Ikarus, October 24th

I know, Dear Reader. You're thinking how can you top phosphorescent plankton skinny dipping? You are just going to have to trust me that it gets better, or at least maintains the same level of awesomeness.
Zafir, at some point in the morning returned from his mysterious shore leave. We were soon gently crowning the swells in the Mediterranean until the sprawling city of Fetiye came into view. It was fairly early in the morning (by that I mean 10:30)thus Zafir was fairly confident he would find a docking berth in the harbour (by that I mean he cruised blithely in). There was a berth, but it was like when you're in the parking lot for the mall and there is one space left. It says in yellow, "COMPACT CAR ONLY." You are driving a hummer.
It took about five deck hands besides Ali, Swim Champ, Chef and Zafir to, literally, ease our gulet into the tight spot. The rest of us were standing on deck, biting our nails and nervously twitching every time an ominous creak issued between two rails of mating gulets.
Half an hour later Zafir was able to lower the gangplank and we shouldered our backpacks and began to say goodbye to each other. It's weird, when we first started our voyage I felt like we were on some bastard version of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Nile. But as we were approaching our separate paths we were hugging and saying things like, "You have to come visit in Portland/Vancouver/New York/Melbourne/Birmingham." We have since all lost touch, but that's beside the point.
Kirsty and I, I don't mind saying were exhausted. While the traveling foursome of Syrah, Mark, Marcus and Jonah were going directly to a hostel, Veronica and Nathan were planning on another night on the gulet, and who knows (or cares) what James and Veronica were doing. We were going to Dedalus airport to catch a flight back to Istanbul. That was six hours from now. Zafir directed us to the blue cruise office, saying we could book a car to take us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight and we could also leave our bags there.
The office was air conditioned and had plush chairs that we sank into while we negotiated with the agent behind the desk. Kirsty did most of the talking while I zoned out on a poster behind the desk. It was brightly coloured, most of the photo being the purples and pink nylon of a paragliding shoot. Emblazoned across it was the name, "Ikarus." Underneath it named Ikarus as the company with which one could book paragliding. I'm sorry, really?
The agent gestured to a spot behind the desk were we could lean our backpacks. They were getting to be a bit misshapen and lumpy from both of us simply shoving stuff back in without folding. Clean laundry was... I was going to say muddled with the dirty laundry. But really, clean laundry was non-existent. Cleanliness, in general, had sort of been forgotten both Kirsty and I sometime around the 6 hour bus ride from Goreme to Olympos.
We were crusty with salt water, my hair actually crunched, and it wasn't clear whether our "tan" was really from the sun or if it was residue sand and other... grime. Needless to say we also smelled. But my hair was brushed and I was wearing a dress with actual underwear instead of my swimsuit.
Fetiye is a city clearly frequented by the yacht set. Everything was very "upscale" and the prices reflected that. On the other hand, my machiato was delicious and strong, and my orange juice was refreshing and crisp. Exactly what I needed to not crash to the cobbled street and pass out. What Fetiye has to sell itself, besides the awesome Blue Cruise (which I highly recommend) are these amazing stone cut tombs.


The Fam.

It looks like there's a doorway through which someone can walk through and look around the joint. But I think that's evidence of grave robbers. Or zombies. There is a stone stairway one can climb for the standard 8 lira and then take way too many pictures, none of which will be bad, mediocre maybe. I have decided, however, that you have to really try to take a bad picture in Turkey. For instance:


Yes, I took this picture. Yes I am showing off.

When we came down we realised our stomachs were growling. Loudly. In a little shopping centre, nestled between diamond jewelry shops with signs in Cyrillic (uh-huh) and Diesel apparel shops were restaurants. We chose one with a little duck pond an plenty of shade. Kirsty was excited that finally she could really eat again and so went for a spicy lamb shish kebap. I, weirdly, had been feeling a little queasy. I blame it on the wicked pair of land legs that wouldn't leave me until two weeks after I returned to NY. I played it safe with a spicy chicken shish kebap. Both were delicious.
From there we found ourselves sitting at a juice bar. I don't know what it was, we just seemed to be having trouble keeping ourselves going. The other possible lure was that there was free Internet usage, complete with laptops provided at one's table. They didn't have a single juice advertised on the board outside. I was terribly disappointed because they were all called things like, "paradise breeze," blended concoctions of power fruits like banana, mango, passion fruit and orange. Or pineapple, pomegranate, and lime. I had to settle, in the end, with a simple pomegranate juice. I know.
Kirsty looked at her watch. "Maybe we could see if there's an earlier flight to Istanbul."
"That sounds like a good idea."
Talking to two travel agents in two separate offices we learned that yes, there were earlier flights. One of which was leaving in perfect time.
"Great," Kirsty said. "Can we get on that flight?"
What she meant, I hope you will understand, Dear Reader, was "Can we change our tickets for that flight."
What the agents heard was, "Can we buy tickets for that flight?" The whole concept of exchange was lost in translation.
After all that activity, we were exhausted again.
I looked at Kirsty. "You know what the problem is?" I asked her.
"No, what?"
"We haven't baklava since...," I counted on my fingers, "Over 24 hours ago."
"This is getting to be dangerous," she replied. "We need to find some. STAT!"
A little patisserie with tables outside was located and we pointed to the desired slices.
"Have you had it with Turkish coffee?" the proprietor asked.
"No."
"Oh, you have to have it with coffee, it's very nice."
"Great." So we went to sit outside while he made the coffee. I don't know about Kirsty, but I was definitely in a coma of spaciness, I'm sure I had the look of a glazed doughnut. Or a zombie newly escaped from a rock cut tomb. Then he brought out the baklava and coffee.


