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…

Two weeks in Turkey …

This time 3 weeks ago we had just landed in Dalaman, with our whole 14 days holiday still ahead of us! This time last week, we were waiting back at Dalaman for our flight back home.

I’ve definitely had post-holiday blues this week, because we had the best time! We visited a lot of different places, old and new, and of course I took lots of photos to share in future blog posts.

We spent our first night in Köyceğiz before driving to Denizli, where we spent the day having a BBQ with family, amongst the trees. Then we spent a night in the village of Beyagac, visiting more family and of course we were reunited with our beautiful doggy Boncuk. We drove to Akyaka and spent a night there, as well as taking a boat trip down the river Azmak, then onto Dalyan where we spent a day at the beach, a night in a hotel and then a visit to the Caretta turtle hospital. After what felt like the longest 3 days ever, we drove back towards Fethiye, via Yeşil Vadi in Yaniklar. Nothing quite beats the feeling of driving over the hill and seeing Babadağ mountain in the distance! We drove briefly to Oludeniz, Hisaronu and Kayakoy before spending the night in Calis and then checking into my favourite place, Jiva Beach Resort – we were supposed to stay there for 6 nights but I just couldn’t tear myself away and we managed to take advantage of someone’s last minute cancellation and stay for another 2 days!

We landed back in London last Saturday morning, and by Tuesday night, less than 84 hours after stepping off the plane, we booked our flights to go back in October! That’s the best way to beat the post-holiday blues, right?

Here’s a tiny selection of photos I took – I just love all the colours ❤

 

 

 

Flying with Turkish Airlines again!

I flew with Turkish Airlines for the first time last year, and wrote a post about it on here (click HERE to read). We flew with them again last month and it was a little different, so I thought I’d do an updated post.

Going out, we flew from Gatwick to Dalaman via Sabiha Gökçen airport in Istanbul, which I’d never been to before. The previous 4 times I flew with them, the cabin crew came around with a small piece of Turkish delight and a menu, just after take off, but this time they didn’t – I think they must have stopped doing this now! The menu was handy as it told you the meal options in advance, rather than just waiting for them to come around with the trolley and having to make an on-the-spot decision!  When they did come around, about 45 minutes into the flight, we got given the option of a meat dish or a pasta dish – I chose the meat. We had chicken, vegetables, mash, salad with feta cheese, tomato and cucumber and a bread roll with butter. Dessert was some kind of mousse, I think it was mango or something similar with chocolate flakes on top! We also had a little carton of water, and a drink of whatever we wanted, including alcohol! I love that you get a little sachet of olive oil for the salad, we all know how Turks love their olive oil, and salt, pepper and ‘real’ metal cutlery too – nothing worse than trying to cut meat with a plastic fork!

When we came in to land at Istanbul, the view of the city from the plane window was really interesting, the airport is so close to so many buildings, and there are some really fancy tower blocks too. All you can see when taking off/landing at Gatwick is fields, so it made a nice change! We had an hour and 25 minutes between flights, but our first one was delayed by around 30 minutes, so it was a bit tight! We walked down the steps off the plane and onto a waiting bus to take us to the terminal. There was a MASSIVE queue for passport control and we panicked a little as we only had an hour to get through, go to the international terminal, find the gate and board the plane. Luckily, there were airport staff directing people with domestic connecting flights to go through a fast track passport control desk and straight into the international terminal, without having to re-enter through security so that saved us a lot of time. After a quick wee, we checked the board, found our gate number, walked down to it and breathed a sigh of relief as we sat down in the seating area. We must have been sat down for less than 60 seconds when they announced that it was time for us all to go towards the desk and have our boarding passes checked, then taken onto another bus on the tarmac ready to take us to the plane!

We got to walk up the steps to the plane which I always love doing, so much more fun than walking through the tunnel to board! This particular plane was different to any others I’d been on and had little footrests under the seats which I loved – really comfortable. By the time we sat down, the sun was just beginning to set outside, which made it feel like a really long day of travelling as we had left our house at 7.15 am that morning!

The flight from Istanbul to Dalaman is really quick, less than an hour, and almost straight after take off the cabin crew came around with some snacks. On the domestic flights you don’t get a full meal, just a snack, and no alcoholic drinks, just soft drinks or tea/coffee. The last time I flew the food was given in a little paper tray and had a sandwich, pot of salad and dessert, but they have changed this, now it’s only a toastie or something similar. We had cheese, tomato and olive toasties. Berkay, being the growing man that he is, asked for two, and they gave them to him, he was very thrilled about this as you can tell!

