I’ve been looking back at old photos recently and reminiscing on ‘the good old days’. Although my first visit to Calis was only in 2010, a lot has changed in the past 5 years, and yet still so much stays the same.
I was on holiday in Calis staying in a hotel Berkay worked in, and it’s so funny now looking back on photos I took around that time, totally unaware how things would pan out in the future. It was Grand Vizon hotel in Calis where I stayed, and where we met. I remember sitting on the balcony taking photos of our view over the pool just to remember the place by – little did I know I’d end up living around the corner to this hotel for 3 years, or be walking around the hotel grounds in winter playing fetch with our dog, Boncuk, or having weekly winter BBQ’s with Berkay, sat next to the empty pool long after the tourists had gone home and the summer season finished.
It’s also funny to think that one of the other waiters who worked in the hotel when I met Berkay would become one of our best friends and that I’d be sitting in the house of him and his wife every week for tea and biscuits and playing with their baby son!
Whilst some things have changed, some things never do. This photo of me walking down the road leading to the hotel just sums me up perfectly… animal mad, ever so slightly crazy cat lady. This was taken just on a daytime stroll back to the hotel, where I seemed to attract a small army of kittens. 5 years on this still happens – if there’s a stray cat or dog somewhere I’ll normally end up sat on the floor playing with it! I still do this now in England on my way to work, there’s a cat who wanders around the bottom of our road and on my way to the train station everyday if I see him I stop and talk to him (yes, talk) in fact, I even missed my train once because I stopped to stroke this cat…
Calis itself is of course just as beautiful as ever, apart from a lick of paint on the umbrellas which are now multicoloured, the wide uncrowded beach, the gentle waves of the sea and the backdrop of Babadağ mountain remains much the same. Tourists still come and go every summer and thousands of people fall in love with the place every year.
I wonder how many other tourists like me have sat their bottoms on the stoney beach of Calis and not realised how much the place would change their lives? Or not realised that the place they were visiting for a week’s holiday would turn into a place they’d call home? Do you have any stories of how this place changed you forever?