12 August 2013

A Place Called Onur Sitesi

People like different things, like holidays we all have differing tastes. I have been very fortunate so far to travel to some far flung destinations, but one place will always keep drawing me back. Çalış Beach, Turkey has been a holiday favourite for the last eleven years for one a series of reasons. A complex of holiday homes hold the key to many happy memories. 

Located just off Barış Manço Bulvarı is Onur Sitesi, a complex of holiday homes that hold the reason why I love this country so! It must have been 2002 when myself and my close family set off for the Fethiye region of Turkey to look for a holiday home, scouting for a place to spend the summer holidays in Turkey. I look back at the first time I saw the house we ended up falling for, it wasn't the place I look at now, that house looked so very different. Everything happens for a reason, I know that we didn't choose this house, this house chose us! Usually favouring Greece for our holidays but found after they joined the European Union the price of our holiday began to skyrocket! We landed into Antalya in February of 2002 where we were welcomed by a bitterly cold wind and a lengthy three hour drive to reach Fethiye. Charter flights hadn't made it to Dalaman Airport when we decided to house-hunt in the Çalış. Hayir!

After one week of tireless house-hunting and discovering the local area we settled on the house for us which was on Onur Sitesi. It took some time before we spent our first holiday their due to my parents signing documents and furnishing the house so we could all get the best out of our very own holiday home. We stayed in Fethiye for the week, getting to know the then quiet and out of season resort of Çalış but we weren't ready for the bleak conditions. Looking at additional properties that ranged from new build villas and houses on sites that didn't impress us much but Onur Sitesi was the one for us! Over the years we've been joined with family and friends, staying with us for their holidays and to experience the slow paced vibe but its time to close those chapters for another moment in time. Learning about Turkish culture and being accepted as the first British family on the site is something that no one on the site can take away from us! You're welcome! 

The main pool area during the midday sun has always been roasting hot! It's great because the majority of our Turkish neighbours don't like the heat so on many occasions we had the swimming pool to ourselves. Embarking on our first few summers made me love this place even more, it was great learning a new culture and eating new foods without the disturbance of the usual Brits abroad trash! Having the option to go eat out or stay-in after a relaxing day by the pool has always been a added bonus of having our own holiday home. The Çalış Beach region of Turkey allowed us to enjoy several Boat Trips, Jeep Safari's! Having our own house allowed us to have holidays with family and friends because their was always space for that extra couple of people. Enjoying the best of both worlds, so I crafting this blog with a lot of fond memories in mind. I'm so over this meaningful state of mind!

You would think spending so many years in one place could become tedious or boring, I can safely say that each year has brought a new adventure. The site meetings got crazy with heated tones of Turkish throw from side to side by the pool area, it was difficult to understand the simple process of the meetings even with a translator. Being in a villa gave us the added bonus of our own shared pool and the flexibility of operating own sort of 'self-catering' basis throughout our extended summer holidays. I look back and now I truly realise how lucky I have been to experience over eleven stellar summers in Çalış, Turkey at Onur Sitesi! I missed Turkey badly when I worked in the United States of America in 2011 and 2012 but I made it back for one more summer to take everything in one final time. Turkey has captured my heart so I intend to be back in the future but to another part of the country. Çalış is cool but I'm looking to branch out to a part of Turkey, like Kayseri?

This year has put things into perspective about making friends, if a conversation is effortless after not seeing a person for years then a friendship is OK? I met Kayahan and Çağrı about eleven years ago during my first year at Onur Sitesi. I spent two years away from Onur Sitesi due to my work commitments in Orlando and Newark, USA so I had missed almost three years of Turkey. Kayahan and Çağrı, it was crazy to be reunited with my Turkish friends after our time apart.. I must admit that when I was younger I didn't really like talking to new people but now I would introduce myself to almost anyone. It's been an eventful four or so weeks, I'm happy for that! It's been a great holiday but as the saying goes the world still turns! It begs the question, where will we be this time next year? Until then I plan to enjoy the rest of my holiday here in Çalış so I'll once again cease with that tone. Who wants another drink?

From that February half-term week to the here and now I'm looking forward to the next venture because we have to keep moving forwards. Holidays are amazing thing but I am learning the amount of coins that go to make even the smallest getaway possible so I'm more than grateful. I need BIM back in my life already even though I'm still in Turkey right now but my mind has a habit of getting carried away. It's going to be back to university soon, my final year will define the rest of my life so I will use next two week to get my relax mode on and blog a little more about the places I get the chance to visit around the Çalış and Fethiye area. Like, Dalaman has a new airport? We can say we travelled through the mountains in the snow from Antalya Airport that February half-term week! Onur Sitesi I can say its been emotional but I honestly never thought that this blog would sound so heartfelt? I must be loosing my touch?! I can assure you that I'm going to get my life! 

When Will I See You Again?!

Joseph Harrison 

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