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Paul and Sheryl Shard sail their 37-foot sailboat north along the west coast of Turkey to Istanbul then explore the northern Greek Islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Patmos and more. They then head to the southern coast of Turkey visiting Marmaris and the Turquoise Coast, finishing back in Greece to explore Rhodes. Includes segments on exploring inland, island culture and "stern-to" mooring.
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3-1 / #27 - West Coast of Turkey
Paul and Sheryl Shard continue their voyage north along the west coast of Turkey stopping at Sigacek where they hike through olive groves to the ancient ruins of the Ionian city of Teos, run from thunder storms to a deserted cove where they have a Turkish bath in a natural hot spring “hamam” along the shore, and visit the town of Ayvalik on an inland lake. Here they experience a weekly Turkish bazaar and meet new Muslim friends who take them to visit the local mosque. And a trip to the barber becomes an enlightening experience when Paul discovers that Turkish barbers use flames as well as razors when he goes for a shave.
3-2 / #28 - Passage to Istanbul
The Shards continue north along the Turkish coast heading for Istanbul, fighting strong currents as they sail up the Dardanelles, the straits dividing Europe from Asia. Along the way they visit the war memorials at the battlegrounds of the tragic Gallipoli campaign of WW1. They arrive in Istanbul and sail past famous monuments of the city such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace en route to Atakoy Marina, their base for exploring the old city. They celebrate their arrival at one of the local seafood restaurants and meet new friends who introduce them to the city and take them to a special cafe to show them how to use a “nargile”, a Turkish waterpipe.
3-3 / #29 - Istanbul
Settled in to the Atakoy Marina in Istanbul, Paul and Sheryl begin their exploration of the old city. They stock up on exotic spices at the Spice Market, run from touts at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, and are captured by a carpetseller near the Blue Mosque, Istanbul's most famous monument. With local friends they learn about Turkey's fashion industry, sample traditional Turkish foods and discover the night life in the Taksim district where Sheryl has her fortune told by a rabbit.
3-4 / #30 - Mytilini
Paul and Sheryl make landfall in Greece at the port of Mytilini, on the island of Lesvos. Renting a scooter, they ride along the coast to explore the island's two gulfs, Kalloni where the most delicious sardines are caught and Yeras where there has been the greatest production of olive oil and olive soap. The Shards visit the Mylelia water mill, where these products are still produced in the traditional style. At Skopelos a local child takes them on a tour through the church’s catacombs. The visit ends with the Festival of Ay Marina where the Shards participate in the ceremony of the blessing of food.
3-5 / #31 - Plomari
Plomari is the capital of ouzo and the Shards arrive at the Plomari marina on the first day of the Annual Ouzo Festival where for four nights in July there is feasting, regional music and free ouzo provided by the local distilleries. Following the festival, a local couple take the Shards for a boat ride along the coast to see a hidden church in a cave surrounded by healing natural hot pools. At the beach town of Melinda they sample “mezedes”, special snacks to eat while drinking ouzo. Renting a jeep to explore the inland forest towns, they drive to the top of Mt. Olymbos, the highest point on the island. Paul and Sheryl end their visit by attending the the Annual Horse Festival where local riders parade through town and display their riding skills in a unique dance competition at the waterfront.
3-6 / #32 - Passage to Chios - Sigri, Inousses, Chios
Greek Island adventure continues as Paul and Sheryl sail along the south coast of Lesvos where they visit a former Ottoman Turkish castle and the Petrified Forest where ancient tree stumps stand scattered across the landscape. Sailing on they come to the tiny island of Inousses, home to many Greek shipping magnates, then on to the island of Chios where they learn to harvest mastic, an aphrodisiac once prized by the Turkish sultans and their harem. They travel inland to remote hilltop villages and monasteries. In the village of Pyrgi the homes decorated in unique black and white symbols and patterns, and the Shards participate in the town’s procession honouring the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
3-7 / #33 - Samos (Greek Islands)
Continuing their voyage south through the North Aegean islands of Greece, Paul and Sheryl arrive at the small island of Fourni. In a remote anchorage at the south end of the island, they wait for the “meltemi”, a strong north wind, to quiet down before sailing to Quarry Bay, where they explore an ancient Greek marble quarry and dive on the marble ruins beneath the sea. From here they sail on to the island of Samos where they meet up with geologists who are studying the marble used in the ancient temples here to determine it’s source. They visit the Temple of Hera and the Efpalinio Tunnel, a 1040-metre aqueduct built in the sixth-century BC, an astonishing engineering feat. Samos has a long history of boat building and the group drop in on a local builder still creating traditional “caiques”. His workshop in located in a forest on a mountaintop where he’s close to the best wood for building.
3-8 / #34 - Patmos (Greek Islands)
The Shards continue south to the island group surrounding Patmos in the Dodecanese region of the Greek islands. Their first stop is the islet of Marathi where only a couple of goat herding families live who run several excellent beach tavernas for visiting boaters and daytrippers. At Patmos the Shards demonstrate how to tie up at the town quay using a technique called Mediterranean mooring. From the waterfront they hike up the island’s rocky pinnacle to the cave where St. John the Divine is said to have received the New Testament’s Book of Revelations. At the summit, where the imposing monastery, built in 1088, stands overlooking the island and surrounding sea, Paul and Sheryl are introduced to the former king of Greece who is on a return visit with his family.
3-9 / #35 - Leros
After leaving Patmos, Paul and Sheryl haul out their sailboat in the boat yard on the small Greek island of Leros to install new navigation equipment. Leros is a dry deeply indented island whose bays offered protection to the Italian, German, and British Mediterranean fleets during WW2, and in the town of Lakki they wander the unusually wide streets and buildings built in Art Deco style during the Italian occupation in the war. A local sailor interested in the island’s history invites the Shards to join him on expeditions to rediscover old WW2 bunkers and tunnels . The island seems to enchant visitors and at a local taverna the Shards meet a French women who came for a vacation and never went home. When the boat jobs are complete and their sailboat, Two-Step, afloat once again they sail to their favourite anchorage for a special Greek dinner hosted by the island’s most famous bazouki player and are treated to any evening of traditional music and dancing.
3-10 / #36 - Turkey’s Lakelands
The Shards rent a car and with Turkish friend, Ali, drive to Turkey's Lakeland district where they sample freshwater seafoods from Egirdir Lake at one of the many pensions there. They meet a retired army officer who has hiked the surrounding Taurus mountains for 35 years. He outfits the Shards and Ali for mountain trekking and while travelling through the mountains, they explore a huge cave 2 km long used by the ancient Romans as a temple and meet people of the Yoruk tribes who are nomadic goat herders living in goat hair tents.
3-11 / #37 - Marmaris, Turkey
From Leros, it’s an easy hop to the Turkish town of Marmaris where the Shards clear back in to Turkey. Marmaris is one of the most popular beach destinations in Turkey as well as the country’s largest yachting centre. At the Marmaris marina the Shards meet a local family who teach them how to prepare regional summer foods, introduce them to the night life of the town, as well as the delights of the surrounding forested countryside where they go almond-picking, visit a beach where there is a legend of a girl escaping from pirates, swim in a waterfall and learn about Turkish herbal remedies.
3-12 / #38 - Turkey’s Turquiose Coast
The Shards sail along Turkey's Turquoise Coast a green forested mountainous shore with numerous bays and coves and amazingly clear turquoise water. A riverman takes Paul and Sheryl in his boat to explore the ancient sites along the shallow Dalyan River, a natural fish hatchery fought over by many civilizations throughout history. At the ruins of the old port the Shards explore an ancient Greek temple to Hera, a Roman amphi-theatre and bath house, as well as a Christian basilica.They continue up the river to see Lycian cliff tombs and observe a variety of wild life in this protected area, especially turtles and birds. Sailing on to Wall Bay they dive on a shipwreck, and in the anchorage at Karacaoren the meet a local shepherd family now running a successful restaurant for visiting sailors and daytrippers from nearby resort towns.
3-13 / #39 - Rhodes
Returning to the Greek islands, the Shards visit the strategically positioned island of Rhodes, home of the crusading Knights of St. John from 1309 to 1522. The Shards tie up along the town quay where the huge statue to the sun god Helios, known better as the Colossus of Rhodes, once stood. They explore the well-preserved medieval city of the Knights and the “new” town which formerly housed Greek Ottoman natives during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. They visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, enjoy the island’s beaches and experience the beauty of the annual migration of colourful tiger moths in the Valley of the Butterflies. From Rhodes, they sail to the nearby islet of Symi where they anchor near an old monastery and visit the abbot who has lived there for 57 years after washing ashore there as a child, surviving the shipwreck that killed his mother.