It’s about seven Friday night and I’m sitting on my balcony in Kas on the south coast of Turkey. A dove is on my railing cooing at me and shitting in the corner. Periodically, he turns to look at me as if to say, “Come on, get with the program – where’s my dinner?!” Is this place ever beautiful – wow. The setting is magical – Kas is a hill town right on the Mediterranean coast and my apartment is as high up on the hill as it is possible to go. I have a panoramic view over the town, harbour, sea, and the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) 3 kms off shore. The apartment faces south so in a few minutes I will get to see what will no doubt be a spectacular sunset.

The hired driver came to pick me up in Dalyan at 11 this morning, and, after a 21/2 hour ride along the twists and turns of the coast highway, following close on the heels of and passing, all the other cars on the road, we made it safely to Kas. The apartment has one bedroom, a generous sized bathroom and an open plan kitchen, living and dining room. The balcony is about as big as one of our terraces at home so it is a good size for sunbathing and watching the sea. I did not know how to work the washing machine and called the rental agency; they sent a man who neither spoke English nor knew how to work the machine … probably had never done a load of wash in his life. When it came time to cook dinner, the stove top burners didn’t work so I had to call the agency again. After quite a bit of time during which no one came and I was getting hungrier and hungrier, I went downstairs and asked the woman there for help. Turned out that they’d neglected to turn the gas on … the same dim bulb showed up an hour later and looked as if he’d never seen a gas stove top before …

Behind the apartment, the hill rises steeply and along the top travels the Lycian Way, a 520 kilometer long distance footpath, a small part of which I intend to hike while I’m here. There are also Lycian rock-cut tombs and sarcophagi in town and on the hills behind the apartment and the remains of the ancient city of Antiphellos, including a pretty well-preserved theatre. After picking up my key and paying the bill, I walked to the Friday market and right in the middle of all the vans with their awnings was a gigantic ancient sarcophagus, against which someone had propped his awning. Unlike its neighbour Kalkan 35 miles west of here, through which we drove to get here, Kas is a working village and still retains its Turkish character and hence its charm. Kalkan also has a spectacular setting on a hill but looks as if it has been clearcut to make room for foreigners’ villas and all-inclusive resorts – charmless.

See a few pictures here.

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