Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today we awoke early and bid a find farewell to our wonderful crew and our deluxe floating home.  It was hard to leave the comfort and hospitality of the crew and several people mentioned trying to kidnap our chef and take him with us to Cappadocia. We drove 30 minutes to the Dalaman airport and then boarded our flight to Cappadocia via Istanbul.
  We landed and were treated to a great meal at an old Greek mansion where we tasted various local specialties including delicious dolmas, fresh beans, borek, and more.  The house is set in an old Greek village and the local architecture is stunning.  Lots of stone buildings, churches, and arched bridges are woven throughout the little sandstone canyon where the town was built.  

After lunch we went to a local pottery workshop where we learned  about the 1000 year old pottery tradition of this region.  It was very informative to see the various stages of pottery production and at the end the kids all got to try throwing pottery on a traditional pottery wheel.  It was a total blast to watch their faces as the clay transformed before their eyes.  We then toured the finished products and marveled at the incredible artistry that the crafts people hand drew onto these pieces.  
As the sun set we made our way to our amazing cave hotel situated on the cliffs of Uchisar village.  We checked in to our fabulous cave suites that are hand carved into the local stone and beautifully furnished with antiques and rugs. The rooms are huge with enormous bathrooms that make you want to take a “shower several times” a day as the Travel and Leisure reviewer wrote.  The walls are cream colored and local stone arches help support the chiseled roof.  We met in the stylish lounge for wine tasting and appetizers and had a great time recounting the trip to that point.  The views over the local valley were superb.  

We had some local wine made of Okuzgozu grapes, on the terrace of the hotel, overlooking the valleys. And we were completely satisfied as we lay our heads down to sleep in the enormous beds in our cave hotel...

Islands of Gocek Bay

Today we spent our time exploring the beautiful islands and coves of Gocek Bay.  We found a wonderful anchorage next to a beach and all jumped in the water to enjoy our last day on the Med.  Eventually one of the large day boats came by and anchored near us.  These large day boats have between 50-100 people on board and they visit 12 islands during their tour.  They can be quite noisy and it reminded us how lucky we were to have spent a week on our private gulet in peaceful bays away from the main tourist areas.  We decided to make the best of the day boat’s appearance so we stormed the day boat like pirates and snuck on the triple decker boat to use their waterslide and to jump from the very top deck to the welcoming sea below.  It was great fun for the kids and Jordan Robertson (age 9) bravely joined the older kids in launching himself off the 25 foot drop without any hesitation.  Good fun was had by all!  We then snuck away from the big boat and went to one of our favorite anchorages off the port of Gocek where we enjoyed our last swim and tea time on the boat.  
Then we headed into port and explored the charming village of Gocek which is a quaint town with only one main street filled with lots of artist boutiques and cafes.  The town is very laid back and has a great vibe to it.  Perry took some of the men to his favorite barbershop for one last shave and Jale took the women to some of her favorite boutiques for shopping.  We met back on the gulet for cocktail hour and then sat down to a magnficent farewell dinner that the chef had prepared for us.  
The crew had carved a gorgeous centerpiece for the table with great imagination having carved watermelon and other fruits to resemble flowers...just spectacular.  Our chef, Ekrem, went all out this final meal and prepared almost 15 different dishes.  We gave him and the crew a rousing round of applause at the end of the meal and then retired to our cabins for the last night on the gulet.  It has been an amazing and rewarding week with a fantastic captain and crew and we were all very grateful for the stellar service they provided to us.  

Tomorrow we fly to Cappadocia in the heartland of Turkey where the landscape will be the polar opposite of the Med!  It will be sad to leave the boat but exciting to see traditional Turkish culture and a fantastic landscape of slot canyons, red cliffs, and panoramic vistas...