50 Shades of Turquoise: Kaşing in on Summer

During my last week in Turkey, I headed down to Kaş- a small town on the Mediterranean coast with a few good friends and the following days of swimming, boat riding, delicious fish dinners, and great conversation were a beautiful note to end on.

The waters around Kaş are a jaw-dropping and surreal patchwork of shades of turquoise. The coast's shores are lined with a halo of lighter turquoise, seeming to glow from within, and receding into darker shades of blues and greens. Once we spotted the water on the twisting coastal road to town, we couldn't wait to take a dip. In the first few days, Melody, Aubri, and I headed to Küçük Çakıl (Little Pebble) and Büyük Çakıl (Big Pebble), where we divided up the day reading on lounge chairs, and taking long swims in the refreshing water. Melody and I dragged the day out, staying to the day's tail end, soaking up the joy of having nothing to do in a beautiful place.

Özlem came on the third day and we headed instead to Kaputaş beach- a tiny cove below a sharp turn on the sea road with with about 100 steps leading down to a patch of glowing light blue water. Rachel joined us and we spent another glorious day, swimming in heaven and pinching ourselves in disbelief that a place this gorgeous actually existed. Swimming in this water was like floating in the sky, floating in light and it was hard to pull ourselves away from its rising tide once the time came to catch the last dolmuş back to town.

The fourth day was Aubri's birthday, and we celebrated by going on an island tour with Tia Boat. Again, the day was nothing short of perfect. We docked in small coves along the coast, where sea turtles poked their heads above the water before diving back under into the blue. We stopped by the Greek island of Meis, which sits just opposite of Kaş' shores, hoisting the Greek flag as we approached. We went swimming off the boat, lounged in the sun and tried our hand at yoga moves on the deck with the added challenge of the swaying boat. While we lazed about, the captain's sister was busy preparing an incredible meal below deck. When it was time to eat, we were presented with a feast of meze, mücver, and fried fish- all incredibly fresh and delicious.

Our next stop was Limonaza, where several turtles swam near our boat. We made birthday Aperol spritz cocktails, ate cake, and played tavla, before diving in with goggles this time in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the turtles under water. Although we didn't see any on the first attempt, the boat's captain- Ibo- docked a little closer to the other side of the cove and led us under water with masks and snorkels until we spotted some. There were several gliding underneath us, serene and wielding their flippers like underwater wings, seeming to carry the wisdom of the world atop their backs. Ibo found an octopus and held it as it misted us with its black ink. When he let it go, it zoomed off releasing bursts of ink, like a runaway steam train.

Twice that week, we headed to a breakfast place owned by friends of Aubri's in Doğa Park. The ride to the restaurant was up a windy road on the mountains overlooking the sea with stunning views of Kaş' bay. We sat in an elevated area with cushions for lounging and were served one of the most amazing breakfasts I've had during my time in Turkey, with warm freshly made local and lavaş bread, orange flower honey, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, black and green olives, just-cracked walnuts, pekmez, tahini, cherry jam, fresh butter, fruit... all the expected components of Turkish breakfast, but very, very fresh and tasty. We lounged on the pillows for quite some time, refilling our çay glasses from the samovar and chatting. I got inspired and drew the samovar- a beautiful object with all of the marks of previous use on its shell- deep black from the fire and glints of shiny metal underneath. Before leaving, we got to visit the goat pen, where goats of all ages were grazing. One of the restaurant's employees played with a goat, pushing his hand on top of its forehead until the goat reared up and landed back down. The goat came and nuzzled in his hand and clearly liked the man and the game- it was very sweet to see.

Alas, after five days, it was time to head back to Istanbul for my remaining few days in Turkey. It has been hard to say goodbye and to wrap my mind around leaving permanently. Turkey has been an incredible home the last five years and I can see very tangible ways in which I've changed as a result of living here. I will miss trips like these, into the various parts of this ancient land; these small adventures that breathe fresh life and inspiration into me. Before we caught our ride to the airport, we made time for one more dip in Kaş' turquoise waters, to be rocked by the waves, and feeling deeply satisfied and happy.


The perfection of Turkish breakfast


Bottomless çay

Sketch from breakfast

I really liked the samovar

Büyük Çakil- Big Pebble Beach

Deja Vu for sunset drinks





I heart Gülşah

And also...

I heart Seda

Catching the sunset at the old amphitheater 

Meis, Greek island across Kaş


Castle- Meis


Sea turtle!

Delicious lunch on the boat


Birthday Aperol spritz


Tavla tournament

Natural born tavla hustler

The King's Tomb, Kaş

Another gorgeous sunset

Breakfast addicts


Baby billy

Play time

Young nar

Hesitant divers

Do we really have to go home? 

Beautiful Özlem

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