Yakapark, Saklıkent & a Hisarönü water park!

Last weekend we hired a car for a day again and headed off on another little adventure – this time to Yakapark, Saklıkent and back to Hisarönü.

Berkay had never driven outside of Fethiye before, so we had no idea where we were going. We switched on the GPS on his iPhone, tapped in Yakapark and surprisingly made it there without getting lost!

The drive is one with some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. To get to Yakapark we had to drive past the ancient ruins of Tlos which look amazing – Turkey has some really interesting history to discover off the beaten track.

IMG_2946IMG_2981
With the help of the GPS, we arrived at Yakapark, parked the car and walked through the entrance. As soon as you walk through you can feel the drop in temperature. There are trees everywhere, the entire place is shady and the fresh cold spring water has been diverted strategically all around the area so that all you can see and hear is the force of the cold water from the waterfalls and streams dotted around the place. When we arrived there were a handful of people gathered around one of the little pools – now this is no swimming pool, it’s freezing cold water, literally a few degrees less and it would be icy, it really is that cold! People were gathered around because there were two people shoulder-deep in the water in an attempt to win a free drink. There’s a fun old sign at the bar which states “stay in the water for 5 minutes = free drink, 10 minutes = free food and 15 minutes = free ambulance” – that tells you how cold it is! We stood and watched as these two people struggled through the 5 minutes and managed to earn themselves the free drinks, they’re mental if you ask me!

Around the bar and restaurant area there are authentic seating areas where you can sit on the floor cushions and enjoy a drink or meal taking full advantage of the surroundings, but there’s also a ‘normal’ area with chairs and tables if you’d rather that instead! Perhaps even a hammock, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!
IMG_2975 IMG_3004
We walked around past the restaurant and towards the back of the area where there is a very old interesting shaped tree with water pooled inside – I love how they’ve worked around the nature that was already there. There are water fountains springing out of trees all around, stick your hand in and feel how cold it is, or if you’re feeling brave put your whole head under like Berkay! That definitely woke him up after being
IMG_2947 IMG_2948
IMG_2962 IMG_2963
The whole place is just so beautiful and there’s so much to see – it’s so green with trees everywhere. All you can hear is the sound of the gushing water, the birds, crickets, ducks, there are beautiful butterflies and dragonflies all around too. I’ll let the photo’s speak for themselves.
IMG_2955 IMG_2958IMG_3005 IMG_3007
My favourite things about this place are the waterfalls – they’re not natural, as I mentioned before the natural spring water is diverted around strategically to create these, but they are truly beautiful regardless.
IMG_2956 IMG_2951IMG_2957 IMG_2966
You can stand and admire from the bottom of the two main waterfalls, or you can walk up the steps and across the stepping stones in front of them to get a better photo – be warned that the stones can get slippery, especially if you’re wearing flip flips as I found out!
IMG_2967 IMG_2970
IMG_2972 IMG_2973
I love this place, but you have to time it perfectly so that you’re not there when the many ‘jeep safari’ trucks turn up. They all stop here for a break and tend to be very noisy with lots of pushing people into the water resulting in water fights – it’s great if you enjoy that kind of fun, but not so much if you just want to enjoy the peace and quiet. We left just as the groups started coming in around 11.00 am, but not before stopping back at the bar for a photo with the fish. The bar has a ring of the icy cold water around it which they actually put drinks in and use as a alternative fridge too! The ring has fish swimming in it – they seem happy enough. You can put your hand in and stroke them, which I did – you’d expect fish to be slimy and horrible but these were actually really smooth and velvety – weird!
