Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012 – Kusadasi, Turkey – Partly Cloudy - 82F

Distance from Catania to Kusadasi, Turkey: 620 Nautical Miles

20121029 Ships Position (Small)

Local Information: Kusadasi is a popular seaside resort on the west coast of Turkey.  It has a permanent population of approximately 50,000 residents.  The town gets its name - “Bird Island” from the nearby island of Guvercin Adasi (Pigeon Island).  The island contains a Byzantine castle that was used to fortify the village from enemies.  Kusadasi is the jump point for many historical sites: Ephesus, The Virgin Mary’s House and the ruins of St. John’s Basilica. 

20121029 Bird Island (Small)

Pigeon Island

We have been here several times (most recently just weeks ago) so we are walking and exploring the city.  Today has to be the best day – weather-wise – of all of our previous visits.  In the past, even late in the year, Kusadasi is very warm.  Today it was very very pleasant not even reaching the low 80s as forecast.

Very near the port lies the Kaleici Mosque.  The mosque was built in 1618 by the Grand Vizir Okuz Mehmet Pasha and repaired in 1830.  A statue of the Pasha stands outside the walls of the picturesque mosque.

 20121029 Pasha and Palace Kusadasi (Small)

The Pasha

20121029 Reagent Seven Seas Voyager (Small)

The Regent Seven Seas Voyage and Ataturk

It’s not just about mosques and pashas in Kusadasi. On one of the side streets off the main avenue on Saglik Avenue we came across what looked like the statue of a musician.  His name is Maffy – sounds like a jazz guy but I will need to check on that.

 20121029 Maffy and E (Small)

Maffy the Musician

When I was here about a month ago, I was unsuccessful in finding my favorite spa.  I found the new location of the spa on the internet and asked the locals for directions.  After getting assistance from a number of helpful residents, one very nice man called the spa then led us directly to the place.  The spa is now located in a very small side street.  The owner was very happy to see us – amazing since it has been a year since we saw her last.   It turned out to be a very relaxing day at the Spa.

We went back to the ship for a late lunch and spent the rest of the day in the Solarium.  From there, I was able to get some late afternoon sunset shots of both Pigeon Island and Ataturk.

  20121029 Bird Island 1 (Small) 20121029 Sunset over Ataturk (Small) 

Pigeon Island is all lit up at night and visible from our table in the Opus Dining Room. The following picture was taken during our sail away from Kusadasi.

20121029 Kusadasi Sail Away Bird Island (Small)

Tonight’s Showtime was a double bill featuring Neil Lockwood and Lindsay Hamilton.  Neil did mostly rock tunes and one Stevie Wonder ballad I did not recognize.   Lindsay performed another knockout show again starting off with a medley from “Yentl”.

20121029 Neil Lockwood 1 (Small) 20121029 Lindsay Hamilton a (Small)

Neil Lockwood and Lindsay Hamilton

After the show, we went to the Ensemble Lounge.  The entrance to each of the Ensemble Lounges on the Solstice ships is different (one of them has glowing bugs).  This one has fanciful flowers and a star shape bench.  There is also a sensor that rings a bell as you walk in – unusual but interesting.

20121029 Ensemble Lounge Bell Room (Small)

Entrance to Ensemble Lounge

Pedometer: 7,818 steps; 3.71 miles; 383 calories

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