A Drive Along the Turquoise Coast

May 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm 1 comment

Fethiye

The harbor at Fethiye, Turkey.

After we got off the gulets in Fethiye, we got back on the motorcoach and began the long drive east to the city of Antalya, where we would spend the next three nights. We took the scenic route along the Mediterranean coastline; Gökhan said it might remind us of the California coastline, and he was right.

Even the long bus rides on this trip have been fun. Gökhan is a font of knowledge on just about any subject, and has many stories to tell. I wish I had had a video recorder going the other day when he told, hilariously, of his first experience downhill skiing in Colorado. Suffice it to say there was an emergency-room visit involved.

We also make frequent “rest stops,” usually at the Turkish equivalent of a big Sheetz or Wawa, where we pay one Turkish lira to use the restroom, then maybe buy some hazelnuts or Turkish delight (a gummy confection that’s found everywhere over here), and some of us try to catch a wi-fi signal on our iPhone or iPad. Gökhan has taught me how to ask the clerk for the wireless password: “Kablosuz şifresi?”

Anyway, not long after leaving Fethiye, we stopped at an overlook near the town of Kalkan for one of the best photo ops on the trip—a stunning view, which you can see in the photo at left. The overlook once provided the cover photo for The Rough Guide to Turkey.

We all took turns taking pictures of each other at the overlook, then climbed back into the bus.

We made another photo stop near the harbor at Kaş (pronounced KAWSH), where we could see the Greek island of Meis, maybe five miles, if that, off the coast. That’s one thing we’ve learned on this trip: There are a number of Greek islands that are much closer to Turkey than to Greece. And if you look at a map, you can see that—geologically speaking, anyway—they clearly should be part of Turkey.

Kas_Turkey

Part of the harbor of Kas, Turkey, with the Greek island of Meis at 9 o'clock.

This is a sore subject with the Turks. As Gökhan explained it, the islands were given to Greece after World War II as part of the Treaty of Paris. Turkey didn’t have a say in the matter, apparently.

(And the Turks are the only ones who call this particular island Meis—everyone else calls it Kastellorizo.)

The other thing Gökhan told us about Kaş harbor was that he once worked on excavating a shipwreck there. Gökhan has a Ph.D. in archaeology and, when he’s not leading tourism trips for Odysseys Unlimited, he does archaeology research under the auspices of the Institute for Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M.

The ship he worked on, about 25 years ago, was the Uluburun, which dates to the Bronze Age—more than 1,000 years B.C. It had been a cargo ship, and Gökhan and his colleagues brought up 11 tons of copper and tin ingots from the wreck. That particular expedition was sponsored by the National Geographic Society, and National Geographic magazine apparently devoted a good bit of its December 1987 issue to the story.

The other highlight of our coastal drive was our extended stop in Demre, the hometown of St. Nicholas, and a visit to the ancient ruins of Myra. Both the town and the ruins were outstanding. More about them in a future post.

Tina Hay, editor

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Faces of Turkey The Hometown of St. Nick

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. turkey islands | CRUISES IN TURKEY GUIDE  |  May 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    […] A Drive Along the Turquoise Coast « The Penn Stater MagazineDescription : That’s one thing we’ve learned on this trip: There are a number of Greek islands that are much closer to Turkey than to Greece. And if you look at a map, you can see that—geologically speaking, anyway—they clearly should be part of …https://pennstatermag.com/2011/ .. […]

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