IMG_2980
After we’d finished up here, we headed off back past Tlos again and to Saklıkent – it took around 20-30 minutes and was again a drive with lovely views across the valley with the mountains as a perfect backdrop. We’ve been inside Saklıkent gorge twice before despite it terrifying me, although we didn’t have time to go this time but I definitely do want to again soon. Instead, we drove across the bridge past the entrance to the gorge and stopped at one of the little restaurants on the other side. We knew about this little gem of a restaurant as we’d been a couple of years ago with my mum as part of an organised trip. They had a good-sized buffet of Turkish food along with bbq’d chicken or fish for 10tl, bargain! They certainly made up for the cheap food with the drinks though – they charged us 5tl for a can of coke!
IMG_2982 IMG_2983
There was the option of sitting at a table, but we chose the more authentic option and sat on the floor cushions on a platform over a stream of water coming from the gorge. The stability of the platform was questionable – everytime someone walked past it wobbled, but it all added to the experience! The view was amazing, water spouting out from the stream, ducks swimming, brightly coloured flowers. It was the perfect spot for lunch.
IMG_2984 IMG_2990IMG_2987 IMG_2988  IMG_2992 IMG_2995
After lunch we headed back towards Fethiye, but took a detour to Hisarönü. I’d seen a new aquapark advertised online that was giving everyone free entrance for the week as a promotion. Normally we wouldn’t go to these places as they are so expensive, but since it was free we decided we’d make the most of it and we were not disappointed! It was really great fun, and fairly busy. It’s in the grounds of Gurol hotel in Hisarönü. Normal entry fee is 35tl I believe. There were 5 different slides and a great children’s section too. The slides were pretty scary, two in particular – a blue ‘bowl’ slide in which you ended up swirling around a bowl into a pool of water below, much like water going down a drain, and the other being a yellow skateboard ramp-looking slide which was actually very dangerous. You had to sit in a rubber ring and hold on tight while they pushed you down the ramp, where you slide up the other side and back down again until you came to a stop in the middle – I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, I didn’t try it myself, but Berkay fell out of the ring 3 times, cutting his back and elbow, and another man burned/grazed the entire tops of his legs – ouch.  All in all though, it was a fabulous afternoon and we had great fun, if nothing else climbing those steps to the slides 50+ times was great exercise!
IMG_2997 IMG_2998 IMG_2999
After all that driving, walking and climbing up steps to waterslides, we headed off back to Calis and set up a BBQ on the beach. We actually drove to Koca Calis and sat there as we thought it might be quieter – wrong! Although there were no tourists on the beach at that end, there were lots of Turkish families with the same idea, it was very busy with delicious smelling BBQ’s everywhere. By this time it was around 7pm and Berkay had to be at work by 8pm so we had a very rushed, but delightful dinner.IMG_3001 IMG_3002
All in all, it was another very hot, busy day. I can’t believe it was a week ago tomorrow. I’ve nearly been here a month already. Time is going by so quickly, but we’re definitely making the most of it this time. ❤

