Wintering in Cyprus

Sunday, July 3, 2016 14:34 | Filled in Uncategorized

Last summer we decided to explore Cyprus and winter there.  We arrived at Latchi, Cyprus in July and sailed around the island, from Latchi to the UN border.  We found many beautiful places to stop and had a great summer.

 

Blue Lagoon near Latchi

Blue Lagoon near Latchi

One of my favorite places was Serenity Bay on the East Coast.  The bay was peaceful and the taverna ashore was delightful.

 

Serenity Bay Beach Bar

Serenity Bay Beach Bar

There were many beaches to visit and harbors to stop at when a stop was needed to resupply the boat.

Our longest stay was at Limassol in the marina.  We stayed there six months and enjoyed the time immensely.

With the many trips available and advice supplied by the City’s Tourist Office we had a great Winter.  There where many sights to see and activities to keep us active from October to April.  At Limassol Marina, we spent time working on the boat and finding out about the different activities available.

In November, the city of Limassol offered bus rides for winery tours through the 6 wine routes in Cyprus.  That was one of our favorite activities.  We would samples wines and find some favorites and then visit a local village. Read the rest of this entry »

Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 5:59 | Filled in Travels

Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, lies in the southeastern part of Turkey in the province of Cilicia. It was the ancient capital of the area. It is claimed to be a 9,000 year old city and has been fought over and changed by Hittites, Greeks, Romans and other civilizations for all that time.  Today, there are a few remains of the Roman era around the time of St. Paul, and many pilgrims and visitors come to see where the famous apostle lived.

At the time St. Paul was living in Tarsus there were many schools of philosophy in the city and it was believed that St. Paul was influenced by them. It is said that he went to a school of rhetoric and honed his skill and style of speaking.  Because of his Roman citizenship and educational background he was able to communicate effectively to many groups at the time.

In Tarsus today,  there are ruins of some Roman structures.  There is a very good excavated sample of a roman road that went through town to the agora.

 

Roman Road, Tarsus

Roman Road, Tarsus

Businesses near Roman Road, Tarsus

Businesses near Roman Road, Tarsus

 

Roman Road, Tarsus

Roman Road, Tarsus

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Modern Day Odysey

Saturday, June 20, 2015 7:56 | Filled in Uncategorized

I’ve been reading the story, “The Odysey” by Homer and it reminds me a little of our travels.   Of course, we haven’t run across any Cyclops, sex crazed Goddesses or man eating people, etc.  However, while traveling through the Aegean you never know what you may come across.  There are always new adventures, people to meet, puzzles to solve and situations to ponder.  Now I know why it took Odysseus so many years to get back home.  There are such delightful experiences to be had on the water and when visiting other places.

Food is always an amazing issue.  Even in parts of Turkey, food is served differently and sometimes can be amusing to us.

 

Garnishes for starts

Garnishes for starts

 

One of my favorite enjoyments of travel is to view beautiful scenes as we visit a new place.  Sometimes there are hidden surprises.

 

Lovely Beach

Lovely Beach

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Another Community, Another Boat

Thursday, May 7, 2015 11:15 | Filled in Travels

Yes, we moved ORCA to Finike and met our future boat buyer.  So, we have said our goodbyes to ORCA and we found another boat in Bodrum and sailed her to Finike.  How life can change quickly, when you least expect it.  We had planned to go to Cyprus and Egypt with ORCA, but now we will explore life on another boat.  Our new boat is OCEAN DREAM.  She is just a little shy of 35 feet and has much more living space, meaning more comfort.

 

OCEAN DREAM

OCEAN DREAM

 

We spent half the Winter getting used to OCEAN DREAM and repairing and improving her both inside and out.

While in Finike  we had a great time with a very active community.  There were Sunday BBQs, Wednesday Coffee Hour, Friday Concerts and various activities, such as guitar practice, yoga, card games, etc.  So, we were kept busy and I was off the computer a lot.

 

Socials

Socials

 

I got involved with a guitar/music group and had fun with singing while they played.  Musicians just enjoy jamming.

 

Music Group

Music Group

 

The marine at Finike is full of sailors from all over the globe.  We have enjoyed sharing many foody experiences and much fellowship.  We had a great winter and a safe one.

 

Finike Marina

Finike Marina

 

We love to hike and there are several long trails that can be explored.  Our big hike followed a large gorge down the hill.  It was dry when we came by, but is very torrential when it rains.

