Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fethiye: seafood and a gorgeous gorge

Wednesday 10th August: Fethiye
After a final swim , snorkel and another great brakfast - french toast no less! - we sailed through seas like a mill pond to return to Fethiye. After bidding everyone a fond farewell - how many times do you kiss the cheek of a french person?? - we staggered back to the Hotel - the Yildirim Guesthouse - to shower, collect our luggage and generally prepare for an afetrnoon of getting to know Fethiye.
We noticed, with great delight on Ewan's part, and great horror on ours, that Fethiye too has a Citadel. There was the essential Turkish flag flying on top of a sheer cliff with some Crusader fort ruins for good measure. Great!! We did want to see the tombs that Fethiye is famous for, so after some negotiations, as follows, we headed upwards from the town. The negotiations included the phrases " Don't come if you're going to complain" and "If we don't get there don't be mean to us" as examples of the fine art of negotiation we have perfected this trip.
We were delighted to see that the tombs didn't really require a huge amount of climbing and they were in reasonable condition and very interesting. I have yet to understand the motivation to bury people in rock tombs in the sides of cliffs: maybe it's to minimise the chance of them being robbed. Who knows. These were dated at 350 BC so they've survived well.
In Lycian times ( 450 BC) the local heroes and wealthy nobleman were buried, much more conveniently, in huge stone sarcophagi, which are dotted around the town. They have been left in their original place and civilisation has occurred around them, even to the point of building roads around them..
A couple of sarcphagi in a park
One of the important eating experiences in Fethiye is eating seafood fresh from the sea and the best place is the fish market in the centre of town. Unlike our markets there is a a central market area with restaurants arranged around the outside. You buy the seafood you fancy and take it to one of the restaurants. For 6 Lira (about $3.60). the restaurant cooks the seafood, and provides wood-fired bread rolls, fresh green salad and garlic butter. We tried the calamari, sea bass and sea bream, all of which was very nice. There were some local cats wandering around and the vendors occaisionally tossed them a fish: they seemed very content.
There seems to be lots of poms here, and we had to laugh when a family arrived and the daughter ( about 12 years old) took one look and said "I don't like fish!" at which point the moher said" Smile for the photo and that's all there is!". Oh the joy of family travel!
Thursday 11th August: Fethiye
We decided we would be brave and head to a gorge outside Fethiye on one of the local minibuses or dolmus. We had investigated the location of the Otogar or bus park and managed to get aboard the right bus for the 45 minute trip. was supposed to take 45 minutes! It turned out to be a multipurpose bus - not only did it transport people waiting at the bus stop or at the side of the road, it also collected people from obscure little villages away from the highway and transported various other bits and pieces - a huge stack of tolet paper, car spare parts and one small boy! On the way back we stopped at a house in a village and a man came rushing out quickly buttoning up his fly and doing up his belt! There's a story there! Consequently it took more than one and a half hours each way instaed of 45 minutes, but fascinating trips they were..
Saklikent is famous for its narrow granite gorge which, at this time of the year, can be walked if you are happy to get wet to the top of your thighs as you wade through the river. Dressed in our best sandals and shorts we were prepared - especially with the assistance of a canyon guide - to make it through. The first section is a wooden walkway above the river which leads to some steps down into the rocky floor of the gorge and the fast-flowing river. The water isn't deep but we had to hold hands to avoid being swept away, and to try and keep the bags and camera dry. Once we were in the gorge we just walked for 1.5 kilometres in mostly ankle deep water over smooth granite rocks and stones.When we came to an impassable waterfall we turned around and walked back. It was very spectacular and in the sections where there were pools and large rocks, quite demanding.
To recuperate we had some gozleme ( filled pancakes) for lunch sitting at a restaurant which juts into the river: very relaxing.
After another long trip back - this time in wet shorts- we were relieved to get back and have a siesta before wandering around town and eventually having dinner.. The temperature was in the high 30's so it didn't take long for us to dry out fortunately.

Too many choices!
The turkish delight shop

Fabulous spices and peppers

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