Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Floating home

The sweet vanilla-and-fruit smell of cake just out of the oven fills the cabin. This morning I felt the urge to bake. It's been a while, but we're home now, our bags stowed, clothes back in their lockers, and books, trinkets and cheaper-from-America boat paraphernalia filed. There's fruit on the table and Diana Krall sings to me live from Paris - Alex woke early and spent a couple of hours transferring new music onto our iTunes library (thanks Bridget and Tony).

Outside a fresh south-easterly wind blusters and rain is falling in fits and starts, but down below we're snug and content. Friends who have spent the entire winter in Turkey and Europe are weary of damp cold and sun-less skies, and who can blame them, but late March is very early spring and we think it will be another month before we're out of here.

Others are sniffing the air, anxious to be gone. They'll take a chance with the April firtana (storms) predicted in Turkish annual storm table. Kevin and Mei, our Melbourne friends on Whisper HR, have a pick-up in Rhodes mid-April. Mei has been cooking for the freezer. The yard has a buzz about it. People are doing those boat jobs they've been talking about doing since November, and firming up on their cruising plans. Ed and Sue have Angel Louise out of the water, getting her ready for the long haul back to their beloved St Katherine's dock in London. They too have decided to delay their Atlantic crossing by a year. What's the hurry to get home? they asked themselves and decided there was none after all. It's a familiar story.

So many tulips to admire

The garden path leading to Topkapi palace

Fresco in the Chora church, Istanbul

Istanbul, with its heavenly tulip plantings and forests of minarets, heaving crowds and sleepless streets seems far away now. There's only a month before the first wave of holidaymakers from the north dumps on Marmaris and the town still looks like the backwater it is out of season. The main shopping street is a shambles, impassable by car. At every corner there's a road being pulled up.

The state of chandlery street
But this is a town which leans towards the water, and when the skies clear and the wind drops, as it did on the day we came back, there are a lot of Turks and ex-pats who will tell you that you can keep your Golden Horn and your glittery Byzantine mosaics. They'd rather be living on Marmaris Bay.

Chora church mosaics 

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