Sailing the Blue Aegean

(original photograph property of FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

The Blue Aegean Sea…

(Aegean Coast of Turkey, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

I’ve never seen a bluer sea, and I’ve seen many, because if there is one thing that I love is the water…I was born near the water and I’ve always lived in a coastal city or town…but the Aegean Sea is incredibly beautiful.

Here are some shots I took while sailing in Turkish waters…

And areas along the coast heading south from Bodrum, and Bodrum is more or less in the middle of the Turkish Aegean coast, about a one hour flight from Istanbul.

It’s a very relaxing time, the time you spend on the water, and since most of the coastline is composed of coves and small bays, you can anchor and jump in any time of the day or the night that you like…

(Our saiboat, we rented it with friends, for one week, photo property of FBC, All Rights Reserved)

When you hire a boat, it comes with a captain, a chef and a first mate. You then purchase everything and anything you wish to eat along the voyage as well as everything and anything you would like to drink. We had a great chef and ate gourmet quality food throughout the seven days of sailing the Turkish Aegean.

It is a very relaxing and refreshing time, a most enjoyable experience. You eat, you drink, you take in the sunshine and the gorgeous waters of that blue, blue Aegean Sea…

I leave you with a little video clip that I made of my trips and journeys in Turkey, a country I know very well, although I should say that I know the western, Aegean coast, because Turkey is a huge country and I know very little of all points east, north or further south…

Turkey, at least some of it…

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Khios, my Favourite Greek Island…

(Breakfast with my new friends in Emporios)

Khios is not a very popular island but I love it! It is very close to the Turkish coast. It is not too small, as it is the fifth largest in the Aegean Sea with a population of close to 54 thousand souls and 842,29 square kilometres in size. Khios…or Chios…is famous for exporting its mastic gum and because of that they call it the “Mastic Island”.

Khios is not overlooked, however but it is certainly not as popular with tourists as is Santorini or Mykonos. But at least it is not as forgotten as Milos (where the Venus is from).

I usually spend some of my summers in Chios. I have been doing it for several years and now have many friends there. Among the things that I love about Khios is the Mavra Volia Beach in Emporios…

Mavra Volia beach is made of this:

(Volcanic stones of Mavra Volia, polished and beautiful but don’t take them home)

There are monasteries like Neo Moni up in the central mountains and many, many churches…

Chios is also the home of Aya Markella. She was assassinated by her step father and her death became her martyrdom. She lived in the XIVth Century in the town of Volissos and she was cannonised by the Greek Orthodox Church. Her feast day in July 22.

St. Markella.jpg

Going to Volissos, visiting the Monastery and then walking along the coastline to the cross is one of my pilgrimages…

All in all Chios is not too large, not too small but all of it is very lovely to me, especially the mountains as they coexist with the sea…

You can reach Chios by plane from Athens, or by ship and from Turkey as well from a fast catamaran as the journey to Cesme, Turkey is only twenty minutes. Chios has an international airport and seaport. Emporios Bay Hotel is where I recommend. From there you can hire a car and begin to get to know Chios. Remember, it is a small island and you can go everywhere in one day as the roads are excellent but the travel is slow as you are constantly going up and down mountains.

All photographs are property of FBC, C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

Instagram: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

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Ayvalik en la costa del Egeo turco…en fotografias…

Ayvalik esta situada en la costa noroccidental de Turquía. Fue una ciudad llamada Kydonies (Κυδωνίες), cercana a la ciudad de Pérgamo. No muy lejos esta la ciudad de Esmirna. Tiene muchos restaurantes de mariscos a la orilla del mar y es famosa por la gran calidad de su producción de aceite de oliva. En Ayvalık se encuentran las playas Sarimsakli y Altinova, playas de arena, grandes que se extienden aproximadamente 30 km hacia el sur, casi hasta Esmirna.

La primera vez que estuve en Ayvalik fue en 2006, pero no ha cambiado…

especialmente una de sus islitas llamada Cunda (Yunda)…

Realmente es un lugar encantador…

Del puerto de Ayvalik puedes embarcarte a la isla griega de Lesbos…

Fácil de llegar en coche de la ciudad de Esmirna…

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Resultado de imagen de location map of ayvalik turkey
(Map courtesy of Trip Savvy)

Travelling in Turkey, Alacati and Ilica on the Aegean

Alacati (pronounced Alachati) is a very pretty village on the Cesme (pronounced Cheshme) peninsula, which is very close to the city of Izmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey. All the homes are stone structures and the streets, narrow and cobblestone.

