Our last stop in Turkey was in the town of Oludeniz.
Which was a mistake.
Oludeniz is a dead-in-winter fake town without a soul. I chose it because of its proximity to some pretty things (Blue Lagoon, Butterfly Valley), but that’s not really enough to sell the place.
If I went again, I’d stay in the nearby town of Fethiye.
Our evening in Oludeniz involved our taxi driver being surprised that our hotel was even open in winter (a bad sign), the hotel losing our booking and not understanding anything, the hotel restaurant closing early, and nothing else being open nearby.
The man who was helping us with our bags kept trying to suggest that we call up his friend to bring some food, but it was all just a bit weird. After a bit of struggle to even get our room and get our key, we managed to order food to our room from the closing-but-not-yet-closed restaurant, and then went and hid in our room.
The next morning in Oludeniz began with Sameer pushing-me-with-his-nose up an unreasonably steep hill so that we could go up a cable car to look out over the bay.
I think it was worth the view, but would have preferred the hill to be less hilly, or maybe the cable car to start directly at our hotel.
But ok, fine it was nice.
We went up, hung around for a bit watching some people leap into the wind, and then went back on down.
After seeing the sites from above, we headed towards the ‘abandoned village’ past this very pretty little plant…
Lunchtime involved some fairly tasty salad and one very cuddly cat who then followed us to a local bus stop to help us wait for the bus.
which didn’t happen for a bit.
So we waited, watched this riddle unfold:
.. and as part of the waiting process, began talking with some other tourists who had also scrambled through the ruins, including a very chatty Russian guy (plus his dad plus his girlfriend) who was living and working in Turkey as a video-game-miner since the war started. Sameer started conversing with him (I nodded a bit), and we soon knew his entire life story, as well as where the best kebabs in town were located.
The bus arrived just as we were all convinced it wouldn’t, and we chugged into Fetihye.
Then Sameer and I stumbled off and straight into a Kunefe shop.
I’ve had Kunefe before, but nothing like this.
This was hot and sweet and cheesy and crispy without tasting oily or sickly or heavy. The Turkish coffee was pretty good too.
Post Kunefe, we headed up to the Amynthas rock tombs- stunning carved forms that date back to as early as 350 BC.
Because it was a bit too late at night, we didn’t get to climb up and explore inside them, but getting to look at the all lit up was anyway well worth the visit.
We did a bit more exploring around the town…
.. which, due to Sameer’s unique coffee/toilet needs, soon enough found us in a hipster coffee shop.
There were also some nice tourist and local markets, including a very large fish market.
When it came time to eat dinner, we realized that a lot of the recommended seafood places were inside the market itself, so headed back there.
We didn’t really understand the system at first, but it turned out that you buy the fish from one of the vendors, and then hand it over to one of the restaurant people. You then pay a very tiny fee (we thought it was 20 pounds each, but it was actually 2), for them to cook the food for you.
On top of our selected fish and baby octopuses and prawns (done garlic style), we also ordered some stuffed mussels (which I’d seen everywhere and hadn’t managed yet to try).
Because we were a bit uncertain about the process and cost, we didn’t buy that much fish, or order any sides or drinks.
If I did it again, I’d go full on feast style.
Which seemed to be what the parties next to us were doing.
The evening involved us watching a lot of singing and dancing (plus one very not-so-well overdrunk young person), eating delicious food, and nearly getting hit by sparkles:
Our final destination was another helvasi shop- ensuring that we got one last hit before we left Turkey.
This is also my smug face.
But it is also also my helvasi face.
On the last morning in Turkey, we went down to the beach, followed by a hungry dog and later a few cats. I had a quick swim, and then we headed to the airport.
30th December (29th evening to 31st Morning), 2022