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Mythical Med

While the Atlantic may seem pale and anaemic, the Mediterranean is a myriad of blues with a mindset and history of its own. Through the narrow straits at Gibraltar waters rush from the Iberian peninsular past Palma and Algiers via the Pelopponese on to the Levant.
Here over the millennia earth-forms gathered to create mountain, steppe and shore. Their fame has given rise to many legends….a true cul-de sac of culture!

Did a great flood submerge the fabled utopia of Atlantis some say hidden beneath Cyprus where Greek myth has it that Aphrodite the Goddess of Love arose from the waves, From here the dove may have plucked an olive branch when sent out by Noah as related in Genesis. Only recently on Mount Ararat a 164-meter-long geological feature primarily composed of limonite encasing particles of sand and seafood has been identified 3 km from the Iranian border.. Could this be the fossilised remains of the Ark?

The earlier written evidence of a flood in the region is found in the Epic of Gilgamish. a Sumerian king who was two thirds god one third human. The legend was passed down orally until written on clay tablets in Babylonian times.

An illustration of the flood drawing after a Babylonian 3rd millenium BC cylinder from the Epic of Gilgamesh showing ship, boar, ark, bird…and maybe a snake top left.


In Homer’s epic poem the Iliad, Odysseus returning from the Trojan wars journeys ten long years challenged by gods and mythical creatures to eventually reach his wife Penelope on Ithica. Hercules who lived in Thebes was punished for killing his wife and children. Forced to complete twelve labours, when successful Apollo made him immortal!
Another hero Perseus was tasked with killing the Medusa whose gaze turned humans to stone…
Yet another hero Theseus was tasked with killing the Minotaur, a beast born half human who lived in a labyrinth under the Palace of Knossos the island of Crete and needed regular feeding with Athenian young women and men. This truly is a myth as it was discovered that the palace at Knossos had no Labyrinth.
However the story of the flood is different and may soon be vindicated. Suffice it to say that the Mediterranean holds the greatest beauty of all seas and thus gives rise to a myriad of stories, which though myth all hold grains of truth.


Let’s look at the Eastern Med today: waters bordered by many countries: Greece, Turkey, Syria , Lebanon Israel and Egypt: also home to fabulous islands; Cyprus,Rhodes Crete, Malta and many more.
Saltier than the Atlantic the Med teems with marine life. Dolphins frolic in its waves, seals roll over over its beaches, Turtles laden with eggs nest on its sands. To its rockier shores cling oysters, mussels and sea urchins while moray eels hide in lower crevices and swollen-eyed Rockfish bide away their years in sea-caves. Flying fish skim the surface and sea horses play in the daylight foam while octopus hidden on the seabed await their prey. Shoals of Mackerel hurry on to escape the shadow of a shark and Swordfish patrol the open waters.

Such abundance……,.and enough fish to feed 5,000, even those on holiday!

The fish markets of the East Med present shining displays of Bass and Bream, Bonito and Barracuda. One cannot find the large crab of colder seas but prawns, calamari, squid are all on display.

At Oludeniz the main Belcekiz beach backed by hills of pine and cedar is a glistening bow of sands beyond which stretch the peaceful ripples of the blue lagoon
From its sandy promontry one can rent a Sup or Pedallo, and cross the lagoon to reach the shaded waters of the opposite rocks or alternatively relax on the shingled beach shaded by overhanging acacia.
At Kidrak two km. to the east of the Belcekiz beach, the sea deepens faster; here one can relax to the sound of the shingle under overhanging pines…
In the bay colours of blue vary:
Electric green in the caves…
Creamed turquoise where fresh water channels enter the sea
A brighter tone as one approaches the land…
Bodrum has a sea less salty…
Marmaris’ coastline is of a deeper blue…
But…nowhere else along the coast can one find such tones of aquamarine and turquoise.

One cannot substitute St. Nicholas Island for Atlantis…However Oludeniz is the best place for a Mediterranean holiday!

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