As we approached the town we could see the many large gullets lining the main dock along the boardwalk. We called the marina when we got close and they sent a dingy to guide us into our berth, located amongst many large yachts packed so tightly together there is barely room for the fenders between them; Iím always impressed by Dans ability to maneuver Skyelarks 23 tons into such places, calmly directing the crew to move a fender here or take a line there.
The busy harbor
A castle along the waterfront
Once the boat was safely tucked away I headed off to town to explore a little, my first stop was a small sidewalk cafť a few blocks in where I was able to smoke a cigar while sipping Turkish tea. I needed to get a little more lira, the local currency as it makes transactions easier and I will need some for when I return to Istanbul after the charter.
The streets are narrow and winding, some connect with cross streets while others are dead ends. Itís bustling place full of people and traffic with scooters coming at you from seemingly every direction. I ran into Pete at a small restaurant and had a bite to eat; they make these sandwiches from gyro type meat on fresh crusty rolls with lettuce and tomato, jars of pickled chilis are on the table for you to serve yourself.
I made my way around the backstreets and looped around to the other end of the waterfront. They have a large open type mall that sort of reminded me of the cruise ship port in St. Kitts. I looked to see if anything caught my eye, besides the many beautiful young Russian girls, and wandered around stopping for a raki under some shade trees in front of a bar built into an old ruin.
Tables for a sidewalk cafe along one of the old streets
There is an old castle in the midst of it all, which houses a museum; I stopped in for a look around, not really much there but I took some pictures from the ramparts, both towards the sea and also looking over the reddish orange tile roofs of the buildings in town.
Photos from the castle
Getting into the whole Turkish vibe, I stopped at the local supermarket for some cheese and olives; then to a butcher shop for dried sausage and finally a small grocery store for fresh bread, with the intention of making my own mezze platter.
Back on Skyelark, the mechanic still hadnít arrived so Dan, Peter and I sampled my finds in the cockpit as the rest of the crew made their way back to get ready to go out to dinner. Since Dan and Em would be stuck onboard it was a each to their own night as far as the evening meal was concerned; I showered at the marina then had some more cheese and such, this time washing it down with a nice Turkish wine.
I was having trouble getting my trip reports to load, so thinking it may have to do with using my cell phone as a hot spot I found a waterfront bar with free wifi and made some progress. The seating at the places along the boardwalk is mainly outside, on small sofas at many spots, so you can relax and watch the world go by.
The restaurants along the waterfront
Once I finished I headed back to the marina, took a shower and put on some of my nicer clothes then left about 10:30 to check out the action for myself. The restaurants along the waterfront are very busy until about midnight, and then the dance clubs on the second street back take over. I walked around passing one after another of the bars with loud thumping music and flashing lights, filled with young people dancing on the platforms complete with stripper poles and in some cases the bar itself
I did stop in one for a raki and to get some video, but itís not really my thing so I went back to the boardwalk to try my first sheesha. I took a seat on a small sofa and ordered up one with apple flavored tobacco along with a glass of tea, I figured you come this far you got to give it a try. Having never used one of these before I couldnít seem to get the large puffs of smoke that other people nearby had, but it tasted very good and mild, I only coughed a couple times. Iím not a smoker, except for cigars which I donít inhale, so after a while of puffing on this thing, you canít help but inhale I started getting dizzy and figured better leave well enough alone.
I made one more trip around the area and picked up a beer to drink in the cockpit once I got back, not wanting to disturb anyone at 3:00 am by rummaging in the fridge. The music could be heard back at the marina but I still had no problem falling to sleep.