7 – 13 August – Father and Son “do” Turkey!

We are now back at the Yacht Classic Hotel. Fethiye after zipping around Western Turkey in our NEW “A Class” Mercedes. We’ve covered about 1200k .It’s been an easy drive on excellent roads.

It’s been a fabulous week for me with Stu….a week I will always treasure.

We’ve done the lot! We’ve seen wonderful ruins, sunbathed,  gone Paragliding, climbed mountains, swum in Hot Pools, gone boating and more!

Tomorrow I ride 800k ride to Istanbul where I meet up with Stu again for two action packed days in Istanbul.

I will probably try and get about 100K before Istanbul tomorrow and get to our Hotel in time for a late breakfast the next day….at least that’s the plan!

Here’s a brief rundown on our little holiday!

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Our first day was a 300k drive to Selcuk to see the magnificent ruins of Ephesus..

We had a private tour which was excellent. A very large mini bus capable of seating at least 24 arrived just for us!

We were taken first to the Chapel of the Virgin Mary….Apparently Mary lived here for the last few years of her life. There is a Chapel over the alleged location of her house that was built by St John…..Our Guide told us that there were more references to Mary in the Koran than the Bible?????

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Next stop was Ephesus which is very impressive. The highlight is the Library of Celsus

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The Theater is also impressive and of course Elton John has done a concert here !

Only a small fraction of the ruins of Ephesus have been excavated. There were once 400,000 inhabitants before an earthquake altered the course of the river and then malaria set in and eventually the town was abandoned.

We were then taken to Lunch at a “Come in spinner” place that make carpets. We had a superb lunch to soften us (me) up and then we were given the big sales pitch. The carpets are of course absolutely stunning as is the price….He started at $14,000 and became desperate at $150.00. I always have the excuse that I cant fit a carpet on a bike and in any case I would have an unhappy Merry if i lashed out on a carpet anyway!

Stuart has done a sensational job with planning this trip. The Hotel was a delightful little boutique place with just four rooms. The owner Junet/Jjuju spoke perfect English and has an Aussie wife!

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There is a most impressive castle at Selcuk. You can almost feel history looking at the walls. It’s just been restored.

Next day we drove about 200k to Bergama to see the ruins of Pergamum. aGreco- Roman City that dates from about 300BC.The main attraction there is the Acropolis which again has impressive ruins and a huge theatre

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After doing our cultural bit we drove to the coastal town of Ayvalik where we stayed in an absolutely fabulous little place right on the seafront.It was called Beyaz Yuli and the manager was called Murat! He spoke no English but was very helpful. I loved that place. I will try and take Merry there one day!

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There was a restaurant next door where we had a fine dinner….and some nice Turkish wine!

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Next day was a  drive of about 400k to Pamukkale.

Pamukkale is a bizarre place and I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

The name “Pamukkale” means “Cotton Castle” and that is very appropriate. There is this big white cliff that dominates the town and contains Hot Springs and “Travertine Terraces”. You walk up to the top of the cliff without shoes over running water from the natural spring at the top. Surprisingly it inst slippery.

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The Travertine Terraces are caused by water flowing from a hot spring and depositing Calcium Carbonate on the limestone surface to form Hot Springs. It really does look like cotton wool

We stayed till sunset which was special and also a place where newly married couples take wedding photos!

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There is a huge Greco-Roman and Byzantine City called Hierapolis at the top of the cliff. The highlight for me was the Theatre which is the most intact of all the three theatres we’ve seen.

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Next day we drove to the Coastal town of Kaz, a distance of about 250 k.

Kaz and the whole coast here is spectacular with lots of little islands etc. It is a boating paradise.

Stuart had organised another terrific Hotel on the Peninsula a short distance from Kaz. It’s called the Olea Nova and definitely has my approval.

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We lazed around by the pool for the rest of the day and the following day we took a boat trip.

This was fantastic value. The trip lasted 9 hours including transit from the Hotel. We were taken to various spots where we could swim and look at sunken Roman buildings and Pirate caves. We were given an excellent lunch that rates withing the top 20 meals of my trip and given tea etc. All this for $35.00 each!

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That night we caught a Taxi to Kaz and had an excellent dinner….The BEST of my trip so far. The restaurant was called Calamari.

If coming to Turkey, Kaz is somewhere you should try and visit.

Our last day by the Coast,  The 13th, we returned to the Yacht Classic Hotel Fethiye.

On the way we stopped at Oludeniz to do a Paragliding

Stu had a taste of GPS frustration when we found ourselves on a dirt road over the mountain. We found out that our Mercedes definitely isnt meant for dirt roads! Luckinly it only went for 20K

The Paragliding was sensational. We were taken up to 2000 Metres by mini van and then in tandem in front of a “pilot” we spent about 40 minutes soaring over the sea and coastline.

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So, sadly the Coastal part of our holiday is almost over. Stuart has done a terrific job with the itinerary and everywhere we’ve stayed has been excellent value.

Tonight Stu i will treat ourselves to another Pepper Steak and tomorrow AZULO and i head off at 6.00 am for Istanbul. Stu flies there and I meet him at the hotel for our next adventure!

 

 

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