Travelling Slower-ly in Fethiye
October 15-30 / Fethiye, Turkey
Because we are travelling for the better part of a year, we're trying the "slow travel" approach. That is, staying for longer in a few locations vs. rushing off to different destinations each night. That would just be two hard on the kids, and frankly, not a pace that we can keep up anymore.
Our longest stint so far has been two recent weeks in the seaside town of Fethiye, Turkey. We found a nice flat via Air BnB just north of town, this time with actual water in the pool, and only half a kilometre from the sea. The apartment had a kitchen so we could self-cater, and a full selection of Russian, Somaliland and Uzbeki TV channels, but no WIFI :-(
Fethiye is an odd place in that it draws a lot of tourists from the UK who come on packaged holidays or who own vacation flats (apartments) in the area. The annual British invasion has given rise to a plethora of Anglophile shops and restaurants: I have never seen the words "British" and "cuisine" together before, never mind sidewalk boards advertising Premier League football matches, Proper English Breakfasts, and "mushy peas".
But as the end of October marks the end of the tourist shoulder season, the shops and pubs were emptying out and our neighbourhood was starting to look decidedly lonely. On the plus side, we never needed a reservation for anything, and there was never a shortage of mushy peas.
We also enjoyed a visit from Trish's Dad, Frederick Wind, who flew down from Istanbul to visit us in Fethiye for a few days, before we drove up to Cappadocia together. (BTW: It has been great to have someone from home join us. Hint! Open invitation!).
But although we slowed down a bit by sleeping in the same place, we kept busy seeing the sites around Fethiye. This included:
swimming swam several times in the Aegean / Mediterranean Sea -- we're were never quite sure which it was, but it was often very, very blue);
renting bikes to tour around this odd little British colony of Çalis Beach;
visiting the Lycian tombs up the hill behind Fethiye and the Lycian ruins at Xanthos, Letton and Patara -- the Lycians were forerunners of the Greeks who had a nasty habit of committing mass suicide when cornered by invading armies, but they also organized what is recognized as the first democratic government;
sea kayaking from Olüdeniz Bay to Butterfly Valley with Dean, our guide Seven Capes, who heroically retrieved our #thataway flag;
visiting the former Greek / Christian community of Kayakôy, the town that was abandoned during the euphemistically named "population exchange" between Turkey and Greece. Kayaköy also provided the setting for Louis des Bernières' novel, Birds Without Wings, a novel that has helped me make sense of a few things we've seen here;
hiking 6 km along an old, old trail from Kayakôy over the headland to Olüdeniz;
visiting a sea turtle rescue sanctuary;
meeting with the cousin-of-the-father-of-the-minister-of-Zoe's-godfather who runs a yacht leasing company in Goçek;
listening to some live, traditional music at a nearby restaurant in a large open air tent;
para-gliding (me) from the Babadug mountain, some 1960 metres down to the sea at Olüdeniz Beach-- very cool!
visiting the Sunday farmers market in Çalis;
checking out a Turkish delight factory outlet store;
tromping through two canyons / gorges a few clicks from here;
watching a few Premier League football games at the local British pubs.
We also celebrated Hallow'een a bit early since we were going to be on road on the 31st. As far as we coudl tell, Hallow'een is not celebrated in Turkey, but we carved up two pumpkins that we bought at the local market and the kids, Trish and Fred all dressed up as Greek heroes and gods/goddesses, complete with togas and olive-leaf laurels. The kids then dutifully trick or treated to our door -- we are only one of two apartments with occupants still here b -- and she gave them chips, a chocolate bar and some tahini (sesame) halva. Not a really big haul of candy by Canadian standards, but the kids were really good sports about it.
Of course, two weeks in one place also produced a lot of photos. But instead of deluging you on this page, you can click on the icons below to view each gallery: