Latest Entries »

Kekova: the Sunken CIty

Kekova: the sunken city

Kekova: the sunken city

While staying in Kaş we decided to take a boat day trip to see Kekova and the lovely turquoise coast line on the way. We did the rounds on the harbor, checking prices and itineraries.  The majority of the boats charged 60 TL ($22) for an eight hour trip including lunch and multiple swim stops.

You get to reserve your "spot" on the boat.

You get to reserve your “spot” on the boat.

We got to stop in beautiful bays to swim in the crystal clear water.

We got to stop in beautiful bays to swim in the crystal clear water.

It looks like a swimming pool, but it isn't!

It looks like a swimming pool, but it isn’t!

Kekova is a small uninhabited island which is opposite ancient Simena (now Kaleköy) and near Teimioussa (now Üçağiz). Kekova is now a protected area, so the boats can’t stop there; however, they go by the island so that you can see the partially sunken ruins of the ancient town called Dolchiste.  It used to be the residential part of ancient Simena. It was destroyed by terrible earthquakes in the second century, and later rebuilt by the Byzantines. Dolchiste was later abandoned due to invasions by the Arabs.

Kekova

The sunken city

The Kekova region is very popular with the yachts and cruise boats. Ancient archaeological sites, sparkling blue water, tranquility, beautiful nature, sunshine….it’s no wonder many stay here for weeks at a time, in one of the nearby bays of the charming fishing villages of Kaleköy or Üçağiz.

Kekova

Kekova

Kaleköy (ancient Simena) is very picturesque. The new cafes, pensions,and shops mingle with the ancient and medieval ruins, and somehow it works!  The history of ancient Simena goes back to the 4th century B.C. It was once a small fishing village, and later was settled by the Knights of Rhodes, who built the castle.

simena

The castle was used by the Byzantines.

Kaleköy is accessible only by sea.

Kaleköy is accessible only by sea.

 

kek

kek

 

The sarcophagus tomb

The sarcophagus tomb

 

Sarcophagus

More ancient Lycian sarcophagi

 

There are lots of little cafes to enjoy a snack and homemade ice cream.

There are lots of little cafes to enjoy a snack and homemade ice cream.

We headed back to Kaš, after stopping to swim again. It was a wonderful day!  We highly recommend the boat trip to Kekova!

 

The Greek island of Kastellorizo, known as Meis in Turkish.

The Greek island of Kastellorizo, known as Meis in Turkish.

We decided to do a day trip to the Greek island of Kastellorizo, just a 30 minute boat ride from

Kaş. Be sure to take your passport with you when you make a reservation.  You have to either leave it with the tour company the night before, or hand it over an hour before the boat leaves, so that it can be processed by the customs office.
There are lots of little restaurant around the small harbor.

There are lots of little restaurant around the small harbor.

We explored the area right around the bay.
photo

The island was taken over by crusading knights in 1306. They restored the castle and used it as a prison for disobedient knights:)

photo

From the 1400’s to the 1800’s the island was occupied by the Sultan of Egypt, the King of Naples, the Ottoman Sultan, the Venetians, the Greeks, and then back to the Ottomans!

Photo

In the early 1900’s the Italians, Greeks, French, Brits, and Turks battled over possession of this island. The treaty of Lausanne gave the island to Italy.

photo

The Brits and the Italians battled over the island in 1941. It was occupied by Allied forces in 1943. Kastellorizo became part of Greece in 1948 under the Paris Peace Treaties.

There’s not a lot to do there, which was perfect for us.  We were celebrating Father’s Day…not many guys can say they went to a Greek island for the day!  We relaxed in a lounge chair by the sea, sipping ice coffees and swimming in the lovely bay.
Looks like I'm sitting by the pool, doesn't it?

Looks like I’m sitting by the pool, doesn’t it?

The view:)

The full view:)

Photo

Photo

We had a great lunch with fresh fish from the sea at a lovely restaurant on the bay.
Fresh fish!

Fresh fish with a glass of wine…life is good!

This is where we had lunch.

This is where we had lunch.

The view from our table.

The view from our table.

After lunch we took some more photos…
DSC02571
DSC02545
Then returned to our lounge chairs and iced coffees:)
Nice way to spend Father's Day, eh?  But we missed our kids!

Nice way to spend Father’s Day, eh? But we missed our kids!

Finally, it was time to head back to Kaş.

Kaş harbor

Kaş harbor

We really enjoyed the day. Definitely consider a day trip to Kastellorizo if you are ever in Kaş!
DSC02875

Sumela Monastery, founded in 386 AD!

This fascinating monastery is nestled in a steep cliff at an altitude of about  4,000 feet. It is located in the Altındere National Park, and is surrounded by lush, green coastal mountains. Don’t miss it if you go to the Black Sea region of Turkey!

Kaş!

Kaş!

On Saturday, we left our son at summer camp for a week. We drove along the coast to take our first ever vacation without kids since Nate was born. We headed for Kaş, a beautiful sea side town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. We stopped along the way at this delightful restaurant for gozleme (crepe-style pancakes with filling) and Turkish tea.

A perfect way to start our week!

A perfect way to start our week!

We had been to Kaş for a weekend in May, and fell in love with it immediately. Lush green hills, spectacular bays dotted with islands, the sparkling clear Mediterranean to swim in, yachts, outdoor restaurants….what’s not to love?

Breathtaking views!

Breathtaking views!

Kaş is the perfect place to find lots of activities, or to do nothing but relax, get some sun, and eat in one of the dozens of charming cafes and restaurants.
DSC02225
DSC02611
 DSC02622
DSC02635
 There are numerous restaurants to choose from. This one was a favorite!
The Asma 6...wonderful location with waves crashing just below.

The Asma 6…wonderful location with waves crashing just below.

In case you get too tired from all the relaxing….

Can we live here, please?

Can we live here, please?

We decided to do a day trip to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (known as Meis in Turkish). Warning! More relaxing and swimming!
DSC02509
Not many guys get to say that their wife took them to a Greek Island to celebrate Father's Day!

Not many guys get to say that their wife took them to a Greek Island to celebrate Father’s Day!

DSC02545
After enjoying a nice swim, lunch, and afternoon iced coffees, we headed back to Kaş.
There are many day trips you can take from Kaş. Numerous boats at the harbor offer several different day trips. We will take a day cruise to see the sunken city at Kekova tomorrow, and we’ll let you know how that goes!
DSC02598
Kaş isn’t known for it’s beaches, although there are a few small pebble beaches.  However, an hour’s drive away you can be at Patara Beach, voted one of the world’s best beaches in 1998.
DSC02665
Doesn't this guy do anything besides relax?

Doesn’t this guy do anything besides relax?

You can also enjoy the ancient Lycian ruins at Patara, before or after relaxing on the beach.  If you are feeling energetic, you can book a tour that will take you to Patara, Saklikent Gorge, and the ruins of ancient Xanthos. Being the lazy travelers we are, we decided to drive there, saving the other places for another visit.
DSC02673
 After a very busy year and a half, moving from Prague, six months of travel, and hosting a steady stream of guests in our new place, it is wonderful to slow down. Our main goals today are to take an evening stroll, figure out which boat we’ll take to Kekova tomorrow, and decide what we’ll have for dinner :)
DSC02612
DSC02228
DSC02222
Life is good! I hope you’ll get to enjoy the Kaş experience some day!

 

 

 

 

 

Kaleici's harbor in Antalya

Kaleici’s harbor in Antalya

After six months of traveling, 30+ homes/beds, our nomadic family have a new home!  We have settled in Antalya, Turkey, on the Mediterranean Coast. We love it here!

This park is just a short walk for us.  This as taken in April...notice the snow on the mountains!

Mediterranean. Mountains. Perfection. This was taken in April…notice the snow on the mountains!

I have been in love with Turkey since my first visit more than 20 years ago.  I was traveling with my best friend from college (a ten month backpacking low budget trip around the world) when we discovered Turkey without planning it ahead of time. As we met other young college-aged travelers, and they heard that we were heading for Europe and Greece, many said, “Are you going to Turkey?? You gotta go to Turkey!!”  Being the Americans we are, Turkey wasn’t on our radar. Turkey is the vacation hotspot for Europeans, Russians, and many other nationalities. We decided to see for ourselves what everyone was raving about.  So we took a boat over from Greece to Turkey. I was hooked immediately!

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

Anyone who has traveled to Turkey needs no explanation of why I fell in love with this country.  For those of you who haven’t yet been here, it’s the friendly, welcoming people; the delicious food, the abundance of fascinating archeological sites: the miles of beautiful beaches, the fascinating city of Istanbul straddling two continents, the culture, the sunshine…I could go on and on! There are even amazing archeological sites on beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy great food with friends.

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forrest.  It's no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forest. It’s no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

We decided to move to Antalya after coming to visit in February 2014.  We discovered that it has an international airport, with direct flights to many cities in Europe and the Middle East.  Istanbul is just a one hour flight away.  Antalya is the main city in Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.  Did you know that it’s one of the top five travel destination in the world??!! More than 10 million people visit here every year!!  Most go to the numerous all inclusive resorts along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. 300 hundred sunny days a year sounds pretty good to those coming from cooler, European climates!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

Antalya’s old city of Kaleici is super charming.  It’s small, and easy to navigate. There are, of course, all the touristy shops selling carpets, Turkish delight, spices, souvenirs, and trinkets.

Always bargain before purchasing!

Always bargain before purchasing!

You can get lost in the windy streets full of restored houses from the Ottoman days. However, as long as you head downward, you’ll end up at the lovely port. Going on a boat ride ride is a must-do.  Be sure to negotiate the price of the boat ride!  Prices go down as a boat is about to pull away. Children are free.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are many historical sights from Antalya’s multi-layered past.

We have had a steady stream of visitors.  It is fun to show friends our new city!

We have had a steady stream of visitors. It is fun to show friends our new city!

Hadrian's Gate....built in honor of Emperor Hadrian's visit here in the 100's.

Hadrian’s Gate….built in honor of Emperor Hadrian’s visit here in the second century.

 

There are many wonderful day trips you can go on.  I’ll be writing more about them in the future. Here are some of our favorites:

Ancient Termessos

Ancient Termessos

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy  a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Come see why more than 10 million people come here for vacation every year!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are  looking forward to returning next week!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are looking forward to returning next week!

 

The main House, outdoor sitting and dining area.

The main house, outdoor sitting and dining area.

We recently spent a week at Bamboo Banks, which is a 40 acre farm in the jungle, at the foot of the Nilgiris in the Mudumulai Game Reserve. Bamboo Banks is owned by our long time family friends, the Kothavala family. Siasp and Zarine Kothavala started Bamboo Banks forty years ago.  Siasp now runs the guest house with the help of his son, Zerasp, and daughter, Shahanaz. I’ve been going there since I was a kid for family vacations, and the place is full of happy memories for me.

The drive to Bamboo Banks takes about six to eight hours from Bangalore, depending on traffic. The drive through the countryside is full of interesting sights.

Banyan tree.

Banyan tree.

DSC00145

Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a declared Tiger Reserve. It’s in the Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu, and shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to endangered species including the Royal Bengal tiger and Indian leopard.

DSC00168

Mudumalai National Park is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Looks like he is posing!

Looks like he is posing!

Bamboo Banks is a magical place, with lush greenery that is beautifully landscaped. Zarine Kothavala was passionate about gardening, and you will see her beautiful touch throughout the property.  There’s a donkey and his three horses that roam the property, munching away and keeping the lawns nicely trimmed.

DSC00426

There are also two emus, several turkeys, pea hens and ducks that wander about the property!

DSC00465

DSC00203

You can also watch the monkeys play in the trees and around the pond.

DSC00436

One morning we awoke to monkeys scampering on the roof of our cottage! Another night I watched spotted deer eating the grass just outside the bedroom window. We often heard animals calling in the night.

This was our cottage, called "The Annexe".

This was our cottage, called “The Annexe”.

Guests are warned to stay in their cottages after dark, as animal do come on the property. There’s an electric fence; however, there have been a couple of occasions when elephants have come on the property. Recently one came to eat up Shahanaz’ vegetable garden! Ask Zeras to show you photos on his phone of the…interesting…evidence left behind by an elephant in front of the main house.

This is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003,

The Brick House: this is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003.

DSC00460

Zerasp took us on two different jeep rides on the property, one in the day, and another in the evening.

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove us, not me!

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove, not me!

DSC00248

We saw saw spotted deer, wild boar and a peacock.

DSC00299

DSC00314

DSC00478

When we went again in the evening, we saw more deer, wild boar, and a stunning sunset from the tree house (marchan).

Going up the tree house earlier in the day.

Climbing up the tree house earlier in the day.

DSC00340

Guests can also purchase a jeep jungle tour in the early morning or in the evening, just before dusk, when the animals come out to feed. Two different sets of guests were lucky enough to spot a tiger while we were there!

One day Shahanaz took us to see the nearby town of Masinagudi and the surrounding countryside.

DSC00357

 

DSC00396

We also stopped to see a local temple.

DSC00359

Another evening Shahanaz took us to the Elephant Camp in Mudumulai to see the elephants getting fed just before dusk. Wild boar also flock down to see what scraps they can find. On the way back we saw a bison along the road!

DSC00492

DSC00517

Bamboo Banks is a place to relax and unwind. There’s a lovely pool with out door seating, hammocks and a swing. There’s also a trampoline. Adults can relax while the kids happily expend their energy!

DSC00535

One afternoon the donkey and his three horses arrived to have their lunch by the pool.

DSC00550

DSC00547

My favorite view by the pool:)

My favorite view by the pool:)

There’s also a kids’ play area with swings, a merry-go-round, teeter-totter, trampoline, and slide.

DSC00265

 

DSC00454

There are also ATVs to ride around the property.

DSC00556

The food was amazing! Guests are always served multiple dishes at each meal, with a wide variety of Indian and European food. We will be working on losing the extra weight for weeks to come!!

Every meal was a feast!

Every meal was a feast!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

DSC00598

We spent seven wonderful, relaxing days there. It was hard to say good-bye. Thank you to Siasp, Zerasp, and Shahanaz for yet another amazing visit to Bamboo Banks. We are already looking forward to our next visit! See the link below to book your stay!

http://bamboobanks.com/index.html

 

Jump!

Jump!

During this season of travel we had a wonderful opportunity to visit friends who recently moved to Dubai.  While looking for flights from Prague to India, we noted that many went through Dubai…in fact it was only $200 from Prague to Dubai! So we took the opportunity to visit our friends Mike and Catherine and their boys for a weekend. They live outside of the city, not far from the beach.

That's the Persian Gulf!

That’s the Persian Gulf!

I never thought I’d watch our son play with friends in the waters of the Persian Gulf!!

Also known as the Arabian Gulf in the UAE.

Also known as the Arabian Gulf in the UAE.

The next day our friends took us to see a camel race track!

IMG_1148

 

Here are the race camels...

Here are the race camels…

And here's our gang:)

And here’s our gang:)

Catherine told us they once were invited to see a race.  She had expected to watch the race from the stands; however, she was surprised to discover that the race was watched while in a car speeding alongside the camels, yelling encouragement to your favored camel (go, Orange!!)…amongst other speeding cars full of people cheering for their camels!  Wish we could have experienced that!!

Apparently the camels are ridden by robot jockeys during the race...no, I'm not making it up!

Apparently the camels are ridden by robot jockeys during the race…no, I’m not making it up!

 

IMG_1149

Next, they took us to the desert.  I mean, the real desert, with enormous sand dunes.  We got there by four wheel driving…slipping, sliding, and bumping our way over the dunes to “their dune”.  It felt just like driving across snow. There were no tracks, no parking lot, just follow the old race track and then veer off until we found this place…

DSC09631

The kids had a blast jumping off the dunes, running, climbing, and digging in the sand.  It was so soft, like baby powder!!

IMG_1210

 

DSC09615

 

The adults enjoyed chillin' while the kids played...

The adults enjoyed chillin’ while the kids played…

Quite an amazing view!

Quite an amazing view!

We watched the sun get lower in the sky, but had to head home while it was still light.

We watched the sun get lower in the sky, but had to head home while it was still light.

Good-bye, desert!

Good-bye, desert!

Then there was a great sunset to top off a really great day as we headed home…

IMG_1221

A big thank you to our friends for a wonderful couple of days!

 

 

 

Sunny California in November

San Clemente, California

San Clemente, California

I grew up in Southern California, other than four years of my childhood that were spent in India.  We were blessed to spend five days here visiting friends and family in early November. We stayed at first with a friend who lives in Capistrano Beach, near Dana Point and San Clemente.

This lovely park sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

This lovely park sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

One afternoon, Nate took the scooter to the park nearby.  No words are necessary; enjoy the photos essay!

DSC09507

 

DSC09508

 

DSC09512

 

DSC09514

A few days later we went to Oceanside to meet up with a friend.

Oceanside, California

Oceanside, California

We had lunch next to the pier while we caught up, then had a walk down the pier.  Yes, this was November 3rd!

DSC09535

DSC09537

 

DSC09540

 

DSC09541

It was wonderful to be in this lovely area, soak in the sunshine, and to catch up with old friends!

 

 

My ninth birthday party!

My ninth birthday party in September 2013

Life is one big adventure! I lived the last three years in Prague with my parents. My dad taught science at an international school. I went to the same school. We got to do a lot of traveling during our school breaks. During our October break we did a home exchange in Munich.

Munich!

Munich!

Dad’s favorite place was the Hoffbrauhaus. Read more about our trip to Munich here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/10/28/munichs-hofbrauhaus-the-worlds-most-famous-beer-hall/

Hoffbrauhaus!

Hoffbrauhaus!

Mom’s favorite day trip was to Salzburg, Austria, just a two hour train ride away. You can read more about our trip to Salzburg here;

http://globalnomadfamily.com/tag/salzburg/

Recognize this from the Sound of Music?

Recognize this from the Sound of Music?

My favorite place was Legoland!

Amazing!

My parents surprised me with a trip here on our last day.

In December we visited Grandma, Grandpa, and my aunts, uncles and cousins in the US.

Just after a snowball fight with Dad!

Just after a snowball fight with Dad!

In February we did another home exchange in Antalya, Turkey. Dad loved being on the Mediterranean. It was sunny and a little warm, even though it was February!

February!

February!

Mom loved the quaint old town of Kaleici with its 2000 year old Roman port. You can read more about our trip to Kaleici here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/04/24/the-picturesque-city-of-kaleici-in-antalya-turkey/

The old town of Kaleici.

The old town of Kaleici.

My favorite place was the Aquarium!

This tunnel was so cool!  We could see sharks swim over us!

This tunnel was so cool! We could see sharks swim over us!

My sister Sam came to visit us in March.

It was so fun to show her our city!

It was so fun to show Sam our city!

She loved exploring Prague!

Sam loved exploring Prague!

We went to Rome for our Easter break; another home exchange. Dad liked the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica.

The view from the Pantheon.

The view from the Pantheon.

We even got to see the Pope!

We even got to see the Pope right after Easter!

Mom liked walking through the streets and taking lots of photos.

Lots of photos, come ON, MOM!

Lots of photos, come ON, MOM!

I liked exploring the Castel San Angelo and the Colosseum.

Goofing around!

Goofing around!

But this was my true favorite…

Gelato. Simply the best.

Gelato. Simply the best.

May and June were busy! I was in the school musical, The Magic School Bus.  Lots of friends came to stay with us at our flat. I went to Summer Fayre, cub scout meetings, and birthday parties.

In July we sold all our furniture and stuff and moved out of our flat in Prague. Mom was sad, but Dad and I are excited for our new adventure. We get to travel for five months before we arrive in our new city and find a new home. Read more about our last days in Prague here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/08/02/good-bye-prague/

My room in Prague.

My room in Prague.

Good-bye room!

Good-bye room!

Since leaving Prague we have stayed in 21 different beds in five different countries! We are doing home exchanges, visiting friends and family. For now, home is wherever we are staying the night. Follow along on our travels and you’ll find out where our new home will be!

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 426 other followers