Subject: 2 Weeks in Turkey # Part 4, On gulet and Fethiye (long)
Hi Ziners,

Days 8-10, 20-22 September, On board The gulets, small boats with 5-7 double cabins were once fishing boats but are now refitted and serve as tourist boats for short, shore-hugging trips.

Mine had 7 cabins. The top deck was lined with mattresses for sun-bathing, meals were take on deck and the lazy life lived there. The Captain, Mehment had two crew. Very pleasant, friendly young men, Mustafa and Ahmed. All of them spoke at least 3 languages. Mustafa is a university student doing between-semester work. Ahmed, the son of a fisherman enjoys working more with tourists than fishing for a living. The trip from Marmaris to Fethiye and back was actually a planned 7-day cruise. I would be with them for only two full days, disembarking on the morning of the third day in Fethiye.

The cabin was more than sufficient for a solo traveler, but the 4 couples on board had some difficulties. There was not enough room for both of them to move around or dress in the cabin at the same time.

The food was fabulous, the company good and the days pure laziness. We sailed from one inlet or bay to another, swam off the side of the boat, ate and slept. Small boats often came by with fancy home-baked cakes and even with ice-dream!

When we stopped at a bay to swim Mustafa or Ahmed would take the rubber dinghy ashore and tie us up to a tree or a rock. Then it was lazing in calm, warm waters for a couple of hours before moving off to the next spot.

Evenings were warm and many of us slept on the deck. The crew had a small bunkroom in the fore part of the boat, but both they and the Captain often preferred to sleep on deck as well. One of them was always either on deck or in the small bar on the first sleeping deck.

A relaxing and pleasurable experience.

Day 10, 22 September, Fethiye We docked in Fethiye at about 10 that morning. A few of us decided to join a jeep tour of the Lyddian (Lycian) Rock Tombs, Salikent Gorge and Xanthos (Caunas). It would end with a swim at the second longest sand beach in Turkey.

It is thought that the Lyddians may have been ancestor worshippers. The tombs are located in the sheer rock walls of the mountain itself. They range in size from small one- room houses to villas with many rooms in them. They date from the 4th century BC. You can go into some of them and see the beautiful decorations and wall paintings. Walking around this ancient site and imagining the city as it was then is an experience not to be missed.

Near-by is the ancient city of Xanthos with part of the city walls still standing from the Archaic period, part rebuilt with a varying amount of success. The Roman theatre is almost complete and can be climbed to get a good view over the ruins of the acropolis. There is a temple, the ruins of a church, towers and a Roman bath.

Conquered many times the history of the city tells of great heroism and resistance.

The Salikent Gorge is awesome! The waters rush out of the rocks with great force forming white-water rapids. The steep walls on either side seem to rise forever. Walking along the boardwalk leads you to calmer waters that you can climb down and wade in  the water is cold!! Older bridges that have been destroyed can be seen. The newer bridges are built for strength and durability rather than for picturesqueness (is that a word?), I'm glad to say!

As you leave the Gorge area you pass through an open bazaar that is ridiculously expensive, and then onto an area that has a number of places to eat and rest. There are turkeys and chickens wandering freely here  seems that they earn their living, because they eat the scorpions!! As mid-day approached they gathered under the parked cars to take advantage of the shade. A unique sight to see indeed.

The streams in this area are calm and a pleasure to sit by and eat a relaxed meal. The food is good and plentiful. I had a Turkish pancake here called gozleme. Not at all like the sweet pancakes we know. They are rolled from non-rising flour and filled with herbs, cheese, onions, garlic and local spices  delicious!

After lunch we stopped at a government sponsored weaving co- operative. The women showed us how they weave the uniquely Turkish double-knot rugs. It was fascinating. The women are all partners in the enterprise and receive a percentage of the income from the sales in addition to their salaries. They are not required to work set hours, but come in on the days of their own choice and work as many hours as they choose. The agriculture in this area is also government subsidized.

After a swim at the sand beach I was dropped off at my hotel in Fethiye. Dinner here was a set meal with no buffet choices. This is the first (and thankfully the only) time that I have experienced that kind of a meal in Turkey. The hotel itself, The Majestic, is located on the top of a steep hill and too far from town to walk. It is a nice enough mid- range hotel, with it's own swimming pool used mainly by British organized tour groups from what I could see. Breakfast was a limited buffet.

Debbie - Israel