After beautiful Kas on along the Turkish Riviera, an experience with the package tourism at its best and on to the Greece Islands of Hios and Mykonos on a refugee boat of Hellenic Seaways.
Kas, still in the famous sunset watering hole. Definitely more a lounge area to nibble at a sundowner than 1 of these typical Turkish backstreet bars in other parts of the country.
Ok for sunset, during daytime we had to develop other activities. After many hesitations we finally decided to make a boat trip to Kekova and Kaliköy. It was cheap, the boat with a huge capacity for masses of tourists and the announced program filled with all kind of delights for every minute of the trip.
Finally, a couple of nice guys on board, a lot of great places for a swim and …
… a great view on the sunken city of Kekova, …
… and the village of Kaleköy with its huge fort and the roman sarcophagi
Of course for us all a bit too touristy and over organized – but finally pretty ok.
The next day we had to leave the campsite. They’re expecting a large group of package tour mobile home drivers on their ultimate adventure trip. We did even not know that things like that exist.
We drove on further north to Ölüdeniz. Nice road along the coast with many secluded small beaches.
Nevertheless, we found a great place to celebrate sunset …
A visit to the nearby Greek ruins in Tlos. Super location, interesting place …
11th October; Sarigerme
In Ölündeniz we decided to make a fully unpredictable experience. We were eager to learn how the majority of tourists spend their best few weeks of the year. We searched the web site of a well-established European tour operator to select a really fantastic all-inclusive super holiday resort. Just to share experience with all others.
Wanna know more about this extraordinary adventure – click the button below.
13th October; Cesme
3 days later we were happy to have left this extraordinary consumer paradise. We were back on our road towards the Greek islands.
Only finding a ferry to one of them seems to be rather complicated. The 1st attempt Marmaris to Rhodos already failed during our internet searches. The car ferry does not run any longer.
So we drove to Bodrum. There we learned that there’s a daily car ferry to Kos. Marvellous. Only the car height is limited to 2m – and Prado needs 2.40m. So we moved on towards Cesme near Izmir. Rumours say there might be a ferry to completely unknown Hios.
The next morning a chance to visit world-famous Effesos. Effesos, the world’s most famous Greek ruins …
… and the ultimate place if you don’t want to be alone. Nevertheless, without millions of co-visitors the Greek ruins would be somehow great. Considering reality, you’re simply too distracted by all these tourists to realize how great the site really is.
Considering this, the most impressive impressions were the numerous guides organising these 1000s of cruise ship passengers into groups of 30 to 50 following their guide like sheep following their goat.
After this rather frustrating experience we drove on to Cesme. Still hoping to find a suitable ferry to Greece. Passed the large town of Izmir and finally arrived at the ticket office of Erturk. Wonder happen, 5’ later we were proud owners of a ticket to Hios in Greek. Departure tomorrow morning.
We went to Hotel Yalzin. Quite ok, the rooms a little small, just space for a bed + 10cm on each side.
We visited the town. Not much to see, even no foreign tourists.
At 8am at the port. A tiny ferry was already waiting for us. Quickly pass immigration. Then some waiting for customs to have Prado re-exported. Of course the customs officer had to check the car. So far ok. Only the guy developed the idea that a complete scan of the car would give him some further information about Prado’s secrets. He asked us to completely unload the car and proceed to the x-ray. Of course we had to misunderstand his wishes and drove to the huge machine. We were lucky the x-ray guys didn’t know that Prado should be empty. The car was scanned, the result printed on a piece of paper. Unfortunately there was a big black point in the back of the car. A specialist arrived; we had to unload a little. Finally we discovered the mystery – the 2nd car battery. No more reason to detain us and we were on the ferry.
40’ to Hios town.
… to the picturesque Mastic villages (wiki it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastichochoria). Mesta a rather touristy village – even if currently without any tourists because the season is over and …
… Pyrgi much more original.
… finally the famous world heritage monastery of Nea Moni
The next day the ferry trip to Mykonos. A trip the whole day long with quite a number of stops on other islands. Early morning we had to get up for the ferry.
After 2h the next stop was Vathy, Samos.
From far we could see the huge crowd waiting for the boat. Refugees seeking asylum in EU have to cross the border illegally to be recognized. Following this all enlightening logics of some almighty bureaucrats they may not take the ferries between Turkey and Greece for a few Euros. They have to engage a tout to bring them illegally into expected paradise. An extremely dangerous and expensive requirement of the overwhelming maniacal bureaucrazy – but probably reflecting the current state of the art of European consensus.
Samos is the nearest point to the Turkish mainland, thus a hotspot to cross into sacred EU.
Some 1000 people boarded. Quite a story until they found everybody they were looking for and it was definitely ensured that nobody remained alone on the island. So the ferry was definitely fully booked. Some people looked tired, but must were in a pretty good mood. Many just crossed the all dangerous sea in a small dinghy last night. So every reason to be happy to have survived the most dangerous part of the journey. Nevertheless, still many uncertainties and a long way to go.
Next the port of Karlovassi, still on Samos. Then on the way to the tiny island of Fourni.
The island of Ikaria with its proud capital of Ayios Kirykos.
Finally, in the late afternoon approaching Mykonos.
And – what a different world to the refugee ferry. All looks somehow stylish, expensive, exclusive– at least at a 1st sight.
The next day a tour around the island. At least not a great distance to cover – it’s really tiny. Absolutely dry landscape, some lonely beaches – definitely a seasonal phenomenon only – and …
… we’re back to the proud capital of the island.
Even if every house is a high-end fashion shop, an expensive souvenir shop with cheapest Chinese made kitsch, a lounge bar or a restaurant where a Greek would never put his food because of the quality of food and its price.
Nevertheless, the small alleys with the whitewashed houses and at that time of the year rather few tourist crowds. Of course, if there is a time when no cruise ship gets rid of his 1000s of passengers.
More about the same, but different in our next post.