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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Kaş and Kekova

Kaş Delights

Spectacular Kekova Coast
Kaş is one of those towns that is made for relaxing.  In itself there are no spectacular sights but it is surrounded by plenty of outdoor delights. Kaş Karst-embedded Kekova coast takes your breath away.  We couldn't have picked a better vacation from the vacation. 

Kaş Market

Talk Time at the Kas Market
Talk Time at the Kaş Market
On Friday we went to the Kaş market, a short walk from the Hideaway Hotel.  It was a great place for photography since people, many of them from the countryside, are dressed more traditionally this is not Istanbul.  There were few tourists other than the British expats who live in Kaş. The market has many types of good for sale as well as food and spices.
Gözleme Time at Kaş Market
There are also food stalls with tiny tables and stools.  We had authentic gözleme. Göz means "compartment" and indeed this is a kind of crepe stuffed with cheese and/or spinach and various other fillings and cooked on a large pan.  The women come from villages and cook for Kaş literally!!  Definitely have the very reasonably priced gözleme here.

Is the Water Safe?

Kaş Market Was This Distinguished Man Posing for Me?
Was This Distinguished Man Posing?
Before going to Turkey, we heard and read so often that you cannot drink the water.  Water bottles were given for free in Istanbul.  Now it costs 2TL per bottle.  Have you eaten uncooked vegetables during your travels?  Brushed you teeth and toothbrush using the tap water?  Used ice in drinks?  If the water is bad, anything washed with that water would quickly make you sick!  Having travelled for three years in Asia we know from experience. 
Yummy Time at Kaş Market
Yummy Time at Kaş Market
We realized that we had been eating the raw veggies that are served with the kebabs, et al.  We never got sick.  It dawned on us that the water problem cannot be that bad.  Perhaps we have built up a better immune system. 
If the water is unsafe where you are going to travel or you just want to be sure then read about the steri-pen in the Drinking Water Tips page.  What a superb invention used by development agencies throughout the developing world! 


Karst-embedded Kekova Coast
Karst-embedded Kekova Coast
After lunch we drove past snowy coastal mountains to the side road to Kekova region (now a maritime park). We were stunned by the surprising surreal karst scenery of the Uçagiz (village) area. Unfortunately this is a narrow road with non-existent shoulders and heavy tour bus traffic though not too many cars.  So we looked for places to pull off the road and enjoy the views.  Even if they built some pullovers there would never be enough room.  There was a one km stretch that had the best views.
Near the Ancient Lycian Ruins of Kaleköy
We were told to go to the right by locals probably so we can but later we went the other way where the tour buses go and there was parking near some cafes and craft stores. All of these places were overpriced. However there are nice views of the coast. 
Cruise Time in Üçağız
We parked and walked along the harbour with lots of tour boats to view the underwater ancient Lycian ruins of Kaleköy - underwater due to an earthquake during the 2nd century.  It's located just past those jagged rocks in the middle of the water. Also note the many islands that were just to the right of the jagged rocks.  If you want to go on the boat cruise drive here in the morning or book the cruise from Kaş.

Çukurbağ Peninsula

Castle Time in Çukurbağ Peninsula
Castle Time in Çukurbağ Peninsula
Towards dusk, we took a self-guided "tour" of the Çukurbağ Peninsula.  This is where wealthy expats and locals buy villas.  According to a real estate storefront, houses sell from GBP 300,000 to 700,000 – yes in British Pounds as a lot of Brits retire here.  The house I want to buy is the one with a turret in the photo -- your personal castle on the coast.
This is also the location of the most expensive hotels.  My sister Umet (code name) asked if we were staying at the Peninsula Gardens Hotel that she saw on the Internet.  The rooms start at EUR 1190!!  That's way beyond our league. 
Our Turkey Trip Planning page shows that it is possible to economize simply by going in the off-season.  Now that we have left Istanbul and Bursa (expensive cities), we paid on average $65 per night including breakfast.  From mid-May to mid-Sep prices can sometimes triple or quadruple. 


Greek Theatre, Kaş with Kastellorizo
We woke up in the morning to beautiful views of Greece outside our window. Yes, I said Greece, as in the Greek Isles. This one is called Kastellorizo.  In other words the Ionian Islands synonymous with Ionic temples such as the ones in Priene, now Turkey, where Ionic Architecture originated.  Some of the most famous Greek Islands are just 6 to 18 km off the Turkish coast – Chios, Samos, Kos and Rhodos, better known to Anglos as Rhodes.  Rhodes was famous in ancient times as it held one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes.  Take a look at the artist's drawing on that web page.  Its arm stretched out in welcome, its head held a crown of sun beams, and its purpose was to welcome maritime visitors.  Does that sound familiar?  This statue was used as the design for the Statue of Liberty.

Yes, you can easily go by ferry to any of the islands.  But we decided that the focus of this trip was Turkey.  If you have unlimited time or have limited the geographical distances you are travelling then a Greek side trip is definitely feasible. Keep in mind the rule of thumb described on the Itinerary Planning page. 

I went to the ancient theatre outside our window in Kaş (see picture above). The outer wall was visible in the picture of the view from our window.  This is all that is left of the Ancient Greek city of Antiphellos.

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