Turkish Delight. Yum.
27 May 2009
|I can't believe I left it this long again. I can't remember yesterday let alone way back in Ephesus so I'll have to make it pretty brief.
Basically from Selcuk we travelled down the coast of Turkey. Our first stop was a place called Fethiye which is a fishing town that likes to rain. It poured but we put on our ponchos and pretended like it was nice. So that was fine. We had one nice day so we went on a day cruise around the small islands just off the coast. It was beautiful but unfortunately the only nice day fell on a Saturday and Turkish children are not quiet. And there was a lot of them. But anyway, it was fine. We also met up with Em and Soph and Jolly again (our friends from home who we ran into in Istanbul) in Fethiye and caught up with them so that was cool.
After Fethiye came Kas, another fishing village but much bigger and much more beautiful. I loved Kas (pronounced cash). We rented a scooter for a day and i taught myself how to drive it around the town (very scary but funny) and then we drove about 20km's up the coast. It was amazing. It really hit me then that I was on the Mediterranean. It was a road cut into some cliffs that wound around and up and down through cliffs that met the ocean. Anyway so we scootered along and went to a few different beaches which were pretty amazing. Then we scootered back to Kas and drove in the other direction but got lost and ended up in country side. But yeah scootering was pretty cool. We made quite an impression in the town when we were trying to learn how to drive it... the next day almost every local we spoke to asked us if we were the two girls on the scooter yesterday. And then they laughed at us.
We also caught a bus about 45 minutes to a tiny town and then rented a fishing boat and went out to see the 'sunken city'... basically old ruins that are now flooded. It was okay, not as great as it sounds. But it was just nice puttering around on the boat and seeing some more of the coast.
From Kas we got a bus to Olympus. Olympus was very different. It's not even really a town its just a dirt road with 'tree houses' (hostels and hotels whith weird rooms made out of trees) all along it and a few mini-marts and bars, and then you can walk from there about 5 minutes through some ruins to get to the beach. It was interesting but very strange, we could have been anywhere in the world it wasnt like a Turkish town. The only resembalance of Turkey there was the yummy (free) turkish delight in the mini mart and the smell of apple shisha (aplle tobacco smoked through a water pipe). The beach was beautiful but the water was very oily, we never figured out why. So not the best place to swim but we had a really good time there and we had a tree house for the 5 of us (we were with Em, Soph and Jolly again) which was awesome.
Olympus was our last coastal town in Turkey. We started to head north again but inland this time, and stopped in a region called Cappadocia. Stayed in a town called Goreme and it was unbelievable. It looked like a fairytale town. Its hard to explain but basically it was huge rocks sticking up out of the ground, and all the hotels and shops are caves in these rocks. It's surreal. So we went from a treehouse by the beach to a cave in a big rock. Strange. We visited an open air museum in Goreme and saw the now deserted village with caves as houses. It was really cool we sat at a table in a cave which was like the kind of table you see the picutres of Jesus and his mates sitting at; the table and bench seats were carved out of the rock. Amazing.
We also went to a 'Turkish show' in Goreme. I think those kind of things are pretty tacky but it was out last night with Em, Soph and Jolly and it was pretty cheap and included dinner and unlimited drinks so we decided to go. It was actually very good, the Turkish dancers were great and the 'whirling dervishes' (guys in dresses who spin around and lie on the floor and do weird things with thier eyes) were very creepy but it was good to see. Anyway we hit up the unlimited drinks and before we knew it, it was midnight and we were heading to a bar just near our hostel. It's a long story but basically at about 2am the whole bar (all guys except for 5 girls) turned into a big brawl and we got locked in the bathroom by the owner of the bar who told us not to come out until he told us we could. It was crazy we were peeking out every now and then and these guys were insane... people were snapping pool cues over their knees and trying to stab eachother with them, and throwing bottles and all sorts of crazy stuff. The fight eventually moved outside so we were back out in the bar but we couldn't leave because the fight was happening just outside the doors, meanwhile the Jandarma (army) had come but weren't doing much. Just watching. I was sitting by a window and a bottle flew in and smashed the window and cut my neck (not badly at all I'm surprised nothing more happened) so we got put in the bathrooms again until the Jandarma took a few people off the jail and the others left. Then we were walked home. It was INSANE. Good story though and none of us were hurt at all so it was fine.
