Calis changes, dog walks & the canal..

On his day off Berkay likes to go walking through Calis.

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He took Boncuk with him and went for a long walk up a hill with a beautiful view from the top (click here to see my old post with photos of the view!) We used to take her for a walk everyday and more often than not ended up walking to the top of this hill, we always had it to ourselves which meant Boncuk could run free off the lead safely, with no cars, people or other animals nearby. She loves to sit up there and have cuddles, look down over Calis or just play fetch. It’s so peaceful there.
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On the way back to the hotel they stay in, they took the road that goes past our old apartment (the top floor)… This apartment is nothing special, in fact it was pretty poor, and only 350tl a month, the equivalent of around £100 (which was still half of Berkay’s entire income!) .. but it was ours. It still makes me sad imagining other people in our house, cooking in our kitchen, sleeping in our room, sitting on our balcony… I try not to think about it too much, because when I do it just upsets me.
Click here for an old post with more photos of inside the apartment.
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Anyway, after they got back to the hotel, Berkay left Boncuk and carried on walking to the investigate the new-look canal. I’ve mentioned in a previous post about the changes they are doing, but I really can’t believe how different it looks.
Here’s a photo of the canal (left) taken a year ago, and the new, wider, cleaner canal with no plants (right) taken last week, both photos taken in the exact same place.
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The changes they’re making are all for the better, it’s going to look like a different place when I go back!

Calis – a warm winter’s day.

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.
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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.
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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.
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One of the most beautiful things, are the winter Calis Beach sunsets. Berkay had a great view from his fishing spot, didn’t he?
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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?

Fethiye is beautiful..

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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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Amazing.

Walkies with a difference..

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We take our dog, Boncuk for walkies everyday, usually always in the same, boring place. Yesterday we had a little change up and found a place with a great view.

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She is still a pup and full of energy, so she needs to be let off the lead and have a run around everyday. Normally we walk through a field so we can ‘let her loose’ without the danger of cars, but today while chasing her ball she decided to run up a hill and stopped to look back at us as if to say ‘come this way’… Of course we followed her and we weren’t disappointed by the view at the top, Boncuk obviously knows best!

She has two favourite toys, a yellow ball and a rabbit-shaped rope. She decided to chew the latter while laying on my lap at the top of the hill, waiting for the sun to go down. I was covered in dog hairs, slobber and grass afterwards, but who cares, I won’t complain about doggy cuddles!
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Berkay & I had some fun with the camera too! Cheese.
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We sat at the top of the hill until sunset, it was rather beautiful! This is definitely going to be Boncuk’s new walkies route, it’s right opposite our house and there are no animals, cars or piles of rubbish for her to find, perfect.

Just another day in Fethiye..

Off we went to Fethiye again today, Berkay wanted his hair cut and we decided to stop off for chicken doner for lunch too!1238891_10152193543368776_90377668_n

4tl, bargain. Perfect with the chips in too. Probably not too healthy having half  a loaf of bread in one sitting but hey, who can resist when it tastes so good and is just as cheap, if not cheaper than cooking a meal at home?

We went for another walk around our favourite place in Fethiye again too. I love the fountains and the topiary in all shapes and sizes… all very pretty! Of course we had another little mini photo-shoot, I never go anywhere without my iPod camera! I LOVE my iPod.
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I like the clock tower too, it has the names of a few cities and shows the current times in each location, London, Moscow, Berlin and of course Turkey! The temperature read 39 oC , I’m not sure if that was the actual temperature or just in direct sunlight, but it certainly felt like 39 oC was a true representation, it was absolutely boiling! We resorted to walking around Migros for 10 minutes to use the aircon and cool down, that turned out to be a bad idea as we got distracted by the goodies and spent 35tl on some shopping.. Oops.
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The park was nearly empty, which meant we could have some fun taking silly photos without looking stupid.. but it’s sad that more tourists don’t come into the main town of Fethiye and see this place, they’re missing out.
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Cake, wonky buildings & parks..

