Four days in Istanbul…


It’s been almost a year since my last post on this blog – but thanks to a trip to Istanbul last week, I have a lot of new material and photos to post!

I’ve wanted to go to Istanbul for years, but Berkay was never really keen to go, and we didn’t really have time, anytime we go to Turkey we just go back to Fethiye, because it feels like ‘going home’.

One day in November Berkay messaged me at work and said he wanted to go to Turkey in January, so I said lets go to Istanbul and he agreed.. when I got home from work that evening we booked our flights and hotel before he had a chance to change his mind!

We flew to Sabiha Gökçen airport on 10th January and I flew back to London again on 14th – so it was a very swift but very busy four day visit! Berkay is still in Turkey now as he has gone to visit his family in the village for a few days.

Despite living in busy London ourselves,  I thought that a city as busy as Istanbul might be a bit overwhelming, especially as we had no idea where to go and where things were, or how to get around, but we found public transport in the form of trams, buses and ferries really easy and cheap and it was fun finding our way around a new place.

People kept telling me that because we landed at 5pm, we would be stuck in rush hour traffic for hours on the transfer to our hotel, but it actually only took an hour and a half which is pretty good going! The funniest thing for me was being sat in the car in traffic, seeing people stood out on the road, in between lanes,surrounded by cars, selling things like light up balloons, snacks and bottles of water – I have never seen that before, I suppose it might keep the kids quiet if they had been sat in traffic for ages though!

We stayed in the ‘Old City’ – Sultanahmet. Our hotel was basic but nice, and right next to Sultanahmet square and the Blue Mosque. We had a rooftop area where breakfast was served and the views were lovely! Berkay was surprised by how many foreign tourists were there considering it was winter. In the Sultanahmet area there were definitely more tourists than locals, and when walking past shops and restaurants everyone spoke to us in English because they didn’t expect either of us to be Turkish. One night we ate in a lokanta restaurant and even they assumed Berkay wasn’t Turkish because they asked him if he understood the language, which he thought was really weird!

I am so glad we visited in winter. It was cold, around 7oc during the day and 2oc at night, but it was mostly sunny and we only had one night of rain. I’m not sure I could cope with the heat in the city in summer and we wouldn’t have been able to do all the walking we done – we did about 50,000 steps over the first two days! It was nice being able to wrap up in our coats and hats and wander around without being too hot or sweaty!

I carefully planned every day of our trip with a list of things to see, I did a lot of research before hand, writing down places to visit and checking on the map how far away things were from each other and the best order to do things in and which routes to take – I wrote down how much museums and attractions would cost so that we had an idea of how much money we’d need with us each day too. It worked out really well because without the little plan I’d made we would have woken up each day without a clue where we were going, even Berkay reluctantly admitted that my careful planning was a good idea!

We managed to see everything on my list and more, which I was so glad about. My feet got blisters and my legs ached (why did nobody tell me how hilly Istanbul is!?!) but it was definitely worth it and the 4 days went by fairly slowly so we managed to pack so much in, and even had time for some afternoon naps. The first afternoon we were there we were laying on the bed catching up on social media when the bed started wobbling – we both blamed each other for shaking it and then realised that it was actually a earth tremor, but thankfully only a small one at 4.8 on the scale. Still, enough to remind me that whilst in Turkey you can never really fully trust the ground you walk on, and I do not miss going to bed everynight with earthquakes on my mind!

We managed to visit Galata Bridge, Galata Tower, Istiklal street, St Antoine’s church,  Taksim Square, Dolmabahçe Palace, Basilica cistern, Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya, Eminönü, the Spice Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Istiklal Street at night, Balat and saw famous Turkish actors filming for a tv series – Çukur, Bulgarian St Stephen’s church, a boat trip down the Bosphorus, Suleymaniye Mosque & the Grand Bazaar.

Everything was so beautiful and I took over 1000 photos – I’m excited to finally have new things to write about, so come back for new posts soon! 🙂

An afternoon in Denizli…

Berkay’s family are from Denizli, most live in a small village but his uncle, aunt & their kids live in the city centre, so we’ve visited a few times over the past few years. Three weeks ago we visited again, just for the day. Usually whenever we go to Turkey we have at least one BBQ, it used to be our favourite thing to do when we lived there, so it seemed only fitting that we spend the first day of our holiday doing exactly that!

We went to this park just outside of the city centre, and surprisingly had it pretty much all to ourselves! We had visited before on a Sunday and it was really busy, but this time it was a Saturday and during Ramadan, so I guess not many people were out having BBQ’s during the day! We didn’t have any trouble finding a nice spot to park in, or an empty bench.
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The thing about Turkish family BBQ picnics is they make a whole day of it, and they take EVERYTHING, including the kitchen sink! Berkay’s family came prepared with some simit, nuts, sunflower seeds, biscuits etc to tide us over while the food was cooking, and a few of us went for a little walk and came across a plum tree where we picked some fresh sour Eriks, eaten dipped in a bit of salt. The women prepared the salad and the men got to work on cooking the meat – both of which were delicious, we even shared some with a passing by stray dog!
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After lunch we went for a walk through the pine trees, where there were really nice views of the surrounding mountains. We wandered to a little playground area within the park, where they had a huge metal tunnel slide, swings etc…it was really funny to see all the adults embracing their inner-child and playing. When we got back from our walk, we sat with a cup of Turkish tea, which had been brewing for hours (literally..) on a special device on the hot coals.
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Mid afternoon, we packed up the cars and headed into the city centre, to a park next to the huge Pamukkale University campus. The park is called Çamlık Parkı and is a forest recreation area. Berkay’s uncle works for the forestry team as a firefighter so he knows the park well. It had picnic area’s, a small lake, ice cream stands, seating areas, water features, a cafe, playgrounds and the most beautiful flowers and trees – it was really stunning and clearly very well looked after. While we were there we saw a lot of graduation students taking photos in their caps and gowns, what a beautiful backdrop for their photos!
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The park also had a mini zoo with peacocks, ducks, rabbits, emus, camels, fluffy chickens, goats, donkeys etc!
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It was a nice day just being sat under the pine trees in the shade, Berkay enjoyed catching up with his uncle and we got to spend the day outside surrounded by beautiful nature…
I do like the city of Denizli, it is a good mix of modern and traditional Turkey.

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!

A Brief glimpse of Istanbul..Aqua Florya Alışveriş Merkezi

 
I have wanted to visit Istanbul for ages, but never had the time or the opportunity really – we are creatures of habit and love going back to Calis and Fethiye. Although I would be happy to go elsewhere for a change, Berkay just is a real Fethiye boy at heart. I’m hoping for a little city break in Istanbul one day, but the closest thing I’ve had to seeing Istanbul so far, is from inside Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.

However, when we were on our journey back to London Gatwick in September , we had a 4 hour stopover at Ataturk airport and we took the opportunity to have a mini adventure. We exited the domestic terminal and stood in the taxi rank area, we planned to go straight to the International terminal and just sit around and wait, but seeing all the taxi’s made us reconsider! We had 4 hours to spare, and decided as long as we were back at the airport 2 hours before our flight we would be fine. It was a bit manic, taxi’s everywhere, people trying to find empty ones, but Berkay managed to speak to someone who suggested we go to the nearby Aqua florya, so we hopped in a taxi with our hand luggage and that’s what we did.
 
The shopping centre was about 15 minutes away from the airport, so we arrived there quickly. I felt a bit suspicious walking around with my mini suitcase hand luggage, especially as security was pretty high, they searched the taxi as it approached and scanned us and our bags on entry to the shopping centre – the level of security is quite reassuring though.

Aqua Florya Shopping centre is huge, it has multiple floors of shops, a food court, cinema, sea-side cafes and restaurants and even an aquarium, which is the main theme throughout, hence the name ‘aqua’. There are fish-themed decorations hanging in the centre too, it looks really pretty. When we went it was completely empty, but it was around 11am, so quite early. It was also midweek, I bet it’s really busy at weekends. The shops looked quite expensive, big fashion names, but we didn’t walk around too much so didn’t go in any or see much of it.
 
We saw a sign for the terrace and stepped outside, the view was absolutely stunning. We walked down the wooden steps to a little cafe with a sea view, we only had a glass of tea though. While sitting there, we could watch the planes fly in over the sea on their way to land at the nearby Ataturk airport, where we had just come from. They were very frequent, every few minutes, as it’s a very busy airport!  

We were really conscious of the time, and although we had around 3 hours until our flight, we didn’t want to be in a rush, so we only stayed around 45 minutes. On our way out of the shopping centre we tested out the massage chairs, just for a couple of minutes of fun! If we had longer between flights we would have gone into the aquarium because I’ve heard it is very good.

When we left, we found the taxi rank and jumped in one back to the airport, where we experienced a bit of Istanbul traffic! The journey which took us 15 minutes on the way there, took us 50 minutes on the way back, so it’s a good job we left in plenty of time!! Finally we got back to the airport, through security and passport control and waited for our flight, with plenty of time to spare without getting bored!
 
Even though we had the briefest glimpse of Istanbul, it was a nice little mini adventure to break up the wait between flights and we enjoyed the change of scenery and beautiful sea views. I really want to explore ‘real’ Istanbul in all it’s glory and hope one day I can convince Berkay to have a proper visit!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 27 – Asiklar Tepesi

Asiklar Tepesi, roughly translated to ‘hill of lovers’ offers beautiful panoramic views of Fethiye.  Accessible by a really, really steep hill by car, or via 163 steps (I counted!) from a backstreet below, the view at the top is definitely worth it. There are little seating areas overlapping the edge of the hillside, built into little wooden decks – I’m always a little afraid of falling through! You can see the boatyard to the left, and the main bay, harbour and town in the centre, with Calis in the distance, and various mountain ranges even further in the distance, creating a sort of gradient in the skyline. You can sit here for ages, watching the boats sail in and out – the views are just stunning. We had some wedding photos taken from this spot too. You’ll find piles and piles of opened sunflower seed shells on the floor, since it’s a popular place for locals to come and sit with a packet of them, a beer and their friends or ‘lover’! It’s particularly popular at night too, with the whole of Fethiye lit up.

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 15 – WONKY HOUSES


These wonky houses were well loved in Fethiye, I think, and quite humorous! Sadly, they were knocked down a few years ago, which is understandable due to safety reasons, but I did hold a little soft spot for them, it always made me laugh seeing them while walking through the town square or while on a boat approaching the harbour. They were just so quirky, the orange one sticking out, the old wooden window frames, the slanting balconies.. they look like dominoes waiting to topple over onto each other. Although no longer there, they were a part of Turkey’s beautiful quirkiness to me!

Turkish Pide in London

 Last week while walking through London trying to find an office, I looked up from my phone GPS and saw a Menu outside a restaurant with some familiar words. I had to do a double take, and when I did I realised that they were Turkish. I glanced up at the restaurant name – ‘Tas Pide’ it said.
Mmm, pide – one of my favourite Turkish foods.

After I’d managed to find the office and done what I needed to do there, I headed back towards the train station. I was wrestling with myself trying to decide whether to go and have lunch in the restaurant or not. I was alone, and I’d picked up a menu list earlier so I knew that things were a little expensive. Eventually I plucked up the courage to go inside, unable to resist the temptation of a proper, Turkish lunch.

The restaurant itself was directly opposite the ‘new’ Shakespears Globe, along Bankside, a short walk away from London Bridge station. It forms part of a chain of ‘Tas’ restaurants in London, each specialising in a different area of Turkish cuisine, this one obviously pide, but it had plenty of other choices on the menu too. The inside of the restaurant was very pretty – a Turkish paradise, vines growing along the walls and across the ceiling, low tables and chairs, nazar/evil eyes hanging from the walls and an open kitchen with large, stone ovens.. It was beautiful, but being the only person dining in there alone, I was a little too nervous to take photos of the decor and risk looking silly!
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I had another look at the menu, which I had already studied outside while trying to convince myself to go in, and decided I’d have my ‘usual’ and compare it to the pide I’ve had in Fethiye so many times. Before I had even ordered, they brought over a bowl of fresh bread, a garlic dip and some olives. I’m not a fan of olives so I didn’t touch those, but the garlic dip was delicious and the bread was perfect.

