Friday, October 8, 2010

12 Island tour

Today we went on a twelve island tour. The islands we went to were very small.
It was nothing I expected it to be, first of all the were only 5 islands. The first island we went to was a no-name island, it was a cool day (so a normal day in Canada) and dad jumped off the side of the boat because we were going swimming and don’t worry the boat was stopped. I couldn’t bring myself to jump off ‘cause the water looked cold. So I went to the bottom of the boat and slowly climbed in with my pool noodle. The water is colder than on the boat, but warmer than Shuswap Lake. We went swimming for a while, got back on the boat, and went to the next island.

At the next island we ate lunch and didn’t leave the boat. Mom and Dad met a guy from Canada, Calgary and they started to talk. His name is Ron and he was nice (Duh, he’s from Canada.) Ron sat at our table and stuck with us for the whole trip. Anyway, we had dry chicken and garlic pasta for lunch and went to the third island.

The third island was odd. It was called flat island. We got off the side of the boat and, didn’t land in the water, walked on to the land and up the hill. Yes, a hill on Flat Island. I saw a little white rabbit that was cute, Dad pointed it out. Rhys made a arch thing that was weird. Then we got back on the boat and went to the third island.

It was a lot of fun. Dad jumped off the side of the boat, and I climbed down half way and then jumped of the side of the boat. It was a lot of fun. Before we got in the water I told Ron it was fun to sit on top of the buoy, he said ‘I’d like to see you do that!’ So, I did. The I got out of the water and jumped of the top of the side of the boat.

After that we went to a bunny island the bunnies were so cute and there were thousands of them. They wouldn’t let you pet them though. After that we went home, it wasn’t the best tour but it wasn’t awful.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Turkish Differences

There are many differences between Turkey and Canada and most of them are obvious. We anticipated some and some came as a surprise. Over the past few days I have had a growing awareness of how differently the Turks approach health and safety. It is similar to our enlightenment in Greece during driving; a curious mix of delighted amazement and horrified terror. I find myself wondering now, however, if we are perhaps just a wee bit too sanitized, regulated and rule oriented in Canada. Here are some examples:

While on our hike to Kayakoy the other day, we descended a rather steep cliff with glorious views. On the way down, the trail was at best, faintly delineated and more accurately precarious. The picture of Julia demonstrates the beautiful views but may I bring your attention to the fact there is no railing, no stairs and rather loose gravel by way of a track. If this was a park trail in Canada, there would be railings, signs, carefully constructed stairs and even then when some yahoo climbed over and slipped to their death, it would cause a grand inquiry.

While eating at a restaurant in the market the other day, we sat near the dishwasher. The picture shows his back as he hand washes the dishes. The water is coming from the plastic jug hidden by his body; a jug not unlike the ones we take camping. You know the kind, the ones that can deflate to a flattish state making them easy to pack? The jug is placed suspiciously near the river, leading me to believe the source of water may have been the river. This also leads me to believe the temperature of said water was perhaps room, which while it was quite hot that day could not possibly meet Canadian health codes.

My third example happened while I was at the waterpark in Selcuk. I was sitting on a lounger beneath an awning. It was the end of the day and two men were working at dismantling the awning. I was reading the end of a rather good novel so was oblivious to them for the first part of their mission. Finally, I became aware that one of the men was standing directly overtop of me some ten feet above, balancing on the awning frame and trying without success to loosen the canvas. When I noticed, I immediately stood up and began to move the lounger from beneath him. It was a murder novel, after all. Both men instantly insisted I could stay put, smiling broadly and indicating there was nothing to worry about. I reclined back onto the lounger in time to see the man on the ground inserting a large kitchen knife (point in, of course) into a long piece of plastic pvc tubing. Only the point could really fit so most of the knife was visible. At about this moment, the climax of my murder mystery ceased engaging my interest. Whatever could he be doing? As I watched, wide eyed, the man began to raise the pvc pipe up and it became apparent to me that the kitchen knife was headed to the gentleman standing directly overtop of me. I moved. There are so many things wrong with this one, I don’t know where WCB would even begin.

I am not making this stuff up, people. Today the jeep we were on picked up a pedestrian who hung onto the outside while we drove along the Cliffside roads. Yesterday, the bus (van) drove with its side door open while two passengers were standing in the doorway. They were hanging on, of course. It is frighteningly different, yet somehow I can’t help but be impressed that it all works. Everyone is responsible for themselves. You bear the consequences of your own behaviour. Again I wonder, are we too restricted by our own safety rules in Canada? Have we lot our sense of personal responsibility for our own safety?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


If you have a Skype account please let us know at if you are online we can have a little chit chat.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hike to Kayakoy

We arrived in Hisaronu Saturday October 2. The bus ride was about 5 hours but wasn’t bad because we were on a big techno bus so we had lots of entertainment and comfortable seats. The windows on the bus are huge as well so you can see everything and you see some strange things. We’re in the middle of nowhere and at the side of the road is a man at a table with stuffed donkeys. The donkeys fill the table and line the road in small plastic bags. What?

At any rate, finding the apartment here was a real chore. We paraded up and down the street with our bags until even the other tourists were starting to ask if we needed help. We did eventually find the place but not before I began to wonder if perhaps it didn’t really exist at all. On arrival, however, we were not disappointed. This is a two bedroom apartment with a living room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms. It is on the second floor and has two lovely balconies overlooking the town and surrounding mountains. Rhys commented that it felt like he’d come home. After nine weeks of staying in small box rooms, this really did feel fabulous.

Today we went on a hike recommended in the notes at the apartment. It was a 12km walk much to Julia’s dismay and horror. The trail was not easy to follow as it really didn’t look like a trail at all but with the directions clutched in our hot, sweaty paws and all four of us looking out for the trail markers, we managed to find our way through. Look at the picture. Can YOU see the trail?? We only became lost one time when I swear the trail marker was actually about ten metres away from where the REAL trail lay. I think some local had moved the rock.

After about two hours, we came upon a ghost town called Kayakoy. It was really cool. There were tons of buildings. The story is that back in 1923 there was an agreement between the Greek and Turkish governments that all the Greek people living in Turkey would be sent back to Greece and all the Turkish people living in Greece would be sent back to Turkey. The town of Kayakoy was filled with Greek people. They left and the Turkish people were supposed to come to fill the empty houses. According to the Turks, the Greek government would not give the Turkish people who were being sent back a fair amount of money for the houses they were leaving in Greece. Therefore, there was some difficulty with the returning Turkish people and the houses of Kayakoy were never filled. Personally, after looking at the homes, it seemed to Tom and I that the Greeks who were leaving probably hadn’t been all that excited and fairly ripped their homes apart as they left. There are large holes in the buildings, no paint or other remnants on walls, no rooves, nothing. It kind of reminded me of the whole Musqueam fiasco out at UBC some years back.

We crawled through the town looking at the churches, roads and houses until we came to a lovely little garden restaurant where we had a drink and sit. After regenerating our batteries, we climbed to the top of the town and headed to the blue lagoon. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The views down to the lagoon were pretty spectacular but the beach itself was packed with umbrellas and sunbeds so it wasn’t all that beautiful. What was quite beautiful was the sky. The mountains around the lagoon have perfect winds for paragliding and the paragliders were out in force. The sky was absolutely filled with the colourful sails. People could go tandem or alone. It looked so peaceful and fun. It cost about $75 per person to try it. Yet another thing Julia will want to do when she returns to Turkey.


Pamukkale started to look not very good as we hiked up to it in 25 degree weather. I was really hoping we wouldn’t do it. Ok lets rewind a bit. We were on the bus when dad pointed it out. It was big and white and it looked like one of those things you just could live with out doing. We went to our hotel and we were staying for 1 night, but it was a really nice hotel. Anyway when we got there Mom took out this book and started to look at things to do (I don’t even know where she gets these books.) She aid we could go up the big white thing ( she didn’t exactly say ‘big white thing’) and go for a swim in the hot springs. I didn’t think ‘hot’ springs sounded so nice in the 25 degree weather, but how could I refuse a swim? Plus I really don’t have much say. So that very day after the 4 hour hot, stuffy bus ride, we went for a hike.

Up from our hotel after 2 minutes I was already ready to go back, y’no even though it was only a 7 minute walk from our hotel to ‘Pamukkale’ ( It even sounds deadly.) Mom had told me earlier that it was made of calcium, the stuff in milk, witch is kinda cool really. When we got there it got MUCH better. It asked you to take your shoes off because there was a cool creek running from the top. Immediately I loved it. We started to walk up a not-so-steep hill, the ground wasn’t slippery at all it felt really grippy and smelled of faint milk. We walked for a little bit, then came to our first pool it was a pale blue. It was fluffy and soft on the bottom but ever so often you came to a big pointy rock, ow.

We walked and walked until we reach the top there were awesome views on the way, it was a bit more slippery a the top. When we put out shoes back on we went to a museum, mom and dad were like ‘Omigod, that’s so interesting’ ‘that happen 2000 years ago WOW!’ I stuck with my usual ‘Yah *yawn* that’s so amazing, I love it.’ or ‘This is the best museum yet.’ Museums are all the same, old people’s buried stuff.

Any way after that death trap was swimming in the ancient ruins, it just makes everything sound better when you use the word ‘Swimming.’ The water was very hot, well not boiling I could swim and all but it was still warm. The ruins wernt that cool but in one part that I wasn’t allowed to go but went anyway, you could see the small little bubbles forming on your body. You could write your name and stuff on yourself. Then we did more walking after the swimming, and all I could think of were more movies. Yay, movies!


