Sailing in Turkey & Greece, Spring/Summer 2014

In the Spring of 2014 we returned to Turkey and Greece to once again join up with Jack & Yvonne on their 75′ gullet Teodora, this time with Jack’s daughters Kimi and Karen joining us, along with his granddaughter Malaika. The timing was similar to our trip last year, two weeks in length and starting from the same place in Bodrum, but a few new places were added to explore in both Greece and Turkey. Teodora’s hull had been recently painted, the wood varnished and new white cushion covers added so she looked really good sitting at the dock in Bodrum. We flew in from Nice to Istanbul but our flight was late landing and getting to the gate, and then the immigration line-ups were very long so we ended up missing our connecting flight. Fortunately they had another one latter that day and we finally arrived at the boat around 11PM.

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Istanbul, Turkey

On our way back from Bodrum we stayed in Istanbul for a few days. This was when protests had been going on for two weeks in Taksim Square over a park that is supposedly going to be turned into a shopping center and parking lot. Seems this was the “hair that broke the camel’s back”, as the protests grew into anger over what some of the Turkish people see as Prime Minister Erdrogan’s strong Islamic position that he is trying to bring more into what has been mostly a secular country up to now. On the Saturday when we left the army came in with water guns and pepper spray and ousted all the people from the park who had been camping there. I don’t think this is the end of it though.

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Bodrum, Turkey Sailing Trip

After our Cappadocia trip, we flew back to Istanbul, catching quickly another domestic flight that took us to Bodrum on the southern coast of Turkey. We arrived at lunch time and met up with our hosts, Jack & Yvonne, at the boat. The boat is a wonderful 70 ft motor sailboat, a copy of the German-made Jongert, a boat that Jack has admired for many years. When he saw it for sale last September in Bodrum, he bought it that same day. Very spacious, especially with deck space, making it more comfortable cruising than your traditional monohull sailboat. This would end up actually end up being more of a “motoring” than a “sailing” trip, as there were adjustments still needed to be made to the sails, and the the mizzen’s mast was cracked and needed to be repaired. But that didn’t stop us from having a good time!

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Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list for places to visit before we actually “kick the bucket”. We visited at the beginning of June in 2013 for a couple of days, before heading out on  a sailing trip through Bodrum, staying in the town of Urgup at the boutique hotel Meleklerevi. A nice place with great hosts (Arzu & Muammer) who gave us plenty of great ideas of what to do and see while in Cappadocia. Muammer has a map  he can supply you with for all the places you should try to fit in while in Cappadocia. We were there for three days, which seems to be just about the right amount of time to get to know the area without rushing.

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Turkey Trip: Istanbul, Cappadocia & Bodrum

We have plans to join friend in Bodrum Turkey to spend a 12 days on the recently purchased Gulet. We decided to visit Cappadocia to see the unique landscape of “fairy chimneys”, colorful rock formations and caves prior to the sailing trip, and then a few days in Istanbul after.

Things to do Cappadocia:

  • Open Air Museum: If you stay in Goreme, you can walk the approximately 2km to the Open Air Museum. (No matter where you stay in Cappadocia, you don’t want to miss this UNESCO attraction.) The Open Air Museum is actually a former Christian religious complex with nunneries, churches, houses, dining rooms, kitchens and more that was built — or, in this case, carved — between the 10th and 13th centuries and has long since been abandoned. The highlight is the Painted Churches, which refer to the well-preserved medieval frescoes adorning the interiors of some of the churches.
  • Love Valley from Goreme: When you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty, you just want to get there and walk around it. Most hikes require some form of transportation, but you can do a short hike in Love Valley, which is on the way to the Open Air Museum. (Take the path off the main road by the Cappadocia Tourist Hotel.) It’s a great area to see the “Fairy Chimneys,” which are rock formations that look like well, fair chimneys, or elongated mushrooms or something else entirely if you have a dirty mind. As you rise slightly in elevation, you get good sweeping views of the whole area.

Interesting Hotels in Capadaccio

Notes:

  • We made our air reservations with Turkish Airlines online, and they have a nice system. However, we were flying from Nice to Istanbul and wanted to spend a few days in Cappadocia. When we did the calculation as a multi-city reservation, the results was very expensive. So we did the Cappadocia reservation separately from our return Nice/Istanbul reservation, and it reduced the price considerably.