Saturday, September 18, 2010


Now…you might be asking what we were doing on this trip…after all, staying in treehouses doesn’t seem to be worth spending all the time and money and honestly, it wasn’t. However…it was the first step to our sailing adventure. After yet another 1.5 hour journey by van, we arrived at the harbor where our home on the ocean stood waiting for us. Twenty-three of us, including the crew, were going to spend the next 4 days traveling among the islands of Turkey along the Mediterranean Ocean, basking in the sun – more shade than sun, thanks to the covers, sipping tea and other genial beverages, jumping in the water, snorkeling…ah what a tough life we live.
All summer long we had walked along the wharfs of Croatia, looking at the sailboats ready to go on excursions. I spent a lot of time wishing we were the ones getting on the boat rather than just walking by, wishing. Well…this time we were the ones getting on…and a rather long process it was. You can’t just tell 23 people to go to their rooms at once…the doorway isn’t large enough. There’s a ton of luggage all over the deck, the captain doesn’t speak much English, (he’s the man in the back without a shirt on- I think the twins are older than he is) the rest of us are quite noisy…it just plain takes a while to sort it all out.
 Fortunately, they have it all figured out, having done it on many occasions and once they got all of us to quiet down, they let us know where our rooms were. I’m sorry to report that once again the vision didn’t match reality. The rooms were quite roomy if you were about 8 years old – plenty of room to turn around, jump on the bed and easily take a shower. However, for the adult sized passenger…the rooms were…cramped. Two of us could not move around in it (hence I’m on the bed while Jeff is standing in the only available space in the room outside of the bathroom). It’s also quite hot below decks as it was…and the air conditioning comes from the tiny window above the upper bunk…and it only works when the boat is moving and then not all that well. I'm happy to report, we would be sleeping up on the deck…more about that later.


Now…we weren’t the only ones on this crazy adventure…or trying to steal toothpicks to stay awake. There were 9 of us all total…including the geek squad. Here we are, sitting out in the middle of nowhere, rustic accommodations…
but they have wifi (for a fee) and everyone is online. The boys had homework to do and games to play and Jeff…well…he screens all hotels by whether or not they have internet available and if they don’t, we don’t stay there. While they played with their computers, the rest of us sat around, had beers or tea (I really like Turkish tea) and talked until time for dinner and, finally, sleep.

In the morning, since we woke up earlier than we had really hoped to, we set out to explore the ancient city of Olympos. Back in its day, (sometime BC) it was probably fairly important, setting right on a protected bay, right on the Mediterranean Ocean. Not sure what it exported or raised however, it’s a good climate so I’m

sure there was something going on. It was a Greek city and the remains of a large church (several of them, or so it seems), numerous buildings, and a convenient location on a creek probably made it a pretty nice place to live. Of course, since it was a nice place, others came and took it over. I’m not sure which buildings were inspired by which country but most of the ruins seems to be either Greek or Roman.


We really do live a privileged life here. If we were back in the states and had a break, we’d most likely stay home, work in the yard, or at the zoo, but we probably wouldn’t go anywhere – especially since we just returned to school a month ago. However, when you are teaching internationally, that is NOT the norm. While there were families who stayed in Doha and enjoyed some of its amenities, many more of us struck out for adventure.
Ah yes…the call of adventure. The last day…we worked all day long, stayed late to make sure lesson plans were done and the rooms were clean, came home to pack and then headed off to the airport around midnight..yes, that’s right..midnight. Our flight was at 2 am (toothpicks anyone???). Fortunately everything ran smoothly and we were able to board the flight and even fall asleep on our way to Istanbul. It seemed like it was only minutes before we were greeted by sun streaming through the plane windows as we landed – met by the tour company for our 1.5 hour trip to our treehouse pensyon – the “hotel” for the night.
OK…”Treehouse Pensyon” sounds pretty adventurous…I honestly pictured Swiss Family Robinson type place, you know, something along the lines of Disneyland construction. (The picture on the map helped foster the concept also.) I expected to be climbing into the trees, maybe not too high but up there a bit, open air, rustling leaves, rustic furniture, creative plumbing (maybe not a toilet but at least water to brush your teeth). Hmmm…something got lost in the translation. We did get off the ground, there were plenty of gaps in the construction for open air and there were trees in the vicinity. Rustic furniture…only if you count a mattress thrown on the floor as rustic and as for the plumbing…climb out of the treehouse and head for the nearest facility. Primitive accommodations I think describes the place more accurately.