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Jon

Our vacation there was fabulous! I would recommend it to any of my friends. I was just saying to a friend that the place is a combination of Alaska (forests getting into the sea and very tall mountains also getting into the sea) with the tropics (the warm weather). Swimming is like in the tropics with 28-29C water temperature.

The hikes were very nice, part of the time in forests and part of the time out in the open. The forest we did in the hike from Olympos to Adrasan is among the best forest hikes I have ever done. The hike to the light house went through many changes of scenery: greenhouse agriculture, forest, great coves by the sea, great views of islands and the coast.

The Chimera hike was very interesting, with all the history that goes with it. The going was a bit tough in places, with some scrambling in some rocky areas, but we were able to find the marks along the way.

The dinner at the trout farm with the view of Mount Olympos was the reward. I am used to California or Colorado hikes with tons of people around, these hikes gave us a chance to be most of the time in contact with nature and history.

The archeological sites were very interesting. Learned a lot about the Lycians, remarkable people.

Of course, the best part of all was being with you and Sue. We were taken care of any needs. Jon went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed the hikes, was a terrific guide through the Olympos archeological site with Lycian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman ruins. And, of course, the stay at the Ottoman Palace was a real treat. It was like being with family, where everyone went out of his way to make everybody else happy.

I am back to California and work, after a few days of sailing and then boat maintenance. Cesare stayed behind for another week to finish work on the boat. Will be back in Turkey, possibly in May to go to Cappadocia and in June, to sail the boat back to Spain and the Caribbean.

Thank you to you and Sue for a wonderful vacation

Lina

June 4, 2007

 

Sue and Jon,

 

We are back in Vermont but wishing we were still in Turkey.  Thank you for the wonderful time we spent with you in Adrasan at the Ottoman Palace Hotel this past spring.  It was hiking that attracted us to the Lycian Coast and it was better than we imagined.  We loved the variety of the hikes, the long views, the Turquoise Coast and its climate, the high meadows, the fires at Chimera, the ruins at Olympus and the hike to the secluded beach.  The views were spectacular.  What a special corner of the world!  We hope to come back and tackle Mount Olympus.

 

It's not just the hiking that we'll remember, though.  The history of the Lycian Coast is fascinating and the people that occupy it now are genuinely friendly. The village of Adrasan is charming and the Ottoman Palace Hotel is a beautiful and comfortable place to spend a vacation. We loved starting each morning with a Turkish breakfast beside the pool and we loved ending each day's hike with an Efes or two at one of the local cafes.


Dinners were a highlight to three food lovers like us Ė kudos to the chef.  Finally, we enjoyed the time spent together and meeting all the "Mehmets".  Being there in the pre-season was a definite plus.  It was much more like staying in your home than a hotel. Again, thank you for your wonderful hospitality.  Of all the places Emily has traveled to she says Turkey is her favorite and as you know she'll be ending her traveling in July in Istanbul.

 

If you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods we'd be disappointed if you didn't stop for a visit.  We'd love to show you some real snow.


Thanks. Molly, Tom and Emily Bachman

Dear Jon and Sue

It now seems ages since we left Adrasan late that Sunday night.  Ali drove us smoothly and competently to the airport - thanks Ali - and the rest of the journey home to Scotland went very easily, including a good snooze on the plane.

We landed in Glasgow on a cool but gloriously blue morning and headed straight up the road to Inverness to be shopping in Tesco at 9.30 am.  Quite surreal !!

The digital photos are now all downloaded and bring back such wonderful memories of both of you and your amazing part of the world.

Our holiday lived up to all our expectations on a number of counts.  First of all, your facilities and hospitality were superb and being almost your only guests for the week we were especially pampered.  It was also very nice to meet your other friends and visitors.  We lacked for nothing !!

