Fethiye - Turquoise Coast, Turkey
10.05.2012 - 11.05.2012 26 °C
The journey from Olympos to Fethiye is akin to a Great Ocean Road drive. The bus trips from Olympos to Kas and Kas to Fethiye snaked along the Turquoise Coast rewarding us with views of azure blue coves, snow-capped mountains and off-shore islands. It took almost 5 hours to cover the winding route of about 250kms but the views made the journey easy. On passing through Kas we regretted having bought tickets straight through the Fethiye as it looked like a very pretty little seaside town. We have put this on our ‘to do’ list for a return visit.
The interiors of smaller buses and taxis are often “blinged up” in some way with Turkish flags, religious iconography or charming stuffed toys. When the boys found themselves seated under a stuffed bear emblazoned with Best Friends on its chest we couldn’t help but laugh (and take photos for prosperity of course).
Fethiye is the largest place we have been in since leaving Istanbul. It was a bit of a shock at first. However, the place is fairly low key. A fishing and yachtie hub that seems to attract more than its share of English tourists (more about that in a separate entry!). Locals are often surprised that we are Australian rather than English and most prices are quoted to us in £ rather than TL or € which has been more common elsewhere.
One of the stand-outs in Fethiye was a meal at the fish markets. We were able to select our fish from the fishmongers, located in the centre of a large open courtyard, and then have it cooked for 6TL (about $3.50) at one of the many restaurants that ring the perimeter of the courtyard. Consequently, we had an absolute seafood feast the night we arrived.
On our second night here we went to the restaurant rated in Lonely Planet as the best seafood restaurant in Fethiye. We frocked up for the first time on our travels, ready for a night of refined dining. The meal itself was fabulous; again we could select our seafood and have it cooked to order. However the ambience was not quite what we were expecting. The restaurant was on the harbour and separated by a plastic café blind from a bar next door. A group of men in the bar next door had more than their share of beer and raki and their behaviour rapidly descended into loud debauchery. To provide you with a cultural reference I reckon they may have been on a buck’s night. Drunken singing, boozy games (including one that looked like strip poker!), semi-nudity, mooning and bare bottoms being slapped with big wooden bats were just some of the antics we witnessed – as did the families with young children quietly strolling the harbour on a Friday evening. All quite bizzare really!
We also witnessed The adventure of a trip to the berber (barber) when Brian decided it was time for a haircut. I had read that there was quite a ritual associated with a trip to the barber’s but this was something to behold. I have captured most of the steps in the photos I’ve uploaded. Briefly, the barber’s routine involved:
1. Singe of the head, face and neck with naked flames
2. Shave with a cut-throat razor
3. Trim of eyebrows, nose and ear hair
6. Head wash
7. Drying of facial orifices
8. Applying lotions and potions
9. Head, neck and upper body massage
Many of these steps were repeated more that once. There was also the liberal spraying of disinfectant and the demonstrative washing of sinks and implements at strategic points in the ritual. All up the routine took about an hour (I usually take about 5 mins to do Brian’s hair but obviously I need to add a few more steps to the process now!)
All in all, our trip has been full of many adventures so far that are providing lots of mirth and memories.