Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer 2014 - Greece, Montenegro and Croatia

swimming at a Greek island in the Ionian Sea

Last year I did not write any blogs.  I flew to Turkey with Papa and Tutu in July last year.  We had fun sailing but did not really go anywhere.  This summer I flew to Athens with my cousin Zachary and met Papa and Tutu at the Athens airport.

Corinth Canal beneath bridges

The first day we went sailing the wind was over 30 knots and we were heeled over.  It was not supposed to be that much wind.   It was rough sailing.  The next day we went through the Corinth Canal.  The Corinth Canal was first thought of by the Romans , but they didn’t have the technology to make a canal through the high stone. While we were motoring through the canal we spotted a couple of red marks on the walls of the canal. Somebody got some scratches on their boat. 

driving through the Corinth Canal

Papa let me drive through part of the Corinth Canal.


Walking around Delphi ruins

One day we took a bus up a long, winding mountain path to see Delphi. We didn’t walk all the way up because all the artifacts were in the museum.  When we walked to the ticket station to get into the museum we discovered that we didn’t have to buy tickets, because it was children’s day.  We paid too much!

Graffiti at Delphi Town
          When it rains in Greece it doesn’t rain water, it rains Sahara Desert.  If you don’t wash off the red sand immediately after it rains the sand will never come off.  The town dock where we stayed when we went to Delphi did not have any water.  Papa said we had to wash the boat with sea water.  So we hauled up buckets and buckets of sea water and washed the red sand off.  As soon as we washed the whole boat off with sea water, it started raining again.  We gave up after that.  In one of the anchorages we saw a fresh water spring in the sea water.  It looks like a whirlpool.  It made a large perfect circle that bubbled all around the edge.

Me inside the locker finding the inflatable kayak
Helping blow up the kayak


Cousin Zachary and Papa raising the sail
during passage to Croatia
One day we did the overnight sail/motor to Montenegro.  On my watch with Papa starting at 2 am we drank hot chocolate and ate pound cake and buttered toast.  The moon was full that night.  I stayed up for 30 mins or more then I went to sleep.  Papa stayed awake by himself for the rest of the night.
flying the asymmetrical sail

Where little German submarines hid inside the
mountain at Montenegro

Eating ice cream beneath/inside the wall at Kotor old
Venetian walled city

Swimming in Montenegro

On bridge over Tara Canyon in Montenegro

In the old walled city of Kotor in Montenegro we arranged a tour to see the canyons.  We traveled with some Australian people on the canyon tour. On the canyon tour we saw a monastery, a black lake and a big deep canyon. The monastery supposedly has good coffee.  I did not drink any. 

Me, Papa, cousin Zachary and Tutu at Black Lake
in Montenegro

The black lake is not black. The canyon is really long and a good place for whitewater rafting.  But this year the river was too low for rafting.  They did not have much snow last winter.  We also ate burek -- meat or cheese filled pastries.  I liked the burek.  Especially the meat ones.

Our first sight of Croatia.  This is at the
entry to the big bays of Kotor of Montenegro.
Croatia owns the land on the left side of the entrance.

People eating ice cream on steps of another
church inside old Dubrovnik


Entering old walled city of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Croatia is a old Venetian walled city with good ice cream and American food. We took a ferry to Dubrovnik from Cavtat.  We anchored around the point from Cavtat harbor.  First thing we did in Dubrovnik, we found a place to eat.  I ate a pizza.  Then we continued walking when we saw a Mexican restraunt. We should have eaten there.  Then we tried to find a T Mobile but failed. Then the inevitable happened, it started raining.  So we headed back to the ferry and went home.

Me, Papa and cousin Zachary inside old walled city
of Dubrovnik in front of biggest church

Cousin Zachary and me after siphoning gasoline
into the new gas tank from
the tank that floated upside down during the storm
Mexican Train dominoes about to fall

Papa and me on ferry to Dubrovnik
Cousin Zachary warming me up after swimming.
It was cold lots this summer!

The day before I flew home a sudden storm blew through the anchorage.  Tutu said this kind of storm is called a bora or bura in Croatia.  The wind was over 50 knots and really strong.  Papa pulled up the anchor and we moved out to sea to wait for the wind to die down.  He had a big problem with the dinghy during the storm.  Zachary went to the back of the boat and helped Papa but Tutu made me stay in the cockpit with her.  

Sometime during the storm the computer that Tutu uses to drive the boat died for a while.  I ran and got the tablet and turned on the Navionics charts and held the tablet so Tutu would know where we were while she drove the boat.  It was hard to see during the storm and hard to tell where we were.  Waves were splashing up over the boat while we were still inside the anchorage area.  After Papa got the dinghy fixed and the storm died then we went back to our spot and anchored again.  That was exciting.

My fake 13th birthday 2 weeks before my real birthday

The day before I flew home Tutu baked me a birthday cake and we celebrated my fake 13th birthday since I would not be on the boat on my real birthday in a couple of weeks.
The next morning Tutu took me to the airport in a taxi.  I was flying home by myself.

13th birthday photo in Croatia

(Paragraphs below were added by grandmother.  This is what Elisabeth emailed to us about her flights back to Houston.)

In the Frankfurt airport I had to wait 4 hours for my flight to arrive. When my flight did arrive, the plane had a malfunction and could not take off till the next day. The company, United, gave us rooms in a hotel. The hotel filled up and I had to wait another hour till they had more rooms. When I finally got to the check in desk I had to call my dad, because I'm 12 and I needed permission to stay in the hotel.

The next day I got up at 5:30 to get to the Z terminal but they didn't open till 6:30. Then I had to wait 2 more hours for them to finish fixing the plane.

Over Canada, the engines cut out momentarily and then came back on. Everything after that was fine.

I suggest not taking United Airlines from Frankfurt to

Houston unless you can donate duct tape to United!

Last sunset of my trip to Croatia

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Selimiye to Marmaris and we rescued Fred

Town dock in background.

After Knidos we went to Selimiye.  It was really, really hot and we wanted a place to dock and get electricity.  The town dock was full but Papa found us a place in front of a restaurant.  We liked this place a lot.  We could swim right off the dock behind our boat.  

Very clear water 10 feet deep.

Tutu and Papa ate at the restaurant each night while Zachary and I ate dinner on the boat.   One night Tutu gave us a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew and it was great!  I've never eaten this before.  It was like carrots and potatoes and a gravy filled with tiny bits of hamburger meat but really was beef chunks.  I want my mom and dad to buy some of this when we get home.  Tutu said they don't sell it here in Turkey and that was the only can she had on the boat.  Another night Tutu and Papa brought us some fried calamari from their dinner at the restaurant.  I ate the good ring pieces and Zachary ate the scrawny one with the tentacles.  That was great!

Me on the boat.  We could swim right at the back of our
boat when docked at the restaurant.
After a few days we moved to the town dock to get better electricity.  We could not swim there and we stayed inside the boat most of the time trying to stay cooled off.  Papa found the town bakery and we went there almost every day to buy fresh bread.  They also had some cookie things.  One day the baker made hamburger buns.   We could not find a store in Selimiye that sold any meats, just chicken.  But Tutu had one package of ground beef in the freezer and we had hamburgers as a special treat.   It was very hot inside the bakery because the windows didn't open up.  One day the baker man didn't wear a shirt and his tattoos showed.

One day we found a place that sold chicken doner kebabs.  This is a big flour tortilla wrapped around shaved bits of chicken breast that has been roasted on a vertical spit.  Papa thought it wouldn't taste right, but it did.  In Marmaris the Samurai Kebab man that Tutu and Papa like so much puts chopped tomato and lettuce and a couple of french fries inside the doner kebab.  In Selimiye the man didn't put anything except the chicken and ketchup and mayonnaise.  I like the ones in Marmaris better but this one was pretty good for lunch.

Captain Ozman with the gold teeth
We met Captain Ozman.  He has a restaurant on the town quay.  And his teeth are all gold!  He said he sailed here from Greece many years ago and he brought all his money inside his mouth.  I don't know if he has a boat anymore.  We ate dinner one night at his restaurant and shared traditional Turkish cold starters and 2 traditional casseroles -- 1 beef and 1 shrimp.  His restaurant is known for their casseroles.  I did not care for the cold starters so I had a bowl of fresh tomato soup.  It had tiny strands of some kind of pasta in it and I loved it.

That tiny island had an old stone tower built on it.
It was lined up with the old castle on the hill.
We never found out what this was or how old it is.

Castle ruins on hill

We stayed in Selimiye for 9 nights.  We loved it.  It was one of my favorite places of the summer.  Finally we left because my parents and baby brother are arriving soon and will meet us in Marmaris.  And Marmaris was about 50 miles away.