Secondly, your hotel is undoubtedly central to some of the best sections of the whole Lycian way, and while walking the whole route, self sufficient, must be a great experience, we were delighted with what we did and how we did it.  The morning and evening transport before and after the walking gave us the chance to see the villages and roadside life and also gave us the opportunity to see our walks from different perspectives.  The walks were energetic and certainly not for the unfit.  We were both glad to have decent boots and walking poles.  Navigation was for the most part fairly easy because of the way marking, and we really only got occasionally confused by having an out of date version of Kate's book.  It might have been simpler without it!  There is not one of the walks I would not happily repeat.  Even the long "road" finish on the Cerali/Tekirova walk is more than compensated by the wonderful sea views and vistas of Mt Olympos, and the opportunity to swim in the sea.  It would have been a great climax to ascend Mt Olympos but the weather was against us.

On balance, to achieve all the walks in 6 days would require considerable fitness and good weather, and a 10 day sojourn would be almost perfect, building in a rest day and boat trip or other activity.  One would never be bored.

Once again, many many thanks for a great time and hope to see you again sometime.

Very best wishes

 

Malcolm and Annette

Dear Jon
 
We got so much out of our holiday at yours, so thank you again.

The walks vary in difficulty but none are for the faint hearted, and one can easily go wrong if you donít concentrate on the waymarking, which is always there but sometimes obscure.  Still thatís the challenge.   It was great in having only a week to walk, and all the organisation, drops offs, picnics etc. being done for you.  The friendly family atmosphere in the hotel added to the experience.

The walk over the hill from Olympos to the fish farm was a good half day stroll, with a bit of a scramble up the hill, past the eternal flames, and a gentle walk down through the forest.

 Light house to Adrasan is fantastic, it is long and strenuous and Kateís book can make it sound more difficult than it really is.  Also her timings for sections of the walk vary so you can never be sure if you are on track or not.  I think it would be great to do it both ways within the week, because the first time it can be a bit scary, worrying about how much longer the walk will be, how many more patches of scree to stumble over, etc.  And to do it in reverse a couple of days later would be even more enjoyable because of knowing the route but seeing it from a different perspective.

Over the hill Olympos to Adrasan, not at all difficult after the long climb up out of the valley.  As long as you take many rests on the way up and pace yourself, it is a very pleasant climb and a great forest walk down.Brilliant views of Mount Olympos, and the Adrasan Valley

Mount Olympos, a good five hour climb, through the forest to the plateau took less than two and a half hours although Katesí book said over three.  Stopping for a rest with the goats and apple trees in the summer pasture was a good idea, if a bit smelly, goats are very insistent and pushy animals.  The two hour climb up the last bit was difficult and exhausting and not clearly marked.  The book said follow the cairns, but there were cairns all over the place.  There was a sort of rocky track from the plateau diagonally up the hill, and this is a hard climb, very stoney, but actually only takes an hour, and it is very satisfying coming up to the top part of the mountain.  Then you see the lift station right the other side of the gigantic moon-scape plateau, and have to make a decision about the best way of getting there.  That takes another hour but worth it for views, cold beer and self satisfaction.

We thought that if the decision had been to go up in the lift and walk down, without a guide it would have been almost impossible to find the path down off the top.  Having climbed up, it was still difficult to work out whereabouts we had actually come up over the rim.

The best part of all these walks, was getting back to the hotel and walking down to the sea and falling into the water and washing off the dust of the day.  Then back to the bar for G and Tís and thinking about what to have for supper.

Daisy & Roger (London)

 

June 2007

Jon and Sue,

It was quite a shock deplaning in Antalya, at the end of June, and getting hit by a heavy blanket of very hot air.  We were sure that that was the beginning of the end of our hiking vacation.  But we underestimated you and the Ottoman Palace Hotel. 

Thank you for being so generous with your time, advice and help.  Thank you for your flexibility and incredible imaginations in creating the best possible walks under the most difficult of weather conditions.  Thank you and your staff for providing such comfortable accommodations, the friendliest of atmospheres, and wonderful food.

Will send a few pictures by separate e-mails. 

L'hitraote!  (Until we meet again!)

Norma and Gadi Horev

 

Hello How are you 2?

Just a quick note to say thank you very much for a wonderful stay

Will and I felt thoroughly spoiled Ė because we were

Life is back to normal, whatever that is

We cannot stop talking about our many and varied adventures

Kind Regards

Julian & Will