01 May 2013 | Marmaris, Turkey
Jane, warm and sunny
We had a wonderful time in Vancouver before we left to return to Turkey. However, we were so busy sorting out the house sadly we did not get to see everyone. If we missed seeing you we are very sorry. Our next visit to Vancouver we plan to be much more relaxed. We had long weekend in England to catch up with my family before we returned to Marmaris and (now our only home) Ta-b.
Ta-b has been on the hard (on land) for the winter and our first ten days have been spent getting her ready to go back in the water. Lots of items on the “to do list” which we are slowly getting through, although we have found there are never ending projects on a boat. The weather has been gorgeous apart from one day (my birthday) when the heavens opened, apparently there is always one last day like that in Marmaris before the summer sets in. Poor Russell got the “Man” flu on my birthday and spent three days in bed he was so sick, luckily he bounced back very quickly and was soon back to work. We would like to thank Jes Holman for all his help and advise, he is definitely worth getting in touch with as soon as one gets to Marmaris at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is English.
We will be in the water for four days before we check out of Turkey on Monday. We are off to Rhodes to pick up our new Parasail. We would recommend Nico at Mandraki Harbour for taking delivery of packages, moorage, car hire, checking into Greece, etc.. he speaks perfect English and can be reached at email@example.com. We are going to hire a car for a day and will stock up with booze, pork and other European goodies before we head off to Symi where we are meeting a group of friends.
Our plan is to go through the Greek islands together, then through the Corinth canal. First canal that Ta-b will have gone through, but not the last as to get to the Pacific we will also go through the Panama. We will explore the Ionian islands before heading north via Croatia to Venice. We are spending six weeks with about ten boats that we met last year and plan a wind up celebration in Venice on 14 June.
It is with heavy hearts that we leave Turkey, but we are very excited about our next adventure on board Ta-b. Seems strange to think that this time next year we will be back in the Caribbean.
Some reflections that I would like to share about Turkey.
- Firstly the people have some of the biggest hearts we have ever known, and some of their favorite phrases are “no problem” “let us sit and have tea together” and “how can I help you”?
- I have hardly ever heard a raised voice. They always seem happy, content and have big smiles on their faces
- The Turkish are also very hard workers. During summer they are known to work from 8am to 10pm without a day off. The restaurants deliver lunch/dinner to all the shops and if you stop while they are eating they often ask you to join them, even though it means they will have less.
- Turks do not understand danger. You will see families of four on a motorbike with never a helmet to be seen. Work helmets are not often worn, instead they are left on the ground. Also it is worth watching where you walk, as there are often dangerous obsticles in your path.
- The history of Turkey is fascinating, with ruins everywhere. We have to admit that at times we felt “ruined out”, but not for long.
- Ataturk was elected the first President of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and is revered to this day. His portrait is an obligatory part of every house, shop and office and there are statues of him in every City. He made sweeping changes and brought Turkey into the 20th centurey. The Turkish flag is flown proudly everywhere, even on little fishing boats.
- Turkish carpets are addictive, but can cost six times what they are worth to the inexperienced. There are carpet shops everywhere, and one has not experienced Turkey without a visit to one or more. We were lucky (negotiated hard) and bought two beautiful carpets when we were in Selcuk at a very, very good price last year. They are stunning.
- Turkey produces most of the food that they eat at very reasonable prices. The markets are a delight with fresh seasonal vegtables and fruit, spices, cheeses and of course olives. The do not eat much meat, most are vegatarians, but chicken and eggs are plentiful as is fish.
- Tourism has recently become very important. The Russians, Swedes, Norwegians and British take over various resorts during the summer months, even though it can get extreemly hot in some areas in July and August. It is fun to watch the locals rub their hands together and smile knowingly at you when a Cruise ship arrives. Favorite phrases ring out from shops “cheaper than E Bay” “Genuine Fake” and “come into my shop”
- The Turks are also very generous and we have received some lovely gifts, one we cherish most was from a family we spent an evening with who presented us with a huge hand painted ceramic plate worth $$
- Women are greatly respected, especially if you are a mother and one of the young workers the other day said I must not work so hard. He later presented me with a magnum ice cream, so that I had to stop to eat it. Delightful.
So it is goodbye to Turkey, what a wonderful time we have had here. We have made so many great friends, have fantastic memories and will certainly be back. We have added all our recommendations for Marmaris on the Marmaris Cruisers blog, we hope they will help our fellow sailing friends and that they will enjoy wintering over in Marmaris as much as we have.
There are not many pictures to share this blog, will overdose I am sure in the next one, however I have added some of our gorgeous kids ☺