Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Almost time for our holiday trip to Texas!

Weather this autumn has been warmer and drier in general as compared to same time last year.  There have been a few weather systems blow through but nothing severe or that has lasted more than a day or two.  Today and tomorrow we are experiencing NNE winds in the 35-knot range; temps 40F daytime and 34F overnight.  Man!  When that wind blows over those snow covered mountaintops off to the north and east of Fethiye then it feels icy!

As the mantra goes: this, too, shall pass.

I count our blessings where we can find them.  And today I am thankful that the sun is shining brightly as that cold wind blows.  Far better than the recent blowing rain.

Sunday December 7 was my 65th birthday.  Yea!!!  Now I am on Medicare and thus am able to avoid all the Obamacare requirements.  Turned 65 just in time to make the deadline and not have to deal with those insurance exchanges and exorbitant prices.  It was a wet and dreary day.  It was a surprise when a woman I know from an online women's sailing group sent an email suggesting that she and her husband and daughter drive down from Marmaris and all go to lunch.  I won't reveal her name here because she and her husband both avoid publicly posting about their private lives.  She brought a selection of 6 deserts to celebrate my birthday. 

We went to the Iskele Restaurant which Bill and I have walked past hundreds of times but had never stopped.  We were the only people in the restaurant for a late lunch.  The owner kindly lit a fire in the fireplace to chase out the chill of the rainy day.  Lunch was very good; I think Bill and I will be returning there this winter.  A lot of local Turks eat there each evening and it is only about 6 blocks from our dock.

After a very long lunch we returned to our boat for deserts and coffee and tea.  And what a selection of deserts!  These deserts were all from Mado, a Turkish bakery and ice cream store chain that is prized for their delicacies.  They use goats milk to make all their products.  And everything they make is both beautiful and delicious.  There was a tiny chocolate cake with pistachios; another tiny chocolate cake with chestnuts; a fabulous cheesecake (yes; made from goats milk); a small container of fried milk; and two containers of very traditional Turkish sweets.  One was like a white sticky pudding which contained chicken.  Yep; a desert containing chicken.  Really did not taste the chicken at all and would not even know it was in there if you were not familiar with the dish.  And the final container was some sorts of grains and honey plus every fruit and nut imaginable.  The grains were cooked very slowly and absorbed all liquid to make a firm substance that was not quite like a cake but drier than a pudding.  It was quite good.  Our guest said that this was a very old dish that was used as a traveler's food centuries past.  Providing lots of energy with the fruits, nuts and honey and very filling because of the grains.  Translation of 'lots of energy' really means lots of calories.

It was a very enjoyable birthday and Bill and I hope to meet up with this family again this winter.  The young couple is Russian but they lived in Canada for years and also have Canadian passports.  They consider themselves Canadian these days, although they are teaching their adorable little daughter Russian as her mother tongue.  Gosh, it must be so nice to hold passports from two countries, especially two countries as diverse as Canada and Russia.

Only six days until we leave for our annual trip to Texas for the Christmas holidays.  Plans are to be in Texas for about six weeks; do several medical appointments with the VA Hospital in Houston and follow-up with M.D. Anderson from Bill's cancer surgery last February.  Since the surgery Bill has had three blood tests and all have been negative for any cancer so we do not anticipate any medical surprises this trip to delay our return to the boat as happened last winter.  We are mentally treating these visits as simply routine follow-up.  

Looking forward to catching up with old friends and seeing extended family on Christmas day.

Last Sunday we visited a Christmas Market which was held along the seafront out in Çaliş, a very British part of town just north of Fethiye old town.  It is out where the long sandy beach is found.  We did not know exactly where the market was located so we took a taxi out there at a cost of 40 TL.  We found a dolmus (small van bus) back to Fethiye central for 4 TL and walked back to the boat from there.  We found nothing to buy at the Christmas Market as it was geared to British tastes and traditions, not things we associate with Christmas.  But it was a worthwhile trip because now we know where to catch the dolmus out to Çaliş and I think there is a pork store located out there somewhere.  Will have to do more research on that after we return in early February.

Since we have not done much and I have taken no photos, here is a link to a blog posting by Turkeys for Life, a British couple living in Fethiye.

Turkeys for Life article about Roman theater in Fethiye

I wrote about the old Roman theater here in Fethiye back when we first visited here around May or June 2012.  Fethiye was known as Telmessos back during Roman days.  When the city of Fethiye built or re-built their town quay some years back they used many of the large stones from the ancient Roman theater to reinforce the quay.  Guess that was before they realized what a boom tourism could be for the local economy.  Today they are renovating the theater. 

We will be leaving Turkey before this renovation is scheduled to be completed in September of next year.

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