With the trip booked and planned for, the final day of travel came and I made my way to Turkey. I arrived in Istanbul in the wee hours of the morning and made my way to the hotel to freshen up and look forward to my stay in the area. The next day I began my weeklong tour of Turkey before heading to the waters, I had a tour of the Grand Bazaar, which is home to over four thousand shops, I of course did a bit of shopping, before heading on to explore other places such as the gardens of the Topkapi Palace, which was the seat of power for the Ottoman Empire for over 450 years, I also visited Pamukkale, which means cotton castle in Turkish and is a natural site in Denizli province. Pamukkale has a number of hot springs and travetines to be enjoyed. Other places I visited were Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Emirgan park and Hagia Sophia.
Finally the weeklong sailing tour presented itself! We were to use a sailboat as opposed to a motorboat or a catamaran, because we wanted a leisurely sail that would ensure that we took in the beautiful scenery to the fullest. Aboard the sailboat, we cruised our way through the beautiful and refreshing crystal clear waters in the Mediterranean sea.
The waters were warm and beckoning so, we swam in them by day and we also snorkeled and had all the fun there is to be had in the waters! In between, we had some mouthwatering meals then basked in the Turkish sun as we made our way to the next destination. Butterfly valley was beckoning us with its sheer beauty, and so we made our way to it. Butterfly valley is a gorgeous cove that can only be accessible by boat due to the fact that it has sheer cliffs surrounding it. We were told that the butterfly season is between April and June. We took some really beautiful pictures of the place, then made our way to a small waterfall and were mesmerized by its sheer beauty.
Leaving butterfly valley behind, we made our way to Blue Lagoon, which is also known as Ölüdeniz. After a wonderful lunch, some people jumped off a nearby cliff, making a splash in the blue waters, while the rest took a leisurely swim in the waters. From the Lagoon, we made our way to St. Nicholas Island, which is believed by Archaeologists to be the final resting place for St Nick in 343 AD. We arrived at the Island just as the sun was setting in, and this offered us a magical view of the area. Most of us choose to swim back to the sailboat as opposed to using the little motorboat because it was such a warm and beautiful night.
We made our way back to the starting point, with most of us being lulled to sleep by the Mediterranean sea, which was rocking us gently to sleep under the watchful eyes of the stars. All in all, it was a truly memorable trip!