I liked to feed the ducks in Selimiye

As we got to the bottom of the peninsula there was a charter boat that was coming at full speed from our starboard side, so they were the stand-on vessel.  Papa turned right to go behind them.  And suddenly they turned left and were heading straight for us.  So Papa turned back left again to avoid hitting them.   

Like a lot of the charter boats we have seen, there were too many experts on that boat.  A French woman screamed at us and made hand motions at us.  Then they passed behind us and our fishing line went screaming out really fast.  We think that our fishing line got caught on their propeller.  All the fishing line went out and we lost our lure and all the line.  

Wine grapes grew over the path at this restaurant
at Selimiye
We sailed on and we saw Fred in the water ahead of us.  We tried to get alongside of Fred but couldn't get the boat to go slow enough.  So Tutu circled the boat and came back up to Fred on the bow and Papa used a pole to pull Fred up to the boat and lifted him up.  We had rescued Fred!  Fred is now friends with Pinky, who was rescued in Fethiye when we first arrived last month.

Fred and Pinky are good fenders.  

I think that some stupid charter boats sailing with their fenders hanging down on both sides into the water lost these fenders.  We salvaged them from the sea so now they are ours.

Tutu and Papa said they didn't feel so bad about losing the fishing line and lure because the fender was worth more than those.

Playing the Diva (again)

We stopped in Serce Limani for one night.  We went swimming a lot.  I really like it there.  One of the local men who come around trying to sell us stuff went outside the bay and came back dragging a really nice dinghy with burgundy chaps and good engine.  He salvaged it from the sea.  He saw it floating out on the sea with no boat around, so he went out and saved it.  I guess he gets to keep it.

Yesterday we motored to Marmaris and anchored near the marina.  This morning we docked at Yat Marin marina.  My parents and Damien should arrive tomorrow night.  I can't wait!

(Tutu typed this for me because it takes me so long to type.  I told her what to write and she typed it.)

P.S.  I just lost my second molar!  Seems like every summer I lose a tooth while visiting aboard BeBe.


The trade harbor.  The breakwater is about 2700 years old  and still there on the right side.
The other side of the breakwater has collapsed and is underwater.
We had to be really careful coming in so we did not hit the sunken part of the breakwater.

Knidos [Cnidos] was a big city with two harbors ,a military harbor trade harbor. We docked in the trade harbor which is now a fish restaurant harbor.  We docked in this harbor because the military harbor is now silted in.  It is so shallow that only small fishing boats can go there.

When we came in we had to be careful because there was a sunken breakwater on the right side.  The old stone breakwater that the Romans built is still there on the left side.  

That day we walked behind the fish restaurant and could see the old military harbor.  We tried to see the sun go down because we wanted to see a green flash.  But there was an island in the way and we could not see the sun go down to the sea.  It went behind the island.  

The lower theater.  The city was built way up
on those hills and off to each side.
And on the opposite side of the harbor too.
The fish restaurant is on what they call a land bridge that connects what would be an island to the mainland.  This land bridge was there when Knidos was a big city long ago.  There were terraces all up the side of the island side and it faced the old theater across the trade harbor.  All around inside the trade harbor are large sections of the ancient quay still in place.  But those old stone docks are crumbling and boats can't  tie off there any more.

The north side of the mainland part of Knidos.  The statue of Aphrodite
was mounted somewhere in this section.

On the mainland side there were a lower theater and an upper theater, some temples, an Acropolis and the place where the statue of Aphrodite used to be.  The Acropolis was built high up on the hill and was like a fort to protect the city.  What happened to the statue is uncertain.  Some people think it was taken to Constantinople (Istanbul) and was later destroyed in a fire there.  Some people think that the head of the Aphrodite statue is now in England in the British Museum but the museum says that they do not have it.  The statue was near the military harbor.  The was the first nude female statue in the world and people came from all other to see her beautiful butt.  There was a trap door on the rear side of the mounted statue so tourists could see her backside.  One man was so in love with this statue that he kissed her thigh and left a permanent black mark.

Houses and narrow streets were built on this side of the
harbor.  This was called The Camels Hump.
And the military people lived there too.
The dock man said we could have the battery charger on but not the air-conditioners.  But it was so hot that Papa fixed things for us.  He put the dinghy in the water next to our boat where the water comes out when the air conditioner is running.  Then he turned off the battery charger because he said our batteries were charged enough because we had run the engine all the way to Knidos for hours.  He closed off the small front room and turned on that one air conditioner.  We stayed closed up in the little room to cool off for hours.  Papa said the one air conditioner used 5 amps and the battery charger would have used that much.  So we really weren't using any more electricity than the other boats at the restaurant dock.

