Going, going, gone.. A Calis Beach sunset.

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Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that my favourite thing to do in Turkey is watch a sunset, and there is no better place to do that than in Calis!

There’s just something special about sitting on the beach watching the sun slowly shrink and disappear, at the end of another day.
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Cloudy sunsets are particularly impressive, but this was on a clear day back in June, although a bit hazy due to the heat. I stood on the sand in front of Jiva Beach hotel, pointed my camera and snapped photos as the sun disappeared behind the mountains and hills in the far distance, going from a full circle to a tiny red slither, leaving an orange glowing sky behind. I love the slow gradient from red to all shades of orange, so perfect, as if straight off of an artists paintbrush onto a canvas.

People were swimming in the sea admiring the sunset for themselves too, so there are a few heads bobbing around in my photos!
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Apparently, watching the sunset can have actual benefits on our health and attitude. Not only does it get us outside in the fresh air, but it’s also inspiring and reminds us that we should be thankful for each day, for each morning the sun rises and each evening the sun sets. Watching a sunset can apparently also be a stress reliever, as we watch the sun disappear it can help us feel like the weight of the worries and stress of the day is lifted from our shoulders, we can put the troubles of the day behind us. The soft orange glow of the sky can help us see things in a new light, and notice the beauty in things that the harsh daylight can make us easily miss.
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In the summer the sun sets towards the right hand side of the beach, so its partially blocked by the hill, but it still looks beautiful. In winter months however, the sun sets right on the horizon, right in the middle of the sea as you look at it from Calis Beach, I haven’t seen one of those kinds of sunsets for a few years, perhaps in October…


As I sit typing this I can see the moon shining through my window – it’s a full moon tonight so I figured this would be an appropriate photo of the day! Taken just after sunset whilst driving along the Fethiye peninsular after a BBQ at Aksazlar, I love how it captures all the lights and their reflections. With the mountains in the background, boats, tree in the foreground and the moon shining down on the water, it’s quite a busy photo! I think it captures the beauty of Fethiye at night.

August Photo Series – Day 1 – Sunset at Fethiye

Those who follow me on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/livingtheturkishdream) will have seen my post earlier today. Since I’ve been neglecting my blog for a long time, I’ve decided to commit to posting everyday throughout August!
I’ve been going through the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the past 7 years and picked out my favourite 31.  Every day I’ll post a photo showcasing something beautiful, or unique in Turkey and writing a little bit about it (: I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them, it took me days to pick out my favourites!

So, today’s photo: Everyone knows how much I love a Calis Beach sunset, but I rarely mention how lovely it is to watch the sun go down from Fethiye town centre too. You can’t usually see it on the horizon from there, but the orange glow reflecting off the sea behind the boats in the harbour is pretty impressive. The boats make a great focal point, and end up almost silhouette-like against the red sky. The hour before sundown is my favourite time of day, and you can combine both boats and sunsets by taking the water taxi across from Fethiye to Calis, if you time it just right. There’s something so romantic about it. Beautiful ❤

Turkey Day 2 – Paragliders, Emu’s and flowers..

Even though I’ve flown to Turkey and back again since then, I’m so far behind with my blog that I have lots of ‘days’ to catch up on!
Back at the end of January I woke up in our apartment on the 2nd day of my visit. After not being with Berkay in person for 9 months, the little things are the important ones. Little things like waking up and cooking breakfast then sitting and eating it together. Our favourite breakfast is sucuk (Turkish spicy sausage) and egg, lovely served with fresh warm crusty bread and orange juice. Yummy.
After breakfast and a long, lazy morning we headed to Fethiye. Fethiye is our favourite place so whenever we’re thinking ‘I’m bored, what shall we do now?’ we usually end up back there. This time we ended up in Saliha Sultan Pastanesi for some lunch of the sweet kind. Saliha Sultan (Previously Sultan Pastanesi) sells amazing cakes, baklava and other sweet treats.. I had profiteroles with a crazy amount of chocolate sauce, and Berkay had a huge banana cake covered in a chocolate and pistachio shell… photos don’t even do them justice! Of course it was washed down with a glass of cay.
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After walking around Fethiye in an attempt to work off a mere bite of our lunch, we decided to drive to Oludeniz. It was a fairly warm day, but rather cloudy so the sea didn’t look the usual magnificent shade of turquoise.  It was very empty, apart from a bit of building work going on and a few paragliders floating above us. It’s always funny watching out for paragliders coming towards your head, you see the shadow of their parachute on the ground, turn to look up and realise you need to very swiftly move out of the way because its speeding right towards you to land! I giggled at the little reminder on the floor – brilliant.
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We rarely venture into Oludeniz, I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve been there in the past 6 years, and never to the ‘strip’ or any of the bars or restaurants, only to the beach – it’s not really my cup of tea, it’s somewhere that I think looks lovely from above, but a little disappointing once you’re stood looking at it from ground level. On the way back we took the road through kayakoy, just to enjoy the scenery – even the infamous Emu! SO fluffy and SO cute, in a weird way.
Just before sundown we went back to Calis and back to our apartment at Sunset Beach club. I love these apartments and we have stayed there several times – they’re very empty out of the summer season and we were some of the only people staying there – most of the pools had no water in them, but the one right outside our balcony door did which made for some lovely photos when the sun reflected off it.
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When I’m visiting Turkey we don’t like to eat out in restaurants, it just feels more personal and more ‘normal’ for us to cook and eat at ‘home’ together. I always say that being in Turkey isn’t really a holiday for me, it just feels like going back home, so we like to do those everyday homely things that everyone else takes for granted. Berkay cooked our dinner this day and it was delicious – love that Turkish rice and homemade ‘real’ chips, yum!
After dinner we went to visit some of our other Turkish friends – on the way we drove past a flower seller who was asking people if they wanted to buy any. Berkay wasn’t going to stop the car so I jokingly said ‘ohh, don’t you want to buy me any?’ to which he responded by abruptly pulling the car over, jumping out, running over to the seller and coming back to the car with a big bouquet. ‘I was joking, you don’t have to buy things just because I ask, if I said I wanted an elephant would you buy me one?’ I asked – ‘If I could find one’ he said …. Bless him. Such a romantic when he wants to be… even if the days when I’d get cheesy roses are long gone.. (:
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Dinner at Mancero Kitchen in Fethiye

