A Travellerspoint blog

Fun in Fethiye

July 27 - August 1, 2013

Sharon and I ate our breakfast. The employers at the panyison were so nice enough to serve the breakfast on the table while we were still in our "bed" Actually, we have been sleeping up in an open air roof terrance for 15 TL each because they told us that rooms were full. That was fine with us because we were able to see the beautiful view of sail boat harbors and sunset or sunrising.Ha! It feel like it's fancy in-room service.We did not expect to have like that way in the morning.

We decided that we would do for the day:

1. Shopping to check the prices for ferry tickets to Rhode Islands.

Result: We did researched and found out that it was 50 euro each. Ok. We kept in our mind to figure out. I had an instinct feeling that we could find for 40 euro with no problem by find an evidence on line or something like that. Maybe discount for disability? Nope, no discount for disability. So, we decided to worry about it later on.

2. Walk through the town to see the museum of Lyican way.

Result: The museum was quite small and simple with all amazing archeologies regarding to all stones, and artifacts. I was amazed how the archeologist people actually found all those artifiacts with careful and calculate when those items existed during 200 BC or 500 BC or 3 AD. Plus, I was amazed how the artificats actually still existed for over the thousand of years. Wow! Some potteries were so detailed and purposeful such as use for olive oil that functions so well, some particular sauces, food on the plates, etc... Scupltures of human was an amazing! Sharon had a favorite artificat,which was a column with three scriptures that are based on evolution of Hebrew, Greek, and Lyican language. Especially with Hebrew,specifically, because there were combination of Hebrew, Arabic, and some other languages, I suspect. The two different rooms had an automatic lights that we had to stand under the "invisible electric" to let the light get on. Interesting... Oh, Sharon showed me the map of Lyican path,which she explained to me how the lady from 1980s explored throughout Turkey and figure out where the Lyican group actually lived back then with all amazing ruins and customs. Oh!!! The coins behind the glass display in the museum was an amazing! Forgive me if I am repeating the word- "amazing". The coins did actually existed way way before Jesus was born!

3. Get us a lunch to eat before we use our engery to shop for Sharon's shits.

Result: We walked from the museum in the heat of sun! Too hot to walk around on the street under the sun. We walked to find a place to eat because we were hungry, duh. We found a local and the menu look interesting. So, we decided to split by ordering one dish of soup, rice, and salad for 6 TL. We enjoyed ourselves and the meal was good. Not my favorite dish, though. The soup was filled with beans and liquid-probably will get some stinky shit in the bathroom later in the day. Rice was good and salad had no flavor, but just squeeze some lemon juice into the salad. The muslim lady came out and say- do you want some more soup. We were like- sure and thought it was courtesty and couldn't decline her offer. I gave her the 10 TL and wanted 4 TL back and noticed it was only 3 TL. Sharon thought it was nothing and I basically explained to her that it is not about money. It is about courtesty with sincere honest regarding to business. They did not tell us- ok.. refill the soup would cost you 1 TL without taking advantage of us just because we are white touristy people.

It was similar story that I experienced back in Sapa, Vietnam where I had 1 dollar to buy two lemon popsicle that cost me and Jared 50 cents because I saw the tour guide only paid for 25 cents and I said please give us 50 cents back because we are just same as the tour guide. The tour guide was impressed with me by standing up for "humanistic equality" not just because we may appear to be one of the stupid sympathy white/western touristy people

Afterward, we went to the grocery store to look for ice cream, but we decided to get frozen yogurt. Sharon, definitely, have no self control at all when it comes to sweet tooth. We walked to check the Val's cocktail bar and was not impressed with the bar like it mentioned in the lonely planet's book. I am clean snob when it comes to "tropical" bar and Sharon is snob when it comes to intellectual regarding to books. However, she did asked Val if she knew anyone who are leaving Fethiye via sailing to greece islands. Nope! Hard to find right people because it have to be done by advance of the time. Oh well..

4. Go to bazaar and help Sharon to bargain for a best deal.

Result: Sharon and I search for the bazaar (tuesday bazaar market). We noticed some people were carry black plastic bag or white plastic bag and we were saying- ants walking all ovr with bags that mean it is coming from the "queen store". So, we followed the trail to get into the bazaar market. She was ready to find a good deal. We walked around and there were full of shitty clothes that I usually would find at Kmart or target or white trash area store for a dollar in usa. Sharon got excited by seeing few touristy souveniors on the table for her friends. She checked the price then left to look for some more souveniors at different places. We walked around and found a booth with scarves for her friends and I tried to negogate and it didn't work out. We were not that crazy for the choices of scarf colors,really. I negogated for 30 TL, but the man wanted 35 TL. So, we walked away and went back to the spoon rester booth and I helped her by negogate to get two spoon rester and one nice plate. Sharon was a happy camper and her mood was shifted from annoyed with me to nice/sweetest mood. While we walked around a bit to look for another scarf booth and the prices were not what we were looking for. So, we kept looking and I suggested her to change her mind by check the towel with beautiful colors. So, I helped her by negogate for towels. I wished that I did get one more towel, but we didn't have enough money. Oh well. Sharon was much happier camper! Good to go! I was kinda of exhausted by using my energy to negogate and get what Sharon wanted.

5. We went to explore some ruins.

Result: we did achieve by walking through the town and see the beautiful column with triangle on the top. Amazing! Long time ago where the civilians were brilliant to shape it up with just few things without any high technology to begin with! Wow! The place was for tombs where people (I don't know what kind of people died and bury in the tomb?). Really neat-o! I was really disappointed by how people in the town would not clean up the graffi that were sprayed on the tombs! Annoying!

7. We walked back to our panysion to relax a bit. Then we went out to grab some food for dinner.

Result: We went out of panysion and walked to find a place to eat and we did find a place to eat. When we walked and decided to stop at the cafe next to v-go (stupid tour agency) to have a nice milkshake to share. We ended up chatting with the Turkish man, who spoke English pretty well. He was nice enough by taking a pen and paper to write to us. Until Sharon opened her mouth and found out that she was capable to speak. We were talking with him how we couldn't find a cheaper deal to catch ferry from Fethiye to Rhodes Island, Greece. Suddenly, he was more than happy to help us out by taking his phone out and called his high school friend to give him a good deal. We got 40 euro ticket for one way (80 euro all total). All good to go! Yay! Perfect because I KNEW we were capable to get a cheap deal rather than pay 50 euro each. However, we were able to enjoy our milkshake, but the Turkish guy made another milkshake on him. Really nice of him! I told him that I never tried Turkish coffee in turkey yet! He said- come over tomorrow. We said sure! We will do that! Sound like a plan!

8.Great ending for us to go to our "roof with window" to sleep before we buy the ticket in the next day, but the ferry was not avaiable tomorrow and it was available on Thursday. Ok! All good to go!

Posted by sbw2109 02:10 Comments (0)

Kizkalesi and Olympos

July 31, 2013

This entry will be kind of a mixed bag since we have gotten behind on our updates. We last left off in Ayas after our surprise Ramadan dinner. We stayed there for two nights, then moved a few kilometers west to the town of Kizkalesi. A few impressions from that time:

- German was vastly more useful than English in communicating with people. I have to thank my father once again for his suggestion that I start German in third grade - good move, dad.

- We seemed to be in an area that was popular with Turkish tourists. They flock to the pretty blue beaches in the summer, and the whole waterfront area seems to consist of little pansiyons. Our room in Kizalesi was about 23 steps from the beach. It was a little dark (I am picky about windows and like lots of natural light) and musty-smelling. But it had a fridge where we kept water and fruit, a laboring but ultimately effective enough air conditioner, and it was about $22/night. It had a little balcony area with a view of colorful umbrellas dotting the beach, families playing in the water, and a little restaurant where you can get "gozleme" (Turkish crepes rolled out right in front of you on order) for a couple dollars. Minarets dot the landscape and prayers ring out from loudspeakers several times a day, making this little Turkish beach town distinct from one in Thailand or Tahiti or whate-have-you.

- There are fewer Turkish tourists at this particular time because it is Ramadan. We learned during our 'surprise dinner' that religious Muslims do not swim during Ramadan because they might accidentally swallow some water, breaking their fast. So, beach holiday, no good. Which means more vacancy and lower rates for us - there are some advantages to traveling at this time.

