Saturday, October 12, 2013

Turkey: Oludinez, Kaya Koyu and the Blue Lagoon

On the second day in Oludinez we decide to drive out to Kaya Koyu in the morning. Our guidebook suggests we could walk it from the town as a half day hike as well.
Kaya Koyu is a ghost village whose Greek Orthodox Christian inhabitants, according to the Lonely Planet, were forced to leave their homes in the compulsory exchange of populations between the newly created Republic of Turkey and Greece in 1923.
It had been a population of 3000 inhabitants arranged in tiers up a slope. The roofs are all missing which always begins the slow decay of structures.
While the Greek inhabitants were being shipped west, Macedonian Muslims were sent to occupy the abandoned buildings.
Most of the new inhabitants chose to leave rather than stay, considering the land too poor. Above you can see the remains of a fireplace and chimney in the corner.
Although we can't enter the church due to restoration and recently discovered cracks that make it dangerous, the above is a photograph of what the inside of this 17th century high church now looks like.
The view from the outside that we can see.
Today the local inhabitants live in several hamlets in the valley below the ruins.
Although the land in the valley below is fertile, tourism has been on the rise and the main attraction in the area have been the ruins. Above you can still see some of the blue paint on the plastered walls.
Nigel amongst the walls.
We survey the sprawling village and decide to meander to the far side.
Another view of the church from our climb.

Partial stairs remain.
I come across several large concave structures that look like cistern water collections. Here is one that is still holding water.
On the far side we spot a small chapel high on the hillside. It looks like it might have a great view.

Sure enough, from one side of the hilltop we overlook the valley and the old town.
On the other side we see out to the Turquoise Coast.
A view from the window inside.

The little hilltop whitewashed chapel.
We then ascend and climb the fort at the opposite end of the village before deciding to head back to Oludinez.
on our way back we drive a bit further past Oludinez and get a view from the side looking down.
Further up the coast you get a view looking looking back.
We drive through the pine forests on a road that has been carved out of the mountain on a cliff edge at times.
These cliff edges stop further development in the small villages ahead where the only tourist market are in camping huts, a more bohemian, hippy place to stay. (although some of the guide books balk at the pricier cost of staying in such limited accomodation). Above is pictured Butterfly Beach which looks like it might get mostly shade in the day due to the high cliffs on both sides.
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.
An arial photo stands on a billboard at the parks entrance.
it is a lovely afternoon. Mid September to October is an ideal time to travel to Turkey because the weather is not scorchingly hot and it just skirts the highest tourist season. It can get a bit chilly in the shade, but I am feeling like my body temperature is higher than normal these days anyway. Yes, those are my feet relaxing on a lawn chair.
Another shot of the beach from my lounging position. Coming from North America I was not aware of European beach rules. There are lawn chairs and umbrellas for anyone to use. You sit yourself down on one and someone will come along and give you the rate for the day or half day. You pay and the chair is yours. You can come and go and no one will take it as long as you leave something on it like a towel.
I do go for a swim. It really is the shoulder season now and you have to lie in the sun to be warm, I notice. Nigel gets chilled in the shade.
I am looking from the tip of the lagoon's sandbar towards the mainland.
Above I am looking at the sandbar's tip. The tree bit is not connected.
We spend several hours here. We are not really beach people or lie-in-the-sun-and-tan people, but if we were this is a lovely place. The long beach right on the town front is also lovely.
We head back and have a nice meal at Buzz Bar and Grill Restaurant. I need a simple meal that will digest easily tonight and opt for the pasta which was delicious. It is a nice restaurant (more elegant that most here) with nice food and a quiet atmosphere.

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