 It was VERY rare that we ever ate out in restaurants when I lived in Turkey, apart from our regular 3tl doner on market day! We hardly ever went out, sat down and had an evening meal together, in fact I can think of only three or four occasions, one of which was paid for by Berkay’s boss, and another was on half price night on the last night of the season!

On Berkay’s birthday we decided to break away from the norm and go out somewhere we’d never been to, but heard a lot about – Mancero Kitchen.  Normally we wouldn’t have gone somewhere so expensive but as it was my last night in Turkey for a long time, and Berkay’s birthday, we thought we’d splash the cash a bit!

The location is brilliant – it’s in Fethiye along the promenade which is lovely to walk along no matter what time of day. In the day its nice to see the blue sea against the backdrop of the mountains and stroll along taking little breaks to sit on the benches and admire the view. In the evening with everything all lit up it looks even more beautiful, the palm trees had different coloured lights, you could look over to Fethiye and see it all lit up, and it all looked especially magical just after sunrise, with the multicoloured sky as the backdrop.
We had already booked, so we just walked in and got seated straight away, it was a chilly December night so it wasn’t particularly busy but I can imagine that it gets very busy in summer so I definitely recommend booking in advance.

The inside is what I describe as a ‘proper restaurant’, if you’ve been to other restaurants in Calis or Fethiye most of them don’t feel fancy at all, they have plastic tables and chairs covered with tablecloths and most seating is outside, certainly the inside areas don’t really feel decorated at all, but Mancero is. Huge glass windows allowing you to look out to sea, lovely rustic wooden tables and chairs, little booth areas, wine displays, even a little seating area with budgies in cages chirping to say hello! It definitely feels like a classy restaurant, but boy do you pay for the pleasure.
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Before we’d booked I had asked a friend if it was expensive, “not really, around 130tl for 2 with a starter and wine”… 130tl, not expensive for a two course meal?! We’d only ever spent 50tl on a meal out for two in Calis, a diet coke and a chicken dish each and that’s our lot! Looking through the menu was painful, I swear I could see Berkay flinching at the prices as he went down the list. All the steaks on the menu were 40-60tl each, almost as much as we’d normally spend on an entire meal for two, but as I said, it was a special occasion, and our last meal together for a long time, so we settled on a couple of steaks and waited to see if it was worth it.
While we were waiting they brought out a bread basket and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, which was really delicious, we even asked for extra!

After a short while (it was very quick service) our dinner arrived, and as seems to be the norm in a lot of restaurants nowadays, it wasn’t served on a plate but a wooden board. I can’t even remember which steak I had but know it was 50tl, Berkay had the fillet steak which was 55tl (280-300 grams according to the menu). Both were served with a small amount of potatoes and some fried vegetables (pepper, onion and courgette). The steaks were a decent size and definitely soft, not fatty, well-cooked and delicious. However, I’m not entirely sure the meal was worth the money, overall. You can see from the photos that it wasn’t a great amount of food for the money, and while it was lovely, I can think of many, many other restaurants where we could have got more for our money and still had a very tasty meal. Still, we enjoyed it and Berkay had a lovely birthday dinner.
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After eating, we went and sat outside with some Turkish tea, it was freezing but thankfully they had a fire lit in a metal bin for people to sit around and keep warm, I love that part of winter, makes a difference to summer where all the restaurants have to have fans blasting out!
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Overall, I was fairly impressed, Mancero Kitchen is a nice place to eat if you’re on holiday or have the money to spare, but for local people, or people on a budget I wouldn’t recommend it. It seems very popular with expats, or tourists, and I can only presume that is because they compare the prices to the UK, rather than to similar restaurants in the area. The food is nice, but just not special enough for the price it is, in my opinion. That being said, I’d like to go back there again on another occasion and try something different, it’s a nice place to spend a special occasion, a once a year kind of thing!

