Our daughter Hannah and her lovely Swiss friend, Adina, just spent a week with us. They arrived in Kaş on the 18th of June, just in time to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. The girls arrived in Istanbul on the 16th, having spent the previous week in Switzerland with Adina’s parents and after a quick preview of Istanbul, they flew to Antalya and then took the 4 hour bus ride to meet us at our boat in Kaş. We had the most wonderful week together, hiking, swimming, star-watching and sailing together. We spent the first 3 days of their trip at the marina in Kaş, partly because we love the town and wanted them to see it, and partly because the weather was not conducive to sailing for their first few days here. It was just too windy to take them out, particularly since Adina has not sailed before and we didn’t want her to be sea-sick. Fortunately, both of them love hiking, and Kaş is right on the Lycian Way, an ancient and now popular rock and olive tree strewn hiking trail that extends for some 509 kilometers along the coast of Turkey. After a morning swim in the ocean together everyday, we had amazing breakfasts onboard, with a huge assortment of delicious Turkish foods…. salty cheese, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers followed by delicious yogurt, honey, nuts, chocolate and good coffee. Our breakfasts were really extraordinary thanks to the easy availability of great markets in Kaş, and to Adina and Hannah’s enthusiasm for putting together plates with every delicious combination of ingredients that they could think of.
For our anniversary, and to celebrate the girl’s graduation from Harvard we all went out to “Ratatouille” an upscale restaurant considered by many people here to be the best in Kaş. While we had a beautiful meal, we ate the next night at the informal restaurant that Mark and I have been going to in Kaş for weeks, Enişte’nin Yeri, (we call it Einstein’s) and we all decided it was way better, much more fun, and with a much nicer setting (not to mention that it is also 1/3 the price). The girls liked it so much that they insisted on going again the next night. So much for fancy restaurants!
We had gale force winds on Friday, the day before we were scheduled to go sailing with them. The girls did the beautiful 2 hour hike from Kaş to the nearby bay of Liman Ağzı and got to experience the winds and waves from the safety of shore, while Mark and I stayed on the boat and listened to the wind howling and watch the docks sway back and forth. Maybe it is just that we have a new wind indicator on the boat that is actually working right for the first time, but the wind speeds of over 50 knots were about the highest we have ever seen on our boat. Luckily no boats at the marina were damaged.
We decided to sail over to Kekova the next day (Saturday) because the winds were much reduced and we wanted the girls to be able to experience sailing and anchoring out, rather than just staying at the marina for their whole trip. We probably should have waited one more day, because despite the much calmer winds, the seas were pretty rolly, and poor Adina was quite sea-sick for an hour or more. It is only a 3 hour sail from Kaş to Kekova, though, and after the first two hours things quieted down and she felt better and we actually had a marvelous sail. I think we may be passing out sea-sick pills to future guests before we set out.
We spent the next 2 days in the western-most anchorage of Kekova. It is called Polemos Buku and it is really lovely. There were only a few other sailboats there. It’s quiet and clean and very beautiful. It is also on the Lycian Way so we all were able to hike as well as swim while we were there. Mark and I would turn back after an hour or two of hiking while the girls continued hiking much farther. The best part of that anchorage is the little restaurant there… the Aperlai Restaurant. We had been there a few weeks before and couldn’t wait to show it to the girls. It is a very simple family run place with a very basic menu and you have to tell the owner what you want early in the day so he can take his motorboat into the nearby town to buy the ingredients. There are just a couple of tables, but the prime spot is just a single table set out over the water under a little canopy. They set it up with very nice table-ware and then bring out lots of delicious mezzes before the main course… way more than you think you can eat. It’s really an incredibly beautiful setting with delicious food and the owner and his wife and son and daughter are extremely nice. We love it.
On Monday the girls did a long hike from our anchorage to the main (and only) town of Kekova, called Üçağız. While they were hiking, Mark and I sailed the boat over to the town and re-anchored. Then we dinghied over to town and met them for dinner. Mehmet, a friendly waiter at Ibrahim’s restaurant in town was really thrilled to have two beautiful young women at his restaurant and couldn’t have been more attentive. He gave the girls the name of a nice hotel in Capadoccia (their next destination in Turkey), that he works at in the winter and was helpful in getting them a reservation there, along with making arrangements for a taxi to come pick them up the next day to get them to the main road where they will pick up a bus to get them back to Antalya and onward to Capadoccia.
Tuesday was our last day together and we had one more lavish breakfast before doing a hike up to the medieval castle that sits above our anchorage at Kale Koy. Then one last swim and it was time for them to leave. Mehmet’s taxi driver came right on time, and the girls made it to Antalya on time to catch their overnight bus to Capadoccia.
We are already feeling lonely…