We arrived by ferry on the island of Lesvos (Mytilini) Monday evening, sans guidebook or map. Customs was the easiest yet, we walked right through, and as there were fewer than 30 people on our ferry, there was barely a line.
Mytolini appeared to be a nice port town at first glance, though we quickly tired in our search for a hotel (we walked by 2 without even seeing them – they like big signs on the roof, but lack in little signs by the door). We finally found a room, paid too much for what we got (it’s a port town, and the hotel was right near the harbour – we didn’t know where else to look). By morning, we realized that it’s as nice a little town as it appeared – for 25,000 people, the traffic is insane!! We had trouble crossing even little side streets! At one point a nice local man helped us across… awwww. The town is also littered with vaguely marked one way streets, which made for a fun time getting out of town once we rented a car.
Throughout our trip to Turkey, we’ve had trouble with activities not taking place due to lack of tourists. In E?irdir, there was absolutely nothing happenning, in Göreme, pensions were close to empty, but at least all the different pensions work together so they can still offer the same activities. Similarly, in Olympos, we booked our cruise with one company, but they couldn’t get any other customer’s, so they put us on another company’s boat.
Well, we found them. They were hiding in Ephesus, unless they were Russian, in which case, they were hiding in API Call ErrorPammukale.
We’ve been a little lazy for blogging of late, our appologies. Since we don’t feel like writing a huge entry about the little that we’ve done since getting off the short cruise, here’s quick story about how much of a sucker I am for cats.
Two nights ago I ordered a really yummy steak for supper at the pension; there were 2 cute cats hanging around, one of which we’d been petting before supper, and I’m a sucker for cats. I gave the little imps a couple of fatty scraps from the steak, and once as I did so, one of them swiped at my hand to get it and left a nice little gash. While in the room cleaning myself up (totally my fault and I accept full responsibility), one of the little buggars jumped on the chair and stole the remaining steak so fast nobody even really saw it happen. So there. That’s the story, there’s even a little warning sign now in my honour.
Well, the few days has very definitely been a holiday for us. We spent a lot of time on the water, as we were slowly making our way from Olympos to Fethiye.
We started on the API Call Errorboats on Tuesday, when we signed up for a day trip out of Olympos, so that I could go API Call Errorscuba diving. The boat was a bit crowded, as there were many day trippers on it, though only three people, including myself, going scuba diving. The diving here wasn’t as great as the Red Sea. There are certainly a few fish around, and these neat anemone things that have a beautiful flower/tendril thing sticking out, and then retract into a tube when there’s movement nearby, which are kind of neat. But there was no corral, and the more tropical fish we saw when we went diving out of Aqaba were quite missing.
We are now in Olympos, on the south coast of the med. It is very sticky here – not really all that hot, but very very humid, and there is very little air flow, hardly a breeze to speak of. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am at not having a pair of shorts. You’d think I would have bought a pair by now, but I haven’t. Silly me.
We did go to the beach yesterday, it wasn’t too crowded, but I’m not used to going to public beaches, so it felt a little crowded to me. Mostly Turks yesterday, as it was Sunday (the weekends in Turkey are oddly enough Saturday and Sunday, despite Friday being their holy day. We have been told, and are noticing, that although Turkey is about 99% Muslim, they are not nearly as strict about it as the Arab countries we’ve come from (and we found them fairly liberal as well)). Even though the med is fairly warm (especially compared to northern Alberta lakes!) I’m still a little chicken to get in all the way – something about it being too cold. I know, I’m weird.
Some things we’ve observed about Turkey:
Turkish pants – in Antakya we saw men wearing funny pants (people of our generation may remember the fashion trend of Hammer-pants?); they are really baggy pants with the crotch hanging down close to the knees, but the waist is at the waist (not like the young hipsters back home these days who wear the waists around their butts to accomplish a similar effect). I think they remind me a little of pants that genies wear in cartoons. Around Egirdir we saw women (but not men) wearing similar pants, but with even lower crotches, almost halfway down the calf. I would compare them to “gypsy-pants” (though we are eventually heading into actual gypsy country, and I may have to revise my Hollywoodized notions).
We decided against going to the Black Sea coast in the Northeast, as much as we’d like to, because it was just too far away, and it looked to be a bit pricey. We told ourselves that we would probably pass through the region if we ever do the Silk Road trip (from China to Turkey) that we’d really like to try someday.