The Magical Waters of the Aegean
20 February 2014
A four-hour flight, a three-hour layover, another hour flight and 50 minute taxi ride followed by a 15 minutes on a dinghy is all it took to start our magical gullet cruise out of Bodrum, Turkey. We boarded the boat about midnight under the star filled sky. The other guests were already asleep in there cabins so we were able to sit alone on deck and sip a glass of white wine while gazing at millions of stars that left a magical reflection on the calm, Aegean Sea. There was a slight rippling sound of the waves caressing the shore and a gentle rocking motion that made the moment even more magical.
A half an hour of star gazing, listening to the music of the sea and the gentle cradling motion put us both to sleep—on the deck and under the stars. After a couple of hours my partner and I wandered down to our cabin. We had chosen the king cabin which had a king-sized bed and a separate walk in shower!
Believe it or not, the next morning (actually a few hours later) I was back on the deck to watch the sun rise. I did this every morning for the next seven days. At home I am an early riser not because I like it but rather because my office schedule demands it. But out on the gorgeous sea and docked in quaint little coves made getting up early a purely pleasurable event. My partner preferred to enjoy the comfy bed a little longer in the mornings and enjoy looking at my spectacular shots of the sunrise.
The cruise itself was simple but top class luxury. The cabins were outstanding and the crew couldn’t have pampered us more. Ufuk, our cook, or, better said, our gullet chef was amazing. After an interview with us and the 4 other guests he surprised us each day with delicious Mediterranean, Aegean and Turkish delights.
Every evening the captain joined us to discuss the adventures of the next day. He had plenty of suggestions but he was really interested in what we had enjoyed most so far and what we wanted to experience next. No request was too much and each day was lived to its fullest. Ancient ruins, quaint villages, unique monasteries and time for dipping into the transparent emerald Aegean waters were just a few of the items on our daily agendas. Of course there were constant opportunities to take spectacular pictures.
One of my favorite excursions was a visit to a very small village where we wandered along its cobblestone streets and visited its local market. The colors and smells of the spice market were hypnotizing. For a moment I could imagine that I had been taken back to another time… This wasn’t the summer of 2013 and I didn’t drive an Audi … The next thing I knew, Maria was tugging on my shirt sleeve and calling name to bring me back to reality.
Our last night was very special. We had made new friends aboard the gullet with whom we had shared unforgettable moments. All of our senses had been tantalized. Our taste buds had encountered delicate and savory flavors; fresh and abundant aromas had filtered our bodies; the sounds of nature had brought peace to our souls; and we had seen more than we could ever remember. Thank God for photographs to help us to keep this magical experience alive!
On our way home we stayed over at the Shangri-La Bosphorus in Istanbul. We loved our cabin and the experiences of the gullet cruise, but I must admit that our stay at the Shangri-La made up for anything that we were missing from the cruise. I no longer felt teary-eyed as I had when we stepped of the boat for the last time. I still had magnificent views, delectable dinners, exotic aromas and, best of all, a Mediterranean Serenity massage. I was now ready to leave my magical vacation fully revitalized and ready give my best to world back home.
Showing 1 comment
I'm very happy you enjoyed my story and I highly recommend a gullet cruise vacation and, of course, a couple of nights at a Shangri-La Hotel Resort!