18 August 2013

Benim Tatlı Fethiye

My sweet Fethiye, that small city located in the province of Mugla. This enchanting city will always be my favourite part about this region, so there are many reasons why Fethiye is so sweet to me. Translate the title to let it make sense for you, I love Fethiye and I know I'll be back. I suggest that you pack up your troubles and let Fethiye make everything sweeter!

Back to the reminiscent hype I made sure that I had a cake or two from Sultan's Pattisserie, I love my cakes and pastries so I had love for that Turkish bakery. Getting back to the tomato soup and cheese we ate that for the first time that first 2003 week. Crazy as this sounds I would rather have an Ayran instead of a cold drink in the summer sun. I went mad this summer, I spent at forty pounds on Turkish music albums. Back to my current trip to Fethiye, I used this day as a chance to get away from the quiet of the pool area. If I'm honest I like to be on my own sometimes, I just wanted out for the afternoon. Listen if you're feeling under the weather don't use the pharmacies in your resorts but get on the local bus to Fethiye, its the best place for tablets and medicines. Over the counter medication has a higher strength compared to England so you can get your money's worth! Let Fethiye be your medicine? OK!

Just this week I caught the Dolmuş (local bus) from Çalış to Fethiye to reconnect with a city that I've grown to love over the years. I walked from the bus station towards the fish market, a hype of activity where the locals buy the best catch of the day. Captured to above are the offerings that can be purchased, Turkey delivers another fresh form of produce. Last time I came to Fethiye about two weeks ago, the festival of Ramadan was in motion so the hype of Fethiye wasn't really how it usually is so I wanted to come back to get the best of everything. This side of town is great for shopping, not in the conventional sense but for items such as fresh goats cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables and also clothes and shoes. I love Turkish music! Gökçen Music was where I purchased Demet Akalin's brand new album Giderli 16 for £6.00. That's a bargain! Fethiye has a huge Tuesday market, if you read my publication about Çalış's Sunday Market all will become clear. Oh Fethiye!

Having a strong stomach is the key when a visit to the fish market, the fresh fish and cheese emit a strong odour but its all about the experience. I much prefer this market, it has a more close knit feeling that always feels more authentic compared to the main Tuesday market. I haven't bought any fruit, veg or fish but I know that the local community in and around Fethiye trust the produce. Like I said its more about the experience, lined the outside of the markets are many small shops and a string of barbershops all of which reinforce a small scale level of independent businesses. During my Fethiye shopping spree I got my hair cut at one of the barbershops not so far from the market to find that Turkish men love their own time at the salon so to speak. It's about the brotherhood getting together for a gossip to see what's good! Turkish barbers always make the cut! Lady, just let your man chill-out!

I would have to say that Fethiye is quite like a rabbit warren, with lots of side streets that bestow quaint shops and banks. Captured to above is a street within the Paspatur, the old town which has many tourist orientated gift shops and jewelers. When the sun goes down Fethiye's Paspatur comes alive, the music and atmosphere fills the small and winding streets. Mind you if your looking for a great night out at one of the bars be prepared to spend a lot for a little, but when I'm on my holidays its OK to be extravagant sometimes! Something that is quite controversial, there's a mosque situated in the heart of the Paspatur overlooking Nefis Pide, a really nice little restaurant. Alcohol has to be served in Coca Cola cups to disguise the forbidden liquor. I would have say to that Turkey's approach to religion is quite unclear, people are either believers or non believers so everyone is happy. I prefer a nice glass of tea! I made my move, its time for you to experience Fethiye!?

The first time I visited Fethiye must of been 2003, it was a cold February half term week when I went on a house hunting trip with my family. We stayed at the Yeni Ceri Hotel, a simple hotel close to Fethiye's then quiet marina. The guys from the hotel were really friendly and welcoming during our weeks stay, it was when charter flights didn't fly to Dalaman. We looked at several houses around the local area but we found the gem on Onur Sitesi but more about that later. Fethiye has changed so much over the years but in one way its just the same as it was back on that house hunting trip. We found Bim! A supermarket the same as Lidl so we made that budget supermarket a family favourite throughout the years that we holidayed in the Fethiye area. Nefis Pide serves up a tasty meal on a regular, we ate there during our February week all those years ago! I first tried Ayran at Nefis Pide and I loved it! 

Grabbing a bite to eat in Fethiye is an absolute pleasure, another reason why this city is my favourite. Paşa Kebap has been a favourite restaurant to enjoy the perfect tomato soup with cheese. Honestly, the best tomato soup and cheese I have ever ordered, the crown goes to King Kebab! If Ayran is your thing I would strongly suggest trying a glass at Paşa Kebap. Over the last eleven years this restaurant continues to serve the same delicious food at the same top quality and its reasonably priced as well. I have a very sweet tooth so I can appreciate Fethiye's premium cake shop. Sultan Patisserie serves the perfect cakes and puddings. From the very first time I had a sweet treat I knew this place would continue to be my preferred cake shop. I must admit that I always have room for desert, so I always treat myself to a Sütlaç. If you have never heard of Sütlaç, it's basically a Turkish rice pudding which has been cooked in the traditional oven. Fethiye is a city for food snobs!

The true gem of Fethiye has to be its harbour, the gateway to the Aegean sea, Greece and also Northern Cyprus. Fethiye's marina is where the exluscive yacht and catarmarans meet the everyday boats that operate daily boats around the bay area. The Çalış Beach Dolmuş Boat docks right in the centre of the action, its a less stressful way to access Fethiye because the Dolmuş can get very busy. She's a working girl! The harbour boasts some really expensive and luxurious boats, amongst the grandeur of these luxury vessels the less than grand boats go about their business. The Flying Poseidon Hydrofol zips back and forth from Fethiye to Rhodes, Greece. At the beginning of my holiday I contemplated going to Rhodes for a short trip but I chose to see Istanbul. The Ece Saray hotel and spa is located in harbour, this hotel is one of the most luxurious places to stay in town. Ece, I will make reservations one day!

Fethiye is a city that will remain sweet to me, from the first visit in 2003 I will always stay faithful to this city. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Fethiye has welcomed the fast-food giants into its centrum, McDonalds has one restaurant and Burger King has opened two locations, time has changed but this city will stay the same for me. Every chapter comes to an end but with another one ready to begin I see myself visiting Fethiye in the future for sure. I loved my independent day in Fethiye, it should be a mandatory part of any holiday to do what you wish. I'm going to miss my tomato soup and cheese, no one does fresh Ayran better than Paşa Kebap so I best get inventive when I return back to England. Visit the Tuesday Market if you wish but I just can't stand the heat, plus I've seen it ten or more times before! I always have my haunts to revisit. Remember that there's a pharmacy on almost every corner so getting better isn't a problem! Fethiye shows you more! Evet! 

Ben Fethiye Seviyorum!  

Joseph Harrison 

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