 

Finike Hills

Hiking along the Finike Hills

 

Gorge Trail

Trail to Gorge in Finike

 

River Gorge in Finike Hills

River Gorge in Finike Hills

We will miss Finike with it’s beautiful mountains, people and all.   Finike will always be remembered with fondness and we will keep in touch with many people we met there.

It is time for further travels and presently we are in Gazipasa.  There will be more adventures to talk about on this summer’s slow cruise.

 

Symbol of Finike

Symbol of Finike

 

Finike Beach and Mountains

Finike Beach and Mountains

The Importance of Community

Thursday, July 24, 2014 15:27 | Filled in Travels

While we waited out the rough weather of Winter in Marmaris, Turkey, we’ve enjoyed good fun with the small community of cruisers and members of the greater town community.   We’ve had many celebrations, walks, talks, moments to stop and socialize.  Sometimes I forget how important being part of a community is.  I noticed over time I spent more time being involved with the people around me and have not added to the blog for those in the other communities I have been involved with in the past.  So sorry, life can get very involving.  Since leaving Marmaris in May to accompany some friends down the Danube (my second time), I’ve come to recognize the great benefit of communities and what they do for us.

 

Christmas Celebration

Christmas Celebration

 

A Special Celebration for a Special Lady

A Special Celebration for a Special Lady

 

We’ve celebrated many birthdays, holidays and many spontaneous adventures.  A few of us joined together to become the hikers, originally “The Dead End Hiking Gang”.   It seemed we made a few wrong turns when first exploring the area, but we soon found some pretty exciting views.   We also joined other cruiser families and it was a joy to have the kids along.

 

 

Hiking with friends

Hiking with friends

 

Hiking - Kids Leading the Way

Hiking – Kids Leading the Way

 

Many of us ladies enjoyed getting together for coffees and exploring around town visiting the art and cultural centers.   In the picture below, some of us are in front of a cultural center where women are encouraged to learn and practice traditional methods of weaving fabrics (rugs, clothing and other household items).  They could then sell them at this site, if they wished.

 

Visiting a cultural center

Visiting a cultural center

 

Marmaris has many events that are open to the greater populace to enjoy.  We attended a musical dance presentation at the fountain center, where we enjoyed the local dances and the Turkish doughnut holes that where given away.  There were seasonal presentations of traditional musical that we enjoyed.

 

Turkish Dance Presentation

Turkish Dance Presentation

 

Yummy Donuthole for the Public

Yummy Donutholes for the Public

 

Sometimes when there is a special holiday being celebrated lighted candles were sent up into the air.  It is a touching sight to see.

 

Sending up lighted candles

Sending up lighted candles

 

Through all these encounters with friends and community I’ve come to realize that community is very important for our growth.  It supports emotionally and gives us strength for encounters ahead.  We have shared joyful moments and tearful ones.  These shared moments have brought us closer together to express our love and care for each other and to understand each others strengths and needs.  This brings its own peace.

I think about St. Francis and how he grew with the help of his followers that he called brothers.  He shared their struggles and became wiser, humbler and at peace.   I wish you all a good adventure in discovering this peace.

 

Busy Summer, Sailing Northern Greece

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:44 | Filled in Travels

There is a lot to see in Northern Greece.  This summer we decided to cover the section from Thessaloniki to Thassos, with a lot in between.    Weather to an extent dictated where we would go and also mooring possibilities were not always available.  Our first objective was to go as far North before the southerly breezes died and the northerly winds began.

We sailed up to Lesvos to a few quiet bays and small towns.  Sigri being one of our favourite small places.  We hiked around the area.  There is a Petrified Forest Museum here, in which you can see the remains of large trees that were covered and preserved in ash.

 

 

Sigri, Greece

Sigri, Greece

 

Orthodox Church, Sigri, Greece

Orthodox Church, Sigri, Greece

 

 

Then off to Limnos stopping at Mirina with it’s interesting commercial streets and incredible castle.  Limnos is also famous for it’s wines, which we took advantage of.

 

Commercial Street, Mirina, Limnos, Greece

Commercial Street, Mirina, Limnos, Greece

 

Mirina, Greece, from the castle hights

Mirina, Greece, from the castle heights

 

and of course the castle.

