This time I promise no phallices!
27.06.2010 - 04.07.2010 95 °F
We arrived in Olympus with ease. We walked from our beautiful cabin to the road, waved our arm at our side, got picked up by an extremely nice mother with her two sons, and arrived at the bus station. We caught the bus within 2 minutes, and found Çıralı about an hour and a half later. We caught the Doumuş within 2 minutes and dropped at the front door of Kadir’s, our home for the next few nights. And to think we budgeted 5 hours for this? I wish travelling was always as easy as it is in Turkey!
Olympus is a mediocre destination, with ruins that aren’t preserved very well, and a rocky beach. So, why would we come? It has climbing! It also happens to be a kick-off point for cruises to Fethiye, a port city further west. We climbed two days (mornings really), and I bouldered on the beach the third evening while Kym got some rays. It was fun climbing and refreshing to find a rock surface that wasn’t quite so sharp.
Kym at one of the crags in Olympus
Visiting the ruins of Olympus:
The Olympus Beach at dusk:
The third day we visited the Chimera (it has about 5 different spellings). According to Greek Mythology, the Chimeara was a fire breathing animal slayed by the guy who rode Pegasus, the flying horse (I don’t remember names well – sorry). The Çımera was so powerful that the fire still burns today. In Olympus, they held a race where athletes would run to the Chimera, light a torch and run back, and this started the modern torch ceremony in the Olympic games we know today! Long story short, we went there! Although the history is cool, it was a bit anticlimctic. The ruins aren’t preserved well, there is trash everywhere from tourists leaving crap, and it was a long, hot, and dusty road to get there. But because of the history it was cool to see.
The next day we started our boat tour. It was relaxing, beautiful, and fun. It was a family-run boat, the dad was the captain, the mom the cook, and the son the mate. The food was spectacular and there was definately no shortage. There were six cabins, but only four groups of two, so we had a pleasant cruise without it feeling crowded. We sun-bathed, read, swam, and ate for four days. We even waterskied one evening. The ski was a little short and it was tough skiing on water that was as choppy as Lake Washington on the 4th, but it was very fun nonetheless. It was also surprisingly inexpensive! It was definately worthwhile.
The remains of a sunken city due to an earthquake many years ago:
Our wonerful travel companions:
The famous Butterfly Valley:
It was sad to say goodbye to our new family and the port of Fethiye was a chaotic mess of touristy shops, trinkets, expensive shopping, and not at all what we were used to. In the morning we went to Selçuk, the town 3km from the ruins of Ephesus. This morning we toured those ruins and tried to picture how they looked 2,500 years ago. There are many stages of repair and refurbishment, but I enjoyed seeing some parts as rubble on the ground and some as reconstructed to their original splendor. The city must have been a spectacular sight to see long ago and even today the pictures don’t do it justice.
The ruins of Ephesus:
Everyone should sit on a marble toilet seat at least once in their life:
Tomorrow we leave our much-enjoyed country of Turkey, heading for the Greek Islands. The plan is to visit a few islands and catch a glimpse of the mainland before our flight out of Athens on the 21st. The time has gone by so fast!
Miss you all,