Monthly Archives: June 2012

Trying to beat the heat……………

June is here and the temperatures are definitely on the rise. For most folks at 112 degrees it would seem like a great idea to find a shady spot inside somewhere and enjoy an ice cold beverage, but for me it was time for another adventure. To me there’s no better place to go when it’s hot other than the beach.  I have to warn you, I have never been to the beach under the extreme heat conditions that where out that day.  Some friends and I went to a place called Kizkalesi, or Castle by the Sea, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea near the town of Silifke in Turkey. Also shown, briefly, is Korykos. Korykos is a landside castle that was built near Kizkalesi. The largest nearby city is Mersin.

We went on faith without a hotel reservation during a busy weekend and were fortunate enough to find a place right on the beach………..go figure. Once we arrived we checked our stuff and hit the beach. I was surprised to see it packed with families and people from all over.  It was so HOT that we decided to grab some food and drinks in the shade. The plan was to check out the castle which was about a 1000 meter swim from the bank. We also wanted to hit the shops and other ruins in the area.

With a full belly I pulled my shoes off and stepped onto the most shocking super-hot sand that has ever touched the soles of my feet, it was like walking on hot coals and it was torture. I watched the local kids walking on this stuff like it was a carpet. I made a mad dash for the umbrellas where the sand sat in the shade so I could cool my burning feet.  By time we found seats it was time to rehydrate because the sweat was pouring from all areas of my body. I figured I’d cool off in the water that was so clear you could see your feet as far out as 100 meters out. The only problem was the water was hot too. It was like jumping in a Jacuzzi tub with hundreds of people.  I walked out as far as I could to try to find a cooler spot to discover the temperature was not changing. I walked out about 200 meters before the drop off started and the water was at my shoulders. At that point the water started to feel a tad better.

So I’m cool and ready to relax in my chair under the shade and my buddy decided to take a brisk swim out to the castle to show me how it’s done. He was gone for about an hour and when he came back he asked me if I was ready to get my swim on. I figured if he was ready to go again right after getting back that it shouldn’t be a big deal. Now something you should know is my buddy is 15 years senior to me and I thought that I could hang with him and learned the hard way that he is a beast when it came to swimming in the Mediterranean.  He is from Hawaii and I should have put two and two together that he has been doing this for years. We started our journey toward the Maiden of the Sea in the shallows, and the further I swam out the current started to roll in I realized that this was going to be tougher than I thought.  I consider myself a pretty good swimmer and swim regularly in the morning two to three times a week for exercise and this swim was far from swimming in a pool.  Plus the water was so warm that that took a little out of me as we crawled our way out. It took me about twenty-five minuets to cut through the currents until we made it to the other side.

Suggestion for anyone reading this that lives in Turkey………Don’t swim to the castle by yourself. Banana boats, jets skis, and other water vessels cruise the area and might not see you so be careful. After I caught my breath and took in the scenery I realized I had to swim back. I will say the swim back is a lot easier than the swim there because the current will carry you toward the shore, but don’t rely on that to get you back, you need to be prepared. It was still hot and all I could think about was getting some fresh water.  That was some of the saltiest water I had been in as well.

Later on that night we all went to dinner and I was exhausted. I filled myself with all the treats and actually feel asleep at the table like a little kid. I was tired, but my buddies insisted that I walk my food off so we went and checked out the mini strip. Thankfully nothing was going on and I retired for the night. Kizkalesi was different from the other places I’ve had the opportunity to visit. I may go back………………..when it cools down.

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Food, Fun and Carpets

Over the course of my travels I have made many friends. One thing I’ve discovered and appreciate is the hospitality of the business owners that I have grown to know along with learning their passion in what they do. I made a lifetime friend named Vedat who owns Dreamland Carpet and has a passion for teaching people about his culture and his business.

Vedat owns the number one carpet shop in his area and is the envy amongst his peers. He enjoys helping others learn how carpets are made as well as how they fit not just into his culture, but how they can fit into any persons culture around the world. He taught me how they earn value over time and can be passed onto generations and beyond. I was pretty excited about this because I have three children of my own.  Vedat also taught me how these priceless heirlooms have more meaning than what the eyes have to show.  Some of these carpets tell stories while others can be used for special occasions.

Vedat is laid back and an educated man that truly wants those who meet him to walk away with the feeling of making a new friend for life. He and his family will invite you into their life and share some of the best food you will ever taste and you will also hear stories about some of his travels.

I attended a party where he shared food prepared by his father and educated his new friends about the different types of carpets in his shop. After spending time with his family I felt more prepared in making a decision on what to purchase not just for myself, but for my loved ones too. Having something of value to pass down isn’t always easy to find but he made it easy for me.

As he shared with his new friends what he was excited about, they took advantage of collecting these heirlooms for their self and their family members. I watched more carpets leave his store than you could ever imagine. I saw carpets that I really wanted that other people purchased before I could get my hands off my camera. It was a fun night filled with friends and great food.

If you are looking for a great way to show your appreciation to someone stop by Vedat’s store and he will help you pick something out for the right occasion. You can also send him an email and he can send you some pictures as an option. I promise you won’t be disappointed and you will be happy you were able to make a new friend.


Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris on ICE

While I was in Germany I decided to find out what all the hype was about on the ICE train. It’s a system that runs at the rate of 250 MPH and travels all over Germany into neighboring countries. Prior to this trip I had not taken a train anywhere significant other than the little theme park deals you see in Disney World.  I figured I could knock out two birds with one stone and visit Paris at while taking my first train weekend getaway. The train cuts most trips in half. It took two hours from K-Town into the heart of Paris and the trip was smooth the entire way. If it wasn’t for the ground passing my eyes at a blur I wouldn’t have even been able to tell that we were going as fast as we were going. The train arrived at the main hub in Paris where the station was set up like a mall and people were shopping prior to going back to their original destination. Paris was great and the only regret I had was I didn’t stay longer. The public transportation system made for an easy tourist experience with an authentic big city feel. I had a map and two days to see as much as I could and felt like I didn’t even scratch the surface in the City of Love.  I plan on going back, but this time I will stay longer.

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at