National Geographic : 1969 Dec
Yankee Cruises Turkey's History-Haunted Coast A few days' sailing brought Yankee to a region of fine conifer forests and fiords. The breeze carried a scent of pine mixed with salt, and each anchorage was an idyl. By the time we sailed into Fethiye, that port of 9,000 peo ple seemed like a great metropolis. As freshly provisioned Yankee slipped away from the pier, we noticed stacks of logs awaiting ship ment to timber mills. "I believe one of the conquerors built his ships near here," Irving recalled. Suleiman the Magnificent prepared part of his fleet nearby for the siege of Rhodes in 1522. Yankee Crew Greeted by Royalty Obviously the great Ottoman sultan's ship wrights left the forest thriving, for conifers still bristle to the water. Seeking an anchor age, we slipped into an appealing cove. There, on an island, we sighted a fieldstone villa, private pier, and golf-green lawn. The setting reflected a noble taste: A picture window focused upon a sweep of mountain, forest, and sea; a terrace, lined with amphorae and avi aries, suggested contemplation (pages 818-19). An impressive gentleman moved out to the pier, studied us with glasses, then waved us in. Servants darted out to help. Two fetched fenders, another rowed out in a dinghy to take our stern lines, and in a moment we stepped ashore to a courtly greeting from Prince Abd El-Moneim, former regent of Egypt. "And a member of the National Geographic Society," he added with a smile. "Yes, this was my father's island. Domuz Adasi means 'pig island'; we have wild pigs here-they swim in the sea." As the prince gave us a tour, he pointed out a waterside ruin beside his home. "A German archeologist told me that was a Byzantine bath for a queen. "Once malaria raged here," he continued, "but my father drained the swamps and made this a prosperous place for maize. Now peo ple raise cotton and tobacco too. Come along, and I'll show you the neighboring area." We stepped into the prince's motorboat while he lighted a long cigar. Then his royal highness piloted us personally at roaring speed. The roar stopped short as the prince cut the engine. "This island is called Tersane meaning 'shipyards.' It was here that Sultan Suleiman built his ships to conquer Rhodes." And so we found Suleiman's shipyards with our own royal guide. We continued to follow Suleiman's trail next day, for we stopped at Marmaris for more paper formalities. From this port Suleiman's fleet had embarked for the invasion of Rhodes. Once our red tape was snipped, we did the same. We encountered a stiff breeze and rough seas that afternoon. But with the wind abeam, Yankee really made time. Wearing oilskins against the spray of 10-foot waves, we reached Rhodes in three hours-for 30 miles. We passed the site where four months earlier the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Bache had been blown onto the rocks and grounded. Three wind mills to port now peacefully whirled their canvas vanes as we slipped into the fine old harbor at sunset, the very instant that a white cruise ship turned on its lights. Dead ahead lay the clean white marketplace, and behind loomed the tower of those noble Crusaders, the Knights of St. John. Castle Built From a Wonder's Ruins Elsewhere the glories of antiquity had vanished, but one of the most awesome may rise again. We learned that the city of Rhodes plans to replace the Colossus of Apollo, one of the ancient Seven Wonders, completed around 280 B.C. Historians say an earthquake toppled the mighty bronze less than a century after its completion; eventually its pieces were shipped away to Asia Minor as scrap. Draw ing upon coins and ancient writings for the details, American sculptor Felix de Weldon will re-create the Colossus, 105 feet tall. The task may take 10 years. We sailed from Rhodes with enthusiastic reinforcements. Dr. Melville Bell Grosvenor, Editor-in-Chief of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPH IC, came aboard with his wife Anne and their 12-year-old daughter Sara. Joe and Bart now became amphibians, preceding Yankee by ferryboat and station wagon to arrange our shore expeditions along the way. Our first joint beachhead was Bodrum, the ancient Halicarnassus. We entered the harbor as the day's last sunshine played on the towers of Bodrum's 15th-century castle. "Sara, come and look!" Mel Grosvenor called. "That castle is all that's left of another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World." Expressive hands and face help Suat §akir Kabaagag tell a story. The gifted raconteur and notable citizen of the little town of Selimiye often entertains visitors with tales from his store of local lore and history. EKTACHROME BYALBERT MOLDVAY © N.G.S.