From Cappadocia we went back up to Istanbul and completed our loop of Turkey. Spend a couple of days back in Istanbul which was as great as the first time... went back to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar and walked around and just enjoyed the city really. Went out one night and saw a great Turkish band that were doing english covers they were awesome. After 2 days we got on a bus and said goodbye to Turkey. It was sad to leave because I just love that country so much. I've never been drawn to a country like that before and definitely want to go back and spent more time (and possibly even live) there.
The bus took us to Thessoloniki in Greece; about half way to Athens. It was overnight and it was a really good trip we both slept the whole way. Got off in Thessoloniki and walked around the city for about 2 hours with all our bags looking for the only hostel in town, which we finally found with a sign on the door telling us they were 'temporarily closed'. Apparantly the signs been on the door for years. Anyway so that was a problem because all the other places were too expensive for us. We looked for cheap places for about another hour and at this stage were fed up and sore from sitting still for 12 hours on a bus and then walking around a hot city for 3 hours with about 20kg's on our backs (see... travelling is hard sometimes!), so we went back to the bus station and got on a bus to Athens (another 7 hours).
Athens was okay... I'm not a huge fan of the place but the Acropolis was pretty cool (although I'm just about done with ruins by now) and the area we stayed in was cute. We only stayed for one night (it was also very expensive) and then we got on a boat to the Greek Islands!
Our first island was Paros and it was tiny and cute. We did the scooter thing again and rode around the whole island and explored. It was siesta time (around 2 or 3 pm) when we got to this tiny old village in the middle of the island and it was creepy because almost no one was out. We saw 3 people the whole time we were there. Weird. But yeah it was a very cool island we liked it a lot. The weather wasn't so good so after 2 days we decided to move out of our cabin in the campground (basically a wooden tent) and head to the next Island.
Naxos was a much much bigger island. We got off the boat and found the cheapest accommodation we could, and then got on a little shuttle for the people to take us to the room. We assumed it would be terrible because it was only 5 euro more than the wooden tent, which literally only fit 2 single beds pushed together and our bags in it. Anyway we arrived at we had a gorgeous studio apartment with a balcony and kitchen... we were so excited. It's pretty quiet in the Greek Islands until the end of May / start of June when the summer starts so I guess they just give these beautiful rooms to people for basically nothing, so they can at least make a little bit of money. Anyway we were very excited and went straight to the supermarket to buy food to cook (not many places we stay in have kitchens so we eat cold can food for dinner pretty much every night).
We had 3 days on Naxos and again, the weather wasn't great. After 5 days in the Greek Islands we still hadn't been to the beach which we weren't happy about. It was sunny but very windy. Anyway we didn't really do that much on the Island... we got a bus to a town up on a hill and looked around and then hung out in the port town but we really just wanted to get to the beach.
Santorini, where I am now, came after Naxos and it's been absolutley amazing. The gorgeous weather came the day we arrived and we found a really great hostel that is more like a hotel full of young people. We have made a group of friends (all travellers from different places) and we all get along really well which is cool. We went on a yesterday and climbed an active volcano which was pretty amazing but very hot. We also went to some natural hot springs... jumped off the boat into normal water and then swam into an inlet that just got warmer and warmer the further you went in. It was gross red water though so I didn't go very far. Other than that we have just been relaxing on the beach and by the pool and hanging out with our new friends. Tomorrow we are going to rent a quad bike and explore the island and then head up to the town on the cliff to see the famous Santorini sunset.
It's pretty amazing here. Maybe we will stay and work here for a month. Not sure yet but it's definitely a possibility!
My hand hurts from writing so much.