Jul
2009

Trireme warships of the Aegean

Trireme

A reconstruction of a trireme warship planned and built by a British Society of scholars and naval experts following the longest and largest exchange of letters in ‘The Times’ newspaper

The beautiful Turkish coast – once Asia Minor – has the remains of more than thirty city states with harbours that were once part of the Athenian Empire.

This empire was held together, protected and supplied by a large fleet of warships known as triremes.

Due to its superior seamanship the Athenian navy was virtually unchallengeable from the mid 6th to the 4th century BC. A Trireme was unusual as it did not cruise under sail when fighting but was rowed by three layers of oarsmen who were free men, not slaves like the later Roman warships.

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Aug
2009

Caunus visiting notes

Odysseus Cruising – Caunus visiting notes

Caunus

Caunus

Caunus can be visited as part of our itineraries as an optional excursion. One of the most interesting sites on the Turkish coast, with beautiful views, it was once famous as Mausolus’s easternmost stronghold and for its safe harbour in Greek, Roman and Early Christian times.

How to get there:

Caunus can only conveniently be reached via our gulet M/S ‘Odysseus’ as the site is set back from the coast and is accessible from the River Dalyan…

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Dec
2008

Patara – visiting the archaeological sites

Odysseus Cruising – Visiting Notes

You can hire our luxury gulet MS Odysseus by private charter to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime – sailing the Blue Cruise, visit Patara and much more.

Recommended excursion on all Lycian Itineraries. ½ hour from Kalkan

Patara – The capital city of the Roman provinces of Lycia and Pamphyllia at the time of Emperor Claudius

Introduction: its life-supporting trade

The coast of ancient Anatolia, now Turkey, has many ancient ports, harbours and creeks. Some are hidden away in deep gulfs, others at the months of river valleys, other on the mountainous coast with a protective harbour wall. Some became famous, others were little more than fishing ports or a stopping places for merchant traders over 2 ½ thousand years…

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Jul
2009

Cnidus visiting notes

Odysseus Cruising – Cnidus visiting notes

Cnidus

Cnidus

A famous, 1000 year old harbour city of ancient Caria. Our visit to Cnidus is included in the holiday price (except site tickets) for our itineraries 1 & 3 – see itineraries section.

How to get there

The visit is part of an Odysseus cruise, itineraries 1 and 3; 3 ½ hours sailing south of Bodrum.

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Feb
2009

Where is the Dalyan River?


The Dalyan River runs through one of the most impressive river valleys on the coast. When the sea level rose, perhaps in the 6th century AD, it caused the river to run more slowly and deposit silt and sand which blocked the harbour of the city of Caunus. The city slowly died like Ephesus, Miletus, Priene, Patara and Limyra. The river snaked back and forth across the wide valley, reeds and rushes filled the spaces and fish thrived in the slow water. Where the wide valley reached the sea, a broad, 2 1/2 mile sand bar was formed by the pressure of the sea against the river. Ony the shallowest boat can now cross this bar.

The beach here is a really nice place, especially for young children as the sand is fine and the sea is gentle. Further up the river, past Caunus, is Dalyan, a pleasant town, and further on there are two attractions: a large mud bath with facilities of great appeal to the young at heart, and a peaceful lake that is lovely for boating on a hot day.

We take a shallow boat from our gulet ‘Odysseus’ up the winding river where you can find large caretta turtles, a rare type of turtle whose nesting ground is the beach, coming to the water’s surface. Also we visit the impressive ancient city of Caunus to admire the Roman theatre and baths, and the ruins of the most interesting early Christian church on the coast. Going further in the flat-bottomed boat we view the large, rock-cut temple tombs cut into the sheer face of the mountains (as at Petra) before returning down the river to have a relaxing picnic on the boat, picking up some tasty river crabs on the way for our supper.

Dec
2008

The Xanthus Valley – visiting notes

Odysseus Cruising – visiting notes

  • PATARA
  • XANTHUS
  • LETOON

The heart of ancient Lycia is the Xanthus River Valley. This contains Xanthus itself, the ancient capital set high on a hill overlooking the river, Patara, the great port and Letoon, the religious centre of the Classical Period.

All three sites can be reached by minibus from Kalkan quayside. Your Captain will arrange a vehicle for you. Allow 4 – 5 hours minimum. This can be reduced by omitting Letoon.

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Dec
2008

Xanthus – The Capital City of ancient Lycia

Odysseus Cruising – visiting notes

Recommended Excursion on all Lycian Itineraries. 45 mins north of Patara.

How to get there

Minibus from the quayside at Kalkan.  Take in Patara on the way. ¾ hr from Patara.  The area to visit at Xanthus is not as large as Patara.

Time required

It needs 1 ½ hr plus time for refreshments before returning to Kalkan, usually by late afternoon

Refreshments

Drinks area available at the hut on arrival.

Main things to see

1. The Roman theatre and the famous columned tombs

2. The column with inscriptions in several languages, including the Lycian language (not yet deciphered )

3. View over the river from the high point the west side

4. The large 40ft wide paved street, recently uncovered  (not on map due to this)

5. The fine Early Christian Basilica with excellent  mosaics to the east of the site; one of the finest on the whole coast.  Seat of a bishop, probably built in the 4th and the 5th century. AD.

There is much more but it needs a great deal of time.

Some History

Sir Charles Fellows, pioneer archaeologist (1799-1860) Discoverer of Xanthus 1838 – 40

Mar
2009

Symi, the most beautiful of the Greek Dodecanese islands

Symi, the most beautiful of the Greek Dodecanese islands

I like to visit the Greek island of Symi regularly, which is not difficult as it is quite close to the Turkish Riviera. Looking at the map, you will see a long peninsula with the ancient city of Cnidus at its tip and another to the south with the ancient trireme naval base of Loryma near its tip. These geographical features of Symi are not unlike the points of a crab’s claw about to grip a small pearl.

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