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Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey

Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey

Old Mar 14th, 2013, 05:04 PM
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Hi kja,
I reread this, as I'm getting into more detail prep for our trip.

Can you elaborate on how you booked your boat trip in Ucagiz? I suppose they speak English enough to understand what you are asking for?
Was it pre-arranged?
Did you share with others?
Did you get off the island? If so, any sense of how long you spent there?

Thanks
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Old Mar 14th, 2013, 06:51 PM
  #82  
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Hi, xyz -

The English-speaking hosts of my B&B in Ucagiz arranged my boat trip. As I recall, the boat's captain spoke only a few words of English, if that - but words weren't really needed. I was the only person, other than the captain, on the boat. My ride lasted a bit over an hour.

As I recall, the B&B host initially said he could arrange a fishing boat for 60 TL or a glass-bottomed boat for 100 TL, with either rate covering 1.5 hours on the water. I admit that I have no idea what the going rates were, but those prices were substantially higher than my (presumably out-of-date) guidebooks had suggested. I ended up negotiating a rate of 80 TL for a glass-bottomed boat for a ride that would be at least an hour.

I don't know if the extra price for a glass-bottomed boat was worth it: The only things that I saw through the pair of glass windows were a very few amphorae. I actually didn't see them on the first pass, and I give my captain credit for realizing that I hadn't looked in time and circling back and making a special effort to ensure that I did see them. That was the only thing that required the "glass bottom," which the captain kept covered through the rest of the trip. (I remember seeing a movie during my youth about a glass-bottomed boat that featured a boat that "really" had a glass bottom. This boat just had a pair of adjacent windows, and they were not visible until the captain rolled back a carpet and opened some hatches.) To be clear, it was interesting to see the amphorae in situ; I'm just not sure it was worth the extra cost.

I did not get out of the boat in the little bay near Kekova, nor had I wanted to - that was something I had discussed with my B&B hosts and so was part of the negotiation. My boat passed a place where several boats were moored and people were swimming. It looked like a pleasant little inlet. From what I read - which could be mistaken - no one is currently allowed to swim over the sunken city (part of an effort to preserve what remains). I suspect that children would find the chance to swim in this nearby inlet quite delightful. I also noted that some of the people on a few tour boats were quite vocally encouraging their tour-mates to get back on board so they could move on.

I didn't get off the boat at all, and must admit that I was a bit surprised - I had thought my negotiators understood that I wanted to get off at Kale to briefly explore the town and tombs. They were probably confused because I had said I did not want to climb to the top of the fortress walls. When I realized that my captain was not stopping there on the way out of Ucagiz, I didn't protest, thinking that he might be planning to stop there on the way back. When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I decided not to say anything, because I suspected that there had been some miscommunication along the line -- the captain had too much to lose by failing to honor an agreement with a local businessman, and so the misunderstanding was probably between me and the negotiator. Too, it only became clear that we weren't stopping there on the way back when we were already some distance from Kale, the wind and waves were picking up, it had been near the agreed-upon hour, and I was pretty much ready to move on. It was lovely, but I'm not that good at just sitting for very long!

Hope this information is helpful!
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Old Mar 15th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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Hi kja,
Thanks for taking the time to provide all these details! I will have to see if our hotel in Kas might be able to arrange something for us.

I am not interested in the glass bottom boat – my worst sea sickness ever was in a glass bottom boat (that was more like a submarine, I admit), and while I understand this one is open, it would bring back bad memories. Plus, it really does not seem to be anything special, anyway.

We will just need to make sure they understand we want to get off at Kalekoy, and spend some tim there, explore the town, go up to the castle (I guess the view from there must be nice), see the tombs, and maybe have lunch there. Maybe they can just drop us off and pick us up later in the afternoon…
Thanks again, this was truly helpful.
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Old Mar 15th, 2013, 09:41 PM
  #84  
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Hi again, xyz -

It seemed to me that there were a lot of boats hovering around Kalekoy, so I'm sure that you'll find some options that suit your needs. Maybe our resident experts will chime in with advice?

I'm glad you found my comments helpful.
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Old Mar 16th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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That's my understanding too, that there are a lot of boats...I don't know though if that is also true in mid-Oct, and I'm concerned about the language barrier. Plus, I have no idea how much such a trip might be, and we usually pay the asking price. I know, not a good idea in Turkey
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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kja, Just wondering if you remember the name of the Hamam in Antalya as I would like a more local experience than touristy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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Sorry, WhistlerNorth, I didn't think to write down the name. I think there are several hamams in Antalya that are centuries old; your hotel may be able to help you select one.
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Old Apr 10th, 2013, 03:55 PM
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kja:

Hope you have a chance to see Syd:

SAT May 4 - Club Iota, Arlington, VA opening for Taylor Carson CD Release (this is basically DC, it's *right* across the river)
SUN May 5 - Mansion on "O", Washington DC, stripped down dining room show in the weirdest and cooleset mansion/B&B ever.
Stu
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Old Apr 10th, 2013, 04:27 PM
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Thanks, Stu - I am definitely looking forward to visiting the very quirky Mansion on "O" again. Hope all's well!
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Just read your trip report, kja....fascinating. Thanks for all the information.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 09:37 PM
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Thanks, barefootbeach!
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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Kja,
My daughter and I are only in CAppadocia for 2 and 1/2 days.
I have rented a car, but am afraid I will waste a lot of time finding places and may not get to see as much as we would like.Did you have any trouble navigating? It seems like you covered a lot of ground in one day!

