Even in these days of digital photography, my hubby always prints out a selection of photos from every trip and painstakingly puts them into albums…..and, although, we mock him about this, I am always so grateful that we have a whole cupboard full of memories…. Paging through photograph albums on a balmy Sunday afternoon is much more pleasurable than sitting in front of a computer!
This is exactly what I was doing when I came across the photos of our first “cruising” adventure – guleting on the turquoise coastline of Turkey. Talk about being transported back in time. Granted, it was only to the year 2000, but still, it feels like ages ago.
I immediately wanted to share that memorable holiday, but, to do this, I have had to scan in all the pics…. What a chore! It also made me realize what absolute amateurs we were at taking photos (not that we are professionals now). Cameras have also improved so much that almost anyone can take a “good” pic these days….. but still, please don’t be too critical about my old Fuji pics….
Guleting on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey
We travelled in a fleet of two magnificent vessels (known as Gulets). I remember arriving in Bodrum and thinking that I must be dreaming. The Gulets were just so beautiful; built of Mediterranean pine, African mahogany and teak, all gleaming, glorious and oh so romantic. From the moment you kick your shoes off to step on board, you know you are about to start an adventure of a lifetime.
Turkish Food is Fresh, Healthy and delicious
Each boat was crewed by a Master, Cook and Steward – all lovely, friendly local people who quietly went about their business to make your stay onboard as comfortable as possible. Meals were healthy feasts of local cheeses, fresh salads, yoghurt, beautifully prepared dishes of meat, fresh beans or aubergine and tomato, wild rice, pasta or couscous. Depending on your choice of “poison”, you could choose either the light, but delicious EFES beer or a bottle of the equally excellent local wine.
Take me back to that crystal clear blue water…
Turkey’s Southern Coastline is not known as the “Turquoise Coast” for nothing – I can never forget seeing that crystal clear water. I don’t really enjoy swimming in the sea or at least, not in our rough and tumble sea, but, I can remember feeling quite nervous stepping off the boat and wondering if I might drown….. But it was pure bliss and I am afraid that after that trip, only the Med would do for me!!!
Most days after lunch, we would put on our walking shoes, go ashore and explore the ruins of Greek, Roman and Byzantine cities. It was dry and hot but hiking up into the mountains where the only people you came across were perhaps the odd shepherd with his herd of goats or another tier of ruined terraces was amazing. You were simply transported back in time and could only imagine how those ancient people lived.
I remember meeting some people living high up a mountain. They humbly welcomed us to sit in the shade next to their makeshift home and offered us some cool apple tea….
Another day we visited a local carpet “co-op” in a small village. All the carpets are made by the villagers and sold at the co-op. Each carpet was a work of art, perfection and perseverance. One could only wonder how much longer these ancient skills would survive in this modern world of instant gratification.
The taste of sea fresh calamari..
One day, we weighed anchor in a tiny inlet and went ashore in search of some fresh calamari - I can still taste that calamari and those ice cold beers….
I truly believe that the secret to happiness could be as simple as remembering the good times – I know I have a smile on my face looking at these old photographs.
Happiness in remembering balmy nights, turquoise days, blue seas, and gentle breezes
Have you visited the Turquoise Coast of Turkey? What about those magnificent vessels, the gulets, have you been on one? Time to make memories!