I was back in Turkey for a couple of weeks in 2001. It was an area I had never visited before, sailing between Marmaris and Antalya, but I spent a lot of my time dealing with funny little disconnects about things I remembered.
1. Evil eyes are different. It took me a few days to get used to that, silly as it seems.
2. You can pet the cats. Rabies must be under control.
3. The drivers are no longer crazy. They seem to view Dur (stop) signs as an advisory rather than a law, but the really insane stuff isn't happening any more. I was the only person in my group of 11 who started out each bus ride being terrified.
Chris--That is so cool that you were able to do that. my family visited Marmaris and Antalya back in the 60's. Are there still stretches of beach with nothing there, or (I probably shouldn't even ask) are there lots of hotels and condos, etc?
also, how exactly ARE the evil eye beads different now?
The evil eyes now have no yellow in them. And the area around Antalya is solid condos and fancy hotels.
There actually are long stretches of uninhabited coast between cities and villages. And there are protected beaches where sea turtles hatch. Turkey seems to realize what a treasure they have on the "Turquoise Coast" and is quite careful to preserve the cleaness of the water (the best swimming I have ever done) and the historical sites.
The trip I went on was an unexpected gift from a friend who works for an adventure travel outfit. I had two weeks to prepare. We flew into Istanbul and spent a day touring. Then we flew to Izmir for the obligatory trip to Ephesus. I'd been there with my parents. From Marmaris on we were on an eighty foot sail boat cruising the coast for 10 days. Nights we spent in coves with another boat or two and no villages. Every three days or so we put into a town for supplies. We did a lot of hiking. Occasionally we'd board a bus and travel inland. Away from the coast Turks live and dress much as they did in the 60's. The food everywhere was incredible. I've loved eggplant ever since I lived in Turkey and it seemed like we had some version with every dinner. Such an amazing trip!
Oh, and my old evil eyes are ceramic. The ones I saw 4 years ago were deep blue translucent glass with white and light blue opaque glass on them.
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