A little adventure – Hisarönü, Ölüdeniz, Kayaköy & Fethiye!

On Wednesday Berkay rented a car and we went on a little adventure – visiting Hisarönü, Ölüdeniz, Kayaköy and a little bay in Fethiye for a BBQ picnic!

Berkay managed to rent a car from a friend from one of the hotels along the seafront in Çaliş for a good price – 60tl – but as we only wanted the car from 9am til 9pm, we got an even better deal and got it for 40tl. Bargain! I know nothing about cars, but Berkay tells me it was running on gas – which is apparently a lot cheaper than diesel/petrol so it didn’t cost us much to keep it going even though he did a lot of driving!
IMG_1271 IMG_1284
Berkay had a long nap while working the night before so he wouldn’t be too tired – and picked up the car on his way home. By 10 o clock we were on our way – first stop Hisarönü!
IMG_1749 IMG_1236
I’d only been to Hisarönü twice before – not a fan at all – way too cheesy for me  – quiet little cafe’s and restaurants by day and loud, obnoxious bars by night – but each to their own. It was good to walk around though and no matter how cheesy I thought it was,  it got my attention, I just had to stop and take photos of these shops… you’ve got to love their sense of humor – brillant! Driving past it looked like there were some lovely hotels in the area – I guess it’d be a good base, easy access to the beach on the dolmus and plenty of entertainment at night time with an easy walk home 😉 I also loved how much cooler it was up there. I found myself getting cold shivers! We stopped at “The Turkish Ivy” restaurant for breakfast – we walked through the whole main street and this was the busiest one of them all. The waiter came over to ask what we wanted and Berkay answered for me “ingiliz kahvaltisi” (English breakfast) the waiter  then looked at me like I had two heads “ingiliz kahvaltisinda domuz eti var” (there’s pig meat in that) Berkay then informed him that I’m English so it didn’t matter. The waiter was shocked and insisted on telling me how I look Turkish and how he can’t believe I’m a ‘yabanci’ (foreigner). I hear this ALL the time. I should just permanently walk around in an England shirt or something. Regardless, breakfast was lovely – It’ll probably be the last time I have pork while I’m here so I was enjoying it! It was only 9tl and they even had real HP sauce. HP sauce is the one thing that is always well stocked in my house, whether in England or here! After breakfast and a brief walk around we headed to our next stop – Ölüdeniz.
IMG_1238 IMG_1239
I’ve only been to Ölüdeniz a handful of times too and only ever via buses packed full of people so I never noticed how amazing the view on the drive down the mountain side is – the water looked so beautiful. We parked the car, got out and headed straight to the beach which was suprisingly really empty. We didn’t pay to go to the lagoon part – just the normal beach which is still really pretty – the sea is so turquoise. The only issue with the beaches around the Fethiye area is how stoney they are – I need to invest in some good rubber sea shoes as it’s impossible to enter or climb out of the sea elegantly with all those stones and rocks under your bare feet!
IMG_1246 IMG_1251IMG_1247IMG_1750
We only stayed for around 45 minutes as we could see the clouds rolling in over the mountains and wanted to get home and have our BBQ before the forecast rain and thunderstorms started, but we had a nice little swim, it’s a much better beach than the one in Calis as the sea is so much clearer. As you can see, I took my camera in the sea and we had some fun with that, it’s not that I trust myself not to drop the thing in the water , because that is something that my clumsy self would definitely do – but I do have a waterproof little case for my iPod, which is what I was using. It’s brilliant, really secure and it means we can take photos in the sea without forking out for an expensive waterproof camera, it’s definitely a great invention.
10389042_10152888501098776_7154231232242882976_n IMG_1753IMG_1264 IMG_1253
We made the 40 ish minute drive back to Calis and stopped off at home to get changed and get our BBQ supplies. On the way we stopped at our old house to borrow a portable BBQ from our old landlord. Him and his wife both gave me a big hug and told me to go back for dinner, tea and biscuits some time. It was weird seeing our old house – it was the first time I’d actually seen it since I’d been back. It’s occupied now and apparently they’ve made lots of changes like knocking walls down and making the tiny cupboard toilet we had into a bigger one! We got the BBQ, packed up the car and headed off to a little bay on the other side of Fethiye town centre.
IMG_1272 IMG_1283
We picked a table, parked up and unpacked. I noticed there was a cute bear sat next to the table – I thought it had been left there and was planning on taking it with us if it was still there when we left – I couldn’t bear the thought of it being stuck out in the rain and alone! (I know, I’m weird) Later on though, a little Turkish girl from a family sitting on a nearby table came and got it – I’m not sure if it was hers or she just spotted it and grabbed it like I planned to…  but either way I missed my chance and I’m glad the little orange bear now has a home.
IMG_1275 IMG_1277
The view from the the bench we chose was lovely – because it was a bay the sea was almost still and we could just hear the tiny waves lapping on the water’s edge. Berkay got the BBQ started and I prepared the salad… before I came here I never liked aubergine, actually I’d never tried it but assumed I wouldn’t like it anyway!  Since experiencing these Turkish BBQ’s I’ve learned to always try new things –  it’s so good when it’s put whole into the coals of the BBQ, cooked, peeled and chopped up into a salad with olive oil and lemon juice. Yummy. Along with the salad we had beef skewers, chicken and jacket potatoes. Somehow we actually managed to eat it all!
IMG_1276 IMG_1278
It was nice to just be able to go somewhere alone, just me and Berkay, and have a BBQ. It was the first time we’d ever had one alone as we normally only go with friends as we can’t get to these places without a car. We used to be able to have BBQ’s on our balcony but now we can’t as there’s not enough room – so we’re definitely going to have to go out to these bays more often. You can’t beat a good BBQ , they’re cheap, they save on the gas bottle at home and they’re so tasty and filling in beautiful surroundings! As it happens, the day after this we went on another BBQ trip, this time with friends, but a blog post about that will be coming later!
IMG_1280 IMG_1281
While we were eating we heard thunder rumbling over Fethiye and huge grey clouds sweeping across Calis – heavy thunderstorms were forecast but luckily we only felt a few drops of rain.

