Raderstorf World Wide Adventure

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sailing, Seasickness and Buckets of Baklava - By Ben

When we left Istanbul we flew to Dalaman where we rented a twenty meter sailing Gulet. The best part was we didn’t even have to sail it, the crew of four took care of everything. All of the meals were included and were delicious. Our first day out we sailed around islands that looked like they could have been in Colorado (the ocean and jumping dolphins were a little out of place). One had a single permanent resident, Gilligan Bunny. We spent our first night in a beautiful sheltered cove on one of the islands.

The next day was much less enjoyable. For the first time we entered open sea and all were greatly affected by the tossing and rolling of the ocean. Breakfast was lost by all but Dad. The three hours of sailing were very uncomfortable. We finally arrived at our destination, but were soon off by small boat to explore the ruins of Karnos. It was our first roman ruins, so we were amazed, but we had not seen Ephesus or Rome itself. The city had been vastly populated, until malaria came and wiped out everyone. We also went to a mud bath, but I, for my cold’s sake decided to stay dry.

Our last full day, we sailed to the port of Marmaris. Quin had lost major bets the night before to our cook, Cemil, and our captain, Cemal, so he had to buy 4 kilos of baklava. His bank account didn’t like it so much, but the rest of us did, yum, yum, yum!! We spent the night across the harbor in a small cove. I was surprised that baklava didn’t cause us to lose our cookies again, even on the calm waters of the harbor. We left the boat and soon were on our way to Ephesus (see blog).

To see the Pics, click Here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/raderstorfwwa/sets/241981/
Ephesus : http://www.flickr.com/photos/raderstorfwwa/sets/244108/

Friday, April 08, 2005

Istanbul, World's Coolest City - by Ben

Istanbul has to be one of the coolest cities on the planet. It certainly is the only one that spans two continents. The history here is unmatched anywhere in the world. We stayed in a hotel directly across the street from Aya Sofya. Originally a catholic church, Aya Sofya was built by the Romans in the 6th century A.D. The entire reason for its construction was the emperor wanted to build the largest building in the world. When the Byzantine Empire fell, it was converted to a mosque. Now it serves as a museum, and is still the fourth largest religious building in the world.

Another of Istanbul’s amazing sites is the massive, underground Basilica Cistern. It was built in 532 by Emperor Justinian to hold water in case the city fell under siege. The floor area is almost 10,000 square meters. The vaulted ceiling is supported by 336 columns. When full, it could store 80,000 cubic meters of water.

We also visited the Blue Mosque (built to rival Aya Sofya), the Grand Bazaar, and the Tokapi Palace, home of the Sultans. We also took a cruse up the Bosphorus, the straight separating Asia from Europe. It was cool to get on the boat in one continent and get off in another. It seems that Istanbul’s main industry is carpets. Everyone we met ether sold carpets or wanted us to buy one from their brother’s shop. The very first day we were ambushed and had no choice but to purchase three of them, even though we didn’t want them. Not only is Istanbul geographically where Europe and Asia meet, but culturally as well. It is the perfect balance between West and East, I guess that’s why we all liked it so much.

To see the Pics : http://www.flickr.com/photos/raderstorfwwa/sets/241975/

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Delicious Mauritius

Mauritius is a true paradise island. The water is only a few meters deep for a mile straight out. Between the shallows and the coral reefs 10 meters from shore, all surf is eliminated and the water is as calm as a pond. This was the perfect place to get used to the ocean again after the unfortunate events of Dec. 26, 2004.

We stayed the first night, after arriving on a ten P.M. flight, at a low quality motel near the airport. We were all so tired, we didn’t care. No one even realized that we were 10 meters from the beach until the next morning, it was so quiet. Even when the wind was blowing 20 knots, the water stayed calm.

The next two nights we spent in a much more enjoyable resort on the other side of the island. The Villas Caroline was a wonderful place right on the beach. The white sand beaches and nearby coral reefs were amazing. The delicious food was highlighted by a pig roast (much to Max’s displeasure) on the last night of our stay. Even though some of us were not very keen on going, we enjoyed Mauritius very much.

See the Pics : http://www.flickr.com/photos/raderstorfwwa/sets/241966/