A Lovers Paradise – The Turquoise Coast of Turkey
MONDAY OCTOBER 5 – Kas Turkey and Kekova Island
Kas was our first stop in Turkey, and a Tender Port. We ordered room service (complimentary) so we could eat and get ready in the morning. We wanted to catch the first tender. Rob had contacted a tour company from home, that offered an all day trip for 1/4th the price of the cruise line! $30 per person for 5 hours on a Turkish Batin boat AND lunch, while we explore an ancient city that is in and out of the water. We love when we are able to do this. It just kind of happens as part of the research that we do before our trip. Very much a part of what Travel Like an Architect™ means in the sense that we rarely arrive at a place we haven’t studied. This small, unspoiled fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town, and a district of Antalya Province of Turkey looked good from the very start!
We headed toward the town on about a 300 yard walk down the commercial pier from the tender’s drop. Arriving in the town of Kas, which is a most cute place where all streets lead to the harbor in a radial manner. With a bit of help we found the tour store. We had a little time to spare, so found a coffee shop and had a morning coffee and checked our emails.
By the time we returned there were four other people waiting in the tour office. We all walked down the hill to a van where another 4 people were waiting. In the van we all got, and up up up the hills we went.
At the top of the hill, only about 1 mile, we pulled over, and another couple got it. Apparently they were staying in a guesthouse that was right along the road we were on so the tour company had offered to pick them up.. No point in going down to town, just to go right back up! The drive to Kaleüçağız is about an hour on route D400. Hard to belive going by boat would not have been quicker. After about a 20 min drive, we stopped and a young student, in a school uniform with a back pack on got on our little bus in the one remaining empty seat. We figure he must be related to the tour company some how – maybe the owner’s son.
We drove for about 20 minutes and then let him out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere! Most of us were a bit worried that there was not a school we could see. FINALLY we arrived in the City of Kaleüçağız Where we boarded a 100% Turkish Batin Boat!
One just like the cute ones we saw at the pier in Kas. There must have been 50 of them in this harbor and one by one they were loading up with tourists. I don’t know how many had been sold by the Cruise line for $120.00 but ours was like a private tour in comparison. We had a nice SMALL group, (a dozen or so) and set sail for our first swimming site.
I didn’t catch if she had an official title or not but she had many responsibilities throughout the day, including by not limited to dropping anchor, serving tea and cooking Lunch! I believe that it was her Husband that was the captain and their son was also onboard! She spent her free time working on jewelry that she sold from a display board!
We arrived to a pleasant warm bay accessed via the ladders at the back of the boat.
We explored, floated around, relaxing and talking as always. We had met some new friends. They were not on our cruise but touring Turkey and spending time in the Kas area. Chi Nan Chen and Ivy Yang of Taipei, Taiwan took some pics of us and helped us enjoy our day! This is one of the things we enjoy most about our travel is meeting new friends! The water in October was very warm! It was nice to have goggles. We had not wanted to drag along snorkel gear on this trip so we bought some swim goggles at Target which proved to be a wise move. After about 40 mins we were called back to the boat and went to a second swimming spot, and then a third. At the third spot there were a few ruins from the sunken city that we could explore. so we paddled around and took a few pics.
But I find myself pondering if it really sunk or if the portion of it that was once in the water has further deteriorated than the portions out of the water.
Next we were off to a beautiful bay where we anchored and were served the most delicious Turkish meal for Lunch.
Greek Salad, pastsa, rice, vegtables, and skewers of meat that the lady of the boat had grilled over fire at the stern. Drinks were not included, but they were all available and reasonably priced. Of course we chose wine and then we were allowed to run a tab, which was very nice. After our delicious meal we sailed over to Simena Orenyeri Archeological Site, where we docked at the base of the hill.
We were given the choice of exploring the settlement, or climbing to the castle. The settlement was just a few homes and business nestled in the side of the hill but of course we chose the castle. We really did see both because getting to the Castle was a trek through the settlement. When we arrived at the Castle, there was a lady asking for money for an entry fee. We all figured it was a scam, as NOBODY had mentioned there would be a fee. After exploring a few of the surrounding paths we finally relented and offered to pay. The Castle was atop the hill overlooking the sea and was sure to be a beautiful view. She would only accept Turkish Lira and we had NONE. OR she said a charge card. We had that. When we extended the card she escorted us to a house, thru a turn style where there was a card reader. She gave us the first of MANY really fancy tickets with a holographic image. We then had to put this ticket in the turnstyle, to pass back through it to enter the national park. Guess it was NOT a scam, and it seems that we were already in the park, we had just not seen the official entry point for some reason. It’s a path problem…. sigh. Since we were now legitimately in we climbed our way to the top for the view.
We think they are confusing the terms FORT and CASTLE. This appeared to only be a fort, not a home where a king had lived. From the top we could also see all the crypts on the adjacent hillside. We wondered among them some but we did not have much time, so only very quickly saw a small portion of the crypts. That’s OK, because the all look the same.
After a quick look around we quickly headed back to our small boat, and set sail for the port of Kaleüçağız where our day had originated. Part way there we pulled right into a cave to have a quick look around. I only have a video of the cave so watch for a new YouTube Post next week! On the final journey we were served Afternoon Turkish Tea – a nice touch on a perfectly relaxing romantic day.
The ONLY down side to this day was the 1 hour ride BACK to Kas in the van. We all were returned right to the port area, but Lynn and I needed to find that Wifi again so we headed back to the coffee shop from the morning. While checking email Rob received a call from a client, which was really too bad because there was nothing left for Lynn to do while Rob talked so she wandered into a jewelry store! Silver Harmoni a local Retail and Wholesale Jeweler had some very unique pieces! And a deal that was too good to pass up after Rob finished his call. After a beautifully romantic day we made our way back to the Tender dock hand in hand. While waiting for a tender we took a couple photos of the ship with the setting sun behind it…..
Lynn says this is her favorite port. We were totally impressed with how clean and modern Turkey was. We were also dissapointed that Azmara said Turkey readily accepted Euros. ANY visit to Turkey REQUIRES Lira. A visit to Isreal may survive on Euros, but not Turkey. Next time we come we shall be prepared! NONE Of the sites in Turkey accept anything other than Lira. You can use a credit card in retail stores.
Kas Turkey is going on our bucket list of places we would like to return to some day. We learned that there are many fun tourism attractions in the area!
Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned travelers and Cruises Inc. Travel Agents
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