Monday, May 18, 2009

The Non-Reggae Festival in Olympos

This past weekend, Stacy, Liam, Gabe and I took an overnight bus to Olympos for the "First Ever Reggae Festival in Turkey," or so the website boasted (we found out later it was the second annual "first ever reggae festival"). Lately, we've been feeling the deluge of constant planning: weekends, breaks, and now the 2 1/2 month-long summer holiday. But when we saw there was going to be a reggae festival in one of the coolest areas in Turkey, Olympos, we couldn't resist.

Upon arriving in Olympos, we checked into our bungalow at the Bayram's Treehouses, and chilled outside on the raised wooden platforms and cushions (low treehouses) for a Turkish breakfast.

Then we lubed up and headed to the beach, passing the Roman ruins on the way.

We heard some buzz that the Reggae Fest had been moved to a beach that was a 1/2 hour mini-busride away. When we got back to our pansyon, we learned there was only one shuttle going there that night at 9pm, but we were psyched because one of the best reggae bands was scheduled for that slot. However when we got there, whatever was playing was quite possibly the worst live music I have ever heard. It wasn't reggae, and the dude couldn't sing in tune. He kept starting songs, then stopping a minute in and yelling for a new one to start. After a half-hour of that weirdness, the MC announced that the live music was over for the night and the disc jockey took over by playing reggae music for the rest of the night. So we took the midnight bus back and there was our reggae. We didn't venture out to the festival the next day, because chillin' at the beach was much more fun. It is not atypical for something in Turkey to be all buzz and then either be impossible to find or not pan out. We knew there was a risk in tracking down a reggae festival in a country that is a tad far from reggae's roots, but we embraced the adventure. There were many buses, taxis, airplane, and mini-bus rides involved in this adventure. But then there was the ocean...

It felt like school had let out. But, alas, we have one more month until it does let us out. And we will be back to the Mediterranean for our Blue Cruise.

After staying Sunday night in Antalya, we took an early early flight home on Monday morning and were back at school by 9:30am. So even though we didn't get to hear reggae, the "festival" got us down there, and now I have a little nugget of beach in my soul.

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