Our next stop of the day was the hill over-looking Fethiye . It’s known as ‘hill of the lovers’. It was really cloudy by this point, so the view wasn’t as spectacular as normal, but it was still impressive. I’ve written about this place in a blog post before, click HERE to see an unedited panoramic view from the top on a sunnier day!
IMG_1286 IMG_1287IMG_1288 IMG_1290
At this point it was around 5pm and we decided to carry on our little adventure and drive to Kayaköy. We got a bit lost – but found it eventually and ended up parked up in a little farm place with a restaurant and gift shops surrounding it – I have no idea what it was called or if we were supposed to just park up and look at the animals, but that’s what we did. They had chickens, donkeys, a camel, horses, ponies and even a peacock, which I have never seen here in Turkey before. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an animal lover so I couldn’t resist taking a ‘selfie’ with the donkey – he was really friendly and seemed to quite enjoy it haha!
IMG_1308 IMG_1292IMG_1309 IMG_1293
We didn’t pay the fee to enter and walk around the old buildings – we have done before and would again if we had more time, but we just took photos from the outside. It’s quite eerie being there – it’s sad seeing all the empty, abandoned ruined homes, it’s a really interesting place to look around.
IMG_1294 IMG_1296IMG_1305 IMG_1311
After all that driving around poor Berkay was really tired and had to go back to work at 8pm, so it was time to head home. We made one final stop on the way as we carried on driving along Calis beach into Koca Çalış. It was really quiet at that end of the beach – I’d never been that far along before.
IMG_1299 IMG_1312
After making it home, Berkay had a shower and got changed ready for work, then we both got back in the car to return it and walked back along the promenade just as the sun was setting through the clouds. You can’t beat a sunset on a cloudy day!
IMG_1300
We had a really busy day and it was just great to be free to go anywhere we wanted in the car, a luxury we don’t normally have. We’re planning to rent a car once a month and do this more often so that we can do something different and see new places – Berkay is wanting to drive to Pamukkale one day but I’m not sure I trust him to get us all the way there in one piece without getting lost! We’re really determined to make the most of the few months we have together and do as much as possible rather than just sleep the days away like before.

Getting ready for summer!

Even though most hotels in Calis opened ready for the summer season on 1st May, the hotel Berkay works in has only just opened.
IMG_9446 IMG_9447
They’ve been working really hard to get it ready over the past week – I never understand why they leave it to the last minute and have a mad rush rather than doing it all over 2-3 weeks instead! Berkay has been working all night on reception at Vizon Hotel in Fethiye, and then all day in their sister hotel Grand Vizon Hotel in Calis. He’s been cleaning, tiling, grouting, washing, filling the pool, cementing the edges, cutting the grass, climbing ladders, cutting trees, painting… On Friday their hard work paid off and the hotel was finished all ready for summer. On Saturday morning the first coach of guests arrived.
IMG_9452 IMG_9440
IMG_9439 IMG_9441IMG_9443 IMG_9448
Summer is the best time of year for Berkay as he earns nearly double his winter wages, but this year we were both a bit worried about the imminent arrival of summer as it meant that our dog Boncuk wouldn’t be able to stay in the hotel any longer. She’s been living there with Berkay during the winter as it’s closed and she could wander around free and safe behind the fence and gates. The boss said she couldn’t stay in summer, so we were worried about where to put her. As I said in my last post, we did have options, we had permission from the owner of a little pancake cafe opposite that would let her stay there, but she wouldn’t be fenced in which would mean she had to be chained up all day, and if she ever managed to get loose – she’d be free to roam the streets  – something that terrifies me as not only would she most likely get lost but she also has no experience of fending for herself and would most likely get run-over, so obviously although we had options of where she could stay as a last resort, we’d prefer for her to stay put where she is – safely behind the hotel gates.

