Mountains Babadağ and Mendos form a major part of the scenery around Fethiye, and has featured a few times in this photo series, but today’s photos show them as you’ve probably never seen them before! When I was living in Turkey the first time, I had a beautiful view of the mountains from my kitchen window, most of the time it was a blue sky and mountains covered in greenery I could see, but on this particular winter day around 5 years ago it looked a bit different! A combination of rain, low cloud and fog made the mountains look very strange, like I was seeing double! There is lots of interesting aspects of Mother Nature to be seen in Turkey whether it’s Summer or Winter!
This photo isn’t the best quality as it was taken on my old iPod around 5 years ago, so it doesn’t really do it justice. This was the view from the first apartment we lived in together for 2.5 years. We lived in the middle of fields and green hills, even though it was only a 10 minute walk away from Calis and the tourist areas of Sunset Beach Club etc. I had the most beautiful view of Babadag from my kitchen window, and the view of these hills and greenhouses from my balcony. On this particular winters day, it had obviously been raining but a rainbow popped out from the dark grey clouds.. unfortunately our house didn’t sit at the foot of the rainbow so we didn’t get a pot of gold… but it looked good regardless – rainbows are quite rare so I always get excited when I see one!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
On Saturday I was lucky enough to witness the Türk Yıldızları (Turkish Stars) in action- the fighter jet aerobatic display team of the Turkish air force. It was an amazing experience. Anyone who has friends in Calis or Fethiye is likely to have seen their Facebook feeds full of photos and videos from the event, which shows how impressive their performance was, and how proud the Turkish people are of their military.
The Turkish Stars were scheduled to do their display here in Calis as part of the Ölüdeniz air games that took place all last week. On Thursday they briefly flew over Ölüdeniz, Calis and Fethiye a few times to say ‘hello’, I wasn’t expecting it so when I heard the roaring engines of the low flying planes it was quite scary, it sounded like World War III was about to start! I went to stand on the balcony and got a few glimpses of the planes flying past and realised what they were. Berkay was in bed at the time and slept through it all, didn’t even move a muscle, typical man! They were due to do a practice of the display on Friday but bad weather meant it was cancelled, which left us all wondering if everything would go ahead as planned on Saturday.
Saturday came and the rain still fell. The rain, thunder, lightening and strong winds carried on all morning and by 1pm in the afternoon it looked like the display would be cancelled as it would obviously be unsafe to fly in such conditions. I, and many others, were constantly checking the Türk Yıldızları Facebook page for confirmation and they issued a statement saying they planned to take off from Dalaman at 15.30pm weather permitting…
We heard nothing more official announced, but the rain finally stopped at 3pm so we headed to the beach in hope that it might still go ahead. When we got to the promenade I was amazed by the amount of people that were already waiting, even though the weather was dodgy. We picked a spot on the wall along the beach and sat down patiently waiting. It got busier and busier and as we looked down the beach in both directions it was absolutely packed full of people, very unusual for the end of October! I honestly have not seen Calis Beach so busy all season, even in the height of summer, and it was really lovely to see it so full of people, even restaurants and cafe’s that had closed for the season had reopened especially for the occasion.
4pm came and the atmosphere was buzzing, a couple of powered-paragliders had flown up and down the beach draping huge Turkish flags below them which got the crowd excited for what was to come. We waited, and waited, and at around 4.15pm people started excitedly pointing at the horzion, where trails of red and white smoke could be seen – it was them, the Türk Yıldızları were flying towards Calis at high speed. I quickly grabbed my camera and iPod – one in each hand, one for filming, one for photos.
They got closer and closer and flew over our heads, there were 6 planes in total, and boy were they noisy. Berkay looked straight at me and said ‘Danni, how didn’t I wake up when they were here the other day?!’.
The display was absolutely brilliant, they perfomed amazing stunts, the pilots are among the best in the world and very talented. They flew perfectly synchnoised with each other, doing twists, turns and corkscrew spirals, even flying upside down – it was making me feel dizzy just watching! Aren’t the planes just beautiful with the Turkish flag underneath?
It was difficult to take photos, videos and watch it in real time, so I ended up just pointing my camera up to the skies and clicking, not checking that anything was actually in the frame. I ended up getting some pretty good photos which capture the display well. The clouds added to the dramatic scenes and made it look even more impressive. I edited over 30 minutes worth of video clips into a 2 minute 40 second video which you can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=756223634439508 I’m quite proud of how well it turned out, considering it was only filmed with my iPod while multitasking! You definitely need to watch it with the sound turned up to get the full experience.
Around 40 minutes after they started, the display ended and off the Türk Yıldızları flew back to Dalaman. The crowd was buzzing. We went and sat down in a cafe to soak up the atmosphere for a little longer and relaxed with an Efes and an iced coffee – perfect. The clouds cleared and the sun came out. We saw a lot of people walking past with Türk Yıldızları merchandise and decided to head in the direction they were coming from to see if we could buy anything for ourselves. We found a tiny trailer where a few members of the Türk Yıldızları team were selling hats, shirts, pens, lighters, bags etc all at reasonable prices. It was very popular, a large crowd of people were surrounding them and their stock was selling out quickly. Berkay purchased a cap, which he got signed by one of the team, and I got a pen and a magnet, as I seem to have started a little collection of those on my fridge. We wanted to buy a tshirt but didn’t have enough cash, so Berkay asked them to save us a couple as he ran off to the ATM, 15 minutes later he came back but it was too late as the shirts had been sold and the little shop was closing up as the stock had all gone! It was disappointing but maybe a blessing in disguise as I think we were just buying things for the sake of it!
As we were walking back home, we met a couple more of the Türk Yıldızları team, First Lieutenant Selim Şensoy and Senior Master Sergeant Ibrahim Çetinkaya, who were happy to pose for photos with us!
Overall it was a brilliant day, the atmosphere along Calis beach was really special and it was lovely to see families having a day out together and both local people and tourists sharing in the experience, a perfect end to the summer season here.
Bravo, Türk Yıldızları & thank you for coming to Fethiye!
Don’t forget to like my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/livingtheturkishdream – which I update daily with photos and videos. I have just reached 1500 likes (:
As soon as the calendar page turned to 1st September, it was like the weather just changed overnight.
The last week of August was the hottest of the year here, reaching 42oc in the shade during the day, and around 28 oc during the night. I was going to bed with an ice pack or hugging frozen bottles of water to cool down (I’m serious, the joys of having no air-conditioning). Then the 1st of September came and the weather changed quite dramatically, with temperatures dropping around 10 oc suddenly! Of course there were still very hot days, and daytime temperatures still averaged around 33 oc and 24oc at night, but those of us living here could definitely feel the change.
As the 2nd half of September came rolling in, so did the clouds, and the thunder! I was walking home along the beach one day and greeted with the following view – it was so dark. There was an almighty crack of thunder and people walking past me jumped about a foot in the air, it was very loud! I only felt 2 spots of rain, but boy did those 2 drops feel good!
Since then it’s been cloudy a lot, threatening to rain, but nothing really happened until Friday evening when the first real thunderstorm since the beginning of June arrived! I was sat in my house around 2 am on Saturday morning and saw flashes of lightening out of the corner of my eye. I went and sat on the balcony to investigate and the sky was lit up every few seconds from all directions, it was very pretty. I tried to capture it on camera, but failed! Oddly, there was very little thunder, but a lot of lightening and wind… After sitting on the balcony for 20 minutes I felt rain. A few spots, then a lot of spots, then it started pounding down on my head, I can’t tell you how good it felt! No rain for 4 months makes you go a little crazy, I felt like staying outside and dancing in it!
On Saturday, we had planned to go for a BBQ with two English guests staying in the hotel Berkay works in. It came to 3 pm and the skies were grey and cloudy and it was very cool. We decided to drive to Kayakoy and go to a restaurant there instead, Cin Bal. If you live in Fethiye, you’ve probably heard of it, it’s very popular. They sell meat by the kilogram, and have whole sheep and cows hanging up like a butchers shop! They cook the meat for you on their BBQ or bring one to your table to you can BBQ it yourself, it’s a cute idea! When we were on our way it started to rain, the windows on the car were steaming up so we opened them a little and it felt cold. It was the first time I’d felt cold, fresh air for months, it was amazing! When we got to the restaurant around 3.45pm it really started raining, we sat outside under a shelter but could see, and hear the rain coming down, our poor friends could be forgiven for thinking they were back in England! We had a lovely meal and a chat, and over 2 hours later, the rain was still pouring down. We got back in the car and headed to Fethiye and I was freezing. The drive was beautiful, somehow Fethiye manages to look just as charming, or even more so, in the rain. We drove down the hillside and the view over the whole of Fethiye was breathtaking, the clouds were low over the mountains and it made a lovely photo, unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to take one, I wish I had! It was so cloudy, so dark and all the car and shops lights lit up reminded me of Christmas!
We got home and I went for a shower. Part of the joy of living in Turkey is interesting shower experiences! I think every single house has solar panels on the roof which heat the water, great in summer when there are clear blue skies and bright sunshine, but in winter, when it’s cloudy all day, these solar panels are useless and we have no hot water. Some people have an electric shower (we do, but it is not safe to use due to dodgy wiring) or boilers, but a lot of people don’t. In order to have a hot shower, I had to first heat up some water in the saucepan and take this into the shower and wash with a jug! I actually don’t mind this at all, it makes it so much more satisfying in a weird way, especially when washing your hair! It makes me feel all cosy and homey aftewards, I think that’s because when I lived here for two previous winters, we had no electric shower again and this was a normal, everyday thing. In England you might have a hot bath to warm up and relax on a cold day, here, for me, it’s a hot water in a saucepan and jug thing! After the ‘shower’ I was freezing, I even put my warm, fluffy, dalmatian pajama bottoms on. This is my, ‘yay it’s cold enough to wear my fluffy pajamas’ face (:
It’s not all bad, today was sunny with only a few clouds and temperatures were around 25oc. Good enough to sunbathe, and although the pools are cooler now, the sea is still quite warm and pleasant to swim in. The cloudy skies and cooler temperatures make daily life and chores so much more pleasant, it’s lovely being able to walk out of the front door without breaking into a sweat! Berkay even asked me to iron his long sleeved shirts for work! That’s one bad thing about the weather, when I packed my case to come here, I seem to have neglected the fact I’d be here for some of the cooler weather and forgot to bring any warm clothes!! Short sleeved tops and denim shorts or dresses are all I seem to have in my wardrobe… Ooops.
Autumn and winter also mean beautiful sunsets, remember me saying on previous sunset posts (click HERE for one) that in winter the sun goes down next to the island in the middle of the sea, rather than behind the mountains on the right hand side? Well it’s nearly there! I took this beautiful photo this evening, with the sun setting just behind the island. Just gorgeous.
So, I’ve been back in Turkey for 3 days now and still haven’t had a chance to post about it yet!
I got up at 6am on Monday morning, finished packing last minute things, said my goodbye’s and got in the car with Dad and Mum who took me to the airport. My flight was at 11.20am, and we arrived at the airport around 3 hours before. There was a huge queue of people waiting to check in, but I finally got to the check-in desk and waved my suitcase off down the baggage ramp, I was worried it was going to be too heavy and over my 20kg allowance, but luckily it was bang on 20kg, good judgment eh? (:
We went up the escalators to departures and that’s where I had to leave Mum and Dad and go through security. After faffing around having to unpack my entire hand luggage so they could scan my laptop, and take my shoes off, I eventually made it through and came out the other side where I looked back and saw Mum and Dad still waving at me ❤ Later on I realised she’d written a Facebook status about that moment : “Took Dan to airport this morning with her Dad…. waved her off (once again) as she heads back to Turkey & Berkay…..all smiles, I can see her smiley face as she waved to us at departures…..priceless….Love you BIG as the Sky” – sweet. (:
After getting through the maze that is Gatwick South’s duty free shop leading to the main departure hall, I had a look around, sat down and started to get excited. It took ages for the gate information to pop up on the screen, so I was getting rather impatient! Once the number showed up and I took the long walk to the departure gate, it all became rather real as I could see my plane outside the window, eeeek!
We didn’t have to wait very long after that, almost as soon as I got to the gate people began boarding. I was in row 14 so I was the second from last lot of passengers to board. I flew with Pegasus (for the first time!) so when I stepped on the plane all I could see were Turkish signs, and hear the stewards speaking Turkish amongst themselves. “Welcome” one air steward said to everyone else boarding, then he turned to me and said “hosgeldin!” (that’s Turkish for Welcome) – he must’ve thought I was Turkish, so that made me smile. I found my seat, sat down, got comfortable with my blanket out and my cow slippers on, and waited for take off.
We took off 40 minutes late, but the flight was only due to be 3hours and 30 minutes (instead of around 4) due to tail wind so I didn’t mind! One thing I really loved about Pegasus was the fact they had little tv screens on board showing exactly where we were in the air, the altitude, which countries we were flying over and how long left until arrival at our destination.
After a bumpy end to the flight which meant having our seat belts fastened for 40 minutes – we landed safe and sound at Dalaman. I went through passport control, who didn’t even look at my evisa (honestly, I’ve never been through immigration so quick!) and went downstairs to locate my baggage.. Around the carousel it came, and off I went to find my transfer bus. I wish Berkay was there to meet me but it would have been to expensive to hire or borrow a friends car as the petrol is just so expensive out here. Instead I booked the transfer bus which only cost me £8. It was ready waiting for me when I arrived and only took 45minutes to get to Calis. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I realised we were getting close. Around 7pm, the driver turned off down the road Berkay’s hotel is and stopped outside, where Berkay was waiting with Boncuk for me. Off I hopped and they both gave me a welcome hug!
After saying Hello to them both, we put Boncuk back in her kennel and headed off to my new house, which I was excited and nervous to see. I like the house, it’s in a much more convenient location than the last one, although that one will always be more special to me as it was my first house away from England. I’ll do a post about my new house in the next few days if anyone is interested to see it! (:
We quickly got the internet set up and eventually managed to get it working so that I could Facetime family and let them known I’d arrived. By the time all this was done it was around 8pm and Berkay had arranged to go into work an hour later than usual at 9pm – we had no food in the house at all, so decided to go out to a restaurant along the sea front for something to eat instead. We went to Letoon hotel, which I knew had a new rooftop restaurant which looked really good. The view from there was lovely. It was cold though. The weather has been so weird since I’ve been here, wet, cloudy and windy. Honestly it was warmer in England the day before I left! Crazy.
We ate our dinner in record time, and got back home just after 9pm. Berkay made sure I got home OK then went straight out to work. Might as well get used to those long working hours alone again!
I was tired but didn’t want to go to bed, so spent a couple of hours unpacking everything. The house has definitely been Danni-ed now. Nail varnish bottles now surround the bedroom mirror and my two favourite bears sit on the bed. (:
After all that travelling and packing, I went to bed around 2am, and knew I had to be up early ready to go to Fethiye market. A post about that will follow tomorrow! ❤
It’s good to be home, but it will take some getting used to again!
It’s starting to get dark at 7.30pm, it doesn’t get light until gone 6.30am and I no longer need the fan on to sleep at night! Winter is on it’s way.
As I mentioned in my worst things about living in Turkey post, winter is cold. Very cold. It always surprises people when I say that, some people assume the resorts are warm and sunny all year…Wrong! But I do love winter, it’s a totally different atmosphere.
When the scores of tourists have gone home and only the locals stay in resort, Calis Beach is like a ghost town. We get full reign of the beach and can let Boncuk off her lead for a big run around. Everyone wears layers, the rain pours down and its not unusual to be guided to the toilet by candlelight during a storm. These are some photos from last winter.
My grandparents bought me and Berkay onesies for Christmas, they were well used and well loved throughout January and February, the coldest months here in Fethiye. We often ate dinner inside wearing coats AND our onesies, no insulated walls or double glazing in my house!
5-6 months of bright, clear blue skies and then this happens.. rain and black clouds. It doesn’t rain here like it rains in England, it never just spits a little, when it rains, it rains, full on thunderstorms that shake the building. I LOVE it!
It gets icy too…
The weather may be colder, but the views are still as beautiful. I love seeing the snowy mountains in the distance, so pretty. When Babadağ (the mountain on the left, the one closest to Fethiye and where all the paragliders jump off during summer) gets dusted with snow, you know its really cold!
We drove through the mountains on the right in December to travel to Antalya airport…
The best thing about winter? The silent, peaceful, tourist free beaches. The perfect spot to watch the sunset. Winter sunsets are the best.