Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ölüdeniz and Kayasöy

Last night in Fethiye here. Yesterday I went to the beach for the day at Ölüdeniz. I had heard it was 'ruined' & wasn't worth it. I'm not so sure - it might be one of the most beautiful beaches that I've ever seen. Now I understand why there are so many English at Hisarönü - they can't build near Ölüdeniz, so they build their timeshares in the next valley over.

I'm dying that I can't post pictures from this town - I haven't found a computer with a USB port. When I post them you'll see; the beach was incredible. it was easily a couple kilometers long, and bounded by towering granite mountains. It was in a deep bay, which kept the waters calm. And while parts of it were lined with tacky tourist cafes, other parts were virtually deserted. I took lots of pics of the beach infrastructure - the park system here puts Hawaii Parks and Recreation to shame. A few points - there was a nice beach promenade set back from the shore and lined with olive trees, the concession stands were outdoor cafes shaded by bougainvillea on trellisses [and what do we get - cement monstrosities], the shops were mostly invisible from the beach, shampoo and soap were banned at the public showers, and - I liked this part the best - the beach had earned the right to fly a Blue Flag. I'm not sure if this is a Turkish or a European thing, but a community wins a blue flag for meeting strict criteria on public education, handicap access, water quality, and environmental protection efforts. They can lose the flag easily if they slip. I'd love to bring something like that to Hawai`i.

Today I went back to Kayaköy. Met a girl from South Africa who was looking for a hiking partner, and I figured I knew the route & would actually make it to the village this time. So back up over the mountain we went. We didn't get lost this time, had a long lunch at Kaya, took a nap on the cushions, then explored the abandonned village. It was quite haunting. There was a crumbling Orthodox Church near the base of the cliff; I don't know if it would still be considered consecrated ground, but I lit my fourth candle there anyway.

Tomorrow I'm off to Antalya. It sounds like a real city. This one is geared towards package tours from Israel, Egypt, and the rest of the Middle East. No more working class English - yay! The backpackers seem to hate the city, but it sounds interesting to me. That, and it's four hours further south, and reportedly warmer.

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