A short time later, my pide arrived. It looked and smelt amazing. If you don’t know what pide is, it’s a sort of Turkish pizza, with thin, crispy dough moulded into a slight bowl shape, topped with pretty much anything you want. They had a lot of topping options on the menu and although I was tempted by the patlicanli (aubergine) one, I went for the kiymali one – mincemeat, onion, tomato, pepper and parsley. There was an option to have an egg on top too, which sounds vile to me, so needless to say I had it without. It was served with a bowl of crunchy pickled red cabbage. It was delicious. A medium sized portion, perfectly crunchy on the top but soft at the base, lots of fresh toppings and not greasy at all. Of course it’s not quite the same as eating in Fethiye, but you have to work with what you’ve got, right?
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I was tempted to have baklava for desert, but decided it was too expensive and I was too full to justify a whole portion to myself anyway. That’s the downside to the restaurant… the prices. Perhaps it’s just because I begrudge paying £8.40 for something that I know I can get for less than £1.50 in Fethiye, but the prices were very high for what the food actually was. I took a couple of photos of the menu leaflet to give you an idea (click the photos to enlarge them and make them more readable).
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The starters were particularly expensive, and although they sounded yummy, I’d never pay that much for them. The main dishes of pide ranged from £8.10-£9.95 and the other main courses varied in price from around £9 to £14. I don’t know the size of the other portions so can’t comment on value for money, but I do know that for what those dishes are, it’s a lot of money. I’m certain that Berkay would go into shock if I told him I’d paid the equivalent of 31 tl for one pide – I don’t think he’s ever paid more than 5 tl!

All that being said, I was definitely glad I’d decided to try the restaurant because it really cheered me up after a rubbish day and I’d go back again for a special occasion, I just have to convince my family that Turkish food isn’t evil first! They rarely stray away from a chicken schnitzel or a steak while in Turkey!

Have you tried pide? Have you, or will you be paying this restaurant a visit next time you’re in London? Let me know.

The day that Fethiye flooded…

On Thursday I had one of the most bizarre experiences I’ve had in all the years I’ve lived in or visited Turkey – we got caught up in a flood in the centre of Fethiye.

The morning started off grey, wet and gloomy. It was one of those ‘lets stay inside with a hot chocolate and all the lights on’ kind of days – but we had errands to run in preparation for our visit to the village (where I currently am writing this) so we had no choice but to brave the rain and go out. Just as we stepped out of the front door, it really started to rain heavily. Luckily we only had to cross the road to catch the Dolmus into Fethiye, and I remember we were both weaving in and out of the pathway to avoid stepping in puddles, which is ironic considering what we were about to experience!
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As the Dolmus reached Fethiye, we realised we may have made a big mistake. The Migros turn off on the main road was flooded, there were cars broken down and the road resembled a giant swimming pool. The dolmus got through and carried on to the last bus stop, next to the mosque on the hill in the town centre…the rain kept falling, along with giant hail stones, and there was a man in the corner shop shouting ‘umbrellas – 10tl’ so we grabbed one. Something tells me he probably sold his entire umbrella stock that day!

