We head back to Oludinez town and decide to visit the beach the town is famous for, the iconic sandbar that lies across the mouth of the Blue Lagoon. It is in Oludeniz Nature Park which costs 5 Turkish Lira to enter. Above is the path in the park that leads to the lagoon.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
After a day and a half of Istanbul we set off on our journey through western Turkey. We fly to Dalaman (internal flights are very cheap in Turkey), rent a car and drive down the Turquoise Coast (named after the colour of the water) to the little resort town of Oludinez.The drive is beautiful and we pass through many pine forests.
I learn that this region is known for its pine forest honey (which our next hotel has in abundance at the buffet breakfast. I consume it as part of my regular diet here).
Nigel has booked all our accommodation in advance and finds a great little place just on the outskirts of the tiny town Oludeniz called Symbola Oludeniz Beach Hotel. Our balcony is pictured above.
It is a little place set in the pine forest hill that overlooks the water and the town. It is only a 5 minute walk into the town and a nice little walk up the hill again to get back. Above is our room. I must say the staff here is so nice. There is a buffet breakfast every morning. You can also eat lunch and dinner here, everything made for you by the chef as you order.
The town of Oludinez is a fun beach tourist destination full of British tourists on package holidays trying to catch the last rays of sun before winter. It is quite a contrast to Istanbul. It is also telling that all the restaurants serve an English breakfast.
The town is a world ranking spot for paragliding. It sits in a small valley surrounded by mountains which the paragliders launch themselves from. After a 45 minute float they land on the beach. There are plenty of places that will take you paragliding if you so choose.
The night time is alive and full of bustle, bars, and restraurants There is also a lot of tourist tat to be bought but thankfully we find that a number of places sell lokum (Turkish delight) so we can keep our blood sugar levels high.
The town feels like a bunch of beach huts that have grown a bit into a town. This makes sense as not so long ago it was simply a hippy destination for camping on a beautiful undeveloped beach.
The town is well located for a number of activities in the area which is why we rent a car. These are also all possible to do on tours as well which can be booked in the town. We wanted a bit more control and to come and go as we like. Oludinez is also located near the start of the Lycian Way walking trail (a long distance trail that runs parallel to the Turquoise Coast and will take about 5 weeks to complete the entire thing. One can do short sections in the area we are in.)
We plan to take in a nearby attraction everyday and find ourselves on our first full day at the ruins of Tlos, among the ancient and important Lycian cities dating back to 2000 BC.
Above is pictured the seating for the agora, a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.
At the top of the hill sits the acropolis (a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defence).
Nigel stands in the shade of an olive tree on the way up.
The view from the top looks out over the whole valley.
They are fascinating to explore.The carved fascades are hand chiselled out of the rock face.
The view of the amphitheatre from the top of the necropolis.
The tombs on the side of the acropolis.
I took a hidden trail around the corner and found another set of tombs.
I climb up and look inside.
We walk up and get a closer look at the amphitheatre dating back to the Roman Period.
Just down a trail we find the temple style Tomb of Bellerophon at the hill's northern base. Its facade was carved with columns, a pediment and 3 carved doors. A relief on the left wall of the porch represents the mythical hero Bellerophone (from whom one of Tlos' ancient ruling families claimed descent).
We drive back through small Turkish towns towards Oludinez.
Driving through the larger town of Fethiye (where we find a great bakery that keeps our supply of baklava up).
We begin the descent into the valley of Oludinez.
Back in the town, barbequed corn is a popular roadside snack both here and in Istanbul.
We wander down to the beach front and watch the paragliders land and re-inflate their kites with air spending the next while untangling the strings from the ground.