12 Island Boat Cruise in Fethiye

We get into Fethiye late the night before, so we get a nice hard snooze and are ready to go the next morning for our 10am pickup time. Breakfast at the hotel is the usual spread – pretty good and looks impressive, but its the usual fare of melons, olives, luncheon meat, omelettes, and bread with butter and jam that I’m eating. (Speaking of eating, aside from breakfast varieties, I’ve had Kofte Turkish meatballs for my last 10 meals, but that’s another topic about food in Turkey.)

So we’re waiting in the lobby at 10am sharp, and the time rolls by to 1030. We have a feeling they forgot about us and fortunately (or unfortunately) we call the travel agency and this guy in a broken down mini bus comes to get us. He seems to be in a mad rush, but we make it on the boat and we find we’re on party boat with +100 other Turkish vacationers. As the boat leaves the dock, I realize the guy who shuttled us from our hotel is also the boat captain. I have a sinking feeling that we paid way more than anyone else on the boat to get that kind of pick up service.

So first of all, all the announcements are made in Turkish, so we have no idea which of the 12 islands we’re stopped at – and we actually only do 4 stops, so I dunno where the other 8 islands are. We don’t actually end up walking on any islands because the whole day we would pretty much just dock in a cove and jump in for a swim. The water was really warm and gorgeous blue.

They have a diving platform at the front of the boat that’s about 25 feet high and a water slide tunnel that looked like a lot of fun. David did one jump off the platform with the other crazy (in a good way) Turks, and said he landed on his side. And the water slide was a free for all with people bombing down the slide into the cove. David finally convinces me to go down the slide, but I have a strange feeling that something bad was going to happen… I decide to go anyways and WOW! the slide was a super fast drop, but for some weird reason I got stuck towards the bottom of the drop! At this point, I’m slightly panicked about the inevitable that was going to happen with david crashing into me cause I know he’s coming soon. So I’m schooching as fast as I can, but it was pretty pointless, so then I brace for impact. He said when he saw me he was thinking “uh oh”, and then barrels into me and we exit out the tunnel. I surface from the water with a bleeding lip, and we have a good laugh about it. Then after getting back on the boat for a better injury assessment, i realize he kicked me in my side as well and my tailbone area is bleeding and bruised (which was probably more from the slide). It still hurts to laugh a day later!

Just as we think the cruise must SURELY be over, we end up docking in one last spot on the way back.

So, no more slide for me. But David keeps getting roped into a 4-man train to go down the water slide with some Turkish teenagers. On his last run, he was 3rd in line, and behind him was a hairy +220 pound Turk and David said he had to brace for impact. He came out with a bruised thigh because he knocked it against someone’s head when he hit the water. We wonder how that person is feeling today…hahaha

All in a day’s work!

Keira Rides a Car

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My little munchkin is riding a car now with help from Nai Nai. :) can’t believe I’m missing all this! I know I’m on the trip of a lifetime and having lots of fun, but I really miss my baby… Mommy and daddy are cherishing everyday on this trip.its our last trip without her for a long while cause we’ve decided we’re taking her wherever we go after this :)

Turkish Bath (Hamam) in Istanbul

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Several of my friends told me to try a Turkish Bath while we were in Istanbul, but Alice and I weren’t 100% sold on the idea. 1st, we had no idea what to expect. 2nd, we didn’t really want to go to a single gender one and get separated. But I think it just came down to not knowing if we were going to be screaming because someone was scraping off my skin along with my dead skin cells and if they were going to massage me into whimpers.

Luckily, our hotel referred us to a 500 year old one in Istanbul which Alice also corroborated online that was clean. It was about 35 Euros per person with transfer and had both men and women commingled.

They opened at 10, and that’s about when we arrived. We were led upstairs to change and to store our valuables. Alice really cracked up when I lifted the lid of this nice looking box on the floor which I thought might be a place that we’d store our valuables. But it turned out to be a fancy looking trash can which pushed Alice’s into fits of hysterical laughter, and me a little pink 😉

After changing, we went back downstairs, and were instructed to wear these wooden blocks with one leather strap. They were amazingly uncomfortable, probably unsanitary (warts anyone?), and were ill-conceived since we were walking on wet marble with no traction wood blocks. Luckily neither of us slipped.

Then we were led into a very warm room. There was already an older, European couple in there, and we took our seats. Since we both had no idea what we were doing, we all started bursting out in fits of uncontrollable snickers. Here were 4 people who didn’t even know what we were doing- so I’m sure the situation was just downright hilarious…and it sure was to us.

Then we were ushered into the main room which was MUCH HOTTER, and had a center 15′ in diameter marble platform where we sat and laid. We had to go to the edge where there were cool water to splash over us to keep us cool.

Then we were summoned into a side area where 2 men started on us for about 20 minutes. 1st we sat and were rinsed off. NOTE- there is a “old” smell to the place, but then I thought it must be relatively clean to survive 500 years, and germs probably don’t find the marble surface that hospitable. Then we laid on a marble slab, and they produced these big looking pillow bags. They’d dip the into soapy water while the bags were filled with air. Then they would cinch the pillows which would push the air out and produce super soft suds which they lathered on us. Then they scraped our skin and massaged us which I thought felt really good. But I just hear Alice moaning and groaning and pleading for them to go easier on her. Our physical therapist did note that Alice was one of the most “sensitive” patients he’s ever had.

After the scrubbing and massage which I wish was longer, we just relaxed on the marble slab in the middle again. Then after sweating, we poured cold water on ourselves, changed, and headed to a communal place for drinks while our body adjusted to the temperature.

Then back upstairs to get our stuff. So all in all, I would say it was one of the highlights of our trip. I’ll try to add the name of the place when I have a change. But we’d both wholeheartedly endorse it.

-David