We walked down the hill and realised it was flooded, cars were still going past and the water was only an inch deep, just covering our shoes. We carried on walking, as we were attempting to reach Is Bankasi, but the water was rising as we walked, it was pouring out of the school yard, coming up out of the drains and still falling from the sky. By the time we made it to the bank, it was closed for lunch, so Berkay had the idea of going to his friend’s hotel in the Dispanser area of Fethiye – Vizon hotel. This was the worst idea he’s had in a long time. We walked to the hotel, but the water was ever-rising, what started out as an inch deep ended up being knee-deep! We arrived at the hotel where they were struggling to keep the water from gushing through under the doors. We went in, sat down on the floor in our soaking wet clothes and watched as Fethiye town centre became a giant swimming pool right before our eyes. It just keep rising, and rising. The water got so high they could no longer stop it from pouring in under the doors, and after stuffing it with bags, newspaper, towels and attempting to push the water out with a broom, the hotel staff gave up and sat down resigned to the fact that the lobby would inevitably end up very wet. People were driving past in cars, even though it’s a pedestrianized area, which caused little waves to form in the water pushing it inside buildings even further. There was an inch of water covering the majority of the hotel lobby and we were all sat on tables, but they got off pretty lightly compared to  the shop across the road (Citlembik, for those of you who know Fethiye) which had an awful lot of water inside.
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It was so bizarre to witness, there were news agencies in cars driving past taking photographs, people carrying each other and street dogs, people cycling through the 2ft of water and even council men in wellies and wetsuits driving past in vans helping stranded people get to dry ground! The water rose to the height of the benches and up to the rim of the plant pots which are pretty high. People were standing on them to keep dry.
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We were ‘stuck’ in the hotel for over an hour, we couldn’t open the door to get out because that would mean more water pouring in. Eventually, we had no choice as we had to get to the bank, so we braved it and stepped outside, it was pretty dangerous as we couldn’t see the kerbs or steps. The water was murky and dirty, bits of rubbish were floating past, bins, cigarette packets, bricks, even bits of carpets and mats… The weirdest part was the fact that a 30 second walk up the road was clear, with just a few puddles left behind. The rain had stopped and although the drains were still blocked in certain places, others were fine like nothing had happened. We had most definitely been in the wrong place at the wrong time, although it was an experience to say the least. I was documenting it on my Facebook blog page and the videos and photos I posted have been shared by hundreds and viewed over 80,000 times. Click HERE to see one of the videos.
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The next day, we went back to Fethiye to get supplies for our journey to Denizli, and you’d never have known the events of the previous day. The sky was blue and the sun was out, there were no puddles, all the shops and businesses were open again and although there was probably water damage in some of them, everything looked ‘normal’ like nothing had happened.

Just another day in paradise!

The opening of Erasta Fethiye Alışveriş Merkezi – a new modern side to Fethiye?

Last Friday the new, 80 million lira, ‘shopping & lifestyle’ centre opened in Fethiye. I dragged Berkay along to the opening ceremony to be one of the first inside.
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I’d seen adverts all over the billboards and bus stops in Fethiye and Calis regarding the new shopping centre – Erasta Fethiye Alışveriş Merkezi – and when they announced the opening day and time, I knew I wanted to go and check it out. Berkay came home at 9am and we rushed to get ready and on the bus so that we could be there for the official opening at 10am…like I actually expected it to be on time!
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Most people had taken the sensible option and were waiting under the shade of the building or using the coffee shop seating area – but I wanted to get a good view, so chose to stand under the sun, my poor red shoulders regretted that decision later. There was a separate seated area sectioned off which was for the special guests, they even had an armed policeman guarding it! Once all the guests of honor had arrived, including the designers and the major of Fethiye, the barriers were removed and all us normal folk were allowed to move forward and fill in the remaining seats, I’m certain it was just because they wanted a photo showing a crowd of excited people!
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The speeches began, all in Turkish so I of course had little or no idea of what they were actually saying, but whatever it was seemed to go down well with the crowd as there were a lot of happy faces, loud cheers and clapping hands, especially when the major of Fethiye – Behçet Saatcı – stepped up for his speech. The people of Fethiye clearly adore him, Berkay included, as I’ve never seen him clap so enthusiastically before! After the speeches were over, a ribbon was cut and a plaque presented signifying that the new centre was now open. An Imam was then called up to the stage to say a prayer – I’m assuming as a kind of blessing of the new building. Everyone in the crowd joined in the prayer by cupping their hands, although I did not. I felt a bit guilty, but I’m not a religious person and wouldn’t want to fake anything. My guilt was short lived when the Turkish lady behind me answered her phone and was shouting loudly down it all whilst the prayer was still going on…

After all was said and done, they opened the doors and everyone piled through them. They had metal detectors which everyone, including the armed police, ignored even though they were constantly beeping!