During the day it is a relaxing place to walk around and shop. There are many authentic stores with items you will not see anywhere else. There are also many antique stores, some galleries and lots of tea house, coffee shops and open air restaurants. At night it fills with thousands of visitors from nearby or from very far away. There are many interesting little boutique hotels as well as many night clubs.

But I prefer to stroll around and enjoy the old houses. Their doors are very interesting and picturesque. Most of the houses date back to the time when the Greeks lived here, before WWI. Actually, if you take away the many fine restaurants and fancy shops all around Alacati and imagine it with only the old stone houses, it looks exactly like the Greek towns in the nearby islands, like Xios.

In and around the narrow streets there are artists studios working on ceramics, glass and textile pieces that are genuine works of art. The bougainvilleas adorn the facade of most of the houses, mixing and blending with the colours of their doors, the little streets of Alacati become a very pleasant place to spend some time.

It is a very nice place to visit, especially if you stay in nearby Ilica (pronounced Iliya) where you can enjoy the beach. Ilica is just about six kilometers away and there are many taxis and micro-buses that take you back and forth. Personally, I prefer to walk the 6k.

The Cesme peninsula, where you can visit Ilica and Alacati and the town of Cesme itself, has an international airport very close by, (about 1,5 hours away by car or bus) and an international port. From the port of Cesme you can book passage to many of the nearby Greek islands as well as to Athens. I highly recommend a visit, and perhaps you too would like to explore places like these and imagine who lives there and how life can be in an old stone Alacati home.

I am an artist from Valencia, Spain but I usually spend my summers in the Aegean coast of Turkey and Greece. If you liked what you read, please hit that like button, share and follow. If you would like to see my drawings and paintings, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and for my 2019 new works of the series “JaZzArt en Valencia” go to http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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From My Blood-Red Orange Part 10: Dreaming of the Sea

Day trippers out on a cruise around Ilica, in Turkey’s Aegean Sea

I am always dreaming of the sea. I have to live near the sea and preferably with a view of the sea from somewhere in my house or apartment. I think that although I love a mountain scene, I could never live on a mountain, unless, of course the mountain was next to the sea.

Presently I am looking out my window to the the mighty Aegean Sea being held back by a thin strip of sand on the shore before me. The Aegean is a special place to me though I do not understand the reasons. I came to the Aegean almost twenty years ago and I immediately felt that I belonged here. More so, I felt I had been here before, swam in these waters, enjoyed seeing the seven shades of blue that form their unique colour. Maybe I was here some time ago, perhaps in another life.

Every time I walk on the shore of the beach in front of my house and wet my feet in the Aegean, I feel close to ancient history, to the gods and goddesses that once, like I do now, walked along the shore or waded into these same waters. It is no wonder that every summer, when I am here, I feel more creative, more in tune with nature and with the events that shaped our western past, which after all, started in the Aegean.

Undoubtedly, these are…of course together with the Mediterranean Sea…the waters of history. On these waters sailed Jason in the Argonaut in search of the Golden Fleece. On these waters rode Zeus on a beautiful white bull, taking with him Europa to the west and giving her name to the continent. On these waters drowned King Aegeus, thinking that his son, Theseus had perished fighting the Minotaur, he threw himself into the waters of the sea, which gave the name to this body of water. Magical, no?

Presently in the Chesme penninsula of Turkey…where Ilica is…there are several archeological sites as well as the site of the ancient Greek city of Erythrai. All, or most, are open to the public and easily accessible from Izmir, where there is an international airport and from where day trips are available as well.

I thank you for your attention and if you have liked what you have read, please give me a like and a share and perhaps you can follow my pages as well. I am an artist and you can see most of my paintings and drawings on my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera AND you can see my new 2019 collection of paintings called “JaZzArt en Valencia” by visiting…you do not have to buy…my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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Going to the Aegean, going to Turkey!

This is Iberian ham…the best…and I had one kilo vacuum packed and ready to take to Turkey where I will be for the next few months. I know it is not enough to last me all the way through, but with a couple bottles of Rioja red that I’ve also packed and some other goodies, like mussels, squid, octopus, sardines and a few assorted other conserves, I should be okay! In any event, I plan to do a lot more writing and producing videos from my beautiful perch overlooking the sky blue Aegean Sea. I will begin my art classes on YouTube as well as on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and other projects like my sub-blog right here called “From My Blood-Red Orange,” (Orange for my hometown, Valencia, Spain, although I will not be in Valencia for a few months). However, that plus the many drawings I plan to complete over there, should be enough to come back to Valencia creatively satisfied and with much much work to perhaps edit, polish and finish.

Have a lovely, lovely summer everybody! And never forget:

“All you Need is LOVE!”

Please visit my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

This is Francisc Bravo Cabrera, signing off. Agur agur…