Let me tell you, I highly recommend you consider adding a Blue Cruise to your List of Things to Do. We just finished a 5-day cruise along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey from Fetiye to Demre, and it was WONDERFUL!

On the last day of school, I met my son Dustin and his sweetheart Aly at the airport—hugs and tears abounded. We waited another hour for my friend Susie from Grand Marais, who was delayed in the lost luggage department (her suitcase hadn’t gotten beyond Paris). She managed without it for four days, poor thing. When it finally arrived in Fetiye on Monday, she paraded it around the hotel pool, and we celebrated with Appletinis. If you know Susie, you understand.

We spent one night in Istanbul, doing the Quick-Tour, which included dinner on a rooftop restaurant, the Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, a ferryboat ride on the Bosporus, and a trip to the Grand Bazaar. Needless to say, we were ready for the peace and quiet of an airplane ride to Fetiye.
We stayed at the V-Go Hotel, which is a backpackers paradise. The terrace dining room had a beautiful view over the bay, the food was great, it had a pool, and the rooms were air-conditioned. What more could we ask? The weather was HOT! It rained one afternoon, which cooled things down a tad—but just a tad.

After two nights in Fetiye, all 16 travelers had arrived and we were transported to the Sevi 5 (Sevi=love). It was a well-loved boat with lots of beautifully kept wood, both inside and out. We were all relieved to see thick sleeping mats laid out on the deck for us, certain we would never be able to handle the heat in our rooms below. Some people slept down there, though, and said it was fine with the breeze blowing through all night.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ll mention a few highlights from the trip. The food was incredible, though we had been concerned at first to learn that our chef, Soner, was only 19 and this was his first summer as a cook. Every meal rated a ten.p1010008.JPG
We mostly sat around and laid around and swam and slept and read. It was tough, let me tell you. The best days were the Five Swim Days. Even the Floridians found the Mediterranean waters more than comfortable, and we had some serious cannonball contests off the top deck. The company was delightful: 5 teachers from Koc, three young couples, and more young singles. We all got along and grew to know each other well through sharing meals, sleeping side-by-side, and playing together.

One day during lunch the captain called us to the bow, where three or four dolphins were cavorting with the ship. It was a delight to see them racing along, jumping, then falling back to repeat the performance. What a thrill to see them just feet away!

On July 4th Soner made us a watermelon man, complete with sparklers. The holiday had nearly gone unnoticed, so we appreciated the effort. It tasted great, too, replete with fresh fruits of all kinds. There was never a shortage of fruit (or beer) on board.

In addition to many stops at harbors for swims, we visited a few villages. One was Kas (Kosh), which had an ancient Roman theater and many tombs carved into the hillsides. Another small town’s picturesque hilltop castle overlooked the nearby islands of Kekova. Our captain told me the town was called Castle Town. Figures. When we got off the boat, village women with baskets of embroidered scarves guided us up the streets through a maze of small shops and up to the castle. A woman named Serefe guided me all the way, pointing out items of interest. Between her limited English and my limited Turkish, we learned we are the same age. Her life has been far harder than mine—I’m always aware of how fortunate I am. Of course, she lives in Paradise, and she knows it.



On our last night we all dressed up to go to the Smuggler’s Inn Pirate Bar. We were picked up by a barge-like motorboat, the local water-taxi, which held 30 people. It delivered us to the bar, which was a thatched-roof affair tucked away in a tiny cove across from a rocky crag. It was AWESOME! Totally different from anything we’d ever seen. It took a while for everyone to warm up, but eventually everyone was dancing and sweating up a storm. It never did cool off that night.
Well, all good things must come to an end, and we all waved Captain Atilla, First Mate Orhan, and Chef Soner goodbye and hopped onto a service bus to be delivered to our next destinations, which were many.


We all shared a magical, relaxing week that I’m sure none of us will forget. As I suggested, put this one on your list.

6 thoughts on “SAILING AWAY

  1. Well, Ann Marie, all I can say, in addition to thanking you for again sharing your adventures, is that it’s just a durned shame that you haven’t been able to relax and enjoy yourself… Looks and sounds wonderful! Thanks so much!

  2. Wow, what a great blog and beautiful pictures! I’m anxiously planning a trip for next summer so I’m already planning and looking ahead. You’d mentioned Susie’s luggage being lost, did she use any specific luggage tags to help with having her bag returned to her? I’ve been looking at Global Bag Tags and like what I’m seeing so far.

  3. I can second all of Ann’s comments about the cruise…the trip was an absolute blast and something I never thought I would ever do in my lifetime. Who’d ever have thought I’d be cruising the Mediterranean with my high school English teacher 16 years after I graduated from high school???

  4. Dick I can ensure you Ann is doing great and enjoyed every second of the trip! 🙂

    Thanks again Ann for everything! Being back in boring old Germany doesn´t make me really happy. But having this wonderful experience in my heart I know it will just be a matter of time and I´ll be traveling again either Turkey or some other sweet place in this world.


  5. Anne,

    I am a new teacher at Koc and I feel I am here to do what you have done with your time here. Although a bit younger and newer on the path to living a full life, I feel like we have a similar perspective of things and like a little adventure, but to a degree. After reading your blog a few months ago when Annie sent it out, I decided to being my own. If you want to see how life at Koc continues you can tap into it at You may find a few more pictures of my son, but I have also been documenting our travels thus far and they have been many and great. I already echo the sentiments you have shared so vividly. I am hoping to have family visit as well, because I think an American’s view of this area tends to be skewed without an actual visit. We will see. Thank you again and I am hoping you will continue this blog or update me of another you will start.


  6. Hi Anne Marie

    just saying hello from Baku, Azerbaijan. Life is very different but oh so similar here to Turkey. The school is excellent, the best I’ve experienced, but many levels of society are corrupt.

    My 15 kids are delightful in Grade 5.

    National staff (and international) here are wonderful. There is yoga class each Thursday with a trained teacher, there will be a salsa dance class each Monday night. What else is important? … well, we did have a weekend up in the Caucuses this past weekend. What a fun time of dancing that was with a couple of sing-a-longs led by …me.

    Much love to you! May we meet again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *