I think Fethiye is overlooked by a lot of tourists, with some people not straying further than the Tuesday market, but it has so much more to offer. The harbour area is so pretty, especially early in the morning when it’s quiet, the only people around are those getting the boats ready for a day trip around the islands or going out fishing. I love the green hills in the distance, the masts of the boats and the calm water the boats bob up and down on. If you’re lucky, you might even see a turtle or two popping his head up for food!
Another sunset photo for today – but from a different viewpoint to the others! This was taken in February last year along the Fethiye peninsular. We had driven around and parked up on the cliff edge, climbed down a few rocks and sat waiting for the sun to go down. I have to say, I find the drive up there really traumatising, there are no barriers on the side of the cliff so as a passenger in the car, all I can see is the sheer drop and the sea below from the window, so I constantly tell Berkay to drive slowly which really annoys him! This particular day he was feeling over cautious too, as it was REALLY windy and really cold. We sat for about an hour watching the sun slowy disappear beyond the horizon and the colour of the sky change from blue, to orange, then to dark blue/purple before nightfall. You often see cars or motorbikes pulled up along the road, belonging to people who have climbed down the rocks for fishing or are just sitting relaxing with a bag of sunflower seeds and enjoying the view.
Today’s post is just some photos of good old Fethiye, my favourite place. Taken in January 2013 when I was living there. I love how calm the sea always is in Fethiye as it’s sheltered in the bay, first thing in the morning is especially beautiful and calm, the sea is like a sheet of glass, creating a perfect reflection. It’s so relaxing with the tiny little fishing boats just bobbing on the surface quietly, waiting for their fishermen to board and collect their catch of the day. Love the snow on the mountains in the distance too, although I believe there is a lot more snow visible this winter as I hear it’s one of the worst, wettest, coldest winter’s they’ve had for a long time.
There are always a lot of seagulls in Fethiye too, hovering over the surface of the sea, hunting for fish or leftover food. I’m not a fan of birds flying around me, but it certainly makes for a good photograph and adds to the character of the place! I miss the simpleness of it all. What I wouldn’t give to be sat on a bench along the Fethiye promenade now.
I’ve been going through some old photos saved on cameras and memory cards, and found a lot of great ones to share, so I’ll be doing a little series on here with photos I’ve taken at lots of different places in Turkey I’ve visited including Pamukkale, Tlos, Yakapark and other resorts and cities like Gumbet and Bodrum & Denizli.
Berkay has a ‘swearing in’ parade for the army tomorrow, he gets to spend some time with his family afterwards as they’re going to watch, so hopefully I’ll have some photos of him in his soldier uniform and a few insights into his army life to update you with.
343 days to go…
whoever said this army service goes quick was lying!
Taking a stroll along Fethiye promenade is always a pleasant experience but there’s no better time than at sunset.
On the evening of Berkays birthday back in December we went to Mancero restaurant and got off the bus far earlier than we needed to so that we could take a long walk and admire the views on the way, it was a little chilly but we didn’t mind.
The sun had already set but the sky was still lit up with a red and orange glow. Of course my camera was firmly in my hand ready to point and shoot… I spotted some people fishing along the pavement and thought they would look good as silhouettes against the red of the sky and the beautiful horizon in the distance.
There are so many things to see in the Fethiye area, the whole area is so diverse and it’s easy to overlook the small things. My favourite place of all is Fethiye town centre, there’s no doubt about it. It’s busy all year around and it doesn’t become a ghost town when the summer season is over and the tourists have gone home, life continues as normal and businesses stay open.
There is so much to see and sometimes even just taking a walk the long way around while doing daily errands can provide you with beautiful sights and surroundings.
On Friday we needed to pop into town to go to the bank, change some money and pay some bills. We waited til the late afternoon, the bank was empty and we were in and out so quickly we had some time to spare. We took the back road to the exchange office and walked under the much photographed multicoloured umbrellas. I love this idea. Fethiye is a beautiful area, and you could easily get carried away taking photos of the amazing views, who would have thought a few coloured umbrellas tied to some string would be so popular? They look amazing, and it certainly brightened up our trip to the bank to pay bills!
There are also lovely water features and topiary around the town. One display being opposite the exchange office we use. It’s an old boat with fake sand, stepping stones and sea creatures made from bushes – it’s pretty, well kept and makes for an interesting photo.
In quite a contrast to the rest of this area of town, there is an ancient Lycian Sarcophagus just behind the marina area, next to the Nufus office/town hall. It looks like it doesn’t belong there, it’s very random. I’ve seen old photos of Fethiye from hundreds of years ago (1800’s!) and the sarcophagus can be seen surrounded by water, now obviously it is inland due to development – it’s interesting how things have changed and built around it while it just sits untouched. (Link to the old photo HERE)
We took the long route back to the bus station via the ‘new’ town square, which has actually been completed for nearly 2 years now! The most interesting and quirky parts of this area are the wonky buildings next to the main concrete square. They’ve been wonky for as long as I can remember, and after various earth tremors have become worse. The rows of houses on the other side of the road behind these are also slanted, they lean backwards. Apparently they have become more slanted in recent years after work to improve the pavements in the town took place – but I don’t know for sure about that. I can’t imagine they’re very safe to live in, I don’t think they’d meet the minimum safety requirements required for earthquake insurance etc..!
Aside from the wonky buildings, the park hosts a statue of Atarturk, (there are several of these in Fethiye and at least one in every town in the country) water fountains, flowers and pretty wooden benches. The fountains don’t seem to run on any kind of schedule, sometimes they’re on, sometimes they’re not, and sometimes it looks nicer than others, but it seems to be well-kept during the season and it is a lovely place to wander around and kill some time. There’s a playground for children which is often busy with passing tourists and locals, and yet more impressive topiary along the pathways. I love to watch the fountains here at night, they are all lit up and look beautiful. I’ve written a post about it previously – click HERE.
I love just walking through Fethiye, it has a real working town atmosphere. I love how there are elements of the old town mixed in amongst the new, modern, fit-for-tourism town – like the ancient sarcophagus sat surrounded by hotels and restaurants and the modest fishing boats sat in the harbour amongst the bigger daily tour boats which take hundreds of tourists out sunbathing and swimming around the islands everyday.
I think that’s what I love about Fethiye the most, it can be as quiet or as loud as you want – it’s so diverse with so many things to see, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that make your walk to pay the bills that little bit more fun, that are the best.
We had planned to join a tour group from Berkay’s hotel and go on a free boat trip on Tuesday, but Berkay had to spend the day in his hometown in Denizli as a member of his family died suddenly, so we missed it. Instead, we went to Fethiye on Wednesday and booked a boat trip ourselves. We spent ages wandering around the marina trying to chose one, some were smaller and more expensive, others were cheaper but the food on offer wasn’t as good etc. Eventually we settled on one of the biggest boats in the marina area, Hanedan 2. I’d never been on a boat that big before, it holds up to 380 people at maximum capacity which is a lot! I usually prefer the smaller, more personal boats but they are often more expensive. The trip was advertised at 35tl including pick up and drop off’s, but we decided to make our own way to Fethiye and back and got the price down to 30tl each, which is around £8.50 each – a good deal I think.
We got to Fethiye at 10.15am, after a quick stop off at the fishing shop so that Berkay could buy some bait – he’s got his own rod and used to go fishing for his dinner most days in the winter. I was pleasantly suprised at how empty the boat was – there were around 70 people on board in total but it was so large it didn’t seem like there were that many at all. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get a sun cushion on the top deck but we did manage to grab the last two – obviously they do not have anywhere near enough for the maximum capacity of people. While we were grabbing our spaces Berkay realised that four guests from the hotel he works at were also on board – they’re Turkish and he’s known them for years, they return to the hotel every year and have become good friends of his, what a coincidence that we ended up on the same boat!
At 10.30am the engine started, and the boat headed out of the marina, along with many more others – it was quite funny to see boats of all shapes and sizes headed off in the same direction towards the islands.
The boat itself was really nice, although it could do with a repaint. The bottom of the boat was entirely shaded with lots of tables to sit at and a bar in the middle. Underneath were the toilets which were actually a lot nicer than any boat toilets I’d come across in the past – 6 individual cubicals, one shower and 3 changing rooms for the girls, and the same I assume for the boys. The top deck of the boat was mainly open and in direct sunlight, with lots of soft sun cushions to lay on. The best part about the boat for me was the built in water slide – it ran through the whole boat and into the sea – it was great fun. There was music playing while sailing but it wasn’t too loud and it certainly wasn’t a ‘party boat’.
There was a man walking around the boat dressed up like a pirate with his pet parrot – weird. He went up to random unsuspecting sunbathers and put this parrot on their feet, hands, head… if he had come near me I would have jumped out of my skin! It was a beautiful parrot and really well behaved, but I’m not a bird fan, when he started flapping his wings I couldn’t even watch, it made me go all cold, eugh. I did want to have a photo done with it, but after a while he disappeared downstairs into the cabin and I didn’t see him again. There was a photographer walking around the boat taking photos of everyone, sunbathing, jumping in the sea, etc, but we know from experience that these photos are very expensive – they charge around 50tl for a copy of the CD of your photos – they were good quality, but not worth it for us. If you were worried about taking a camera on board and leaving it there whilst you were swimming etc, and felt more comfortable with having someone else take your photos instead it’s a good idea, I guess.
We stopped off at an island for 45 minutes before lunch and Berkay done some fishing, then we both went in for a swim – the water was fairly warm and so calm. He managed to catch a couple of fish – the first was a really pretty multi-coloured fish, which he threw back in, and the second was some kind of flat fish which we planned to take home to eat. On later inspection and confirmation from the man at the fish market, we realised that it didn’t have much meat on it and wouldn’t be worth it, so we took it home, cooked it and gave it to our dog instead, at least it wasn’t wasted!
After the first stop, we sailed for another 35 minutes and done some sunbathing (resulting in sunburn, ouch!). It was then time to make another stop at another island and have some lunch. Lunch was included in the ticket price, but all drinks and other snacks were extra. We were all asked when boarding what we wanted for lunch: fish, kofte or chicken, and given little cards with our choice on. The staff came around the tables and asked for our cards which they exchanged for a plate of food – I’d have prefered an open buffet with more choices, but the food was nice regardless. It consisted of our choice of meat, pasta, salad and a bread roll, followed by watermelon. After letting our food go down for a while, I had another quick swim, and Berkay carried on fishing.
An hour later, it was time to sail to our next stop – Pig Island. By this point I was finally feeling brave enough to try out the waterslide and was so glad I did because it was great fun! You can’t tell from the photos, but the first part of the slide was a really steep drop, I don’t think my bum even touched the slide it was like free-falling! Then it leveled out and went through to the other side of the boat and ended up splashing into the sea, I loved it! The photos of me tying it out are pretty amusing, check out the goggles, oh the joys of wearing contact lenses! I went on this slide about 30 times in total, Berkay was fishing and I was bored so I just kept going down the slide, swimming to the steps, climbing back up and going again – such a big kid!
For the braver people, there was a step on the top deck that you could dive or jump off from – it was terrifying, it must have been around 25-30ft high. I’d jumped off one on a smaller boat before, but this was just too high, I didn’t even attempt it. Berkay dived from it though! I couldn’t even bring myself to jump in from the lowest deck – Berkay got a photo of me attempting it, I was holding my nose and about to jump off but just couldn’t. It was only around 10ft, what a wuss!
I can’t remember if we made another one, or two stops after that, but the final stop was rabbit Island, appropriately named because there are hundreds of rabbits resident there, if you’re lucky you can sometimes see them all come out when the boats leave them some leftover salad – cute. We didn’t see any this time though. Berkay was asleep at this point as he’d been at work all night and was tired, so I spent most of the time alone. The boat had anchored close enough that we could walk off the ramp onto the island and I went exploring on my own – it was really pretty and so peaceful as there were no other boats around.
After stopping there for around 45minutes and going down the slide a few more times, it was time to head back to Fethiye. Berkay was asleep in the shade on the lower deck and I’d had enough of the sun so I sat down there and joined him. We got back to Fethiye around 6.20pm, so it was a whole 8 hours we had on the boat – but it always goes so quickly!
I had a really lovely day, I just love being out at sea, it’s so relaxing, I definitely have sea legs! I love the swaying of the boat and all the beautiful scenery, there are so many beautiful islands and bays around the area. I’d go on a boat trip every day if I could! Just look how beautiful and calm the sea is? Nature at it’s finest.
If anyone is in the area and wants to check out the Hanedan 2 boat, you can visit it’s website here, or pay it a visit along the marina, just past Address restaurant in Fethiye.
I have written a post before about Fethiye in winter, but everyone says it’s a been a mild one this year, not as cold or wet as usual, and judging by the photos Berkay sends me everyday, it’s starting to get warmer.
These photos were all taken on Sunday during his day off, how beautiful is Calis out of season before all the flights full of tourists start to arrive? Calis, like most resorts I assume, is like a different place in winter.
On a summers day the main promenade is full of holiday makers, enjoying a walk or making their way to the beach, cooling down in the restaurants and cafe’s with an efes and icecream, or just sitting on the wall looking out to sea. The beach is full of towels, sunbeds and sunbathers, and the restaurants are all bustling with tables and chairs lining the length of the promenade.
In winter, as you can see from the photos, it’s a different story. Peaceful empty pavements, silent empty beaches and eerie empty spaces where the restaurants are closed for winter. It’s not completely dead with tumble weeds passing by, some restaurants are open, and still fairly busy, like Nil Bar, which is popular with expats and locals all year around.
The beach is sandier in winter, perhaps because of the fierce waves bringing fresh sand and shingle to shore? But it’s also a lot messier and there is litter everywhere, unfortunately.
I used to love walking along the main seafront promenade in winter, in fact it was pretty much the online time I ever did, unless my family were visiting. It’s a totally different atmosphere, and even more beautiful.
One of the most beautiful things, are the winter Calis Beach sunsets. Berkay had a great view from his fishing spot, didn’t he?
We’ll soon start to see the restaurants gearing up for the season, and the hotel pools start to fill again. In a month or two, the planes will start arriving and Calis will be once again transformed, it’s never really bustling and busy like the resorts of Bodrum or Marmaris, but it’s certainly a big change.
Have you ever visited the main resorts outside of the summer season? How does it compare? For the better, or for the worse?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (:
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 🙂
I hope everybody had a good weekend. (: