Around 1.5 hours away from Fethiye, near Koycegiz, there is a place called Yuvarlakçay. It has several little restaurants in the forest area that go by the name of ‘Yesil Vadi’ – I’m sure there is only one original one… I’m not exactly sure which one we went to, but we walked into three and this was the one we liked best! The best part about it is the swings hanging from the huge, shady trees. As you swing, you soar a few meters above the freezing cold flowing river below. I’m a big kid and love swings so this was very relaxing and the shade a welcome relief from the hot sun! On this particular day we had a go on two different swings, it was all going well until my foot slipped down the bank when trying to stop the swing and I fell in the freezing cold water, witnessed by a Turkish family and Berkay, who was stood on the bank laughing his head off at me! I was also laughing, even though it was highly embarrassing, and got out and tried to walk away pretending like nothing had happened, although my soaking wet, dripping denim shorts said otherwise…
Two weeks ago we rented a car for the 5th time this summer and went on another little adventure! (We have actually rented a car again since, I’m very behind with my posts!)
I’d seen a lot of people posting photos from a lovely looking place called ‘Yesil Vadi restaurant‘ in Yuvarlakçay near Köyceğiz. It has thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook so I was interested to see what the fuss was about! One thing that I was particularly looking forward to was the swing over the water that I’d seen people posing on.
We headed off and were driving for what seemed like forever. It took around 1.5 hours to get there, and the last stretch of the journey was the worst, going through winding, bumpy dirt track roads into a forest area. Eventually we came to a few sign posts directing us to different restaurants, the way the restaurants were all signposted, copying each others names and design and no real evidence as to which was the ‘original’ reminded me of the Yakapark area near Saklikent, with all the restaurants in close proximity and some being better than others… We followed the signpost and entry sign into ‘Yesil Vadi Yuvarlakçay restaurant’ and sat down at a table near the water – it looked pretty, but I wasn’t too impressed. The swing looked nothing like ones I’d seen people having fun on in photos. We asked for a menu and intended to eat lunch there, but after discussing the food with the staff, decided to go elsewhere. We got back in the car and drove to another signposted restaurant just a couple of minute’s drive away. Again we sat down at a table next to the water and asked for the menu, we were unimpressed and found it expensive so we got up and walked back to the car again. By this point we were bored of driving around wasting time and were very hungry, so we stopped at one final restaurant and stuck with it. I didn’t even look at the name as we were getting so stressed and bothered! Undoubtedly though, this was the best restaurant we had been to out of the 3 we visited in that short space of time. We chose a space, one of those traditional Turkish type seating areas where you remove your shoes, sit on a floor cushion and eat from a low table – I love eating this way even if it does give me pins and needles more often than not! We had a nice view and it was so relaxing listening to and watching the flow of water whilst sitting under the refreshing shade of the trees that surrounded us.
We ordered some lunch, Berkay had köfte (meatballs) and I had chicken saute – although it was unlike any other chicken saute I’d had before, but it was nice regardless. While we were eating I noticed some people having a lot of fun on a swing on the other side of the water and this got me very excited, this is what I’d been wanting to try all along!
After sitting for a while and watching, we crossed a bridge to the other side of the river and stood staring at the swing, trying to pluck up the courage to have a go. It looked terrifying, the swing was literally an old branch tied with roop and hooked over a strong tree branch above. As you swing, you soar a few meters above the freezing cold flowing river below. I was scared of falling in or that it wouldn’t hold my weight, so I made Berkay go first to test it. He sat down, walked backwards and swung out with a massive smile on his face. It looked so much fun, so I decided it was safe to give it a go myself and I absolutely loved it, even though I did let off a little scream the first time! I love swings anyway, I’m a big kid, I find it so relaxing, so swinging over this water surrounded by all the beautiful trees was amazing and great fun.
As we were heading back to the car we noticed another part of the restaurant, there was a large area of water away from the flow of the river, it was more like a pool, again totally surrounded by large beautiful trees. We noticed a family were playing on another swing, this time it looked stronger and ‘safer’, with a wider piece of wood to sit on. We stood watching for a while then the family went back to sit down and freed the swing up for us to use. I made Berkay go first again, and he made it look so much fun I thought I’d have another go too. The first few swings went well… until I tried to stop it. My foot slipped down the muddy bank and although my bum was half off the swing, I was still clinging onto the sides for dear life, obviously the swing didn’t stop so it swung out over the water again and I fell off. I could hear the family watching gasping before it happened, I think they were quite concerned… then it turned to giggles and laughter as I actually fell into the freezing water, Berkay was standing on the side in fits of giggles, all he thought to do was take photos of me! Thankfully I saw the funny side and luckily I had taken all my valuables out of my pockets, so I was also in fits of giggles, even though it was highly embarrassing. I got out and tried to walk away pretending like nothing had happened, although my soaking wet denim shorts dripping all the way back to the car proved otherwise…
We decided we’d had enough excitement for a while, and drove back towards Fethiye. We went to Hisaronu, as I’d heard via Facebook that one of the hotel’s with a waterpark attached was advertising free entry for the rest of the season, so we thought it’d be rude not to take advantage! We went to this waterpark back in June and had a great time, although it was very busy. This time it wasn’t busy at all and it seemed a lot different than before, there were no lifeguards and no staff supervising the slides which made me a little nervous, people tend to act like loons on unsupervised waterslides! Thankfully it wasn’t busy so there weren’t many nutters… apart from Berkay perhaps. This photo is of him WALKING down a waterslide because he got stuck, he literally had to walk from top to bottom, THREE times! I found it absoultely hilarious, while I had no issue sliding down on my bum at a good speed, there he was just taking a casual walk down it. Brilliant. We only stayed for an hour, but we had a good time, we’re thankful that some places do deals like this every so often as it means we get to go to places we wouldn’t usually because of how much they cost.
It was around 4pm at this point and we wanted to go for a BBQ so we went home to get our picnic things and also stopped by the hotel to pick up Boncuk! She hates being in cars, so it was quite an experience for her. She wouldn’t get in at first, she sat down outside the door and wouldn’t come inside, when she eventually did she kept trying to climb on my lap! I tried to explain to her that dogs are supposed to like sitting in cars with their heads out of the window and ears flapping in the wind, so she settled for having her two front paws on my knees and her head sticking out of the window (don’t worry, I had her lead her and was holding on tightly)… how worried does her little face look? Bless her!
We arrived at Aksazlar bay, parked the car and unpacked. Boncuk had never been on a BBQ picnic with us before so she was very confused! We hooked her lead under the foot of the bench so that she’d be safe. Normal dogs would sniff the ground, maybe lay down and have a sleep or dig a hole in the dirt right? Not Boncuk, nope, she climbed up onto the bench seat and would not get down. She wondered what on earth was going on and sat on the bench watching everything we were doing, wondering what smelt so good! I can’t believe how good she was, I thought she’d be barking and jumping around all over the place, but she was a very well behaved doggy, so she got some of our leftovers and chicken bones. We had chicken wings and our favourite aubergine salad, which I’ve previously written a recipe post for. Click HERE for that.
By the time we had finished it was starting to get dark, we packed up the car and decided to take the long way back to Fethiye by driving along the road along the cliff edge, going past Letoonia and overlooking the many bays below. Driving high up and so close to the cliff edge was terrifying, especially as it got darker as there are no street lights, but it offered brilliant views across to Fethiye and out to sea. We just missed the sunset but caught the sky at twilight, which looked stunning.
We’re so lucky that we’ve been able to rent a car so often this year, we borrow it from our friend and get a great deal, we pay 50tl a day and it runs on LPG rather than diesel or petrol so it’s very cheap to run. I love being able to explore a little and take photos of beautiful places – I took over 500 photos on this day alone!
We went to Fethiye today, mainly to pay the internet, electric and phone bills since it was pay day yesterday, but of course we took a few little detours.
First we went to Mercan Pastanesi, our favourite dessert place. They have amazing cakes, pastries and baklava. Today I went for the strawberry cheesecake and Berkay had baklava and icecream. So yummy!
Next, after paying bills, we went for a little wander along Fethiye harbour and through the ‘new’ square and park. It’s a year old now, where did that time go?!
Everytime we walk past, this sight never fails to amaze me. How it is safe or practical to live there I really have no idea, imagine sitting inside with a glass of drink or bowl of soup resting on the table.. it would all tip out, everything must be so crooked inside. The building has become more and more slanted over the years, I think it got significantly worse after last year’s earthquake too. It just sits wedged in by the surrounding apartments now, it’s only a matter of time though, I don’t think it’s safe at all.
Then we just carried on walking through the park, but stopped when we got to the playground as we had to catch the last bus that goes past our house at 18.30. It is beautiful with the fountains turned on and is really clean. I love the statues too.
Sometimes I wish I was a kid again so I could take full advantage !