Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cruising the Carian Coast

Three thousand years before Columbus 'discovered' America the Carian peoples inhabited this coastal area of what is now Turkey. 
Airstream at Ali Baba's wharf, Bozuk Buku
They were followed by Aeolian and Ionian sea peoples around 1000 BC. Between 400-500 BC Sparta founded several cities along the coast as colonies and the Dorian era began. Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) in 430 BC. The Persians  moved in after the Peloponnesian War and then Alexander took it from the Persians. The Romans took it from the Greeks early in the new millennium.  With the fall of Rome the Ottoman Empire ruled until the advent of the modern Turkish state. There was an occasional war with the Greeks, of course.
Bozuk Buku
 So when we cruise this beautiful coast we are immersed in the early history of western civilization. And it easy to see why civilization got such a good start in this part of the world. First of all, it is truly beautiful in the most magnificent and inspiring manner. And I think humans respond to such an inspiration. The Doric Peninsula, for instance,  is a giant Yosemite by the Sea. 

Hellenistic era fortress walls at Bozuk Buku
 The sea is relatively sheltered and coastal communications and trade were easy compared to overland travel. The climate is true Mediterranean, not harsh but not enervating. A human can survive here year around without being ruled by the climate but has to work a little to be comfortable. There are defensible positions on every headland and many well sheltered harbors. In a time before the Med was so heavily fished it must have been an easy place to find a decent meal.
Pethi anchorage, Symi
And, in a way, nothing has changed. The last war between the Greeks and the Turks was only 90 years ago. Right now they're getting along rather well and Cyprus issue is in deep back ground mode. The area has lost none of its spectacular beauty. Coastal travel is still more fun than overland although the Turks are building good roads through the area. There are nice anchorages, the same anchorages in many cases, for us to use and we travel in boats about the same size as the ancient coastal trading craft. The fishing may not be so good but there is a restaurant on the beach in any protected anchorage. It is still an easy place to find a decent meal.
Symi town, island of Symi, Greece
So we left Marmaris on the 8th of May as planned. I got the fridge fixed and installed a new inverter, maybe the only 110 volt inverter in Turkey, and we were outta there. Since then we've anchored or Med tied in Serce Limani, Bozuk Buku, and we went over to the Greek island of Symi and anchored in the bay at Pethi. We had a lovely sail and crossed back into Turkey at the town of Datca. 

Stoa ruins at Knidos
And now we're anchored at Knidos and surrounded by the remnants of that ancient city. It's a magnificent setting for a magnificent ruin of what was, for about 500 years, a major Greek, Persian and Roman port. It's not as well known as Ephesus and it has never been throughly excavated but it may be even more interesting for all that.

Knidos anchorage, amongst the ruins of the ancient city
 Its also a lovely anchorage with a nice fish restaurant (no village)  ashore so we may suffer  along through a few more nights. Soon we'll move on northwards to the area around Bodrum and then into the Ionian.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet

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