Oh Holy Shit.

I don't know if it really shows here, Dear Reader, but that's a large amount of caffeine in a fine china cup, and three (3) pieces of baklava. We were expecting one (1) piece each. Turkish coffee, for those who have never had the pleasure, is not to be meddled with. About one sixth of the cup is actual liquid to be imbibed. That liquid is opaque, creamy, you think. No, it's not cream, it's the sludge (for lack of a better word) that is the remaining five sixths of the cup. The sludge is the coffee grounds mixed with a ton of sugar, and I swear to God, there is some spice in there although Wikipedia does not mention it. Cardamom, maybe? Then the baklava itself, which is just sugar.
Forget cocaine, forget crack, forget Adderall, forget any uppers you have ever taken (and I don't recommend or advocate the recreational use of any of those listed, just so you know). This is a sugar rush that will make your heart say, "WOAH! WOAH! WOAH!"
Shaking likes leaves for the next hour, we walked around the water front checking out all the Turkish school kids that were on a field trip or something. Other gulets were docked and had signs out advertising their wares. We both felt Kirsty had made an extremely good booking in comparison. Restaurants also had signs out, in French, Spanish, German and English describing their specials. Culinary masterpieces such as "some kind of sandwich." Kirsty has the picture if you don't believe me.
In the main square was a statue of Fetiye's name sake: Feti Bey.
Feti Bey, according to Wikipedia, was a pilot who was "martyred" in the War For Independence.


Feti Bey

What's interesting about this statue, to me at least, is the base he's standing on. It's a Lycean tomb.
To while away a few more hours before meeting our driver we decided to get drinks and a meal. We settled on a waterside restaurant with plush looking couches and carpets. The menu didn't look so bad either, sea bream was on special and the drink choices were exactly what I needed: full of liquor (don't judge).
We sat down and ordered. Kirsty went with a "Blue Lagoon." I ordered a side car. We decided to share a sea bream dinner.
Ten minutes later, our water came back to tell me, regretfully, he could not make me a side car.
"That's OK," I said. "I'll have a blue lagoon also."
He left and Kirsty and began comparing photos, stories about what lines what deckhand had tried to chat us up with (Chef had used the "I saw eight shooting stars last night. But I made only one wish," while looking deeply into Kirsty's eyes. She told me she wanted to reply with, "really? Was it for your hairline to stop receding?")
Suddenly I saw something spectacular behind my sister. It was our waiter. He was carrying a tray with two glasses on it. They looked to contain anti-freeze, the liquid was so blue. But that was once you peered past the decorative palm tree straw, sparkler, and cocktail umbrella that festooned the glass. Kirsty looked over her shoulder and her eyes widened also. We just peered, trying so hard not to giggle as the waiter set our drinks on the table. When he turned his back, Kirsty fetched her camera and began to frame the shot. He turned around and smiled broadly.
"Do you want me to take your picture?" he asked us.
"Uh, sure."
They may have been comically embellished drinks but DAMN. We were really glad when the fish arrived to soak up some of the intense alcohol. I don't think I was even able to finish mine as I wanted to be able to walk to the Blue Cruise office.
A group of individuals were gathered outside the door of the office when we arrived, including our captain, Zafir. He had showered (luck him) and changed. It was strange to see him in a nice pair of pants and leather jacket instead of t-shirt and shorts and bare feet. He gave us both a hug and we assured him any time we went on a blue cruise we would insist on having him as a captain.
Our driver introduced himself to us, I promptly forgot his name, and we loaded our backpacks into his van. I was planning to sit in the back with Kirsty, but Driver insisted that I sit up front with him because he got "lonely," up front all by himself.
The ride to Dedalus airport was pretty uneventful, discounting the extreme speed, the somewhat frightening stop for cigarettes at a random road side shop, and him detouring to show us "the best beach in all of Turkey." Driver also expressed regret that he had not come on the gulet with us.
Shortly thereafter we boarded the plane, a Turkish Airlines craft that was resplendent with a huge nazar boncugu right at the front door.
"It's gonna take a lot more than that," I muttered under my breath. Kirsty gave a nervous chuckle.
We settled into our seats, Kirsty engaged in some deep, relaxing breaths (she's a nervous flyer) and the screen flickered to begin the pre-flight safety presentation. Pre-flight safety presentations can take a while, especially when they have to bilingual, like say in Turkish and English. The plane began taxying slowly down the runway as the safety exits were pointed out, we were told were our floatation devices were located and were just getting to the part about the seat belts when the video flickered, and dissapeared. The plane picked up speed, tilted and we were in the air.
Kirsty flicked her hand dismissively. "Ah screw it," she muttered. "They know it all by now, anyway."
"8 Lira says they play the rest once we land," I grinned at her.

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