'On the Waterfront' is a classic movie from 1954 and there's a memorable line from it that sticks in my mind.
"You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
As we tied up at our berth at Kuşadasi marina, that line came into my head. But it wasn't an exact quote that played through my mind, it was an alternate reality version based on what we were doing and it went like this.
"You don't understand! We coulda gone further. We coulda been in Çeşme. We could've been in Istanbul, instead here we are, which is due to those damn lockdowns."
Don't get me wrong, we were happy and excited to be in Kuşadasi and we were eager to explore. But in the back of my mind I was still imagining just how much further over the horizon we'd have got if it hadn't been for the five weeks of travel that were stolen from us this year due to lockdowns.
We'd arrived in Kuşadasi one day before Aannsha's birthday which gave us time to research and suss out which restaurant we were going to celebrate at. Aannsha enjoys doing that sort of research and after a few hours of Googling and reading reviews she announced the winner and it was a restaurant situated within the marina complex.
Kuşadasi was Aannsha's fourth birthday since we moved on board A B Sea. The first one was anchored in Formentera in the Spanish Balearic Islands. The second one was anchored at the Greek island of Milos and the third one was anchored at Datça in Turkey. What a fun way of remembering birthdays.
Casting off our usual boatie attire of shorts and t-shirts, we dusted off something more presentable and walked to the end of the pontoon where our chariot was waiting.
Kuşadasi marina is currently (July 2021) going through a reshuffle and expansion phase so we were berthed about as far as you can get from the marina entrance (690m - 2,263ft) and it's a very long walk at the best of times, it was certainly too far for Aannsha to walk in high heels.
Earlier that day an office staff member had brought around a birthday cake for Aannsha and had mentioned that if we were going out for dinner then the six seat marina electric shuttle buggy could pick us up at the end of our pontoon and drive us around to the marina entrance.
At precisely 18:30 we climbed aboard the shuttle and we were off.
The chosen restaurant was 'La Terazza' and we had booked a table with a view out to the water. A waiter gave us a warm welcome at the entrance and showed us to our seats. The menu is extensive, almost to the point of being overwhelming, but I'd done my usual trick of browsing it online that afternoon and I'd already made my decision as to what I was going to eat.
We ordered a nice bottle of red wine courtesy of our mate Kev, as Aannsha's birthday gift. Then we ordered a starter to share, because we wanted to leave room for dessert. For mains Aannsha had steak medallions and I had a huge burger with bacon. The service was friendly, fast and the presentation of each dish was beautiful as you'll see in this week's video.
Fully sated we walked back to the marina entrance where the nice security guy invited us to once again hop aboard the shuttle to be whisked back to A B Sea.
The following day we decided to go out and explore some of what Kuşadasi has to offer.
It's a huge town, much bigger than I'd imagined and we're sure that if you were thinking of making Kuşadasi marina your home port you'd find everything you need in the town.
A walk along the seafront eventually led us down to the area where the fishing boats come in and offload their catch and that area is home to a couple of dozen seafood restaurants. It doesn't get much fresher than that.
Just a short walk from there is the old caravanserai which was constructed between 1615 and 1618 in the Ottoman empire architectural style. Constructed in the form of a fortress to meet the needs of the time, the caravanserai was used as a customs house and also a place for the many trading camel caravans to find protection from night time marauders.
Today, the building is owned by the municipality and is a hotel with 55 beds in 25 rooms. It is also used for public events and concerts.
After a good look around we walked further along the coast to the island fortress that we'd seen from A B Sea as we'd initially entered the bay.
It's not too big, so it's easy to have a stroll around in an hour or so and there are some really great views into the surrounding bays, which is a good thing if you're a fort designed to protect the harbour from pirates.
Both the caravanserai and the island fortress are free to get in, so there is no need to show your museum card.
We then walked back to A B Sea through the main shopping area and were impressed by the variety of stores. It's a shopper's paradise and I'm sure many hours could be spent maxing out a credit card.
Next week we take you to the ancient site of Ephesus, which was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital. Make sure you come back for that.
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