Next stop on my Turkish holiday, Fethiye. Attracted by the promise of tombs carved into the mountains and the prospect of warmer weather (heading South for the winter) Fethiye was a no-brainer.
Disappointed we weren’t. Well at least not by Fethiye. The weather, another story. Two days in the gloomy cloud filled out of season town was enough to drive us to Antalya, warmer weather guaranteed. Dammit we just wanted a bit of sun to warm our winter cockles.
Regardless of our pussy weather behaviour (we should have been counting our lucky stars we weren’t braving the storms back home in the UK) we had a great time in Fethiye. Located on the site of the ancient city of Telemessos, Fethiye is an area of natural beauty, a small city with a rural feel (probably down to the villages that make up parts of it). It wasn’t voted the best tourism centre in the world 2007 for nothing (OK, that was a while ago but it’s still just as lovely)!
Things we did in Fethiye;
Got to the top of the fort/old city walls and caught a lovely view of Fethiye. A mini mountain adventure in the form of a five minute walk up a hill. Ahem.
Kayakoy Ghost Village– Jump on the Dolmus outside the Mosque (on the main street) for a 20 minute ride to Kayakoy ghost town, right next to Oludeniz. Stare in wonder at the closed shops and restaurants of the resort town area mistaking that for the ghost town. Get off outside the ghost village and realise your mistake. Pay to get in (after realising on the way out it is free if you walk down the road a bit and walk in that way). Wonder around the old stone houses. Note the structure of the things, marks of floor boards now removed, gardens once tended, wells once full, now a sad, desolate overgrown weed and grass riddled tourist haunt. Goats and sheep the only inhabitants.
Kayakoy is actually one of my faviourite things I’ve seen in Turkey so far. I love looking into peoples homes and wondering how they lived, concocting whole lives with my overactive imagination. What struck me was the state of the houses, many of them ruins, yet were only abandoned in the 1920’s when the Greek inhabitants were exiled to Greece (due to the governments of Turkey and Greece having a population ‘exchange’). The muslims from Greek Macedonia who replaced them were not used to living in an area with little arable land and so the village was abandoned. Of course the earthquake of 1957 did not help to preserve the dwellings and so what is left is a mere shell of what the houses once were.
I found the place enchanting although I would have loved to see even just one of the houses restored to give an insight into it’s former glory, furnishings and all. Aaah if only there were a comment box!
Kings tombs– Carved into the mountain sides are some awe inspiring tombs created by the Lycians. Note the graffiti etched into them. Old meets new in an interesting culture clash. For me it did not detract from the awesomeness of the ancient craftsmanship, giving it a modern upgrade. A representation of the imperfections manifest in the human race. Basically, we can’t keep anything nice.
Not forgetting the old town and the harbour which make for pleasant strolls whatever the weather (although of course I forgot to get pictures).
We were initially planning to go out to Oludeniz and Butterfly Valley, but with a forecast of rain we thought it better to hop onto the next bus to Antalya. In pursuit of the sun.
Perhaps one day I will get to revisit Fethiye and see it in all of its sun soaked glory. For now I shall be comforted with memories of our mini, ghost town visiting, hill hiking, tomb traveling adventure.