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Published: March 31st 2020
Now that we made it to our destination for this season we decided to stay a few weeks to get familiar with the area as we get Tsamaya ready to leave for the winter season. After checking with the marina office one of the first things we needed to do was to find a place to buy a step ladder. This is not something that is usually on our list of things to get, but here we are finding that the dock is definitely a little farther down from our bow than other places we have been. We typically have a heavy plastic bucket (an old cat litter container which always makes us think about Sailor) that we fill with water, put the top on and use that as a step. We tried it, but still wasn’t tall enough for me to easily reach. Here I could get off the boat (not easily) but definitely couldn’t get on without an extra “boost” from Bob! Figured it would be worth the money to get a ladder to have more flexibility of getting on and off the boat so off we went to town.
It was a little bit of a challenge
to find one and definitely got us to check out many of the shops in town, but finally we found a small shop that had one we figured would fit the bill. When we got it back to the boat, we found it was the perfect size. Mission accomplished. We left it on the dock that night and the next morning I went to get off the boat to head up to the shower and to my surprise there was no ladder. Fortunately I looked down and the water was clear enough to see something shining in the water – yes, it fell in. Luckily our boat hook was long enough to grab it so we quickly put a line on the ladder and tied it to the bow so that doesn’t happen again. Another problem solved.
Those of you that have followed us know that we love checking out the local markets so when we found out that Fethiye’s is on Tuesday we made a point of heading there. It is a lovely walk from the marina which can take you along the waterfront or through the town to get there. When we first spotted the place we
could tell that it looked like it would be a good size market, but once we went inside we found it was even bigger than we imagined as it went back in many directions. You can get pretty much anything you wish for – everything from pocketbooks and shoes, blue jeans and shirts to watches and jewelry and household items as well. That doesn’t take into consideration the amazing selection of fruits and vegetables, cheeses, olives and oil, Turkish delight candy, spices and much more. If you want to have breakfast or lunch there are plenty of places where you can sit down and enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee or tea, pastry or the most commonly seen stuffed pancake called a gozleme. We found that one beverage that is very popular here is fresh squeezed pomegranate or orange juice (or as they highly recommend a combination of the two). Needless to say we came away from the market with very full bags so we are now well provisioned – just hope that we didn’t over buy and can eat it in a week’s time before our next Tuesday visit!
As we came into the Fethiye harbor we spotted
what looked like a temple on a hill behind the town so did more checking and found out that it was a place we could easily walk to. What are called the Rock Tombs were actually built by the Lycians back in the 4th
C. BC. They believed that the souls of the dead were transported by winged creatures; therefore building tombs high on cliffs was important for them. They built many of them to look like temples, but in fact they were tombs that held the dead so their souls could easily be taken. There are quite a few lining the cliffs here in Fethiye, but the one that we had seen earlier is known as the Tomb of Amyntas. It definitely appears at first glance to be a temple and has Ionian columns. What is unique is that all of the details on the door are carved from stone, but were made to appear as if they were the typical metalwork and woodwork found on doorways. We hiked up to it to take a closer look, with the plus of having wonderful views of Fethiye and the bay. Fortunately we picked a clear day for our hike up
here. Nearby there is a Fortress from the 11th
C. that had been rebuilt by the Knights of St. John from the time of the Crusaders, but we decided to save that for another day.
One day as we were walking in town, we passed by one of the main mosques and a gentleman working out in the garden told us that he could provide us with a tour. It was a bonus to have a chance to see the details of the mosque and learn about some of the renovations that had been done. There are a large number of mosques in town and we realize that their call to prayer are not quite synchronized so they are not quite all at the same time which makes it interesting!
We have enjoyed trying a few of the local foods while here. On our first day we went out to breakfast near the marina and ordered a “Turkish breakfast” and we were so impressed with the beautiful presentation complete with bread, cheese, olives, fresh vegetables and fruit. A food that is well known in numerous places is the kebab which shows up on many menus so had to
try that as well as the local doner (shaved meat and toppings on a pita) and a pide which appeared to us to be similar to a pizza with its own unique shape. With the abundance of fresh fruit we noticed that everywhere you turned you could get fresh squeezed orange juice, but here they also squeezed pomegranates as well. When we stopped to try a glass of juice we were informed that we really should try the two mixed together so took their recommendation. When we were at the market there were numerous food stalls that had tables to sit at. Most of these were selling what they called gozleme. Fortunately we were able to have a chance to watch these being made (and they were happy to have me take their photos). These are very thin “pancakes” that are stuffed with a variety of fillings with cheese and herbs being one of the most common filling. We can vouch for how good they are! We definitely will not go hungry here in Turkey with plenty of other foods that we haven’t had time to try yet. Of course, we do most of our cooking on the boat and
with the fresh market here on Tuesdays we treat ourselves with plenty of fresh produce, new cheeses to try and plenty of other treats to add to the options on board. There are a couple of grocery stores here as well that have plenty on offer from numerous items we have seen elsewhere due to the numerous ex-pats that live here but also some items that are more traditional for the region. Trying new foods as we travel is definitely part of the fun.
The fish market here is a large one and in many ways unique. Here the fish market is surrounded by restaurants so you can buy the fish from the market and then pick out one of the restaurants to cook the fish and get your sides from them. Quite an interesting way to do it and very popular indeed! In the evenings there are even musicians strolling around playing to the various tables. Quite an experience.
Yes, Fethiye is not immune from having McDonald’s, Burger King or Starbuck’s here! We definitely enjoy getting our food and beverages from the local restaurant and cafés but one day we did break down and stopped at Starbuck’s
A Clever Use for a 55 Gallon Drum!
didn't try though so not sure how comfortable it is
as Bob wanted to see if there were any differences. The big one was definitely the price – much lower here but that is the one and only time we will stop as we thoroughly love our Turkish tea and coffee (although we enjoy Tunisia coffee much more!) As a result am pretty sure we will be drinking more tea in Turkey!
We are really enjoying having access to the swimming pools here at the marina. There are a couple to choose from and even if you don’t want to get in the water to swim, they have lovely lounge chairs where you can sit and read. A nice change from sitting in the cockpit where you are sitting right on top of another boat. Bob decided one day to take the opportunity to test out the PFD (personal floatation device commonly called a life jacket). The indicator on it showed that it was still “in the green” but the date on it was a few years past prime so decided to try it out to be sure we are trusting our lives to something that would actually work if we ever needed it. We have a replacement cartridge
to charge it so Bob donned the PFD and jumped into the pool. It definitely surprised the people that were sitting around the pool with its “popping” sound as it opened up. Yes, thankfully it worked well – a good thing to know! It really has been a nice treat to be able to continue swimming into October. I can even say I swam on my birthday - October 22nd
The boats here are really packed in – we have been in close quarters in other marinas as well, but this one seems to take the prize as it was even difficult to get our fenders squeezed in between the boats. Fortunately with us going into the dock bow first and most others here going in stern first; at least when we sit in the cockpit there is a little bit of privacy from the people sitting in the boat next to you. It definitely works, but it definitely did surprise us a little when they motioned for us to head into this spot when we first arrived at the marina as it sure didn’t look like we would even fit in, but we did – guess they really
know how tight they can pack them in!
In planning our trip back to the US we found that we would need to do an overnight in Istanbul based on the connections. Fethiye is far enough from Istanbul that it is best to fly there so in talking it over we figured that as long as we were going to have to go into the city of Istanbul from the airport which is quite a distance from town we would make it a mini-vacation before flying back. We then had to decide when to do this. With both of our birthday’s being the last part of October we were able to work it out that my birthday would be in Fethiye and Bob’s in Istanbul.
We had eaten breakfast a couple of times at the restaurant at the marina but had not had dinner which we heard was quite good so figured that would be good for my birthday dinner. We noticed that there was going to be live music playing Latin guitar so that made the decision final! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal as well as the addition of music. Bob had mentioned to them that it
was my birthday so got a lovely birthday dessert as well which was served with flair – a huge sparkler (and I mean huge – the base of it was on the floor and it reached up over the table!) A great way to celebrate.
While we were busy sorting out what we wanted to take back to the US with us as we found out that a real bonus of flying back with Turkish Airlines was the ability to take 2 bags per person with no extra charge! With that knowledge we figured there would be things that would be useful back at the house in the US but not needed on the boat anymore. This gave us a chance to really dig deep into our storage areas and clear up some space. It also allowed us to figure out things that were still useful, but that we didn’t need in the US or on Tsamaya so fortunately found out a charity that would like these donations. Luckily for us they offered to pick up the items at the marina so we didn’t have to worry about transportation to donate. Definitely a win for us!
we decided to fly to Istanbul and stay a few days so will report on that trip in the next blog entry. We are very happy so far with what we have seen in Fethiye and looking forward to our return to explore more of Turkey as well.
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