I’ve been back from Turkey a month already, but haven’t yet posted any photos from my trip, so I’m going to do a little mini-series about the 9 days I spent there in January/February, starting now with Day 1!
It’s always weird when I go back to Turkey, especially this time as it had been so long since I last visited. There is always that desire to go and visit all my favourite places immediately, to check that they’re still the same and to reassure me that while our lives are full of uncertainty and obstacles, we have our own ‘happy’ places where things have stayed the same, the beautiful scenery, the promised daily sunrise and sunset, the friends we hadn’t seen for nearly a year… It’s an almost overwhelming urge for familiarity.
This time was no different. After landing late evening the previous night, when I woke up in the apartment the next day I was ready to go and see ‘my’ Fethiye. After a quick breakfast, we headed to the Friday famer’s market to stock up on fruit and vegetables for the apartment for the week, trundling through the market with bags full of fresh produce, eyes stinging from the smoke blowing around the stalls, arms aching from carrying the bags, but the welcome familiarity of the sights and smells.. just like old times. Then to the bank, the exchange office to change some currency, and the old age question of tost or döner for lunch… We settled for the tost.
I love sitting at this little toastie place and watching the world go by, the kids skateboarding in the park, workers rushing around the town, people paying bills.. the hustle and bustle of everyday life for the locals. It’s one of the best spots for people watching, that’s for sure! The added bonus is that the toasties are amazing, definitely the most popular in Fethiye! I had cheese and tomato (I think that’s the English girl in me..) while Berkay had the slightly more traditional karışık tost, cheese, sucuk (spicy sausage) and chilli flakes. The price was perfect for our budget too .. 10.50tltl for two toasties and two drinks (less than £2.60)!
After lunch we headed up to ‘Aşıklar Tepesi’ – lovers hill, which overlooks Fethiye bay. I love parking the car up, sitting on one of the benches and just admiring the beautiful view – it’s a good view all year around, but especially on clear winter days when the skies are blue and the mountains in the distance are covered in snow, it makes it look rather dramatic.
Another thing that always looks better in winter is the Calis Beach sunset. Although also rather spectauclar in summer, in winter the sun sets right on the horizon rather than behind the mountains,making it even more impressive.Watching the sunset from this beach was definitely something I knew I had to witness again on my first day back in the country for 9 months, so after a quick google search for the daily sunset time to make sure I wouldn’t miss it, we headed back to Calis and waited.
The sun set around 17.30 that day, and it didn’t disappoint! Although I love taking sunset photos, and have thousands (literally..) of shots of the exact same thing on my iPhone, iPad and camera, none of them really capture the moment well enough. The sun reflecting off the water, the boat sailing in the distance and that brief moment where the sun is perfectly aligned on the horizon and you don’t want to blink because if you do you’ll miss that last split second of the red glowing sphere before it disappears until morning… sunsets are really just something you have to see in person!
Apart from Berkay, Boncuk and the sunsets, the other thing I really miss about Turkey is the BBQ’s, so it made sense than on my first day back, that was our dinner of choice! BBQ’s are so much a part of our life there that now whenever I see (or smell..) one, the first thing I associate it with is Turkey! They don’t care what season it is, how cold it is or how wet it is, it’s always BBQ weather, even if that means sitting outside on the balcony wearing layers and freezing! There’s something so satisfying about preparing it, cooking it and having a good old chat while it’s grilling away, then sitting down to eat it straight off the coals. Mmm. We love BBQ’s so much that we had 4 in the 9 days I spent there. In fact, I’ve just this minute booked an apartment for us to stay in when I go back to Calis next week, we toyed with the idea of staying in a hotel as we haven’t done that for years, but the number one thing that swayed our decision was the fact we’d have no BBQ facilities, nowhere to store meat, no plates or cutlery etc in a hotel! Turkey just isn’t Turkey without a BBQ.
After washing up (that’s the downside to eating in…) we met our friends for a chat and a coffee at Erasta, and then headed off to our other friends house for Çay and baby cuddles. I’ve shared photos of their twins before, when I first met them in 2014, and even back in 2013 when I posted about our meal with the family celebrating the news that she was pregnant! Now, fast forward to 2016 and the twins are nearly 2.. not only that, but they have another baby who is 9 months old! Realising that our best Turkish friends had ‘grown’ a small human in the amount of time I’d been away from the country made me think about just how long I’d been away..