Turkey week 2

I am writing this post from Winterthur, our one day stop on the trip back to Canada.  So this is it.  The last post from an amazing eight and a half months in Europe.  Enjoy and Claire and I will see you all soon!

We just finished one week in the south of Turkey in the town Fethiye.  Our family friends Tom and Robyn have a place in the city and invited us to stay there.  This was actually one of the deciding factors for our trip to Turkey.  Being surrounded in Europe by places that we have never been, having a location with a home base and a good recommendation went a long way.

The bus trip from Marmaris to Fethiye was a painless 3 hour trip.  We arrived and were picked up by the Tom and Robyn’s caretaker – a real privilege for us hard-line budget travelers!  She drove us through town, pointing out destinations that would be important, like the fish market, minibus station and restaurant district.  We arrived at the apartment and as we walked in the door, my jaw dropped at what a wonderful place we had been offered.  After a week of hostels (and 8 months in a shared apartment) we had a place to ourselves, with a large, fully equipped kitchen and wrap around deck that overlooked the town of Fethiye, the bay and the mountains behind.

p6070374.JPG Claire on the deck looking north at the cloud shrouded mountains.

Fethiye was far more to our liking than Marmaris.  Marmaris was a rich town, with very little in the way of authentic feel left.  It was glitz and glamour and most of the tourists looked like they arrived by yacht.  Fethiye on the other hand had a much more down to earth feel.  While it is still very touristy, but it didn’t have the 25 m all wooden yachts lined one after the other, and most restaurants didn’t have food at 30 lira a plate (as a comparison, the normal kebab price is 3 lira).

p6100427.JPG Seth wearing an “authentic” shepherds hat.  I don’t know how you could watch a flock through this thing!
p6100412.JPG An improvised dock at the ship yard.  Three sunken boats tied together.
p6080383.JPG A really cool natural sculpture from eight small trees.

Fethiye hosts a market every Tuesday and Friday.  The Tuesday market is veggies and “stuff” (like knockoff purses, t-shirts, etc) and the Friday one is just veggies.  We walked through the Tuesday market and found the the majority of the ‘stuff’ to be very, well, kind of crappy.  Many of the prices were marked in British Pounds, and as a result were way too high.  On top of that, it looked like it was all made in China.  Needless to say we bought nothing.  The veggie part of the market is another thing entirely.

Turkey has some of the most wonderful and delicious fruits and vegetables that I have had in a very long time.  Claire and I splurged and spent 25 Lyra and ended up with more as much food as we could carry.  Eggplant, peppers, onions, potatoes, peaches, strawberries, fresh figs, tomatoes, cucumbers, the list goes on, but it was all local and some would have been hard to find in North America at all.

p6080379.JPG A view of about 1% of the veggie market.  Yum, yum!

We had only a couple days where we did anything of note (I love holiday), but one of them was a “12 Islands Boat Tour”.  We booked with a company called Popeye and took the Olive Oyl to three of the islands and steamed passed the other nine.  The boat was 28 Brits, two Turks, and us.  We spent the day just messing around in confined quarters, sunbathing, and swimming.  Overall it was quite pleasant, with a tasty lunch and friendly staff.

p6090394.JPG Claire standing at the bow of the Olive Oyl.
p6090400.JPG The ice cream man makes his round of the yachts.
p6090396.JPG One of the sailors on our boat prepares lunch on the on-board bbq.

The other thing that we did that is worth mentioning was a hike along the Lycian Way.  This is a multi-leg, multi-day trip along the southern coast of Turkey and is the first trail of its kind here.  We did a pretty short section from Faralya to Kabak Valley.  It was a three hour hike and that seemed like plenty in the nearly 30 deg temperatures.  The landscape alternated between pine forest and open, terraced farm land, that was at this time of year dry and unused.  The views along the coast and down into the amazing Butterfly Valley were breathtaking.  The gem of the hike though was the end.  We arrived at Kabak Valley and expected to find another tourist beach, but what we found instead was closer to a secluded hippie commune.  There were about 15 people at the beach with 4 rustic sun huts that were free to use setup along the sand (compare to previous post).  It was deep in a valley and not a single person offered to sell us anything while we were there.  This was the Turkey that Claire and I had hoped to find.

p6100418.JPG What are you hiding under here?
p6120440.JPG Claire standing over Butterfly Valley.

Parting shot of Turkey
p6120452.JPG Claire resting from the sun in Kabak Valley.

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