I’m behind on this blog but certainly not for lack of material. I have 1000s of photos that I am slowly going through. However, for about six weeks Ferda and I had rather limited electricity and internet access. But that’s getting ahead of myself. First we went to Bali!
Back in 1994 Bali was the first place that I ever visited in Asia, and I was rather disappointed. I flew halfway around the world to an Australian spring break style party scene? Yikes. I wasn’t excited to go back. For Ferda, however, Bali was a dream. It seems to be the only place in Indonesia that Turks have heard of. Sulawhat? they asked when Ferda talked about our trip to Sulawesi.
Bali, it turns out, can be heaven, and it’s also a fairly easy place to extend the 30-day visa on arrival (Indonesia seems to make staying in their country harder and harder — no more 60 days on arrival (my first trip) and no more 60-day visas in Ankara (like we did last time)).
We spent the first night in Kuta only because it was between the airport and the office where we needed to drop our passports in the morning. We did find this temple before leaving Kuta:
Nothing new here. I’ve written about the deep water soloing that I do in Antalya at least twicebefore.
This time, it’s Olaf. The other difference is that I took these photos, probably the best falez photos that I’ve taken though they’re still not very good. The real reason I’m posting this stuff is I needed some filler material before (hopefully) Ferda and I head off to somewhere more interesting than Antalya.
Ferda and I first saw a stand up paddle board when we took a canoe out in Newport Bay on the day before Christmas in 2015. Just a few months after that, our friend Olaf brought a couple SUP to Çıralı. We paddled on them for the first time. Since then I had sort of forgotten about SUPs. As we pedaled through central Europe this summer, we starting seeing more and more SUPs, first on the Krka in Slovenia and later on lakes in Italy and Germany.
Why don’t we see more of these in Antalya, we wondered? Well, sure enough, after we returned from Europe, I went to Konyaaltı Beach one morning, and I counted more than 15 SUPs on the water. Turns out plenty of entrepreneurs are trying their luck renting SUPs at Konyaaltı this summer. We found Ayşe. Like everyone else it seems, she only gave out her equipment as part of a tour. That might have changed by now. We went with her for a couple hours in August. It was a fun morning.
After having not been up Sivri Dağı in many years (five?), I went up two different routes last week. The first, shorter and less successful effort, was with Philipp. He had been up to the ridge a number of times but had never made it to the summit. I told him I knew a summit route that didn’t require a rope. Well, we’d only been on the trail about five minutes when Philipp said we were going the wrong way. I suggested we go on. Another five minutes — same thing, and five minutes later — the same thing again. Not being so sure that I was going the right way, I acquiesced. We walked back about 10 minutes and started up what Philipp thought was the correct route.
As we made our way up the wide ramp, I kept thinking we weren’t going the right way, but at the same time it seemed familiar to me. Indeed, all became clear later. We were on the Classic Route, but I had wanted to take Philipp up the Yusuf Yusuf Route. We got to the ridge where you get a nice view of Çalbalı:
Looking in the other direction, however, you see this:
This is what? my 6th visit to İstanbul? Ferda and I started by staying a few nights in Kadıköy, the first time I’ve stayed on the Asian (Anadolu) side of the Bosporus. With the exception of the beautiful Rüstem Paşa Camii, we spent the week visiting sights that we hadn’t seen before. It’d be easy to go back to İstanbul and spend another week seeing all new (for us) attractions again. We’re already talking about it!
We started our first full day with a walk from Kadıköy to Üsküdar. The courtyard of the 18th century Ottoman Ahmediye Medresesi:
looks a lot like the courtyard of the nearby, also 18th century, Yeni Valide Camii: