Day six is now underway on our Topdeck Turkey Explored Tour and this morning we leave the city of Konya after spending one night here and make our way to the seaside town of Fethiye for the next two nights.
12 September, 2013 – Konya to Fethiye
Today we are in for a long drive day on the bus as we depart the city of Konya and head south west towards the picturesque Mediterranean coastline and the town of Fethiye. Fethiye is a town of contrast from where we have just come from being very bold and in your face for a Turkish town and not as conservative, but more on that later.
Ahead of us today is a long drive day, non stop the journey would take over eight hours but luckily for us we have a couple of breaks along the way and have a relaxing late lunch stop at the picturesque Saklikent Gorge, 50 kilometres outside of Fethiye. Before our arrival at the gorge we are given the option to go tubing down the fast flowing river that slices its way through the gorge, about half of the group opted to do this while the other half chose to either go on a walk of the gorge or to just simply chill out by the side of the freezing cold spring fed river.
Once we arrived we were taken down to the river bank where we sat down to have lunch by the water’s edge. The water is quite cold but in a refreshing way, we all ordered what we wanted and took in the surroundings and were able to have a bit of a laugh at the stray puppy dogs running around looking for food. Once we were done those who wanted to go tubing went off to get ready while the rest of us were free to do what we wanted until our departure time.
The canyon itself is massive, it is a total of 18 kilometres long so we were advised not to venture too far away. For a small entry fee you can take the boardwalk around sections of the canyon and this will also include getting your feet wet by walking in the river, so don’t wear your good shoes, but don’t wear your thongs (flip flops) unless you’re confident walking in water with them. The number of thongs that we saw floating down the river was quite amusing, the flow of the water is quite fast so once you lose it, it’s gone forever.
Our journey then continued on to our accommodation for the next two nights which was quite a nice change from what we were used to so far on this trip. We stayed at the Sea Breeze Hotel which was more like a small resort up in the hills overlooking Fethiye with the ocean in the distance. It does;t look like just anyone can book to stay at this place as I cannot find a listing online for it other than the Sea Breeze Hotel Apartments which is not where we stayed. On the map below I have referenced where it is located, I could only fid it by using satellite view on Google Maps identifying the layout of the large swimming pool.
At this point it was also a great opportunity to get some laundry done, at 10 Lira for a bag of washing everyone jumped at the opportunity to have that done straight away. Then after a long day of travelling tonight was a pretty laid back affair with a number of people taking advantage of the the swimming pool playing volley ball. Dinner was at the hotel tonight with most people just sticking around in the bar or heading off to bed for an early night.
Tomorrow morning some people have opted in for the optional extra activity of paragliding which starts early in the morning up in the hills overlooking the town and ending on the beach. I however have elected to sleep in and use this time by the sea to relax.
13 September, 2013 – Fethiye
This morning some people opted to wake up early to get in an early morning paraglide as part of the optional activities on offer. I on the other hand, opted to sleep in and have breakfast by the hotel pool whilst watching the paragliders in the distance, which was quite relaxing. Once the people who went paragliding returned they shared their experiences with everyone, they all had a ball and recommended it for everyone to do one day.
Today we have the option to take up another optional extra which everyone has elected to do, we will spend the whole day out on a boat which will take us around the very scenic and picturesque coast around Fethiye for a day of swimming, eating, drinking and lazying about on the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Once we had all finished breakfast we all boarded the bus to be taken on the short drive down to the beach where our captain for the day was waiting for us. We were taken along the beach to where our boat for the day was waiting for us along with the many other boats that would be heading out today full of tourists.
The journey took us out of the bay and around the corner to a nice secluded inlet where the boat stopped and everyone jumped off the side of the boat into the crystal clear waters below. On board the boat while we were swimming our lunch was sizzling away being prepared while a man on a small dingy drove around from cove to cove to all the different boats trying to sell ice cream, he clearly had the market cornered.
Continuing our lazy afternoon on the sea we stopped off at another two places where we were able to jump in and have a swim, one of the stops included a spot where a warm water spring fed into the ocean which felt kind of weird. With each stop the ice cream man kept making his appearance making an absolute killing with his freezer on the back of his little dingy.
On arrival at the beach where our day started we said goodbye to the captain and jumped back on the bus to make our way back to the hotel. Tonight we have a free night to explore the town of Fethiye, it does seem odd that this is our second and last night here and we haven’t seen the town yet, but now that we are about to it will be a real eye opener.
When we arrived in the town we were free to do what we liked, most of the group opted to have dinner together as a large group, joining our tour leader at a Italian/Indian Restaurant. Try and find another place that has a restaurant with those two combinations under one roof… The town itself is well… a little weird in that all shops, restaurants, bars, banks or any shop in the main stretch are covered in neon lights with music pumping loud, trying to catch your attention. There is even a small theme park in the main street of town and an Irish Pub covered in neon lights which looks nothing at all like an Irish Pub, but it said Irish Pub so that’s what it was…
The most hilarious part of this whole town is the fact that it is trying to cater to British tourists right down to the point of having everything priced in British Pounds despite the official currency being the Turkish Lira and the unofficial currency being the Euro. Furthermore, shop names based on famous British institutions were ripped off, for example “Harrods Turkish Style”.
While looking around the town was quite an eye opener and quite amusing at the same time, most of us were a bit overwhelmed by it all and took the bus back to the hotel at the pre arranged time. A small group of other people in the group wanted to stay behind and dance the night away, they were able to catch a taxi back to the hotel opting to do that.
Tomorrow morning our journey continues onto the port town of Kusadasi, along the way we will stop off at the heritage listed Pamukkale full of history and stunning views.