The town of Datca is where the original ancient Knidos was located.  But marble was quarried at the end of the peninsula.  And there was a better harbor at the end of the peninsula.  So they moved the original ancient Knidos to the end of the peninsula where these 2 harbors are and built a big city around 360 B.C.  It was easier to bring the wine and olive oil to the harbors than to bring the quarried marble to the original harbor farther away.  

The guide book said that Knidos was deserted sometime in the Middle Ages and no one went there again until a British man visited around 1850 A.D.  The British man found a enormous stone lion.  He wrote that "the lion seemed made for the scenery, the scenery for the lion."  This lion was shipped off with lots of other antiquities to the British Museum.  That is like stealing.  The Turkish people would like to have their stuff back to put in their own museums.  

The military harbor, called Trireme Harbour.
Looks too small for 20 warships to me.
The trade harbor has not silted in.  It is the only ancient trade harbor in Turkey that has not silted in.  The harbor at Caunos where we saw the turtles has silted in about 8 miles and the Ephesus harbor we saw has silted in more than 6 miles.  Tutu and Papa also visited ancient Patara and it was silted in several miles.  I think that the reason is because all the other harbors were near the end of rivers that emptied into the sea.  The rivers brought dirt from the mountains and slowly built up new land and the harbor went away.  In Knidos there are no rivers to carry dirt down from the mountains.  But the military harbor has silted in on the north side because most of the bad storms come from the north and the sea has brought sand into that harbor.

The north harbor or military harbor was called the Trireme Harbour and it held around 20 warships according to our guide book.  It sure looked little to me.  I know warships back then were not very big, but  I don't see how 20 boats the size of boat BeBe could fit in there!

Tutu typed this for me.  I told her what to say and she typed it because I type too slow.

A sign at Knidos.  Everything you might want to know about this place.

Monday, July 9, 2012


On the Cotton Castle, as the Turks call Pamukkale

Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish.  

The city has hot springs that have healing minerals. We were not allowed to wear shoes on the castle.  

One of the Pamukkale pools

The spring waters have some mineral called calcium or something that cause terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.  The terraces are called travertines.  I found this in my Pamukkale journal book that I bought in the souvenir shop.

The pools go down the mountainside
We went to 15 of the 17 pools that terrace down the mountainside. The pools were not hot.   The water cools off as it is carried to the pools. These pools are knee deep.  The bottom is like squishy stuff that feels and looks like ice cream but is not cold like ice cream.
Not snow.

The guide said that some 5 star hotels are using and have diverted some of the spring waters.  They have used so much that Pamukkale will no longer exist in 150 years.  It will all be dried up by then.
Near lowest pool at Pamukkale.  See valley and mountains in background.
Swimming in Cleopatra's Pool
Standing on broken
column in Cleopatra's Pool

We also went to Cleopatra's pool which is supposed to make you young and keeps your skin from wrinkling.  Mark Anthony gave this pool to Cleopatra as a wedding gift.  We swam though the water , but they had a rule that you had to be 16 to go to the deep end even though Zach went to the other side. They had broken up columns in the pool. 

A toppled column in Cleopatra's Pool

I did not know much about Mark Antony or Cleopatra so Tutu explained about them.  Cleopatra was the queen or pharaoh of  Egypt but she really wasn't Egyptian.  The real Egyptians had died long before the Ptolemy family came to Egypt.  The first Ptolemy was a general with Alexander the Great and he was Macedonian, not Egyptian.  So really Cleopatra was Macedonian.  She was very short and skinny and had a big nose.  Mark Antony was Roman.  His name was Marcus Antonius but people called him Mark Antony.  He is the one who said, "Friends, Romans, countrymen.  Lend me your ears" according to a Shakespeare play.  Mark Antony and Cleopatra killed themselves in Egypt rather than be captured by the Romans.
One of the hot spring sources at
Cleopatra's Pool

There were also lots of ruins of the ancient city of  Hierapolis  all around Pamukkale.  It is also spelled Heropolis.  The guide said it was named after the Greek goddess Hera.  We saw the theater and a big museum and some roads and a lot of buildings.  But after seeing Ephesus we didn't want to look at any more ancient ruins.
Hierapolis theater in background and something
else closer.  These old ruins all look the same.

Here is a drawing I made of the pools at Pamukkale.