ROTA – Last Chapter – Meis / Andriake / Antalya / Falls

Friday

A very acceptable breakfast at our lodgings set us up for our trip to Meis. A Greek Island a 30 minute ferry voyage away and very close to the peninsula we walked around last night (only about 2km!)

Kas market and a Lycian tomb

Before we embarked we had a quick sprint round the Friday Market. Lots of great looking fruit and veg, tools, herbs, cloths etc. All very Turkish with one stall right up against a Lycian Sarcophagus.

Zonked!

We bagged the bean-bags on the top deck and enjoyed the sail. Well most of us did. Neil slept through most of it!

Wide stairs I assume to the church. Everything else is narrow!

Meis Harbour is picture-perfect. A wide horseshoe bay with multicoloured houses all the way round, a mosque and Greek Orthodox churches ever-present. There is probably a synagogue there too somewhere, such is the complex nature religious interactions

Armed and ready

Also ever-present is a Greek Navy warship and many RIB machine-gun boats. The Greeks are clearly looking to deter Erdoğan from doing anything daft.

Aileen and I and Neil and Carol split up. Its much more fun exploring on your own rather than being dragged around by people who had previously been there, pointing out this that and the other (yawn)

Turtle time

We didn’t get too far as there were at least two turtles in the bay. We had a coffee… then a beer and watched them and the assorted other fish swirling around. Bliss

Carol and Neil came back to the assembly point and loved watching the turtles too.

Turtle watching in style

We split up again with a late-lunch rendezvous point agreed, before the return voyage at 16:00.

We had looked down on the bay at the other side of the ridge bisecting it from the harbour. Again picture-perfect with turquoise waters and islands and yachts bobbing around.

We went the coast pathway route. Carol and Neil went overland. We met them coming back from the furthest point as we were going. Neil was shirtless at this point to keep the “Brit” stereotype going ?. Actually there was nobody about at this stage. He hastily put his shirt back on as other humans hove into view, ?

Probably my fault for not giving them any time to sunbathe and relax!

Military RIB. The pic I was asked to delete!

I took a couple of pics of the colourful houses which also had the Military RIBs in the shot. A guy in a t-shirt wandered up and told me to delete them.. Now everybody must have pics of military boats as it is hard to avoid them when photographing the harbour.

I deleted the pics under his supervision. I googled how to undelete them then restored them from the Google Bin! A real freedom fighter me ?

Aileen getting a complimentary red mullet!

We had time to kill before we met for lunch so Aileen and I wandered to the opposite (quiet) side of the harbour for a refreshment. Aileen committed the cardinal sin when the elderly owner greeted us, by uttering “Merhaba”, the Turkish “Hello” rather than “Kalı Spera” (Good afternoon). He didn’t seem too offended!

We sat at a table on the edge of the harbour and gazing out to sea. He sneaked up behind Aileen with a small pan-fried red-mullet held by the tail. He motioned me to keep quiet ?. It must be some Meis initiation ceremony watching her dissect and eat it, direct from the clean paper tablecloth!

The big boys coming in

We had wondered earlier why our ferry had left the harbour and anchored outside the bay, then the warship left and anchored there too. We assumed the warship wanted to leave and it was all logistics…..then we saw the (relatively) huge Blue Line ferry come into port. That’s why everyone else had to move!

There is a regular Rhodes / Meis service and this was it. It wasn’t much shorter than the width of the Bay as it turned!

It didn’t hang about for long, then off again for more island hopping.

Loving the pork chops

We had a fab lunch at Aeolis and served by a local character. Brits visiting Meis to leave Turkey every 6 months and so keep their UK driving license valid on Turkey (otherwise they would have to surrender their UK driving license and get a Turkish one), often feast on bacon and pork chops! You can get bacon in Turkey as part of an “English breakfast” but pork chops are a rarety.

Damn, they were good! Big and beautifully cooked. Moist and tender and not overcooked. A yummy complimentary dessert was polished off with relish!

Loving the pork chops

After the obligatory stop at Duty-Free for a Gin/Metaxa/Ouzu top-up, we set sail back to Turkey.

I think we were all asleep on the bean bags as we left the harbour and only woke up part-way back!

We headed back to the apartment for a relax before exploring more of the Kas back-streets at night. Kas is a delight and one of our favourite places. Not sure I would like to live there as we like the variety of activities and different scenery, bays, beaches, forests, landscapes around Ovacik. And if course Fethiye too, but Kas is fab for a visit or a holiday.

Post meze snap

I realised we had passed a street but hadn’t found the opposite end. We found it and popped out in square we hadn’t been to before. It felt tucked-away. We opted for Köşk Restaurant and we had an excellent array of fresh, tasty mezes. Way better than many places produce. We will re-visit in future.

Click a pick to open a gallery with captions. There are multiple albums so scroll further down for more.

Saturday

Onwards and eastwards from Kas towards Antalya,, stopping at Andriake just before Demre. We read about it in the excellent https://slowtravelguide.com/ (the url isn’t displaying properly. I will fix this soon!)

https://slowtravelguide.com/

 It is written by Pascale who lives in the area. It is a fantastic resource with articles on all sorts of places, many which I have never heard of.

Andriake

I was a bit unsure as she said it was good for kids, I can kinda see her point as there was a reconstructed Roman boat to play on and some working models…. but the adults loved it!

It was the Port for Myra who was nearby. Today it is a bay with a river running towards it, and wetlands and reeds towards the bay. The Lycian/Byzantine port sits above it.

Turtle swimming up-river

There is some modern-day old-school boat building going on there. We even saw two turtles in the river as we crossed a bridge.

Entry to Andriake was 7Tl (less than £1).

From Andriake Ancient site

The views over the wetlands were fab. We saw Marsh Harriers, Egrets, and Great Egrets, Red-Backed Shrike, Flamingo and assorted wildfowl.

The ancient site was interesting. The underground cistern was astonishing!

Andriake the port for Myra

There was an excellent newish museum housed in a huge reconstructed Roman warehouse. We didn’t have enough time to do it justice but it is definitely worth some time as it tells the story about other Lycian sites.

We left reluctantly and continued onto Antalya

Who you looking at!

One episode which pissed me off big-time was we had stopped just outside Andriake to watch the goats at the roadside. It was a wide, empty, dead-end road with no oncoming traffic.

A scooter thought it was necessary to “toot” as it passed us. Much worse was the bus who passed us as fast and as close as he dared while blasting his horn…Arsehole.

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The journey is just so scenic. As we approached Kemer which had pointy, dramatic peaks and Mount Olympus at nearly 2500 meters, the rain started. We hit Antalya. Google Maps still said 30 minutes to get to the hotel in the old town. Traffic was busy and progress was slow. Thank god for Sat Nav!

Entry to the Old Town (Kaleiçi) is interesting. There are only a couple of ways in and out controlled by barriers or retractable bollards. Only residents and hotel guests etc get access. It looks like you are turning into a taxi rank, but there is a barrier lurking there somewhere. The streets are narrow but nowhere near as bad as some Spanish towns!

We had stayed in the White Hotel last year with Kenny and Moira. It is in a great location and has a nice pool. The building is 150 – 200 years old and it has a nice pool and courtyard. It is furnished and decorated in “period”. The staff are lovely and the breakfast is very good. About £50 per night.

Kokerec Balkan and Asia-minor “haggis”

We explored a bit. We had a taste of Kokorec, a local delicacy. From Wikipedia “

is a dish of the Balkan and Asia Minor, similar to Scottish Haggis consisting of lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, heart, lungs or kidneys, and typically grilled; a variant consists of chopped innards cooked on a griddle. The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred”

It was tastier than it sounds!

Spectacular Antalya cloudy sunset against rugged mountains

The sunset was even better than normal, as the clouds made the dramatic mountain backdrop even “dramaticer”! ?

We went for a fish restaurant. It was nice to see it all priced up per kilo in the chilled cabinet. We had bass, mullet, snapper, calamari and bream cevici. Nice but we still prefer the Kefal!

The restaurant was buzzing with locals. We think there must have been a function on. A band played and the customers danced. A lovely young, buzzy atmosphere.

Click a pick to open a gallery with captions. There are multiple albums so scroll further down for more.

Sunday

Breakfast was excellent and the weather was great.

Neil and Carol wanted a chill-out day as they were flying home early on Monday morning. Antalya to Aberdeen via Manchester….. A long trip.

Aileen and I headed out to the bigger Decathlon to buy a dry-bag for friends and to look at camping gear. No joy.

IKEA was nearby so we had a look there too. We started kicking round ideas on what we could do to the Villa. Fortunately, we were too early for meatballs!

Impressive lower Duden Falls

Next stop Lower Duden Falls. I had only become aware of these recently. On the outskirts of Antalya between Decathlon/IKEA and the coast. Set in a lovely park, the clear river cascades into the sea from 40 meters. It is unexpectedly impressive.

Lots of tourists, lots of selfies and a rash of blokes with parrots selling photographs of a parrot clinging to various parts of your anatomy!

Kurşunlu Falls

It was still early so we headed to Kurşunlu Falls. It was a wide horseshoe cliff with a trickle of water dropping into a pool. It was nice enough, but probably a lot better in spring. We tried to grab a bite to eat there, but it was in full tourist-trap mode. 6 Euro for a toastie…… errrr, no thanks.

We headed back towards base, stopping at Upper Düden Falls. It didn’t look promising as we drove through flat, and uninspiring Antalya suburbs.

Meh local cafe at Duden Upper Falls

We grabbed a Durum (wrap) at a locals place outside the park. My chicken one was OK. Aileen’s köfte (meatball) wrap, which are normally reliable wasn’t. The first bite delivered a mouthful of fat and gristle…. in a meatball?. The rest was left and we shared my chicken one.

Proper waterfall at Upper Duden Falls

These falls were impressive. Water pounding down from a horseshoe cliff into a clear blue pool below. You could walk behind the waterfall. I don’t think we saw a single tourist.

Another Antalya Sunset !

We met Carol and Neil back at the hotel and headed out to see the sunset before dinner. It didn’t live up to last night’s.

Dinner was at Perla and very good. We enjoyed the singer / guitarist who was playing.

Time for Bobos!. Early start for Carol & Neil

We said cheerio to Carol and Neil as we weren’t getting up at 03:00 AM to wave them goodbye!

Monday

The scenic Decathlon, Erasta Antalya!

We drove back, stopping at Decathlon Erasta looking for the pesky drybag. No luck.

Autumn colours as we near Fethiye

It takes about 3 hours to drive back to Fethiye over the main road. Stunning, ever changing scenery and the golden colours of autumn as we neared Seydikemer. The vertical, amber poplar trees are spectacular.

Maiden voyage

Aileen was worried about the kayak trip we were doing on Tuesday, so she wanted a practice at the Lagoon. That went fine, but you don’t know how you will paddle compared to others until you are in the heat of battle!

Pie and beans for tea rounded off a busy week with Carol and Neil. Thanks for the entertaining visit ???

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