The domestic terminal at Dalaman is currently under construction so when we landed we were taken to a corner of the International airport through a door to collect our luggage from the carousel, then it was straight outside, down the ramp and into our transfer car to Calis!

Fast forward two weeks and the inevitable journey back home again began. Of course the flights out to Turkey are always much more exciting than the flights back home again, right? We had been awake since 5am for our 8.30am flight, and although the excitement of going on holiday keeps you wide awake on the way out, when you’re tired on the flight home and facing the reality of going back to work the next day it’s not quite as fun! With one last glance down at Dalaman, the plane soared up to 30,000 ft and we waited for our in-flight breakfast snack – a cheese and tomato panini!

As soon as we had finished that, it was time to land in Istanbul again, this time at Atatürk Airport. We had longer between flights this time – almost 4 hours to wait, so we actually left the airport for an hour and hopped in a taxi to a local shopping mall. On our return to the airport, we went through security, passport control, one more security with full body scanners, then through to Duty Free. When we checked the departure boards, our gate number was already up so we found that and had our boarding passes and passports checked not one, not two, but three times, and Berkay had his hand luggage thoroughly searched in a spot-check too! The security there is really good, but I suppose it’s expected. We didn’t have to wait too long before boarding once again, and Berkay had his last sniff of Turkish air before stepping on the plane.

The meal on the flight home was again a choice of a meat or pasta dish. We had kofte (meatballs), rice, vegetables, cacik (yogurt with cucumber), a bread roll and a chocolate mousse for dessert.
 
Other than the food, my favourite things about Turkish Airlines are the personal entertainment touch screens on the back of all the seats. They have lots of games, music and films on them, including some films not even released on DVD yet! The ones on the plane home even had USB ports so you could charge your phone through them, really handy! I’m a big kid and can’t travel without a a bear, I always get him out on the plane as you can see! By the time I had watched a film and had a sleep, making the most of the empty seat one side of me, the Captain announced it was time to descend into Gatwick, right back to down to earth with a bump, literally!

Overall I love flying with Turkish Airlines, and this time they were actually cheaper than Easy Jet, Thomas Cook etc with the added bonus of 23kg hold luggage included, 8kg hand luggage and the free food and drinks. The only downside is the waiting time between flights but I think it’s well worth it!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 29 – RED SKY AT NIGHT…


Today’s photo is another Calis Beach sunset, but a slightly different one, with a sky full of clouds creating a beautiful patterned, glowing sky! Cloudy sunsets are the best, they look more intense! Love the reflection on the sea too. I still maintain that Calis Beach is the best place to watch the sun go down!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 19 – A FETHIYE PENINSULAR SUNSET

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.

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 14 – CALIS SUNSET

You just can’t beat a Calis Beach sunset, especially during winter when the sun goes down right on the horizon rather than behind the mountains. The clouds make it even more dramatic, with the sky fading from yellow, to orange, then to red. The sun glowing, lighting up the horizon, with the silhouette of red island on the right. I love this photo especially because of the boat sailing across, can you spot it? Just think how magnificent the sunset would have looked from on board that, surrounded by the ocean!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 10 – ISLAND SUNSET 


When I took this photo I was annoyed because the camera kept loosing focus – but the more I looked at it the more I loved it. I think the blurry effect actually makes it look a lot better and it certainly stands out among the other thousands of Calis Beach sunset photos on my memory card! The island in the centre is Red Island/Kızılada and the sun was setting right behind it, but the perfectly-timed shot made it look like the sun was actually melting away the island!

AUGUST PHOTO SERIES – DAY 7 – MOONLIT FETHIYE

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 6 – PLAYFUL STREET DOGS

I took this photo last March in Calis. We were sat on the wall along the beach enjoying the sunset, and I realised we weren’t alone. Three little street dogs were just running along the beach chasing each other and rolling around in the sand. I just love how happy they all look with their tails in the air and ears flapping – it’s not an easy life for street dogs in Turkey, so it was lovely to see them just running along having fun together. My favourite is the little dog at the front, so cute. I love how they look like little silhouettes against the orange glowing sky behind. I guess humans aren’t the only ones who can appreciate a Calis Beach sunset!

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 ❤