Have you been to Mancero? Let me know what you thought, or if you’re planning to go and try it for yourselves.

Fethiye & Çaliş sunsets..

P1100829Çaliş beach is known for it’s amazing sunsets. I’m willing to bet that anyone who has ever visited Çaliş will have at least one sunset photo stored in their camera amongst their holiday snaps!

The view of the sunsets in Çaliş are amazing, I’ve posted photos of them a few times in the past, but now that autumn is on the way the sunsets are even more spectacular. In the height of winter the sun sets right in the middle of the horizon alongside ‘Red island’and it makes for fabulous photos! We’re not at that stage yet,  the sun still sets slightly behind the mountains, but it’s beautiful all the same.

When we were walking along the promenade a few days ago I captured the sun just before it set around 19.15 – the photos came out so well I didn’t even need to edit them at all. I love how it looks with the silhouette of the palm tree in the foreground.
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On Sunday we were in Fethiye around the time the sun started to go down as Berkay arranged to go into work later than usual. He went off to the shop to buy some sunflower seeds ready for the Fethiyespor match we went to and I walked around the park by the marina. The photos of the sun setting behind the bay reflecting off the water looked impressive, especially with the boats. It shone through the water fountains giving them a beautiful red glow too.
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If you’re in the Fethiye area, perhaps Olu Deniz, Ovacik or Hisaronu, please take a day trip to Çaliş and experience the sunset for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. You could even get the water taxi boat across from/to Fethiye and get an even better view if you time it just right.

While we’re on the subject of sunsets, this is my favourite photo ever. I took it back in February 2013 when Boncuk was just 4-5 months old, look how fluffy and small she was, I can’t believe how short and stumpy her legs were, they are so long now! This is the best photo I have ever taken and I will be getting it printed on a canvas to put up on my wall when I’m back in England. It’s just perfect.
I will be writing and uploading a new blog post every day this week, I have them all planned out. I’m hoping to reach 200,000 views soon too!
Don’t forget to like my Facebook page to see more from us. I update it daily with photos and videos – www.facebook.com/livingtheturkishdream

A Calis Beach Sunset…


ImageI am loving my new house being so close to the beach – having the freedom to walk the 2 minutes to the beach at any time is great.

 Yesterday evening after Berkay had gone to work I decided to go on a stroll to the beach to watch the sunset. It was a fairly cloudy evening and the sunset always looks better through clouds, so off  I went with my camera and ended up staying for 45 minutes and taking 147 snaps!!

I thought I’d share a few with you, to show just how beautiful Calis can be.
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I edit all my photos with instagram before uploading – like the ones above… but sometimes photos need no editing because they are beautiful enough on their own. The following have not been edited in the slightest and show the true beauty of the sunset, although to be honest, the photos don’t even do it justice. Sitting on the beach alone listening to the waves lapping on the shore and literally seeing the sun go down behind the mountains in front of your eyes isn’t something that is able to be fully captured by a photograph!
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Oh how lucky I am to live by the sea. ❤




How did our cheesy, love story begin?

I’ve mentioned before that our relationship started as the very typical, cheesy, holiday romance story that everyone is so quick to judge, but I’ve never really gone into much detail about how we met, so here it goes!

In July 2010, me and one of my best friends decided to go on holiday, we trusted my Dad to choose the destination, and he chose Calis Beach, Fethiye.  We went in July for a week, after we’d finished our A-level exams and had just left college. I was 18 years old…
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The hotel we stayed in, who would have thought back then, that I’d eventually be living around the corner to here, walking past it and waving Berkay off to work there everyday for 2 years..

It started off as a normal girly holiday… until roses kept appearing on my sunbed, and outside my room door. (I can see you rolling your eyes…I told you it was a cheesy story!!) I ignored them at first, but eventually realised it was one of the waiters doing it.. you guessed it, this particular waiter was Berkay!

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The view from our balcony and the pool, where a lot of time was spent spying on Berkay with my friend 😉 

We hardly spoke, actually he could hardly speak English … (I can see you rolling your eyes again!) … on the last night of our holiday, he got his friend to write a note to me saying ‘Do you want to go out for a walk with me’. Going against my mum, dad and everyone else’s advice of ‘don’t go off with anyone on your own’, and risking loosing the friendship I had with my friend by leaving her alone in the hotel on the last night… I went. We went for a walk along the beach and ended up staying there until 5am, just walking back and forth. Luckily, Berkay wasn’t dangerous, and my best friend forgave me for abandoning her. I wouldn’t advise anyone to go off alone like I did though just for the record, I went against my better judgement but thank goodness I did, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have ever seen Berkay again or be who I am today…
This was the first and only photo we had together from July 2010..

The time came to go home, and of course I was devastated, we swapped numbers, msn addresses & facebook ‘friended’ each other, but honestly I didn’t expect to hear from him again, everyone knows the reputation Turkish guys have… Oh how wrong I was, even before I had got to the airport I had a text, and a couple more awaited me when I landed back in the UK.

We spoke everynight on MSN without fail, every night after his work had finished, Berkay would walk to the internet cafe and we’d talk to 3-4am. My family all thought I was crazy of course, and hoped it was all just a holiday romance.
The good old days, back in 2010 when we’d speak to each other on MSN all night, every night.

I decided I wanted to go back and visit Berkay, alone this time, and my parents very, very, very reluctantly agreed. I had strict instructions to keep in contact 24/7 and obviously they knew the hotel address I was staying in.. So, in October 2010 I went back to Turkey for a week, this time we stayed together in Remer Hotel. Although I already knew Berkay well from speaking on MSN everyday, this was our first real chance to get to know each other in person. He had learnt English really quickly, and was pretty fluent by then.  I have to add, going abroad alone, flying alone, to meet someone I’d hardly spent time with in person, is very out of character for me, I’m the shyest person I know, people who have met me will probably agree.. I have no idea what came over me.. love makes you do funny things I guess! We had a great week together and done the typical tourist things, we visisted Oludeniz and done a few boat trips, including one in the pouring rain and wind, it was freezing. The most memorable thing from this whole holiday was how we both went in the hotel swimming pool in the cold, stormy rain, and had everyone looking out of their balconys cheering us on, like I said, love makes you do crazy things!

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Some of the photos we took together in October 2010.

In January 2011, I decided to visit Berkay again, and did so for a week. This time I felt confident enough to stay in an apartment he was renting in the winter, instead of booking a hotel. The apartment was really bad, it certainly opened up my eyes. I also had a funny Turkish experience on the way to Fethiye from Antalya airport.. Berkay and his friend came to pick me up in his friend’s old banger car.. the fuel gauge was broken and the car kept running out of petrol…the journey should have taken 3.5 hours but ended up taking twice as long. We had another great week together, I met his friends, experienced my first ‘Turkish Picnic’ and enjoyed seeing Turkey outside of the tourist season. Saying bye to Berkay when the time came to go home this time was the hardest, I guess that’s when I knew the only option was to move to Turkey.
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A couple of photos from January 2011, this was the turning point when I knew I wanted to move to Turkey.

I can’t remember how the conversation went, but I must’ve told my parents I wanted to move to Turkey, I can’t even remember their reaction, but reluctantly again, they agreed.  Neither of them had ever met Berkay, none of my family had, so Mum and her partner at the time, came with me for  a week when I made the big move. It was a big decision, one made so much harder as it meant leaving my 3 week old baby sister behind. On the 26th April 2011, I left the UK, packed my life into a suitcase, and moved to Turkey. Whilst there, we had a bad experience which left mum’s partner in hospital for 3 days, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave Berkay a chance to prove to her how loving, kind and caring he was. He helped them so much over those few days, that she felt confident enough leaving me with him when they returned to the UK a week later.
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April 2011
This is a personal favourite photo. Taken in the first few days after I moved to Turkey, me looking out to sea at Oludeniz. It reminds me how I’d entered the big wide world away from parents and the comforts of home, which were thousands of miles, and oceans away.

Berkay found us an apartment, which until September 2013, we called home. I feel like we proved everyone wrong, it’s not the typical Turkish boy/English girl story. He has now met all of my family, visited the UK 5 times, and is now as much a part of my family as the rest of us, they all love him.

The rest of my story is documented on this blog, from my last few days in Turkey, to the reasons I moved back to the UK,  the difficulties to adapting to life back here,  the joy at being reunited, and the sadness at being apart again..

Those were the first 3 years, lets hope there are many more to come… I will carry on blogging through all of them.
To be continued… ❤

Fethiye is beautiful..


Fethiye is always beautiful, the mountains, blue skies and turquoise sea make for a lovely backdrop, but sometimes when living here, you take it all for granted. Sometimes you just need to take time out to remember just how beautiful it really is.

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Last week we walked the 163 steps up to what is known as ‘hill of the lovers’ (Asiklar Tepesi ) in Fethiye town. There’s no doubt it’s a very romantic place. There are little benches overlapping the edge and one small cafe at the top. The panoramic views there are breathtaking. There isn’t really much more I can say, the photos speak for themselves.
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