Sail Away

I was going through my posts this past weekend and realized I never wrote about the finale to our Turkey vacation back in June–our private yacht!  Here’s the final post about that trip…although now that I’ve looked through all the pictures again, I really, really want to plan another trip like this!  For now I guess I’ll settle for reliving the memories.

IMG_1752We spent the last few days of our trip to Turkey sailing around the Aegean on a chartered sail boat.  This was literally a dream trip–the most relaxing and amazing few days I can remember.

We chartered the boat directly from the hotel we stayed at for the wedding, but there were many, many other places that rent these boats, called gulets, in Turkey.  In fact, this seems to be a pretty common and popular vacation choice there and the boats came in all sizes and levels of luxury.

Our boat was pretty sweet.

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See that amazing red sail boat off in the distance? That was our boat. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

There were ten of us aboard, plus a 4-man crew.  For three days, we sailed, swam, read, relaxed, played games, snorkeled, jet skied, kayaked, drank wine, ate delicious meals prepared fresh by the chef on the boat, and were generally pampered and spoiled.

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Boarding our boat, I think we were all a little amazed at it’s awesomeness.

When we boarded the boat, the captain showed us a map of the coastline and basically asked us where we wanted to go.  We discussed our options and made a plan, he offered advice and suggestions, and we set sail.  While underway, this was how we spent our time:

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The first day we sailed for a few hours and dropped anchor in this cove so the chef could cook dinner.

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Matt taking the leap off the bow into the Aegean.

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Our first sunset on board. I could totally get used to this.

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Good friends, wine, a private yacht, and a spectacular sunset over the Aegean=best start to a vacation ever.

After we ate, we set sail again for another few hours.  We woke up to this:

IMG_1857  IMG_1848We had asked the captain to bring us to a place where there were ruins we could explore.  He brought us to Knidos, where Greek ruins were excavated by an archaeological dig in the late 90s.  Waking up, we gazed at the crumbling walls of a 2000-year old city.  It was breathtakingly gorgeous.  And it certainly puts our 250-year old historical sites in the US in a very different perspective.

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Marble steps leading up the hill to the Temple of Apollo

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Hundreds and thousands of pieces of marble and stone columns, plinths, and pedestals that were excavated here.

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Terra cotta pipes–originally buried next to the stairs–that were excavated and still mostly intact.

When we got to the top of the hill, we looked over the crest and saw this cove:

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This is not edited. The water is the clearest water I’ve ever seen. And see that pretty little white church on the hill in the distance? It’s too beautiful to be real. But it’s real.

So of course, some of us climbed to the top of the very large rock.

IMG_1936And jumped.

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This rock was really, really tall.

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Matt in mid-air. The water wasn’t SUPER deep there, and Matt is 6′ tall, so when he landed, his foot hit the rocky bottom and he sliced himself all up. But it looked really cool while he was doing it. That’s what counts.

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Some of us chose a slightly safer way to pass the time. (Although Alexis, on the far right, did jump!)

The next day we spent in another dreamy, unbelievably gorgeous cove.

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The actual color of the water. This picture is straight off the camera, unedited.

IMG_2031We jumped off the boat, swam, snorkeled, and used the kayaks and jet-ski.

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IMG_2060 IMG_2069 IMG_2114 IMG_2128 IMG_2146 IMG_2151 IMG_2160We were SO pampered on this trip.  The crew was amazing and attentive–you’d dive off the boat for a swim, and when you climbed the ladder back onto to the deck, one of the crew members would be waiting with a towel.  Our meals were delicious and fresh and gorgeous–the chef worked some miracles in the small kitchen below deck.

dinner on board IMG_2173The whole experience was just insane.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate the gorgeous wedding we’d all been privileged to attend, to reconnect with friends who I don’t see enough, and to relax and disconnect from our crazy, responsibility-filled lives for a few days.

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Matt’s daily nap.

sailing with A and K

College roomies–love these girls.

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Bodrum Castle

On the last day, we sailed back into gorgeous Bodrum harbor and went to the airport, where we flew back to Istanbul for one more, very low-key night before heading home.

It was the perfect ending to an amazing trip.  Seriously, add this to your bucket list.

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3 thoughts on “Sail Away

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