- This part of the world is literally littered with ruins. One morning we visited the ancient Roman city of Elaiussa-Sebaste, nearly 2000 years old. My favorite part was a marine-themed mosaic on the floor of the agora, though a close second was the amphitheater that held an estimated 2300 people. And just generally, the white stone of the ruins amid the taupe sand and green foliage, set against turquoise waters and bright blue sky, made for a very pretty picture.

- Another morning we got ourselves down to the town of Narlikuyu (through means which shall remain unspecified) and up the hill to some impressive caves and geological formations. The Astim cave, supposedly able to cure people suffering of asthma, was a veritable underground ballroom of stalagmites and stalactites, and vaulted ceilings blossoming where least expected. The side by side Heaven and Hell caves are a few minutes walk away and equally impressive. The Gorge of Hell (note that the Turkish word for hell, Gehennem, closely resembles Hebrew), where Zeus supposedly threw the hundred-headed monster Typhon after defeating him, in battle, is a frightening stab of nothing gouged deeply out of the earth. The Chasm of Heaven is a more graceful but just as deep abyss where you can descend via a couple hundred steps down to a serene 5th century basilica near its base. If you were to venture even further, it supposedly connects to an underground river that leads to the River Styx.

- Our last morning in Kizkalesi we wandered the ruins of the Korykos castle. White stone archways framed baby blue skies and sparkling aquamarine waters, grass and dusty-dark-green foliage grew among fallen stones and columns. Then we swam out to a castle that seems to float on the water just offshore (used to be connected by a land bridge) with a beautiful mosaic in the central courtyard and towers you could climb for sweeping coastline views.

Next we decided to head to Olympos. About Olympos...

Every travel destination has its backpacker-friendly zones:the places where Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Australians, etc., congregate for a hassle-free fun time. Corresponding services -- cheap lodging, overpriced foreign-themed Western-friendly food, booze, and idiot-proof tour packages -- spring up to satisfy demand. In Asia these are known as "banana pancake" places because of the omnipresent food carts selling the (admittedly delicious-to-the-point-of addiction) banana-filled Asian style crepes to hungry and/or hung over tourists. I was kind of expecting that vibe in Ayas and Kizkalesi, but pleasantly surprsed to find those places quite free of Western tourists (I know, call me a self-hating tourist). Still, it left me wondering -- where ARE they all?

We arrived in Olympos at night. Our car left the main highway on a road curving down into the valley, fragrant pine forest rising deeply on either side, full moon luminescent overhead. After several kilometers of darkness we re-entered civilization in the form of -- as best I could tell at night, though I was pretty sure of what I was seeing -- a full-blown backpacker-ville. In the morning I woke up early (by accident) and was curious to see where we had landed. Bayram's Tree House, our hostel, is a large complex of tightly-sited cabins shaded by leafy green fruit trees. I took a walk down to the entrance of the Olympos ruins. Along the way I saw a proliferation of not-yet-open cafes with English signs offering among other things... banana Gozleme.

Mystery solved: Olympos is where the Westerners hang out. I KNEW they were coming to Turkey, and was puzzled not to find them in our last few stops. I felt some kind of queer and amusing satisfaction at having found the Khao San Road (Bangkok) or Tad Lo (Laos) equivalent in Turkey. Of course my knee-jerk reflex was to get out of the place just as soon as we arrived. But that is a different issue, owing, i guess to my stubborn nature.

We stayed a couple days in Olympos, which is (almost) pretty enough to make up for how touristy it has become. Bluest waters I've ever swam in. Cool old ruins. If it costs $20 to buy sunblock... so it goes.

Posted by sbw2109 22:25 Comments (0)

Getting ready to get out of touristy trap net!

July 31, 2013

While we were in Olympus, I did not feel right vibe even though I was surrounded with many people, who speak in English fluently. I ended up being a bit weird mood and could not figure out why....

Now, I know why I did not feel so relaxed and enjoyable in Olympos (Bayram's panyison because I knew we could have find a better rate to stay at) except being at the beach! The panyison where we stayed was too expensive for what we paid to stay at a shitty dorm. Come on... Plus, it was too TOURISTY and I did not like Sharon's "friend" that she chatted with from night before because he was really nice and say I have a friend,which means business!!! Tried to convince us to buy tickets for sailing from KAS to Fiethye for 120 USD for 2 nights. Hell no. We calcuated and told him that we spend 20 TL for our meals per day and panysion for 50-60 TL per night. So, we were willing to pay like 40-50 USD per day,which is reasonable. He came up and tried to talk with me to agree with him. NOPE! I was in a bad and quiet mood after looking at his smirky appearance. I was ready to throw some smart-ass remarks, but did not bother to do that. :)

We had breakfast and stole more food for our lunch. I know that we sorta of broke the "10 commandment" by just simply take breads, jams, and chocolate spread in our backpack while it was lying on the table. Why not save some instead of the panyison throw the food in the trash? Maybe we sound like we are becoming like two old Jewish women that usually steal sweet and low sugar packet or collect all slice lemons in many napkins. That is what I remembered when I grew up and watch some old Jewish grandmothers does that! *guilty look* heh....We packed and got ready to leave for the bus, but had to wait for another an hour to chill out. Finally, we got on the bus to up in the mountain and switch to another bus to get to Kas.

When we arrived in Kas and it was beautiful and nice atomsphere. We walked out of the bus station and found a place to hide from the sun. Sharon and I were discussing and trying to figure out where we can find a good deal for sailing from Kas to Feithye. She hunted for sailing boat with package and I hunted for hostels. We came back at the nice restaurant, which the owner let us to dump our backpack becuase it was too heavy to shelp to different places. However, I found a hostel (dorm) for 40 TL for both of us. The bunk was piece of shit becuase there were no bed supports and piece of shit. Fan was ok... window was ok... Sharon accepted the fact there's window and I accept there's fan and only us to use the bathroom. Ok for a night. She did not find a good deal from different boats. We met up at the restaurant and sit down and agreed that we would stay in Kas for a night then figure out in the next day. She feel that she have learned a lot by negogate in French, German and English. Cool for her! I, basically, used gesture though. However, we sat and chilled out a bit then we met an old wales couple. Really nice and independent couples. They travelled a lot and telling us how it's their first time to leave their house for 5 months and rent to people that help them to cover the bills. Cool ideas! They save money by not spend a lot of $ on things and use 2nd hands. Good ideas and it makes me really think that theres anything is possible to make life to happen by travel more. They told us few information about Greece islands and it was not the same from 20 years ago compare to this day. Interesting. Also, they told us that Patara have a longest beach, but seclude as well. We were thinking about going there.

After having a nice conversation with them. We left and dumped our backpack in the dorm then went to eat at 2000 restaurant for 8 TL. Really cheap and good deal to eat the amazing moussaka and salad too. So good! Yum! Afterward, we walked into the bazaar area for a bit, which Sharon was not into it and was tired too. So, we went to our dorm and got ready to go bed. It was sooo hilarious to watch how Sharon was trying to make herself feel comfortable in her own shitty bed! Ha ha! I slept just fine, but the room smelt so bad!!!

A small note- the boats look beautiful, but we didn't know there were a lot of boats from other side of the Kas. Argh!Oh well! We were hoping to hitch and jump on the boat with new friends. We will see...

Posted by sbw2109 03:09 Comments (0)

Surprise Ramadan in Ayas

July 20, 2013

Heather and I took our leave from Cappadoccia via a five hour bus ride down to the large, sprawling coastal city of Mersin. On the bus, I picked a little dot called on the map called "Erdemli" that Lonely Planet had apparently not considered important enough to be elaborated with a description and list of accomodations. From Mersin we caught a smaller bus to Erdemli, and after another hour found ourselves standing on the side of the road with no concrete plans. I asked a kind-looking young woman where to find a 'pensiyon.' She respnded in Turkish, of which I caught about two words. I stood there looking confused (I was); she went talk with a minibus driver who spoke about 5 words of English. A muddle of talking and gesturing ensued. Heather, seated on a nearby bench with our backpacks, gave me a raised eyebrow as if to say, "Do you have any idea what you're doing?" I shrugged.

In the end we went with him because he said he could show to a house near the beach for 30 Lira per night. He proceeded to show us to a small house near the beach... that seemed like his. At this point Heather let me know in no uncertain terms she did not feel comfortable staying in a house that belonged to a strange man, and what if he came in at night with a second key? I concurred, but was not sure how to communicate that to our would-be host. Next thing I knew, he was handing me the phone to talk with someone, who spoke English. It turned out to be his aunt. I explained to her that we are two women traveling alone and cannot stay with a man, figuring a woman in this culture would certainly understand that. I passed the phone back to him so she could convey the message. He listened and nodded and was not upset with us. But that still did not solve the problem of where to stay.

