What We Are Listening To
We have decided to add a multi-media component to some of our posts going forward. So often, we are struck with songs/music that perfectly sum up how we are feeling about a situation in particular or our travels in general. Sometimes the song choice is random and silly, sometimes inspiring. Not every post will have a corresponding song, but if we have a song that we feel evokes the feeling of a particular post, we will share the link. You can listen to it before or after you read the post, during or not at all – it’s entirely up to you!
Here is the link for this post for your listening pleasure! Enjoy!
We were all very much looking forward to our Mediterranean cruise. This was a splurge that I allowed myself to book as a consolation prize after we definitively decided that we would have to cut Africa from the itinerary. And after I had spent a couple of full days in tears. I had read about Captain Osman’s gulet (traditional Turkish boat) tours in a post on Ottsworld and I was sold from that very moment. I’m very impressionable when it comes to other people’s travel experiences apparently!
I sent off an email and received a response that our booking was confirmed. The cruise capacity was 10-12 people so it was possible that up to eight more people would be joining us. As we made our way by bus to Kas along the gorgeously twisting seaside roads, I was heady with anticipation. The Mediterranean was seducing me with its deep turquoise waters and delicious history.
When we arrived at the harbor and found our boat, Captain Osman took us a few boats down and told us that our cruise would be with his cousin Captain Erhan and that our family of four would be the only passengers on the boat. WOO HOO!!! PRIVATE CRUISE!!!
The next three days looked something like this:
- Wake up and eat.
- Sit on the very front of the boat while Captain Erhan navigated us through the most incredible blue waters and stunning landscapes to a lovely bay where we would set anchor and swim in the warm, unbelievably clear salt water.
- Take a break. Eat again – a fresh delicious lunch prepared by the Captain and Robbie (Robbie was Erhan’s right hand man. He didn’t speak much English, but he was handsome and had a great smile). At one point we were certain they had a plot to feed us to death. So. Much. Good. Food.
- Lie on the front of the boat in the sunshine and fall asleep to the sounds of the water lapping the side of the boat.
- Wake up in the late afternoon for tea and cookies.
- Cruise to another bay and swim some more.
- Eat. Again. When the sun would set, Captain Erhan and Robbie would fire up a grill on the side of the boat and grill chicken or fresh fish, Turkish meatballs or huge stuffed mushrooms and start parading out food like we hadn’t eaten in days. We would open a couple of Efes beers and Captain Erhan would tell us stories of the trouble he and his friends would get in and about his time in the military. (Everyone – men and women has to do a year of military service in Turkey. Usually they are placed where their interests and talents can be utilized. Teachers will teach, people interested in history will serve as security at historic sites, etc).
- Wander to our beds and let the rocking of the boat, a full day of sunshine and full bellies lull us into a blissful sleep.
- Rinse and repeat.
One afternoon, we heard what we thought was the call to prayer from a mosque, although the time was off – during our month in Turkey, we had learned to pace our day with the calls to prayer that rang out over the city. Erhan told us that someone had died and the announcement was being made from the minaret. He told us that once his friends had called the mosque in Kas and told them he had died. When the Iman made the announcement, he said his mom nearly had a heart attack. He was in trouble for a long time with her after that!
The first day, we dropped Mason and Ian off at the ruins of a 4000 year old Lycian fort. They spent an hour adventuring around channeling their inner Indiana Jones while Lily and I stayed with the boat and sailed around the island to pick them up on the other side.
The second day we sailed by the remains of an ancient city that had partially tumbled into the water leaving stone doorways that opened into wildness and steps leading up into the open sky.
On the third day we found these Lycian tombs built into the cliffs and anchored the boat next to them for the night. This prompted some pretty serious fears about the undead that still might be living in them scampering down the wall in the middle of the night to eat our faces off. (What?!? I have an over-active imagination!!!)
The fourth day brought the storm we had been anticipating, and we headed to the harbor early to ride it out. It was equally as satisfying for me to be on the water during the rain and winds as during the calm waters and sunshine. None of us experienced any sea sickness at all, although I got sick being on land after we left the boat. That water love runs deep and true in my veins.
The next morning after breakfast, we were leaving the boat and heading to Adrasan with a private driver. I was feeling pretty rotten due to being on land for a bit the prior evening. Captain Erhan served us a lovely breakfast of veggies, cheeses, bread, eggs and boiled potatoes. He said that he gets motion sickness and whenever he used to travel, his mom would send him with boiled potatoes because they help to settle the stomach. It was such a sweet gesture and the first of many times we would see the Turks heal with food rather than medicine.
(Captain Osman helped us set up drivers from Kas to Adrasan and Adrasan to Cirali since the busses weren’t running these routes outside of tourist season. He also helped us book two of the best hostels we had in Turkey owned by truly kind hearted and generous men – one saved us from the side of a mountain and the other took care of us in the aftermath. The hospitality in Turkey never failed to surprise us. We felt welcomed and taken care of at every turn.)
The Mediterranean cradled the first civilizations, witnessed great men and women in history (Alexander the Great and Cleopatra and Marc Antony chased their immortality across her waters), provided a gorgeous backdrop for timeless literature (Ulysses navigated his way through its sirens and monsters to make his way home from Troy in the Odyssey).
It is breathtakingly beautiful, but more than that, it is iconic. It carries its history like a crown in the white caps of its waves.
It isn’t just salt water – it is life, death, history, romance, heartbreak, myth and magic.
Each time I see it, I fall in love all over again.
I can’t recommend this experience enough. If you want to learn more, please contact Captain Osman. You will have an amazing time. I promise!