Food. Food is good. I like food. You know what's good? Food!

We have now established that food is good. Now the food in Turkey, it's pretty good too.

Julia and I have established that two particular types of food are exquisite. First of all, the meat is good.

"Man, the turks make the best meat." - Julia Lloyd

"mmm, Bread+Butter=Happiness…" - Rhys Lloyd

I had 15+ pieces of bread at our last hotel. My parents warned of indigestion, but no problems yet. Turkish breakfast is pretty good, with feta-like cheese, fresh bread, cucumber, and tomato. The Turks have their own special type of pizza. It's called "Pide" and looks like a circle got it's middle chopped out, and the top and bottom were put together. Sort of like a North American football or two brackets: (). It's very good, as it has extra crust J.

There are some foods that are similar and some are different.

For example, honeydew is called kazun, is about the same size, is shaped like a teardrop, and is coloured like this; It fades from orangey~yellow at the top to greenish~yellow at the bottom, or vice versa, with light~dark green splotches or parallel top-bottom light~dark green lines of splotches strategically placed all over it and parallel wrinkles running all the way, or part way, from top to bottom.

That was just the outside.

On the inside, it shifts from dark-light green in about a centimeter from the outside, and then stays green until 1-3 cm from the middle, where the seeds are. The seeds look like a skinny cob of beige corn, and separate easily from the fruit.

Kazun tastes like honeydew, with the texture of cantaloupe.

We're in Turkey!

We have passed our first week in Turkey and what an amazing country this is. We have seen some very unique and unusual places. We started last Saturday with a boat ride from Rhodes to Marmaris. That was fun because we took the high speed catamaran. It was different from the much slower ferries but you couldn’t sit outside so it took some of the fun out of it for me. It was, however, a very quick trip.

Leaving Rhodes we had to pay a tax of 15 Euros each. Interesting. On arrival in Turkey we had to pay a VISA of 60 USD each! That was more than twice what the citizens of any other country had to pay. Wow, the Canadian and Turkish government obviously have “issues”. It made for a very expensive day.

We took a cab to the bus station (otogar) and as we drove the cabbie offered us deals to drive us all the way to Selcuk (pronounced Sel-chook). He started at about 150 Euros and made it all the way to 100 Euros as we reached the station. He felt his cab would be far more comfortable than the stuffy old bus. We declined his offer to his great disappointment and booked the bus for 50 Euros. It was interesting that most everything is listed in Euros AND Turkish Lira.

The bus turned out to be very elegant. It was a huge coach that looked brand new. It felt like we were traveling in business class on an airplane, particularly because they actually had bus attendants! The bus attendant served us complimentary drinks and snacks a few times during the 4 hour bus trip. There were headsets and video screens at each seat so you could choose from a variety of movies, television stations, music or games. Most everything was in Turkish, of course, but that didn’t stop us from having quite a bit of fun playing around with the sets.

We arrived at Aydin (can’t get directly to Selcuk) and climbed off the bus to find a connection. The Turks are very used to tourists obviously and as we dragged our bags across the lot, a few men came running up to me to ask where I was going. I told them and immediately one grabbed my bag and dragged it off to another bus, shoved it in the back and looked at me expectantly. Tom, meanwhile, was having conniption fits behind me. I could hear him hyperventilating and spluttering as he jogged to keep up. Was this the ONLY bus to Selcuk? Was this the most expensive one? Did this bus actually go there or were we being kidnapped off to never-land? The bus driver looked somewhat irritated as Tom and I discussed the options and the driver grabbed each of our bags to shove them on the bus.

We sat on the bus for the next 20 minutes while Tom’s heart-rate returned to normal. It was about 33 degrees out and the bus was probably hotter. It was a small van-like object, nothing like the elegant affair we had just stepped out of. Our astute observation skills determined that we were on one of two buses to Selcuk and the other one left later than ours. Eventually the bus took off and we were whisked away to Selcuk.

At the Selcuk station we had instructions to go to the corner to find the sign for our hotel. This turned out to be very accurate and within a few minutes the van from Atilla’s Getaway arrived to take us to the hotel. It was a lovely hotel. It was tucked in behind a restaurant at the side of the highway but was an oasis of calm and charm. It looked like a great place to stay if you were in your twenties and it was the height of tourist season. There was a bar next to the pool, hammocks, lounge areas with pillows and hookah pipes, ping-pong and pool table, volleyball court and weight lifting area. All in all, a fun place to be.

Apparently I have run out of storage space for pictures so I have to purchase more space. I don't have a credit card on me in the little bar we are using for Internet at this moment so will have to wait for another time to upload more pictures.