The major went around to each shop, cutting more ribbons and shaking the hands of all the employees – it seems like he is really respected and loved, he seemed genuinely happy and excited about the whole thing which was really lovely to see.

Now onto the actual shopping centre – it’s situated near Fethiye otogar – the main bus station that all the big coaches go into. The building is very impressive looking, it’s really well designed, but it cost 80 MILLION Turkish Lira, which is an awful lot of money, so you’d expect it to look pretty amazing.
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The first things we saw are the huge letters spelling the name of the shopping centre ‘ Erasta’.  There is a huge wooden frame design covering a large garden and seating area with water fountains at the bottom. To the left of that is the main entrance from ground level, which had a huge Turkish flag draped above it- but I’m not sure if that is a permanent fixture – knowing the Turkish pride it may well be!
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There are around 50+ shops inside, although not all are fitted and open yet. There’s a good variety of shops,  some fashion ones such as LC Waikiki, a shoe shop – Deichmann, some swimwear shops, a good sized Migros, and a superdrug type health/beauty shop by the name of ‘Gratis’. Those are just a few of the shops currently open – there are many more.
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There are water fountains all around the centre, both inside and out, which really adds to the modern look. The whole place is air-conditioned too which is a big bonus for hot days! There are escalators to the 2nd floor, which as well as more shops hosts a small cinema, a children’s indoor play area and a food court, all of which were not fully open when we visited. From what I could see of the food court, there were a few kebab restaurants, a Burger King and an Italian, there was a good amount of seating and a large outdoor seating area attached too. Apparently escalators are not a very common thing in Turkey – I remember that Berkay had never been on one until he was at Dalaman on his way to England the first time, which I thought was really bizarre, but it turns out he’s not the only one… While trying to go upstairs we became stuck behind 2 Turkish women who were afraid to step on the escalator and had no idea how they worked.. it was amusing to say the least!
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We had a little walk around the shops and made the most of the freebies on offer – we got given free cakes in Migros which were delicious, and then queued up for free candyfloss outside afterwards, embracing our inner child!
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One of the things I was most excited about was the fact the centre has TWO coffee shops, with almost identical names. We went to Kahve Dunyasi (coffee world), and had a drink. I had the cappucino with icecream, it was yummy, but I’d have preferred a Starbucks! The menu was really expensive, think Starbucks prices, my coffee was 8.5tl. There were all kinds of hot and cold drinks on offer, a huge selection of chocolates and cakes too, but again, these were expensive at 9tl for a piece of cake.  Both of the coffee shops were really busy and I can imagine that they will be very popular even after the inital opening period.
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After our coffee, we went to pay and noticed there were a band and dancers performing inside, so I went out to get some photos. There were women and men on stilts dancing, people dressed as clowns juggling and people playing instruments – it was all quite impressive really and a large crowd gathered quickly!
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I know that when people first heard about this new shopping centre they were afraid that it would take away business from the smaller, family run shops in the surrounding area, personally I don’t think this is the case at all as the new shops are all part of large chains and are more expensive than the small, family run shops you find in Fethiye town. The centre is definitely aimed at certain types of people, in my opinion, and we probably won’t visit much because of how expensive most of these shops are. I don’t think it will be overly popular with tourists, as it’s not in the main resort/town area. However, I love that it adds a modern side to Fethiye and think it will be very popular with university students and expats as a place to meet up. It’s definitely worth a visit for the air-con alone and would be a great meeting point for friends to just walk around, shop and relax. It’s definitely something that Fethiye was lacking. I just hope that the new centre continues to be popular and busy and that Fethiye continues to grow and modernise, whilst still keeping it’s more humble roots in mind.