Blue cruises are the name for unforgettable boating holidays through the deep blue waters of Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, but in this issue we decided to take our readers on a different kind of blue cruise. The blue cruise is like a dream, they say, and so, since dreams have no limits, we are going on a blue cruise through the skies. As if we were a bird, a seagull perhaps, we will take wing and fly from the Oludeniz Lagoon to Alanya.
From the sky we will see that wonder of nature, Oludeniz Lagoon, the city of Patara, the ancient city of Side, and an ancient city that is still living today, Alanya. Since this is a dream, we can fly wherever the fancy takes us; white clouds by our side and blue sea beneath us. Turquoise is a colour hard to describe; not quite blue and not quite green; an enigmatic blend of the two colours. That is the colour of oludeniz Blue Lagoon, which at every hour of the day is a different shade of turquoise.
This lagoon has been the subject of legends from antiquity to the present day, but who cares about legend? Blue Lagoon is a legend in itself. Leaving Oludeniz to its legends, we set out from Xanthos to Kalkan, and arrive at Patara, founded by Patarus, the son of the god Apollo and the nymph Lycia. Patara is a spectacular Lycian city, half buried in sand and half in the sea, lying on a beach which is the longest in the Mediterranean and has the finest sand.
If the sea were not visible, you might imagine yourself to be in one of Africa’s great deserts. At Kaputas the blue sea stretches its green head into a cave in the rocks. Its sand is golden yellow. Inside the cave the sea is fluorescent, the light reflecting beneath the surface of the water creating a myriad colours. The sunken city submerged in the water off Kekova Island has for centuries been home to fish. Nearby are the remains of the ancient shipyard, and stretching towards the mainland beyond is the Gulf of Kekova.
Melted snow from the peaks of the Toros mountains and water from springs and streams are carried down to the sea over rapids and waterfalls by the Manavgat River. The fresh water rushes unceasingly to meet the salt water of the sea at a place called Titreyengol. Side (pronounced see-day) is an ancient word meaning pomegranate. The remains of the ancient city and the modern resort of Side are here captured by the camera.
Perhaps this is how the seagulls have seen it for thousands of years, wheeling in the skies. While most of its monuments are stones lying on the ground, the theatre stands in all its original glory. Did the land aspire to be sea and reach out towards the distant horizon, or did the sea long to be land and embrace it so fervently? In Alanya it is impossible to tell. So now you look from sea to land and from the castle to the sea, and try to decide. Old Alanya was a tiny walled hilltop town, but now it has expanded right along the shore and up to the foothills of the mountains behind. Source: Skylife July 2000