Saturday, November 29, 2014

11/24/14 Day 312 Turkey: Fethiye & Kayaköy

Fethiye is the first city that felt like it wasn't built up solely for the tourist, locals actually live here as opposed to most places where all of the houses are up for accommodation of tourists. In the summer it swells as a takeoff point for many surrounding island and resorts, but in November it is perfect with 80 degree F temperatures and empty harborside bars. We take a gorgeous peninsula hike with views that we only have to share with the local fisherman. We spend four days drinking and dining with Mel our CS host who has traveled extensively in a time that we can not even imagine, a time before some of the more special places were still only word of mouth, still unknown to the "off the beaten track" guidebooks and the reward was the beauty of seeing a place and a culture unchanged by traveling tourists. Traveling to these cultures is such a fickle thing because selfishly we want to see these places and people and things, but every time we travel we degrade them a little bit more. She shared so many stories with us on her balcony overlooking Fethiye, high up on the hill where we watched the sun set. 

In the 1920's Ataturk Turkey's beloved first president ordered an ethnic changeover; for all Grecians living in Turkey to return to Greece and all Turkish living in Greece to return to the boundaries of Turkey. Kayaköy is a deserted village from when the dust settled after this turbulent time. It has since become an empty site lonely in the valley, next to a few sparsely populated farms nestled among the mandarin and pomegranate trees. From Kayaköy the hike takes 2 hours through the forest and down the hill towards the Oludeniz lagoon, a famous white strip of sand known for paragliding. We walked along the glorious turquoise waves plodding along the white pebbles dimpled into the sand and watched as four paragliders soared above us from the top of Babadog all the way down to the beach. Only halfway to our optimistic goal of reach butterfly valley we continue on and up the steep mountain carved roads. By the time we reached the top of the valley the sun was already low in the sky and it wouldn't be possible for us to make it all the way down and back up through the valley before the light completely escaped, so we enjoyed the view from above and followed a few of the last straggler butterflies of the season before we hitched our way back to Oludeniz for some beach time.  

Fethiye Harbor

Turkish coffee, muddy as can be, meant to be drank very slowly so that the ultra fine grounds can settle to the bottom, not to be consumed, also from the ground it is possible to take a fortune reading

Our hike in Fethiye

While relaxing on the balcony a huge storm rolled in, flooded the city, booming thunder and lightening
And then as if it had never happened the sky cleared but the streets continued to flow with water flowing pouring from the valley
Our host Mel
The abandoned Greek village of Kayaköy 

The view on the hike from Kayaköy

Oludeniz beach

Our view down into Butterfly Valley a gorgeous narrow strip of beach with boat access or a steep climb down as the only options
Mosques everywhere all the time even the smallest village usually has three or four
Oludeniz sunset
Our host Semih in Kayaköy on a beautiful small pomegranate orchard and Mischief his new kitten

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