Otherwise I was thinking of doing this instead:
We fly in at 10:45..if we take a private car service to the hotel in Goreme I imagine we will get there in time for lunch..and then I thought, since we are within walking distance of the Goreme Museum,we would do that, maybe walk in one of the valleys in Goreme...do you know if Zelve is also within walking distance of the Goreme Museum.

The next two days I thought we would either just take tours or rent a car one day and take a tour the next...the third day our flight is out of Kayseri at 8:25, so I thought if a tour brought us back to Goreme at 5:30, we could take a car service back to the airport.

Do you have any thoughts on the pros and cons of tour vs. DYI
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Old May 7th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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Hi, bnpast -

> Did you have any trouble navigating?

Not because of the roads. I thought the roads in/around Goreme were generally well-marked, but I should add that I did have a GPS system with me, so I might not have noticed if there were any poorly marked intersections. One word of warning: Those first few glimpses of fairy chimneys are very distracting! I first saw some very near the Goreme Open Air Museum, as I was driving the narrow, twisting road down from the plateau to the valley in which Goreme sits, and OMG, I nearly drove off that road! So take it slow and leave plenty of room for braking (for yourself and for any drivers in front of you).

> since we are within walking distance of the Goreme Museum,we would do that, maybe walk in one of the valleys in Goreme

There's a pleasant little valley just to the Goreme-side of the Goreme Museum, entrance to the left as you are walking back to town. You can walk in about a mile and then turn back. I think it was Zemi Valley, but I'm not positive, and I'm not sure it matters as I don't remember a sign.

> do you know if Zelve is also within walking distance of the Goreme Museum.

Well, that depends on what you consider walking distance! I arranged with my B&B to have someone leave me off at the Zelve Open Air Museum (where I spent about 1.5 hours) and then walked back to Goreme. The route is marked on a map that many local places seem to provide. It goes through Pasabag, where I spent about 1/2 hour, and then on to Cavusin, where I stopped briefly for tea. You then walk through a valley, with various options for exploring side valleys (e.g., the rose and red valleys), before heading back to Goreme. Unfortunately, I missed the turn-off, and so added about an hour to my hike. I ended at my hotel, after crossing the road to the Goreme Open Air Museum at a point that I think was about 10 minutes to the museum (but I can't swear to that). All told, my walk from the start of the Zelve Open Air Museum to Goreme took somewhere between 6.5 and 7 hours, including the time I spent at the museum and a LOT of time for taking photographs. I'm sure someone could walk it more rapidly if one wanted to do so. Or you could take longer, if you explore all the interesting side valleys or climb up to ridges for views, etc.

> Do you have any thoughts on the pros and cons of tour vs. DYI

I think that's really a matter of personal preference. The only place in Cappadocia where I thought a guide necessary was Kaymakli, the underground city I chose to visit. But I prefer to work without guides, and many people prefer to work with them.

There are many places in the area that can't be visited by foot. You have already realized that your options include a rental car, a hired car, or a group tour. Your call based on your preferences!

Hope that helps.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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bnpast:

We found DYI to be no harder or easier than most anywhere else we've driven. Except for the larger cities, very mild traffic, decent signage, plenty of petrol stations (do they still give you an automatic hand wash job while filling your tank?)

I think Kja would agree with these statements. Indepdendence in Turkey takes on a whole new meaning. It's such a pleasure getting to and going just where and when you want, or to some place you've heard about at the moment.

We probably did more mileage than most since in a months visit, along with everything else in mid- and western Turkey, we took in the lake district. I would have no qualms about driving it...does your daughter drive also?

kja..Syd appreciated seeing you at the mansion! Isn't Mia an awesome entertainer.

Stu
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Old May 7th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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I agree with Stu, although when I was there, washing a car was not part of the usual gas-filling routine.

<Stu -- I was so glad to see Syd and Mia, et al., again! Syd made me feel very welcome and passed on your regards. I look forward to seeing them again!>
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:36 AM
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kja, you will enjoy this (any other Fodorites at the Mansion?)

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...98BwIBnwG0x6UA

Stu

stuarttower at aol dot com
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Old May 8th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Great stuff, Stu - thanks! And the bonus was that I have now seen Syd with a full set of drums. (He actually played a wine box (plus) when I saw him last year - by choice, from what he told me. )
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Old May 9th, 2013, 06:06 AM
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Dari joined him for a few days this week. Too bad you missed her. On the 20th, they'll be playing in Ventura, so I'm getting ready for a late night. Invariably, I'm the oldest geezer by many decades at these gigs...I feel like everybodys grandpa. My email above, drop me a line so we don't have to keep on hijacking YOUR posts.
stu
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Old May 10th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Thanks to all for the info!
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Old May 10th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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Glad you found it helpful, bnpast. Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out for you.
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