Next thing we know, a car pulls up with a couple in front and two little girls in back. The woman is the very aunt I just spoke with. She and her husband say they can take us to a hotel. It will be slightly more expensive, but we are willing to pay for something a little less sketchy. We pile into the back seat with their girls. On the short ride to the seaside hotel (which is owned by the man's sister), they invite us to join them for dinner - it is almost time to break the Ramadan fast. Umm... Yes.

We arrive to the man's older brother's house where a long table is set up outside. There are perhaps 15 extended family members and 15 pounds of food. Chicken soup that tastes like home. Rice with shredded chicken that tasts of butter in the best possible way. Vegetables stuffed with a tangy rice mixture. Lamb moussaka which, upon first taste, my and Heather's eyes almost pop out of our head because it so savory-good. (And all the while I am pointing and trying to learn Turkish words corresponding to various items on offer-- eggplant / patlijan, onion / sogan, pepper / biber...) We communicate in a mixture of broken English, German (the older brother knows some), Spanish/Italian (a cousin has studied in an Erasmus program in Italy), and gesture (Heather's unrivaled specialty).

At the beginning of the day we had no idea where we would end up, and my only real goal was to get OFF the Lonely Planet map. At the end of the day, after a scrumptious meal with a big warm Turkish family followed by a large tray of fruit (think melt-in-your-mouth, in-season, just bursting with delectible flavor) and of course the omnipresent tea ("chay"), we install ourselves in a hotel room with a balcony overlooking the ocean for just under 30 USD per night. I think the town is called "Ayash," but it is not even a dot on the map we have. The beach adjacent to our hotel has Turkish tourists, Turkish food stands, and no real hint of Western world infiltration. I would call this a success.

Posted by sbw2109 10:20 Comments (0)

Lazy day turn into Deaf Standard Time...Oy...

July 19, 2013

Lazy day... eh... Basically doing our own things such as catching up with our own journal, napping, wandering around the town until 9 pm....That's when we agreed to meet the Deaf guy from the night before so he could introduce us to another Deaf man.

We left to find a small nosh before we saw the Deaf guy. We saw the Deaf guy. He was so happy to see us because he was not sure if we were keeping our words. So, we did! We met him nearby the cafe where the bench was next to. We walked up to a place where people rent the motorcycles, ATV, and more. We waited for a while until another Deaf Turkish guy came up. The #2 Deaf Turk guy came up and seems really nice. His signing was really clear and simple while other Deaf guy's sign language was sloppy, excited, and fast talking with many information at once! #2 Deaf guy would repeat in a clear way after I did not understand what the #1 guy was saying...

All four of us went to find a place to eat. We chatted for a while then #2 Deaf guy would not let us pay for our meal. He paid for us,which was kind of him to do that. Then, we went to his place to meet his wife. His place is up in the mountain - a very steep ride in the car. We took our shoes off and went into their apartment while their baby boy was asleep. Sweet... We sat down and noticed the form of how they had arranged the couches: Two sofas facing each other, so Deaf, people can see each other better. We sat down and had cup of teas and chatted with them. We were offered few sweet and fruits. So hospitality!!! Amazing!

We chatted for hours until 2 AM in the morning! Sharon got see how Deaf culture really functions and very much similar to back in USA as well. "Deaf Standard Time" means you say goodbye... but do not actually leave until a long time later! She did enjoyed herself and did not complain. All good to go... So the #2 Deaf guy took us back to our hostel. We hugged them and oh she took video of our conversations to remember the good time. We got in our room safe and sound. We were tired! Good day to end by the night!

(This is Sharon now adding my two cents :)
It was amazing to see how fast and fluently Heather could converse in sign language with the Turkish man and his wife. The signs are different from ASL, but, well, they understood each other a LOT better than would be the case if you took two people who only spoke Turkish and English respectively. At times I was content to just sit back and watch the sign language flying back and forth, and enjoy seeing Heather in her element, and appreciate the unique experience of chatting until 2am with a couple we had just met.

Posted by sbw2109 10:19 Comments (0)

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