As it happens, Berkay’s boss has grown rather fond of Boncuk. He’s been helping them get the hotel ready and although Boncuk was scared of him at first, she started to like him, Berkay tells me that the boss has even playing with her, stroking her and feeding her treats – he’s a miserable thing, so this was quite surprising.  He decided that she could stay at the hotel on a trial, as long as she doesn’t bark at and/or disturb the guests. This is all after he’s witnessed her at her worst… in the past few days she’s managed to walk through wet concrete and made them have to do it all again, she’s chewed through cables, made holes in the hose, and stole a sponge and chewed it up all over the newly cleaned restaurant. After all of that, he was still willing to give her a chance… she must’ve really won him over!

This has made me so happy, but so nervous she’s going to do something naughty and get herself kicked out. Everytime I speak to Berkay I ask him if Boncuk is behaving, I’m sure he’s sick of me asking! She’s been really good, when people are arriving she just lets out a little bark and then goes quiet – hopefully as the season goes on she’ll get more and more used to it and not bark at all. Today, the boss was in the hotel during breakfast and with permission from the small number of guests already there, they let Boncuk off her chain to walk around the garden grounds – they closed all the doors so she couldn’t get inside, but she was wandering around the poolside/restaurant area and made friends with a German couple who fed her some cheese and egg from their breakfast plate. How cute?! I’m actually quite jealous everyone is admiring the cuteness of my dog when I’m not there, I hope she hasn’t forgotten me with all these new, exciting people to meet! The boss also let Boncuk play with her daughter, and if anyone knows Turkish people they’ll know how afraid and wary most of them are about letting dogs near their children, so this is a big deal. I hope Boncuk carries on being good so that she’ll get to stay at the hotel for as long as possible, she’s much safer there.
IMG_9450 IMG_9442
Turkey isn’t the only place getting ready for summer  – it’s been absolutely glorious sunshine here in London today! I’ve been playing out in the garden with my little sister all day (she’s a fellow minion fan – check out her bag in her little playhouse), and even done some sunbathing on the trampoline ! In fact, it was 22oc here today, although it felt even hotter,, according to weather reports, it was 22oc in Fethiye also – but cloudy! Can’t really complain can we? We all had a lovely BBQ in the garden which went down well with a ice cold glass of Strongbow cider. Mmmmm. What’s the betting that next weekend will be raining – it is Bank Holiday after all.
IMG_9408 IMG_9428 IMG_9435 IMG_9438

A relaxing Sunday afternoon..

   1621828_10152621419868776_2064625440_n
Since Berkay changed his job, he now gets one day off a week. He does a week of nights, has Sunday off then does a week of days, then Sunday off, and back to a week of nights. Oh how I wish that was the case when I was living there!

