Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turkey (part I)- Mediterranean Coast and Fethiye

For our getaway in June, we decided to head west, to see a new area of the world. We have spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia, but especially with it being summer and monsoon season, we were ready for a change of scenery. The fact that a new direct route opened up to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, was another incentive for our destination. Humane hour direct flights are a rarity in Dhaka.

After our 8 hour flight to Istanbul, we caught a small hop down to Antalya, Turkey. Antalya is along the southwest coast, along the Mediterranean. From there, we drove to Olympos where we overnighted at the Orange Pension before meeting a boat the following morning for a small cruise at sea.
In the morning before breakfast, we walked down to the beach. To get to the beach, we walked through a national park and ruins at Olympos. A spring branch meanders through the area of ruins and is beautiful. It's amazing to be in such arid land and hear a gurgling stream as you hike along. This morning was a highlight of our trip. We met friends at the beach for a morning ankle dip in the Mediterranean (Ceiba at this point full bodied in the water in her clothes, oh well). Avocet enjoyed licking the salt of the pebbles (salted peanut style). We reluctantly ventured back for breakfast and an appointment to meet our car and board the gulet. Breakfast (as all meals in Turkey) was amazing and consisted of heavenly bread, fresh olives (green and black), tomatoes, cucumbers, cheeses, freshly squeezed orange juice and Turkish tea. Bliss!

We were scheduled for a 4 day/3 night stay aboard a small gulet (sailboat) from Demre to Fethiye. Here is where the story heads south... So when we booked, we knew there was no a/c in the cabins. Upon checking the forecast, it appeared the temps would hold in the low to mid 80s during the day and high 60s at night. Sounded good, right? Well, when we arrived the temps were pushing the high 90s. And why wouldn't they be for us?!
It didn't take Chris and I long to realize that as beautiful as the picture seemed, it was going to get ugly quick. Avocet is just too mobile at a year old, having been walking running for 4 months already, to stay subdued and content on the boat for long. That mixed with the high temps was a recipe for disaster. Had the girls been a few years older or had the boat been only us, we would have stuck it out. We knew either we would go or our crew mates would throw one or all of us overboard by the end of the trip. Our white flag of surrender was raised.

We enjoyed a few hours, a cool swim, a fresh lunch, some underwater ruins at Kekova, good conversation and a city stop before reluctantly disembarking the Blue Key. It was with heavy hearts that we left... 

The crew arranged a car to meet us and drive to Fethiye, where we lucked out with a great stay in a mammoth room at the Odyssey Residence. A good pool and a/c that dipped under 18C was exactly what we were looking for. Gulet, we'll find you again in 5 years :)
We enjoyed days of swimming and playing, long naps, TV (don't have in Dhaka) and good food. 
Avocet celebrated her FIRST birthday!!!
We met up with the boat in Fethiye... we left our stroller in the closet. For a few hours, we walked around Fethiye, getting tea, gelato and oranges. It was nice just to relax and feel normal out with the girls. We kept our scheduled flight and returned to spend another 4 nights in Istanbul (next blog). 
(above with orange man and below with travel office girl - Avocet working her charm)
Southern Turkey could not have been more beautiful! We hope to return again!


  1. Jennifer (McGowan) WiselyJune 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Great blog & beautiful photos! I'm utterly envious...enjoy your adventures for the both of us! :)

  2. I know I always say this but you have the best photos!! Skipping the "cruise" sounds like it was a good idea with little ones! I think I am going to hire you as my "travel planner" from now on! :)