Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cleopatra's Island

Sometimes one is spoiled for choice. How in the world does one choose between the old glories of Istanbul and the Aegean blue? If I were a typical tourist my choice would have been Istanbul, but I'm not, and so the Aegean blue won hands down.

We went down to Cleopatra's Island (also known as Sedir Island), Marmaris and then on to Bodrum. We stopped off along the way to Marmaris for a breather. This is what we saw.  

View from the top of the hill

Prickly shrubs

Look at that blue, blue sky

This little fellow was running about, with all the children (myself included) pointing out excitedly saying 'Oh look! Oh look'

Portakal suyu, anyone? 

After the brief rest, we continued on. Eventually we turned-off at a rather unassuming junction and onto a rather country-fied looking lane that lead us to a jetty. We waited there for a bit after buying tickets and enjoyed the blazing heat while waiting for the ferry to arrive.

The story behind Cleopatra's Island is a romantic one. Legend has it that when Cleopatra was to visit the island, her lover Mark Antony had ships bring this sand in from the Red Sea so Her Royal Highness would not have to step on foreign soil. 

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned on the water; the poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them, the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description; she did lie
In her pavilion,--cloth-of-gold of tissue,--
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature; on each side her
Stood pretty-dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did. 

William Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra

It is said that each grain of this sand is a perfect sphere and is derived from seashells. As this sand is apparently not found anywhere outside Egypt, it is protected in Turkey.

So if you're ever in the vicinity, don't try to steal the sand. Doing so may incur the wrath of the armed-guard sitting in his watch-tower!

The jetty to Cleopatra's Island

The view while waiting for the ferry

The beach at Cleopatra's Island

See that fine creamy sand? That's protected. What you don't see in this photo is the guard sitting up in his watch-tower ready to go after anyone who takes even a grain off the beach

A gorgeous blue day

There's no getting tired of the blue

If you walk away from the beach, you'll come across some ruins. They are the remnants of a settlement long abandoned. 

Love birds in the shrubbery

Mr. & Mrs. Sunshine

Tumbling stones

Where did this lead once you think?

Blue, blue sea

Ah... such gorgeousness

A feathery inhabitant of the island

Chicky, chicky, chook, chook

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