His day’s off mean he can see his friends and go fishing for his dinner. He still has no money as he won’t be paid until March, so he is relying on his catch of the day to eat. He goes with our good friends, Serkan & Sibel, and their not-so-little anymore baby Cinar, who is adorable.
1620650_10152621443288776_1203322079_n
They often go to the little bays around Fethiye, this time it was buyuk samanlik koyu, which another friend of his actually owns. It’s a nice place, a bit basic, but nice in the winter and popular in the Summer with Turkish families who go there for BBQ picnic’s on Sunday’s. The view’s are lovely, you can see over to Calis and Fethiye and see all the boats going back to the harbour. The drive down to the bay is beautiful, although a little frightening as you have to drive along the cliff edge, which, if you know what Turkish driving is like, can be a little scary.
  1622101_10152621442948776_843395546_n 1958494_10152621443618776_139664901_n
Normally I edit photos before uploading them, but these need no editing at all, as they are already perfect. Look how beautiful it is, just before sundown.
 20140223-214531.jpg 20140223-214542.jpg
Berkay is normally quite successful at catching fish, last week he caught an Octopus. Today however,  he wasn’t so lucky and didn’t catch anything, so he’s gone to bed without having any dinner. He’s at work at 7am tomorrow so he’ll sneak some breakfast from the buffet.
1962718_10152621443563776_233547_n 1660469_10152621443048776_243989561_n
It was another friend’s birthday last weekend, he’s only known Berkay 2 years but is really like a dad to him. From what I’ve seen, Turkish people don’t really celebrate birthdays, but his sons bought him a cake..wish I was there to get a piece hehe (:
1794702_10152621443403776_1336576061_n 935167_10152621443238776_411203672_n
Despite not having money at the moment, Berkay has recently had the vet out to give Boncuk her booster injections, there are far too many ill, untreated dogs in the area that it is just not worth the risk. She’s all up to date with worming and flea treatment and injections now, so she’s a happy doggy. I can’t believe how ‘old’ she looks now, she’s lost her puppy features and that makes me sad 😦 By the time I go back in July (hopefully) I won’t have seen her for 10 months, I hope she remembers me! For now I can relax knowing she’s safe, looked after and happy 🙂
1975002_10152621442673776_393660139_n 1653717_10152621442853776_1088746271_n1926803_10152621443358776_1705926178_n 1451514_10152621443518776_716554228_n

I hope everybody had a good weekend. (:

How to make köfte

Berkay is the cook of the house, and today he made Turkish meatballs/ köfte from scratch to put on the BBQ. I thought I’d share his ‘recipe’ although he just judges everything by eye, so I don’t have exact amounts of specific ingredients.

meatballs2
Ingredients 
Beef Mince (we used 400g and made 8 good sized meatballs)
2 Garlic cloves
One medium onion
Fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
Black pepper
Salt
Dried chili flakes
Cumin powder

Olive oil

First, grate the onion and garlic into a bowl.

Next, make some breadcrumbs from crustless stale/dry bread. Berkay left half a loaf out this morning so it was hard by the time we needed it, he then put it into the oven for 5 or so minutes to make it even more crusty, but that’s not always necessary. He literally picked crumbs off the bread (but you could whizz the bread in a blender if you have one) and added them to the bowl with the onion and garlic, there is no exact amount here but less is best, you can always add more later if the mixture is too wet.

Then he added one whisked egg into the bowl, along with the minced meat. He also added the salt, black pepper, cumin and chili flakes at this point. Again, there are no exact measurements for this, to be safe you could add 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it’s entirely up to you and it depends on how spicy you like them. Berkay is a big fan of spicy foods so he added a good amount of chili flakes and salt. He added 2 teaspoons of olive oil too.

Now for the fun part, stick your hands in and give everything a good mix. You need to knead it all together for at least 5 minutes until everything is sticking together nicely, if the mixture is too wet you can add more breadcrumbs.

Take chunks of the mixture and roll into balls, then pat them down with your hands until they are around 1/2 inch thick. We made 8, but you could make more if you wanted them to be smaller. Put them in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to let them set a little.

Berkay cooked ours on the BBQ grill for around 15 minutes, make sure to cut them in half to check they are cooked through. You could also grill or fry them but you really just can’t beat barbequed köfte! Yummy.

meatballs  meatballs3
Here’s an amusing photo of Berkay lighting the BBQ.. yes, that is my hairdryer.
crazy

Turkish picnic time.

All of the picnics I’ve been on in England consisted of little more than a cool bag, a picnic blanket, a few bags of crisps, hard boiled egg and hp sauce sandwiches wrapped in tin foil and bottle of lemonade. Here in Turkey though, when someone invites you to a picnic, it’s a whole different ball game, you pack up everything but (and sometimes including..) the kitchen sink.

