The Denizli Teleferik – Cable Car

The Denzli teleferik (cable car) was something I didn’t even know existed until last year. Whilst visiting Berkay’s family in the city last May, we took a slight detour with his younger cousin who came along for the adventure!

Built in 2015, the cable car was made to help more people appreciate and spend time in the beautiful nature surrounding the area. It’s not too far from the city centre, and takes you 1400m above ground.
  
Turkey isn’t really known for it’s health and safety, so I admit that I was a little nervous when we parked the car and I realised just how high up this thing was going to take me, that was, if the steps from the car park up to the lower cable car station didn’t kill me first! I’m So unfit.

It was nice inside, very modern with really nice toilets, something that always excites me. You have no idea how many petrol stations I’ve had to rely on for a semi-decent toilet while visiting places! We queued up and bought our tickets, which were very cheap, 6tl each for a return trip, or free for kids under 6 years old. Imagine how much you’d pay for a similar trip to this in the UK? It certainly wouldn’t be less than £1.20!

It was quite busy but we didn’t have to wait long, less than a minute and we were ushered into one of the little cars, and set off on our journey!

There are 24 of the cars, one comes along every 30 seconds, and up to 800 people an hour can travel on the teleferik.

The journey from bottom to top takes 7 minutes and provides you with lovely views, you can even spot Pamukkale in the very far distance. Unfortunately the day we went it was very misty and cloudy so my photos aren’t great, they really don’t do it justice!
  
When you reach the top there is a cafe/restaurant with a look out point where you can enjoy the view with a tea. Alternatively, a free shuttle bus service to a park area called Bağbaşı Yaylası further back in the mountain runs every few minutes (or you can walk to it instead). We joined the queue for the dolmus-type bus, it was only a 5 minute journey and then we arrived at the park.

The park has bungalow cabins to rent overnight, tents you can stay in, play areas, a cafe, little shop huts, a kebab restaurant and a newer activity park built in the forest trees with climbing and rope obstacles. It was nice to walk around and would be great for kids, but we only stayed about 20 minutes then walked back to the bus to head back to the cable car.
  
We made a brief stop at the look-out point for more photos, then back on the cable car for the journey down which was just as pleasant as the journey up!

It’s a shame it wasn’t a sunnier day as it would make the photos look better, although I’ve recently seen photos of the area in the snow and how amazing the view was then – I guess the cable car runs in all seasons, other than strong winds.

Apparently 1.5 million people had visited the Denizli Teleferik in the 2 years since it opened, quite an impressive number. I hope it continues to be successful as I loved it and really want to go on it again. It’s location is also handy for those visiting Pamukkale to take a slight detour to it.
  
For those of us who are regulars to Fethiye, you have probably heard about the plans to install a similar cable car going up to Babadağ mountain, and after going on this one I am so excited to have a go on that when it opens! I believe work has already started to build it. From what I could see of the one in Denizli, it hadn’t affected the nature around the area too much, something that is always a worry when it comes to major work on the forest areas. I only hope that the price of the Fethiye one will be similar, and not significantly more expensive to take advantage of the high tourism in the area. I can see it being very popular with both tourists and locals in Fethiye and it will definitely be something to add to my bucket list!

Visiting a Tobacco farm in Kale, Denizli

Since meeting Berkay, I’ve had opportunity to experience a lot of different things in Turkey, things a normal tourist probably wouldn’t. Whilst this can sometimes be frustrating, when I just want to sit on a lounger by the pool and relax, these opportunities have allowed me to see more of the ‘real Turkey’.

One such opportunity presented itself back in September. On the way back from the village in Beyagac, Denilzi, we went through a rural area called Kale, near Tavas. Kale is
famous for growing tobacco, and the people we went to visit have their own tobacco farm.

The people who own the farm land are related to Berkay’s step mum. The family spend a few weeks planting the crops in spring and then around 3 months later they begin the mammoth task of harvesting, drying and curing the tobacco leaves. To do this, the whole family leaves their house in the city behind, and moves onto the farm land for ease, they stay living there for around 5 months of the year.
 
On the day we visited, it was absolutely boiling, around 36oc, so getting out of the car air conditioning and sitting in the middle of a hot, dusty field was the last thing I wanted to do, but, that’s exactly what we did!

I was pleasantly surprised just how cool it was inside their little makeshift home, and it was so clever and resourceful. They had old tree branches and pieces of wood as beams, keeping the roof up. The roof had layers of cardboard boxes and plastic sheets and plastic ‘walls’. The floor was covered in different rugs, there were even seats and cushions which were sturdy enough to hold a lot of weight! It had a separate area as a ‘kitchen’ with basic supplies of staple foods and oil etc, and they had made a little ‘oven’ from bricks and coals. They grow some of their own vegetables as well as the tobacco, and there were beautiful flowers growing around the tent area too. It really was impressive and so clever. They also had a small outside cubicle curtained area further along the farm which is used as a ‘toilet’, and another as a ‘shower’ – I wasn’t brave enough to investigate these further!
  
The family consists of two parents and 6 children, but the older two sons have jobs outside the farm, so only the parents, their two teenage daughters and their two youngest children stay here for the full 5 months. I assume they all sleep on the floor together, which isn’t unusual in Turkey anyway. Their youngest daughter is 3 years old and all I could think is how boring it must be for her to be there for months on end with little or no toys, it’s certainly a different life than we’re used to, but when that’s all she’s known I guess she is used to it.

They harvest the tobacco leaves and impale them on metal sticks and then leave them to dry under the sun, of which there is plenty of! They also grow peppers and string these together and dry them too – they double up as good decorations around the ‘house’!
 
Despite being in the middle of nowhere, they were still prepared for guests. As soon as we arrived one of the daughters went to prepare Turkish coffee, and the other brought out a table cloth for the floor, along with a tray and bowls full of nuts and biscuits, followed by some homegrown melon! If there’s one thing you can say about Turkish people, it’s that they are very hospitable!

The family make a lot of money from their tobacco crop, a few hundred thousand lira each year, but it is undeniably a lot of hard work and I certainly couldn’t live like they do, but it’s so interesting to visit and see a bit more of ‘real rural Turkey’ and appreciate just how resourceful they are, a simple life with the bare necessities, but always ready with a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit for visitors!