After a sleepless night for Ligeia, we started out after breakfast for what we knew would be a long travel day. Beginning with waiting for the shuttle bus from Pamukkale to Denizli, about 35 minutes away, Ligeia had her work cut out for her fending off the relentless come-ons from a local “gentleman”.
Upon at arriving at the Denizli bus station, we quickly made our to the bus office to get full tickets printed and to make a pit stop, before finding our seats 9 & 10 on the bus heading to Ayvalik. We were hoping to catch a ferry to Lesbos at 6pm and we were told the bus would take 6 hours. But the time seemed to go on forever and it was nearing 5pm when the bus finally pulled over to what looked like a gas station and restaurant. The bus attendant said “Ayvalik” and helped us get our larger backpack from the compartment below.
We had no idea where we were and no idea how to get to the ferry docks. Unlike Pamukkale and Izmir that are touristy, no one here spoke English. The clock was ticking. And to add some pressure, we really had to pee as we didn’t dare go at any of the prior stops. We quickly drew a picture of a sailboat and said “Lesvos” to anyone who would listen. For a while no one seemed to know, but eventually a man said the words “minibus” and “taxi”. So we waited not knowing when it would come, how long it would take, nor how much it would cost. It turns out the bus came within ten minutes, it was a ten minute ride and there was surprisingly no cost. We also apparently didn’t need a taxi.
We found the ferry ticket office, and once inside, not only did we buy our round-trip tickets, but we also met a very nice man who generously offered us some of his wonderfully smelling strawberries and cherries. Tickets in hand we carefully stepped through traffic to the waterfront, got our exit stamps from Turkish customs and gave our tickets to a man on the boat. A few minutes later, we were on the top deck eating the tastiest fruit we’ve ever had heading to Lesbos. We had made it!
This was our view leaving Turkey:
And this was our view coming into the Mytilini harbor of Lesbos:
An hour and a half later, we went through Greek customs (our first international arrival via ship), making this Ligeia’s 35th country visited and Mindy’s 18th. Suddenly, all the Turkish words we finally were starting to feel comfortable with, were rendered useless. We scrambled to memorize a few Greek phrases, but what we found most difficult was the alphabet. It was all Greek to us! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
We found a hotel and some yummy food. We also tried a Greek white wine, Retsina, that has flavorings of pine and finished off the evening with a delicious, gourmet mini-eclair.
Check in again soon for more Lesbos adventures!
Ligeia and Mindy :):)