Thursday, July 21, 2005

Turquoise Waters, Treehouses and Beyond

The past 12 days have been unbelievable. I'll do my best to do them justice, but I am afraid I won't even come close.

We'll start way back in Fethiye (it seems like ages ago!). It didn't take long after my arrival to realize that Fethiye is even more touristy than some of the other places I had been. It was an immediate assault on the nerves as vendor after vendor tried to sell me boat cruises, tours, carpets, belly dancing costumes, and various other useless objects in my life right now. What the hell would I do with a carpet? I don't even have a home right now. Sheesh. I checked into my dank little hotel, with one redeeming quality - AC. I have never been happier to have AC in my life. While I have been a bit warm in some of the places I have been, Fethiye took the cake by far. I thought I was gonna melt (being as sweet as I am, that's not such a stretch - stop laughing, all of youse!!). Anyway, ran into some friends from Atilla's and had a good couple of days lying around on the beach with them, all while having a good laugh at being stalked by the same puppy dog-eyed Turkish English teacher named Jimmy. (He was working at the Chinese restaurant in town, and I guess at some point in our stays we all had decided that it was necessary to eat something other than a kebab. From the moment I sat down and told him I was an English teacher, all he wanted to do was discuss theory. It wasn't until I ran in to him later that night that he decided to follow me around with very sad eyes because I wasn't interested. Did I mention he was 19?? lol)

After two days of Jimmy-dodging, I got on the boat for Olympos. It was an interesting mix, a Canadian family, a Turkish family, five Aussies and another American(from SF no less, older than me who had also dropped out of the advertising scene recently to travel the world. I guess that little life can fatigue just about anyone) We all had a BLAST. Who wouldn't aboard a big ass sailboat (even though we motored the whole way) in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, with nothing to do all day but snorkel, nap, drink beer, swim, drink more beer, sleep some more... Honestly. How could that be bad?? Leave it to the families to find a way. The last night of our trip was the designated "big party" night. We anchored in this tiny cove consisting of nothing but rocks and a bar. We were all water taxied to the club to dance the night away.. I'm sorry, I believe the proper term for what were doing was "Caaaaaaahhhving" up the dance floor (must be spoken with a heavy Aussie accent). SuperTool (our nickname for the annoying guy on the boat) managed to pass out on the deck of the bar within an hour of arrival. Way to go dude! We all took pics, and had we had a Sharpie the poor guy would still be trying to erase the tatoos from his forhead. So as the night wound down and we were shuttled back to the boat, we turned on the music on deck, cracked open a couple of beers and continued harrassing ST. Within seconds, Bonnie the Superlibrarian from Canada comes bounding around the corner and without saying a word to anyone, turns the music off. Now granted, I understand that they were trying to sleep, and it was late, BUT, if I were a family and wanted a peaceful boat cruise, would I book it through a company called BIG BACKPACKERS, who touts their "good times" attitude? Not really what I would look for in a family vacation, but to each his own. After a heated discussion with the captain a compromise was reached and all was happy. However the whole backpacker experience turned the Librarian and family off of staying in Olympos for a few days. But not the rest of us.

We all piled into a hostel together and spent the next two days hanging out on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The mountains dropped directly into the sea, save for a few meters of polished stone beach. The cliff walls around the beach were dotted with ruins from one of the many ancient civilizations in the area. This whole country is a bit surreal. I've been to cities that were founded in 7900 b.c. for crying out loud. American history? Can we even call it history at this point? Isn't more like the recent past? lol Just a different perspective I guess. We alos took a hike up to see the Chimera flames, which is basically random flames shooting out of the rocks on the side of the mountain. Our hostess gave us a bag of marshmallows and some roasting sticks and sent us on our merry way. Quite an experience.

As we were heading out of Olympos, we stopped by one of the older hostels just to check it out. The big draw to Olympos is supposed to be this whole "treehouse" thing, except that the majority of the pensions didn't really get the concept. A house made of trees two inches off the ground does NOT constitute a tree house. Kadir's, however, got it right. They had honest to god treehouses built in the trees. We couldn't resist and booked another night in the only treehouse in Olympos with its own bathroom. Sweet.

The next night we all ventured off on an overnight bus to Goreme, Cappadocia to see some of the most unbelievable scenery I have ever seen in my entire life. When I said I felt like I was living in a movie set, I wasn't kidding. This place is amazing. More on that soon...

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