Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Storm over Kusadasi

While huge clouds gathered above we joined the thousands walking in procession to celebrate the Turkish National Day (that's what they told us). Many flags evident, the single white sickle and the single star on the red background. Carried casually over the shoulder or waved enthusiastically by young people screaming past on their Harley Davidsons... All ages were walking peacefully in groups, families and couples, the white-haired and babies in pushchairs. At the end of the seafront promenade there was a tent where a group of musicians played classical Turkish music on their instruments (round-bellied, plucked strings, somewhat like lutes, I don't know their Turkish name) together with one drummer (no sticks, agile hands). We walked the entire seafront to where the huge liner waited for the tourists, the wealthy pensioners, on their trip down the coast of Turkey from Istanbul to Antalya.
After investigating the many fish markets and restaurants (you choose your fish, then it is cooked for you and you eat it plus a glass of wine if you wish!) we turned back, worming our way through the crowds and weaving a path towards the marina.
The wind was wild, when we reached the boat it was already swinging delightedly from side to side...
Here are some pix I took earlier showing the stupendous massing clouds at sunset.

As we were walking back we saw a spectacular lightning effect bouncing across the clouds on the far side of the bay. It lit up a line of dark hills, creating an eerie yellowish-brown colour. Then dark again. Most impressive.
The wind moaned and whistled while the rigging creaked and the fenders groaned between the boats.
In the middle of the night the thunderstorm reached us. Flashing through my porthole onto my fleece blanket, wonderfully dramatic. Then the rain! It spattered and pounded on the deck, the boat rocked wildly, and we alas had left some hatches slightly open -- so deluge in the cabin.
David mopped it up, nothing was damaged, fortunately -- my laptop had been protected by its wetsuit (appropriately!). The only victim was a decrepit book whose pages are all falling out anyway; title The worst journey in the world.
It was 3 a.m. and we went back to sleep. More rain came later, but less furious. When we woke, sunlight was streaming into Stroemhella.

Our neighbours, Jan and Thea, from Oisterwijk, had set off in the middle of the night, to fly back to the Netherlands for the winter. There are still quite a few live-aboards in the marina. But the crowds are thinning out...

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