Published: May 24th 2011May 24th 2011
The Adventure Begins
Well, I have been in Turkey for a little over four days now and have been going pretty much non stop. I arrived at 4pm Friday the 21st of May where Suna, my boss Hakan’s daughter, picked me up at the airport and drove us to downtown Istanbul. We went to a posh little area called Bebek which is right on the Bosporus canal. Hakan would be embarrassed for me to tell you that the first thing I did upon arriving in Turkey was to go to a Starbucks, but such is life. It had a lovely view and I sat and enjoyed one of the best lattes I have ever had with Suna and her cousin. Later we met up with Hakan and had dinner at a restaurant nearby. After that Hakan and I dropped off Suna at her mom’s and went to his house in the outskirts of Istanbul where I promptly collapsed into bed.
Day 2 had a much slower start as Hakan left just after breakfast for a dentist appointment and then we had to wait for the house to be shown to potential buyers. After that we headed back down to Bebek to go to a dinner party of one of his friends that had just finished the three year process of building their own sailboat, Callista. The waters on the Bosporus were too rough for the boat to make an appearance but the party setting was absolutely gorgeous. On an old veranda off their house right on the sea. So lovely. The only problem is that everyone was either Turkish or Swiss and I understood no one. At least I had a beautiful view to appreciate and a lovely dinner to go with it.
Sunday we got up and got going pretty quickly. Hakan and I packed small bags and had the rest of our luggage shipped down to port Alacati where the boat is. We met his kids at Hakan’s parent’s house for breakfast before taking off ourselves. We then took his brand new Honda Goldwing on a two hour ferry ride then a four and a half hour ride from Istanbul down to Alacati. The scenery as we drove was amazing and it was definitely the most comfortable motorcycle ride of my life. Immediately upon arriving to town we were greeted by a Turkish bbq dinner at the house of Hakan’s friends which was by far the best meal I have had since arriving. We stayed long enough to unfortunately see their favorite soccer team lose the national championships before heading to Hakan’s brand new house on top of a lovely hill overlooking the water. This is our main home base for the summer when we are not taking the boat from port to port or around the Greek Isles.
The next day we went down to the marina and checked out the lovely Chalice for the first time. She is having some new paint put on the bottom as well as a few other things while she is out of the water and we look forward to getting her in by the end of the week. After that we will spend a few days cleaning from tip to tip and then set off for the summer! We had lunch at the marina and Hakan dropped me off in downtown Alacati while he ran some errands. The town is absolutely beautiful, so charming and easy to wander around. I would compare this area to the Turkish version of the Hamptons. Same crowd, same beautiful houses and seafronts, but so much better! After than we took a ride on the Goldwing to a town nearby for one of the best seafood dinners I have ever had. Prawns caught that day and grilled up to perfection. Served with a fresh salad, yummy cucumber yogurt and fresh Turkish olive oil. Yum yum!!
Today we woke up with nothing to do so headed to the boat for another check in then went off to the beach for a few hours. It is absolutely amazing…. The views here are incredible! Hakan is determined to make me fat and introduced me to the most ridiculous grinder ever…. Thick melted cheese, two kinds of sausages, tomato and God knows what else. One word: deadly. After another little bike ride we went home and both promptly passed out on the sofas from too much sun. Around 5 we decided a drink on the patio was in order and then I came down to the marina to use the wifi and get some dinner. It has been a jam packed couple of days but life is good.
So far everything has been truly amazing, though sometimes I find myself desperately wishing I knew Turkish as for the most part I really have no idea what is going on! Other than that I am excited to start working on the boat and get her back in the water so that we can get the summer started.
I am of course, already missing family and friends. I have not been able to find the time to call anyone or write more than an email or two to let people know I have arrived safely. Love to you all, hope to actually talk to you soon!