Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Trip to a Turkish Hospital & other stories: part 1...........

And so it begins! After what seemed like eons of counting down, my sister, Rosemary & I met up at Birmingham Airport & immediately fell into holiday mode, enjoying a liesurely couple of hours in tax free retail therapy & a light meal before boarding the aircraft. As a nervous flyer, I am pleased to report a smooth, uneventful four hour flight, with no delays, a great in-flight movie & the best airline meal I have had!

We landed at 2am Turkish time & it was 4am before we were deposited at our hotel. On previous visits to Olu Deniz we had always used the same hotel, but this year had chosen a slightly larger one, a little closer to the beach, and our first impression was good! We decided not to go to bed, as we wanted an early start for Fethiye's weekly market (to beat the tourist rush), so we unpacked our cases, showered, changed & headed off for breakfast as the sun came over the mountain tops behind our hotel.
To get anywhere else in the hotel, from our room, we had to cross the pool area, & as we made our way to breakfast we couldn't wait to make full use of those sun loungers that afternoon, planning to start our usual beach routine the next day.

After a half hour ride on the dolmus, we arrived at the already bustling market place, glad of the canvases being stretched overhead, as even though it was not yet 10am the sun was already hot. We first wandered through the local produce area, loving the colours & trying to identify unknown vegetables, the stall holders always willing to let you sample their wares. We shared a fresh fig, which was maybe a mistake!!!!!

We both had lists of things we hoped to buy, from previous visits we knew what was available & I had orders from my boys for replica football shirts, leather thong 'tiger tooth' necklaces, Hubby wanted Turkish Delight & I just wanted to get in there & haggle!

We followed a methodical route, as far as possible, through the maze of stalls, being encouraged to stop, try on shoes, bags, dresses, smell perfumes & generally spend our Lira! I managed to get everything on my list, happy that I'd paid a fair price, and Rosemary likewise! We found a table by the waterside & ordered pancakes, by way of an early lunch, before heading off for the dolmus ride back to Olu Deniz. We did have to make one diversion though! That fig certainly did it's job & we needed the 'ladies' - remember the mistake I mentioned? Well, Turkish public toilets leave a lot to be desired by western standards, but needs must!!!

Once we were back at our hotel, we changed into our bathing costumes & claimed our spot by the pool, only to be rewarded by lowering clouds, descending down the mountainside after only half an hour!! As it was still warm & dry we stayed put, I lay on my lounger watching the cloud creep closer until we had to admit defeat & adjourned to our room to shower & change for the evening ahead. Before we were ready to leave it started to rain, and boy, did it rain!! We made our way to a favourite restaurant & sat looking out at the torrents as waiters tried to squeeze customers into spaces under cover. The main street ran like a river & makeshift bridges were constructed to allow people to get out of shops & restaurants, as the storm drains at either side just couldn't cope with the volume of water. Leaving the restaurant, we hurriedly made our way to the Tequila Bar, another favourite haunt, & were made welcome by the staff, who are there season after season. It amazes me that for all the thousands of visitors they see, they remember our names !
We enjoyed a lovely first evening, & even though we had not yet been to bed, stayed at the bar until gone midnight. We met a couple from Kent, Jason & Nicola, who shared our sense of humour, & we enjoyed their company along with a few beers!! Rosemary & I talked about making a trip into Fethiye one evening, to mooch around the little shops & find a traditional Turkish restaurant, off the beaten track. A good start to the holiday! I will regale you with part two tomorrow.......!!!


super-mum-donna said...

You can't leave the story there, I wont be able to sleep. x

Anna said...

You only had the one fig between you? Just as well you didn't push the boat out and have a whole one each!!
Lovely photos Sandi :)