May 23 2011
Had a pretty abrupt kick-off with a properly early start of 5.40am this morning. And it is the beginning of what promises to be an action-packed week.
However, it must be said that despite the hour this morning was so beautiful, the serene peace of a 6am dawn, out at sea in a bay; it was with a wave of weekend blues that in jeans, trainers (my must-have All Star slip-ons) Mr M and I climbed into the tender to be taken across the bay and dropped at the beach to journey back to Istanbul, where I am now back at my laptop (all by 10am), writing my last blog entry. Thus I can honestly share and genuinely recommend a visit to one of the most exquisite parts of the world: Göcek.
We flew into Dalaman on Friday and drove 30 minutes to the port of Göcek. The bay is surrounded by noble mountains, green pines fill the air and the magnificent bays with the characteristic gulets add the final layer.
This part of the world is for the most seaworthy of us, as the only real way to see the Göcek peninsula is by boat. The endless bays, beaches and coves are breathtaking. The water twinkles and the smell in the air is indescribable.
We moored on Friday evening and spent a warm summer’s night sipping wine on the top deck, eating olives; later we ate at a local simple fish restaurant, one of many that are scattered discreetly from cove to cove.
The peninsula is a national park and thus protected; its tranquillity and beauty are truly overwhelming. Silence is interrupted occasionally by birds, lapping waters, cockerels noisily making themselves known. Locals say that visitors are “guests of God”. On Saturday, as I swam in the ruin of Roman baths, I would certainly have agreed with this. The turquoise waters are a colour that to this date I have not seen before. It’s a colour that, translated from French, means “Turkish blue”, and in the water this weekend I really understood why.
With a pretty busy schedule, it is Istanbul for the next two days before London beckons me back. That will mean in the office with an array of meetings later this week.
Having spent the majority of this year in a whirlwind of travel, I find increasingly as I head back home a growing enthusiasm and passion for London – our shops, buzzing restaurants, glorious parks, museums, humour, our culture, music, theatres, etc, and it draws me back in every time. “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” as Samuel Johnson has oft been quoted. And certain spots are must-do stops for me as I start to miss them! Lunch at The Wolseley – and I confess I am already considering what to order – that’s quite worrying, or the result of a week of too many Turkish delights. The River Café as a summer’s evening personal favourite is also being booked.
Meantime this week is also pretty busy socially, with PR guru Jenny Halpern giving a party at her home, having asked me to help with its redesign. It promises to be an interesting evening with the builders leaving that day and the caterers arriving that evening. Yikes!
Later in the week, another great girlfriend is celebrating her 40th and taking over The Box for a private bash, then I am off to New York on Friday for a week, to see clients and visit my father.
So with an appetite building up, a quick lunch on the Bosphorus beckons; the weather is beautiful here and is luring me away from my desk as I type. Later I’ll head over to Kapali Carsi, the covered bazaar, to see a man about some silver – an antique silversmith to buy those birthday gifts.
Of course I’ll be logging on to read the next Diary of a Somebody and until then thanks to all at the FT How To Spend It for having me.