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Mr Dim and the Carpet Shop

Ramazan Dim is the owner of Mr Dim Exclusive Apart Hotel in Gocek, a small town on the Turkish Aegean, Lycian coast. We always stay at Mr Dim’s for a night or two before setting off on our Turkish sailing adventures. Ramazan and his wife are really charming hosts, always greeting us personally, even once waiting up for us when we arrived really late. They treat us as though we’re best friends that have been staying with them for weeks, year after year when in truth it’s just a night or two every few years. The Dim’s epitomise the warm welcome you get in this part of the world and are one of the reasons we’ll keep coming back to Turkey. It was also Mr Dim that gave me this sage piece of advise when we were last here and he found out we were getting married. He took me to one side and said, always remember, ‘Happy wife, happy life’, how true Ramazan, how true. If you want a small an idyllic, peaceful spot for a short or long holiday, then Mr Dim's could be the place for you.

And since our trips are about people as much as places here's another example of the warmth of the local people. We were walking into town this evening when we passed a carpet shop, not unusual in Turkey, but outside there were a couple of chaps, one it turned out was the proprietor, Ibraham, the other, who's name I didn't get was repairing a carpet. Ibraham saw me looking and said 'he's repairing a carpet, would you like to learn', to which I replied 'is it his first time or is he your apprentice', and so the conversation began. Anyhow I mentioned how nice the locals are, to which he replied, 'if you say nice things, you will meet nice people'. A maxim I will try to remember and follow. So here's Ibrahim, proprietor of Yourdan Art Art Gallery, who didn't try to sell me a carpet but was just happy to say nice things. Ibraham.

So this is our first time in Turkey for 4 years, partly because it’s been difficult to tear ourselves away from the Greek islands and partly because of COVID. This was in fact a holiday we had booked in 2020, then re-booked last September and now at last we’re able to return to Turkey and the beautiful Turquoise Lycian coast (however, those of you who have followed recent blogs won’t of course be fooled into thinking we’ve suffered with too few holidays in the last couple of years!).

We're picking the boat up tomorrow and we’re sailing solo this time as our regular sailing chums are currently enjoying more of the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands. But we do have a bit of a plan for our adventure, albeit not yet well formed, nonetheless slightly more realistic than one of Baldrick’s cunning plans!

The Lycian coast, called after the ancient Lycian civilisation (more about them later), stretches from Marmaris in the West to Antalya in the East, so we’ll only be doing a bit of it. It is beautiful, and there is plenty of Turquoise sea. But it is different from Greece. It is mainly coast, not islands, and it is more parking in bays rather than on the harbour quays you usually get in Greece. As well as beautiful the Lycian coast is very peaceful and tranquil, it really does soothe your soul. Have I sold it to you yet?

We will be visiting pre-loved places that you just can’t go to too many times. But we also have a very specific target in mind on this trip - Kastelorizo. Kastelorizo is in fact a Greek island, it is the most Easterly island in the Dodecanese and is literally 3 miles from Kas on the Turkish mainland. Ellison and I passed Kastelorizo on our last Turkish trip but because of time limitations didn’t go. The time issue really is about customs and immigration phaff. Because it’s Greek it means checking out of Turkey in Kas and checking into Greece in Kastelorizo, so it isn’t worth going for a day. This time, we have time, so we’re going.

We plan to go further than Kas and Kastelorizo as well, probably to Kekova Roads and one of the most charming villages you’ll ever go to, Ucagiz, which nestles below hills littered with Lycean tombs and sarcophagi (that’s the plural of sarcophagus don’t you know, I googled it). After that, we’ll see, maybe Demre, who knows.

There’ll be more tomorrow when we pick the boat up, but for now here’s a map, in fact two, firstly the Lycian coast and the coast in the context of the whole of Turkey, the vast size of which is a surprise to many.

More tomorrow but for now I'll finish with cheers in Turkish, Serefe (which literally means 'To Honour', and doesn't have to include an alcoholic drink, but if it does, nobody here minds).


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