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!
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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. 
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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.
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Sometimes I wish I was a kid again so I could take full advantage !

Sunrise..

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I am nocturnalOr a vampire.  I have adapted my boyfriend’s sleeping pattern (he works nights) and more often than not, I do not sleep until 8am, and wake up at around 3pm. People may say I’m lazy but I’m awake for the same amount of time as everyone else, I just prefer it to be at night. Cooler, quieter, more peaceful. (:
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Another perk is the beautiful views of the sun rising up behind the mountains I have from my balcony.
Every morning around 0530-0600 I go out onto my balcony and just sit and enjoy the view. It is beautiful. I can see mountains from miles away, ones that cannot normally be seen from my balcony during the day. Sitting watching the sun rise above them is just perfect. Not something I’ll be able to do back in the UK.
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Natural, calm beauty. What do you think?

Just a short little post today, a longer one coming tomorrow, I am determined to stick to my ‘blogging everyday’ promise.

Evim Güzel Evim…

When I tell people I live in a holiday resort in Turkey, I’m 99% sure they assume I live in fancy apartment with a pool, air-con and all the other luxuries. They couldn’t be more wrong.

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View from my house

We live on the 2nd floor of a typical Turkish building. Our landlord lives below us, and below him- his son, daughter in law and grandson. We live a good 20-30 minute walk from main Calis, and 10-15 mins to the nearest bus stop and corner shop.  I actually enjoy being further out and more in the countryside, I have lovely views, hardly ever hear a sound (unless it’s coming from an animal) and can wander around on my balcony without worrying scores of people are going to see me.

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The views from my balcony, I LOVE watching the sunrise behind the mountains in the mornings.

This is our living room, we never even use this room. In the two+ years we’ve lived here, we’ve only sat in it a handful of times. We did bring the balcony table in here last winter though, it was way too cold to eat outside! Note the lilo in the corner. Haha.

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Our bedroom. Fan, bed, chest of drawers. Teddies. What more do you really need?
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Spare bedroom. Also known as the ‘bed wardrobe’, it’s never normally as tidy as this, it has a tendency to get covered in clothes, hence the nickname. Note the slanted roof, I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve both hit our heads on that, d’oh!

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Kitchen. I’m sure these are the standard cupboards in Turkish houses.  I’m forever seeing photos of peoples kitchens and it’s always the same ones. This fridge is the most expensive and newest thing in the house. Funny story about that actually, when we first got it, all our Turkish neighbours invited themselves over to look at it, it was as if we’d had a baby and everyone wanted to get a peek. It was hilarious at the time, I’ve never known anyone get so excited over a fridge. Bless them!

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Balcony. We do enjoy our BBQ’s out here.

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Our bathroom is a tiny, cupboard sized wet room, tap and shower head opposite a toilet. We also have another toilet of the ‘hole in the floor’ variety.

We don’t have any luxuries, just the basics. No dishwasher, no tumble drier, no microwave, no electric hobs or oven (I do have a mini oven though), we don’t even have a TV (Thank God for laptops and internet!) Aircon is a luxury I only experience when we walk into a supermarket and we don’t have a pool. But what we do have is priceless. Lovely views, friendly neighbours, wildlife & animals everywhere and tons of fresh fruit and vegetable plants and trees in the garden. Pears, apples, grapes, lemons, peaches, plums, oranges, grapefruits, onions, potatoes, corn and pumpkin to name but a few.

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 Pears and grapes growing in our garden.

We practically live on a farm, surrounded by sheep, goats, chickens, horses, cows, camels..etc.

My landlord owns these chickens, sheep and goats. He sells the sheep during Bayram.

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Our house is nothing special, far from it, and we only rent. But it’s been our home for the past two and a half years and I love it. I can’t imagine anyone else cooking their dinner in our kitchen, eating their dinner on our balcony, sleeping in our room.

It’s going to break my heart to leave next month.