Thursday, 10 July 2008

Made it to Turkey - Finike ... Jun 2008

25 Jun - 03 Jul 2008
***Cute little beach between Finike and Kas*** Us at Kas Fishing Harbour*** Evening out at the Opera under the Stars - Norma by Bellini performed at the stunning 1800 year old Aspendos Ampitheatre***

Our first week in Turkey has been action packed, we need to leave the marina and find a quiet little bay to get some rest!!!! We arrived at 9am on 25 June and were assisted into our med mooring berth at Finike Marina by extremely helpful and professional staff and we were tied up before we knew it, always a relief. Finike is a small town about half way between Fethiye and Antalya. It is very Turkish with few tourists except for the yachties, but has some excellent little local cafes, a couple of reasonable supermarkets, a huge Saturday produce market, a good marina with all facilities and a nice leisurely, local feel to it all. We were going to stay a couple of days to check in and have a look around, we are now up to day 8!!!!

We have had a day out exploring by car with Tony off Tactical Directions and Bill, crew member off Mariah. We headed west along the winding coast road first to the Church of St Nicholas (Santa Claus and the patron saint of Sailors), although its not in great shape it was built in the 3rd century and still has Byzantine frescoes and some mosaics floors. Next stop, about 2kms further on were the ruins of Myra with a well preserved Greco-Roman ampitheatre and Lycian Tombs high in the cliffs. Then coffee time and we headed down to the lovely harbour area at Kas. This looks like a great place, as did our next stop Kalekoy and we plan to go back on Balvenie and spend some time there exploring. Then it was time to explore more ruins at Xanthos, the ancient Lycian capital. We were befriended by a local man who we are not sure was a tour guide or not but his English was ok and he had a great knowledge of the history of the ruins and showed us all sorts of things we would not otherwise have found - terracotta water pipes, ancient swimming pools, hidden mosaics. It was a worthwhile stop and had an outstanding vista of the plains below. Next it was onto Fethiye to checkout the marina, anchorage and of course the chandlerys. It's a medium sized town with quite a tourist presence but had a nice feel to it. The drive home was interupted by a flat tyre, I enjoyed the view of the med while the boys , changed the tyre in record time, happy hour was upon us!! It was a great day out, many thanks to Tony for the car.

A couple of nights ago we joined an excursion organised by the marina to the outdoor opera at Aspendos. With a 5pm departure and 3am return it was a long evening but totally worthwhile. We had a dinner stop in Antalya with excellent food then it was onto the 1800 year old Aspendos Ampitheatre which is an outstanding venue. It is totally restored, completely enclosed around but open to the stars and is a fitting setting for an Italian Opera. A must do (even for non Opera fans) if you have the opportunity. Meanwhile this week has been the Finike Music Festival with local guest performances in the square each night, finishing off with a big nightly fireworks display at 12.30am, so you can see why we must leave and get some sleep. Nearly time for our daily dip in the med to cool down. More updates when we get out cruising this beautiful coastline.

Anchorage info
: Finike Marina - med mooring, line for the bow provided, need own stern lines x 2. Gets afternoon seabreeze but very sheltered, very big breakwater. Marina fees expensive on
daily rate 46Lira, no weekly rate, monthly and longer much much more affordable. One of the cheapist marinas in Turkey
Checkin info: Full checkin facilities all at marina - takes a couple of hours max. Turkish visas are 90days 43Lira for the 2 of us on EU passports, free on NZ passports. Harbourmaster fee 10Lira, Turkish Transit Log 97.50Lira

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