 

Mirina Castle, Mirina, Greece

Mirina Castle, Mirina, Greece

 

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Summer Sailing has Begun

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:32 | Filled in Travels

After a long winter in Marmaris, we have decided to get back to sailing again.  After checking our stores and getting the boat “ship shape” we have set out.  It is quite sad to have to say “goodbye” to many of our friends, who we spent the Winter with, but we will either keep in touch with them through e-mail or we will see them next Winter in Marmaris.

 

Leaving Marmaris, Turkey

Leaving Marmaris, Turkey

 

Our first stop was in Serce Limani.  We thought we would be the only boat there, but there were two other boaters who anchored there for the night.  I guess the sailing season starts early here.

We did not go ashore, but enjoyed some relaxing time on the boat.  Serce Limane is very peaceful.  When we first arrived we were greeted by a squid.  It came out to the boat than swam away.  I have never seen a squid in the water before, so it was quite a treat.  The water also was quite clear.  We had one purple squid in the afternoon and another came by, that was almost transparent, towards evening.

 

Friendly Squid

Friendly Squid

 

We decided to get up early the next morning and leave for the Datca Peninsula.  One nice thing about getting up early, one can enjoy the colorful sunrises.

 

Sunrise, Serce Limane, Turkey

Sunrise, Serce Limane, Turkey

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Visiting Antalya

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 13:17 | Filled in Travels

Wintering in Marmaris, Turkey has given us many opportunities to wander through the interior of Turkey.   Since the weather has not been inviting to sail we have been enjoying the community here and other locations nearby.   One of our recent trips was to the Antalya area.  We shared a car with some fellow boaters and enjoyed three days of visiting the sights.  On our way there we drove through the mountains and reached Termessos in the late afternoon.

 

Snowy Mountains

Snowy Mountains

 

 

Our first stop was to the ancient site of Teremessos.  Alexander the Great came through this area and the people of this mountainous city were so ferocious and well protected, he decided to let them be and passed by.

 

Lower wall, Teremessos

Lower wall, Teremessos

 

Teramessos, Turkey

Teramessos, Turkey

 

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Crete Highlights

Friday, December 7, 2012 6:19 | Filled in Travels

 

 

One of my  favourite islands of Greece is Crete.  It just seems to have it’s own cultural difference and charm.  Definitely, a place to revisit to enjoy more.  We travelled the northern coast from Gramvousa in the West to Sitia in the East.

 

Gramvousa is a very beautiful site, with tall mountains, beautiful beaches and a historical castle.  We stayed here for several days because of the rough seas and we enjoyed it’s natural beauty.

 

Gramvousa Beach

Gramvousa Beach

 

There are a few “day tripper” boats that bring people to this isolated area.  There are no roads here and one can only reach this destination by boat.  On top of the hill is a large Venetian Castle.

 

Castle Entrance, Gramvousa

Castle Entrance, Gramvousa

 

The view from the castle is spectacular and there is still a small church on the top.

 

Castle Church, Gramvousa

Castle Church, Gramvousa

 

During our travels through this area, we chose to stop sometimes because the winds were very strong and the seas uncomfortable.

 

Windy with rough seas

Windy with rough seas

 

Gramvousa was also known to be a pirate’s hangout.   There were some caves in the mountainside that we peeked into.  Throughout Greece there are many caves that were used as tombs, storage places and at times shelter for animals. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer in Greece – Symi to Peloponissos

Friday, September 21, 2012 7:18 | Filled in Travels

We took some time to sail to Greece, leaving Turkey in June, for a little summer vacation.  Our first stop was Symi to check in to Greece.  We stayed for a few days and then went off to venture through the Aegean across to the Peloponissos, to Crete and then returned up to Marmaris.  We saw so many beautiful places and met some new friends.

 

Fantastic Views Greece
Fantastic Views

 

 

One of the most interesting sights for me were the fantastic views that one can see from the islands.  Many are old volcanoes and so the cliffs can be sheer and most dramatic.

 

Terracing - Folegandros Island

Terracing - Folegandros Island

 

 

Many of the islands have been terraced to collect moisture to grow crops.  Many are no longer used, but their existence points to the great agricultural development that was so necessary for survival on these islands.  Today the islands produce some agriculture, but many are dependent on the delivery of goods by ferries.  Tourism is the big industry on most islands and there are passenger ferries that come on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »