Sunday, July 20, 2008

Marmaris to Kusadasi, Turkey

July 5th, 2008

Marmaris to Kusadasi, Turkey
coordinates 37 52.113N,027 15.748E

We can certainly see why many cruisers get stuck here in Turkey and spend a season or two. The cruising grounds are beautiful and they make it amazingly comfortable and convenient for one on land. There are quite a few marina's, though a little expensive for our pockets. There is just so much to see and do.

Marmaris coordinates 36 49.539N,028 28.596E
We made landfall here and found a beautiful basin. For those familiar with Lake Tahoe in California, it is very reminiscent of it. Pine forest right down to the waters edge and just like Reno, scores of resorts and small music thumping, blaring night clubs, lining the North Shore. Our two weeks here were spent doing a few boat projects. There are so many chandleries here that if you can't find the part you need, you must not need it. We were introduced to more tasty versions of kebob and kofte,
a spicy meat ball of sorts, and marveled at their traditional style sail boats called "gulets". They have a marvelous design and size that we have not seen in any other boats to date. Nearly every major point or port has a citadel or castle to mark the spot so we enjoyed the views to be had from the top of the one built here. A few days of wake boarding for the boys and practicing the art of dodging carpet sellers. Turkey is famous for their woven "double knot" style of weaving and the works are
beautiful. Best thing of all, the older they are the more valuable. You don't get that equation often.

One of the greatest experiences in Turkey for us has to be the opportunity to watch their football (soccer) team through their eyes as they competed in the European Championships. They made it as far as semi finals, a huge feat for any one. Each game they won you would have thought they had taken the final trophy home. So much pride and joy is infectious. After each win a parade of cars, scooters, all the towns buses, and any one on foot who could walk carrying larger than life flags, flares,
fireworks. You name it, they filled the streets until all hours of the night in celebration. Without fail, to make each game more suspenseful, all the action happened within the last two minutes of the game or the overtime.

From there our pals on s/v Moorea reunited with us and we slowly made our way up the western coast to Kusadasi where we planned to see the ruins of Ephesus. Amazingly each point or town has it's own little set of ruins and ancient citadels overlooking each bay. There is always something fun here to go explore. So much history and culture we are getting dizzy.
There are a multitude of anchorages to stay in and luckily they are all within a days hop so no overnight sails for a while. Alexander the Great, Homer, Socrates, famed sculptors and thinkers all walked here. The only down side would be the wind direction. Which ever direction you want to head there will be your wind. We have perfected our tacking skills and our plotted course is a perfect zig zag.

Ephesus proved to be as wonderful as the guide books exclaimed. We rented a car and made our way inland. To visualize the 3rd century BC. men, women and children draped in their robes and walking from the city councils agora or meeting place to the public bathroom or pool and the library, each step lined in white marble is fascinating. Though much of it is simply the foundations of buildings left standing, there are enough columns and symmetrically carves cornices and capitals, bits of colorful
glass mosaics and beheaded statues to make it feel real. A full amphitheater complete with back stage tunnels to walk through and get out your first night jitters before performing on stage was a lot of fun. You can certainly imagine the splendor of the library and see the men sitting on the steps debating the latest theory. In it's time, it was a leading port city and sea trade center. Today it stands miles inland after silting filled in the shores leaving it land locked. As it's various attackers
each took their turns of ruling, it passed from worshiping the greatest Greek gods, Christianity and then to Islam. Each member adding a new worship center or minaret as it saw fit. Neighboring sites and towns hold the believed chapels and homes of St. John and Mary, the mother of Jesus.

A final stop at a rug making center completed our stay in Turkey. We had the chance to watch how they removed the silk from the cocoons, and then to see the women practice the art of "double knot" techniques. The value of the carpet is gauged by how many knots per square in one can tie. The thinner the thread the more knots. They roll them out covering the floor and insist that you walk around on $80,000 rugs. We nearly had heart attacks. Despite the fact that the salesman knew that we could
never afford to buy nor store such a treasure he took his time to personally teach and talk with us about these breath taking and intricate designs.
until next time,
the Ohana Kai crew

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