It’s Sunday today, the ‘holiday’ day in Turkey, the large majority of people have the day off and take their families and head to the nearest beach to have a picnic. Berkay doesn’t get a day off, as most people in tourism do not, but working nights means we can still enjoy the day together sometimes. We joined his friend during his break and headed to Boncuklu koyu, a little bay the other side of Fethiye town.
969006_10152147795258776_1477892198_n 1185377_10152147795048776_1595377565_n
When we pulled up, it was clear everyone had had the same idea. Cars everywhere, all blocking each other in, barely an inch spare on the ‘beach’ to sit down. We did eventually find a spot, and begun unpacking our friends car. Sun umbrellas, 5 litres of water, blankets, rugs, towels, glass plates, cups, cutlery, a barbeque grill, a bag of meat, a bag of fizzy drinks, a bag of tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, onion, peppers and bread, 3 adults, a baby and a carseat came out of that car. I have no idea how it all fitted in, if you saw the car, you’d understand.  Compared to what other families had brought with them, it was nothing. Next to us was a family who had a tent..filled with things and people. Outside, they had a gas bottle with a double Turkish teapot brewing cay on top, a BBQ and a huge rug with a lady sitting down hacking away at very fresh sheep meat, and a lot of it.

While Berkay & Serkan set to work on lighting the barbeque (it took several attempts, watching them move that BBQ around to various places was like watching a game of musical chairs) Serkan’s wife, their baby and I were left setting up the blankets, rugs and everything else. I was put on baby watching duty while she prepared the vegetables, salad and laid the plates out on the rug. Wise move – I’m much better at looking after babies than I am preparing food!
1239411_10152147097933776_155245834_n 1150268_10152147408883776_1138681973_n
I took the opportunity to have a little paddle with the baby, little Çınar is adorable.
1184920_10152147057583776_828345787_n 1184809_10152147425128776_1115964872_n
After 45minutes or so, dinner was ready. Doesn’t it look good?
1230009_10152147413403776_389630681_n
While we were eating, a little kalamar (squid) caused chaos in the sea, grown women, men and kids alike were darting around screaming ‘Kalamar, Kalamar’ and trying to catch it in their hats, it was fairly amusing, made all the better by the fact we had front row seats. The little fella must have gotten away eventually.
After tidying up a bit, but somehow still managing to spread out across 3 rugs, we all went for a little swim in the sea. Since it was a bay it was very calm, no waves whatsoever. It was lovely and warm too, although it did start to get a bit windy and I was chilly then, I think I must be accustomed to the Turkish heat, anything under 30 oC and I notice it!
1236564_10152147424018776_1066533601_n 1185712_10152148088458776_1998652022_n
We all headed home at 7pm, time for the boys to go back to work. I had a lovely day, even managed to join in a little Turkish conversation, I understand more than I can speak, always good to eavesdrop without people realising you can understand.. sneaky!

I really love these Turkish picnics. (: 

Photos posted with permission of those in them.

Stuffed Mushrooms..

I can’t cook to save my life, but even I can manage these (:
Perfect on the barbeque, yum yum.
1001403_10152137796663776_845196260_n

Ingredients used:
3 mushrooms
3 garlic cloves chopped/crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
handful of grated cheese

>> Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems.
1017445_10152137798223776_1487251690_n1174761_10152137797928776_2006156721_n

>>Peel, crush and chop the garlic cloves. Berkay is the expert at cutting things ridiculously small!
1094811_10152137797743776_349266337_n17512_10152137797523776_584732073_n1150867_10152137797413776_1575624272_n

>>Mix in the garlic with the olive oil, add salt if you wish!
Put to one side while the mushrooms are on the BBQ grill.
1185329_10152137797293776_1206918635_n

>>After 5-8 minutes and once the mushrooms are soft, spoon the olive oil/garlic mixture in.
Leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
549017_10152137797108776_1238726273_n 561925_10152137796868776_508728894_n

>>Once they’re almost ready, spoon granted cheese on top and leave til it’s melted.
1003201_10152137797843776_761522276_n 1001403_10152137796663776_845196260_n

It couldn’t be simpler!  (:
Here’s ours with the rest of our BBQ dinner, köfte (meatballs), Turkish rice, grilled tomato, pepper & onion. We also had the customary loaf of bread on the table of course. (:
Afiyet olsun!

556832_10152137798433776_1221342702_n