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… although this little sailor always seemed content lounging in the shade.

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After a day of soaking in the sun and scenery, we got all gussied up in our evening finery. After pre-dinner cocktails at the bar, we made our way to the table for a long, lingering Turkish feast – accompanied by plenty of toasts and giggles.

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What a memorable night bobbing on the waves of the Mediterranean with this gorgeous crew!

As it turns out, life at sea is the life for me!