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Aannsha’s Blog #216 – Christmas memories & Lycian museum

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

Barry’s nearly an old fart

This year we celebrated Barry’s birthday at the local restaurant, Altın Sofra, which is situated just outside the gates in the marina complex. This treat was with great thanks to a long term subscriber of ours, Steve Brunning, who kindly sent Baz a very generous donation so that we could enjoy a meal.

We invited our friends Ant and Cid (from SV Impavidus) to add to the merriment. Ant had difficulty walking as he was having extreme back pain (as a result of his spinal cord being put under pressure by compressing vertebrae), so we walked there and back very slowly.

However when we were at the restaurant conversation flowed freely and jokes peppered our discussion that ranged across a wide variety of subjects. These are two people who Barry and I are extremely glad to count as friends. This Christmas was great because at Finike Setur marina in Turkey, there is a very strong liveaboard community.

Christmas memories

Baz doesn’t go in for the religious side of Christmas, but I do love carols. So when I heard that a group was getting together on Christmas Eve carol singing, I said, “Count me in!”

We made our way up and down the three pontoons and sang our hearts out, it was great! Apart from joining with other voices in traditional songs that always evoke back to cherished memories from my school days, it turned out there was another bonus of being a carol singer that day. Several of the yachties who weren’t singing shared fabulous winter drinks with us, including rum, creamy hot chocolate, wine and port. By the time we reached the Porthole (community area), I was in a very warm and fuzzy mood, brought on partly by the booze, but certainly partly by the festive spirit.

Christmas day was also memorable as a good many from the marina dined in the top floor restaurant of Finike Marina Hotel which, as the name suggests, overlooks the marina. In fact, it has panoramic view of the whole of the bay and made a fantastic backdrop to lunch. Despite the fact that Turks don’t celebrate Christmas, lunch was tasty and fairly traditional, and thanks to Setur Marina we had a decadent cake as dessert. Thanks to Tracey van Zyl for organising the meal and decorating the venue. Thanks also to her husband Ralph who gave an entertaining speech.

After lunch Baz and I went to the Red Lion Pub in the marina complex and had a few wines and lots of laughs with Ant and Cid, and other friends of ours, Phil and Cristina. We rolled home a couple of hours later chuckling, and ready to catch up with family and friends around the world.

New Year’s Eve proved to be wet and cold, so Baz and I stayed in the warm and dry saloon of A B Sea.

The Lycian Museum of Civilisations

We hired a car for a week so one overcast day we headed out to Demre to check out the Lycian Museum of Civilisations that several friends had said was well worth the visit. The museum is situated at the old port of Demre called Andriake, which used to be a thriving hub for trade on a wide and much used river Myra. Over the centuries however, silt coming down from the mountains silted up the river making it impassable.

I did enjoy walking around the ruins at Andriake. There is a huge vaulted cistern that was partly carved into the bedrock, and partly constructed by huge blocks of stone. There is a replica wooden boat sitting where the harbour would have been and gives a good idea of what would have been seen when the port was active. Inside the Civilisation museum itself which is situated in a massive ancient grain storage area, there are some good displays. I particularly liked the ancient anchors, and also a display which is part model and part light show, depicting bygone ships sailing on the sea.

This area was also a joy to walk around as (in common with many of the ancient settlements in the area), it is situated in beautiful scenery. The path that leads from the entrance building to the museum takes you through this scenery, dotted by herds of goats grazing on the grass. In the distance we spotted pink flamingos wading in what was left of the silted up river. And there’s an opportunity to view the ruins of churches and a myriad of bathhouses that would have been part of the port complex.

The new harbour

Before leaving the area Barry and I drove 2.5Km to the new harbour which is situated where the river mouth opens out and allows today gullets to anchor. Many of these day tripper boats were out on the hard along the roadside and Baz did a great job of navigating the car so we didn’t knock any of the wooden supports that held up the boats!

It was cool to see the stretch of water that we’ve passed by in A B Sea on our trips to and from Kekova and Finike, from the shore side.

Where’s the unfinished marina?

On the way back home Baz and I decided to see if we could visit the unfinished marina that we’ve also noticed along that stretch of Akdeniz (the Turkish name for the Mediterranean Sea). Well, we took several roads, all of which weren’t on our slightly dated sat nav. We almost got bogged down in sand at one point. And although we didn’t find the marina, we did drive through some interesting little Turkish roads that you probably wouldn’t see normally. So we’ve left that footage in the video. We stopped at a beach once we realised we weren’t going to find the marina and decided to film a couple of our Q&As there.

If you’d like to see what I’ve just written about, then check out this week’s video here.

Until next week, I wish you health, wealth, courage and a healthy dose of wisdom, as you take the actions to bring your dreams to life.

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