Turkey Kaş 2001.04.04 - 04.11

Mediterranean Recovery

From Fethiye, we reached Kaş by bus. Anne was in a proper foot cast and could limp short distances with help. In Kaş, we chose Gulşen Pension located directly on the Mediterranean Coast for its easy access from the road to the guest room and its relaxing setting.

Gulşen was an ideal place for recovery. The ground floor had a kitchen where we could prepare our meals. The rooms had a balcony overlooking the ocean. Every morning and evening, Wes and Masami prepared breakfast and dinner for 3 and ate with Anne on her balcony while chatting about life and listening to the ocean waves. Anne kept dinner leftovers for the following day's lunch. The pension owner checked on Anne several times per day, bringing ice for her foot and tea.

With Anne cared for properly, most days we walked around town and visited nearby sites. Kaş is a pleasant town to wander and chat with the locals. We visited some of the shop owners daily for dinner supplies and were sometimes offered apple tea.

One day we rented a car to visit the nearby towns of Üçağız, where a boat to the sunken city of Kekova can be chartered, and Demre, home of the real Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, in the 4th century. Anne was anxious to move about so we explored together.

Üçağız is a tiny fishing village with four restaurants and a few boats to take tourists around Kekova Island just offshore. Like most tourist places in the world, we arrived and the restaurant and boat owners found us. After a relaxing fish lunch, we agreed on 15 million TKL to charter a glass-bottomed boat for an hour around Kekova. Though "sunken city" is a bit of an exaggeration, the partially submerged stone ruins were interesting and worth seeing. During the summer months, boats from all coastal towns within a 100km radius of Kaş can be hired to visit Kekova. During low season, however, a hire from Üçağız is the best bet. Since no public transport goes to Üçağız, a car or scooter hire is necessary.

Demre (also called Kale) is on the main road, and all buses between Fethiye and Antanya driving the coastal route stop there. Since we had a car for the day, we continued east from Üçağız to Demre. Signs in Demre with "Noel Baba" (Santa Claus in Turkish) point to the Church of St. Nicholas. Admission is an overpriced 5 million TKL. While Anne hobbled from the car to the church entrance, a well dressed man asked Anne what happened. She briefly explained the incident of being pushed off a cliff by a local boy. The man turned out to be the mayor of Demre and gave all 3 of us free admission to the church. Once through the gate, Wes noted, "we should hang out with you more to get free admissions." Anne wittingly pointed to her cast and replied, "I could tell you where to get one of your own!"

Another day while Anne was resting, we road a dolmuş (mini bus) to Saklikent Gorge. In the summer months, an 18km stretch can be walked through ice-cold water. In April, the river is deep, rapid, and the color of wet cement. The obnoxious commercialization at the mouth of the gorge, the only accessible part when the water is high, makes this a good place to skip off season.

By the 7th day of recovery in Kaş, Anne was mobile enough to hobble to town without severe pain. We stocked her closet with water and food. We also brought her a menu of a decent restaurant in town that delivers without extra cost. Anne promised to rest her foot for another 2 weeks and felt confident that she could manage the remainder of the recovery on her own. With that assurance, we parted the next day.

Breakfast with a view. From the balcony of our room at Gulşen Pension, we overlook the crystal clear Mediterranean.

The Gulşen Pension cat had 4 kittens 6 days before our arrival. During our stay, all 4 opened their eyes for the first time.

Lycian tombs in the shape of miniature houses line the shore near Üçağız.

Along the shore of Kekova Island, partially submerged ruins can be viewed by boat.

The Church of St. Nicholas has a warm feeling. A 4th-century Christian bishop, later St. Nicholas, dropped a bag of coins down the chimneys of village girls who couldn't wed because they didn't have a dowry. Who says Santa Claus doesn't exist?

The entrance to Saklikent Gorge is pretty if you ignore the blaring pop music and horrible tourist restaurants several hundred meters away.

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