FRIDAY OCTOBER 9 – Dikili Turkey – A Hot Mineral Turkish Bath!
We slept late (late for us). Late enough that we missed eating in the main dining room. We had a quick bite to eat, and were off the boat by 10ish. We were able to check our email, FREE, in the port. Just ask security for the WIFI code. Not the best, but most workable – especially if you have a bit of time. Confirming no emergencies, we left to the town. NO big security checks here.
It was to be a shorter day as sail away was at 3:00. The town is CUTE. Lots of coffee shops. Mostly local stores. NO hassle to buy jewelry or carpets…… so we vowed to return after our Turkish Bath. We walked about three blocks and found a taxi stand. Got a cab driver, Mustafa (Mustafa Seker 35 UF 153) to take us to a REAL Hot Mineral Turkish Bath. Here is how it went…
We were NOT headed for the one suggested by the tour guide that had been on the ship. We were being taken to a friend of the driver’s establishment…. We completely left town driving through the countryside…. In retrospect where else would you expect to find mineral hot springs? In the middle of town?
After we got out of town the roads were all gravel and bumpy! Our driver Mustafa was trying to talk to us… his English although not good at all was far better than our Turkish so he earned our respect for the genuine attempt. He would make eye contact in the rear-view mirror, point at himself and say “Mustafa” then nod his head yes to confirm that we understood that Mustafa was his name. Then he took it a step further – pointed at himself and said “Mustafa – Driver” with another nod to confirm that we understood…. Then the next step was, point at self, say “Mustafa Driver” then point at us and gesture “Question” by shrugging his shoulders and raising his hands…. Finally it sunk in – – he wanted to know our names…… and our jobs as well. We joined the conversation Rob pointed at himself, then me saying “Rob – Lynn – Architects”….. Mustafa looked very relieved that he had been able to get the info that he wanted out of us, but we are not sure he knew the word Architect…. or what it meant after all was said and done.. How funny is that?
It was a short ride, about 25 minutes and we arrived at our destination! Mustafa introduced us to the proprietors, who walked us through the complex showing us the location of the toilet rooms before taking us to the Hot Tub building!
I guess they wanted to be sure we knew where the bathrooms were before letting us get in their hot tub! They filled a bucket with water, showed us a shower, and left….. We put on suits, attempted a shower but COLD!!!. So just entered the tub/pool. Rob discovered it was about 4′ deep, with the last step being 18″ tall,. Also, there was NO algee, but rather hard mineral on the surfaces. DEFINITELY mineral baths. We sat, did our cleansing meditation, discovered how to add hot water… ….and after a while, figured out the bucket of cold water was do dump on our heads. The room was open to the air with a couple of windows but covered and of course it is hot in Turkey… The roof / ceiling was a groin vault – in laymen’s terms a vault with an “X” in it. We started playing some music from my phone and soon discovered that the acoustics in there were phenomenal, so decided to make our own music! Thinking of our favorite cruise ship Piano-man Greg Gallello we decided to take a stab at his nightly favorite “Hallelujah”! We hummed it in some sort of harmony while relaxing a few minutes more!
Would have been fun to have had six musicians in there. We made do with the two of us. After an hour we decided to move to the next activity. We were hoping for a massage. When we came out of the building they directed us to a room with two beds and bare mattresses.
We were hopeful but no one ever showed up to do anything…..! We just laid on the beds for a while, after which we were moved to another building where there was a bed in one room with a table, and another, smaller tub/pool. We sat in this one for another 45 mins.
This room had towels left in it, so when we had had enough we dried off, got dressed, and found the cab driver. It wasn’t until later after returning to the ship that we discovered that we had left our swimsuits on a hook in this room – must have been why the lady of the establishment had been waving like crazy while we were leaving…. we thought it was an enthusiastic “goodbye”. Oh well – when you Travel Like an Architect™ you bring about three suits, so we were not out of luck!
We posed for a couple quick pictures in the courtyard – before heading out….
It was time to go! As we understood it at 1:00 pm the cabs stop running… must be prayer hour, or something so we knew he had to be back. Mustafa walked us through what appeared to be a private residence over seeing the property with offices and such – we got a nice view of the property from up high on a huge elevated patio! Accross the property in another direction we noticed a LARGE outdoor “swimming” pool. Motioning to Mustafa about what it was – we managed to get out of him that it too was a hot spring… it was like the size of a regular outdoor swimming pool. Had we have known we would have preferred the outdoors!
Then he insisted that Rob pose for a photo by his taxi! He is very proud of the license plate and his title “Driver”.
Our driver took us back to the city. Down bumpty dirt country roads. Past “dairy cows”, trash, industry, and homes. But not without, a detour to a beach where we got out and he took our photo with the ship in the background! Smart Guy!
We arrived back at the center of town right before 1:00. After being away about 4 hours total, Mustafa wanted 130Euro for the spa and his time, and travels (40 cab, 10 waiting, and 80 spa) Not sure if we were taken, but was a most unique experience…. you live and you learn………. and once again we had a safe and pleasant day! There was a little time left to shop because Sail Away wasn’t for two hours so we headed into the shopping area… First a jewelry store, then an alley of home made stuff, another jewelry store and then the funny guy standing on the corner yelling “Genuine Fake Rolex’s!!” We had to have one 🙂 We found a matched set and after quite the bartering exercise we walked away with our Genuine FAKE watches for $20!
At this point we were ready to call it a day – check email at the port building and return to the ship for another of my favorite Margaritas! We are still left wondering what was supposed to have happened at the Hot Mineral Turkish Bath……..
Do you have a similar experience? If so share it in a comment below.
When we returned to the ship and sailed away the most Amazing thing happened! Our ship had to stop to help a Syrian Refugee Boat in distress! Read about it HERE
Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned travelers and Cruises Inc. Travel Agents – gathering up the best experiences on the Globe to share with you
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