Friday, April 13, 2012

Shivering on Aspen Again

11 of the more that 1,000 different Underworld deities that the Hittites worshiped in 2,000 BC.

The deities look pretty scary don't they?

Along the Marmaris Quay a local massive Gulet decides to back in and claim their dock space, to the amazement and horror of the little sailboat on the left.

The Marmaris, Turkey castle with one of the marinas in the background (Netsel Marina)

There are lots and lots of cheeses to choose from at the local markets.

Suleyman the Magnificent in Trabzon, Turkey. The Black Sea is in the background and Maria is showing Suleyman who the admiral is now.

We're back on Aspen in Marmaris, Turkey.

It was quite a ride around this huge country in our trusty Ford diesel rental car, and we barely scratched the surface of things to see and do here in Turkey.

From Mt. Ararat we drove north to the Black Sea and the port town of Trabzon. Woa, what a different part of Turkey that was! The people are distinctly different in that there is a lot of Georgia (i.e. Russian) influence in the culture. Trabzon is a modern bustling city and one of the largest Turkish ports on the Black Sea.

It is such a large city that it took us 1.5 hours to even find our hotel - and we were within 1 mile of it the entire time!

The attached picture shows Maria next to the Black Sea with Suleyman the Magnificent who was born in Trabzon in 1494 and was the ultimate Ottoman ruler. Suleyman won every battle he led and fought in as he created the enormous Ottoman Empire that survived from the 1400's until WWI. Yes, Suleyman was very good, until that last battle of course that he didn't survive. But that was at the end of his rein anyway. He was still Magnificent.

We then drove west along the Black Sea, crossed back over the Taurus Mountains and once we were on the desolate, harsh and wind swept high plains, visited the capital city of the Hittites at Hattusa and Yazilikaya.

The Hittites pretty much ruled the world from 2,000 - 1,000 BC when they even defeated the mighty Egyptians and extended their empire from northern Africa, the entire Middle East, and west into Europe. Once we saw the harsh place where they lived we quickly figured out why they were so feared throughout their empire.

After spending one more night in our cave hotel in Goreme, Cappadocia, we arrived back onboard Aspen just before dark.

So for now we will continue to get Aspen ready to sail and provision her with food. Our friends, Tim and Deb, just landed in Istanbul and we will sail around some of Turkey with them after they make their way down to Marmaris. We just hope it warms up from the cool weather we are having! Where is summer in the Mediterranean?

Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen…

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