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Month: May 2024

Fethiye, Istanbul and home

Fethiye, Istanbul and home

All good things just come to an end. To finish my holiday, I opted to stay in a 4 star, all in hotel in Fethiye, instead of the standard hotel or apartment I’d usually choose.

With an all in you get all your meals provided. With this particular hotel, you get all the drinks also and any snacks you may wish to satiate yourself with in between. This, I thought, made it worth the €140 they were asking (reduced from €240).

It came with great reviews, and I really wasn’t seeing a lot more in Fethiye that was catching my eye.

The hotel is located right on the promenade around 4km out from what you might call the town centre.

The sea was very calm when I woke up in the morning.

It was so calm and inviting, I went for a swim for around half an hour. After that, I had an appointment to use the spa facilities. Just the sauna and steam room. The steam room turned out to just be the Turkish bath which was colder than my bedroom. So I just had a quick sauna for 30 minutes.

After this, I went to the pool area. The sun was moving higher in the sky, above the hotel buildings and it was possible to get some sunbathing done. The bar was also open, and as it moved toward lunch time, I had a few drinks, free of course. A bottle of miller, a Pina colada and something called an Alexander cocktail, which I’d not tried before.

At 12pm, they turned the poolside music off as they set up lunch service which ran from 12 until 2. I went and had a little wash, then took advantage of this.

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Akyaka and holidaying in Dalyan

Akyaka and holidaying in Dalyan

Akyaka was basically a stop to avoid the rain. It was a pretty nice place as it turned out. I particularly like the ladies river that ran though it. So pure and clear, with all the wildlife around it, it was a thing to behold.

The Range River, which flows into the Gulf of Gokova, is located right next to Akyaka, among the trees and reeds. The river is fed with many spring water. Since the women used to wash their clothes in this river since there was no water in the houses, the Range River was called Woman’s Range by the local people. The name of the river in the ancient period is ldimos. Azmak River, famous for its natural beauties, stretches for approximately 2.5 km and then connects to the sea.
The heat of the water is around 12-13 degrees every season. The river can be reached on foot or by boat. You can swim in the river from place to place. In summer heat, Woman’s Range is cooling the local and foreign tourists.
It is home to many creatures living in underwater vegetation. It contains many animal species such as fish, otters and sea turtle. The ducks gliding across the river add a distinct beauty to the river. In addition, the nice and charming restaurants on the edge of the river serve three meals and offer the tastes of fresh seafood on their menus. Boat rides called the aquarium can take 15-20 minutes. A more robust iron bridge was built due to the collapse of the new wooden bridge builtin 2007 immediately after the collapsed old wooden bridge on the river. There is a second stream that runs parallel to the Woman’s Range. The name of this river is Ferek Stream, and part of this river is poured into the Gulf of Gökova.

A branch that leaves the Ferek River passes through the Akçapınar Neighborhood. There are reeds that protect the natural ecosystem in the area between the Woman’s Range and the Ferek River, Akyaka is home to different kinds of migratory birds, storks, flamingos and pelicans that come to these reeds from time to time.

I got some reasonable priced seafood.

I’d been meaning to do this at the resorts. At resorts, the prices are very high, which doesn’t guarantee quality. It just gaurantees they’re trying to make a buck out of you. I know that, and I avoided them.

Seafood is the dish that doesn’t do mediocre, when you get the seafood buffs, of which I think I used to be one, the seafood they’re talking about is totally fresh, been cooked well and not been reared on a farm. I suspect that a lot of our seafood in the UK may not have reached maturity. That makes difference also. When seafood is good, it can be superlatively good. Elsewise, it just tends to slip toward the mediocre and forgettable.

I had a fish, the waitress just called it ‘big fish’, and some calamari. I think it may be a Dorado or bream. The calamari was not chewy, but the fish was really amazing. Just that light creamy consistency. Utterly magic. Could do it again and again!

'Big Fish' - Akyaka
‘Big Fish’ – Akyaka

After this, I pretty much went home. Had a walk around the docks to pass the time a bit, then walked up the hill toward the apartment.

The apartment was pretty noisy until about 11. There was some Turkish party going off and the music was super loud. It settled down after a bit and I went to sleep.

In the morning, I had to prepare my own breakfast, I’d bought a sandwich and also some yoghurt and coffee. I had this, paid the woman, and got on my way. It was about 9am.

Here’s some pictures from the journey.

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Weekend in Marmaris

Weekend in Marmaris

Mamaris is perhaps the 4th Turkish resort I’ve visited, and so far the best.

It’s better for a number of reasons

  1. The accomodation was better and cheaper: than the other resorts. That may have been a chance thing, but there is certainly no shortage of choice.
  2. Marmaris has more bars: Obviously a consideration for holidaymakers. And me, on the weekend.
  3. Marmaris had more restaurants: Much more choice. From the expensive sea front, to more affordable. Lots of variety.
  4. The actual resort itself: Has a more laid back general ambience. The people are more laid back. There’s not so much traffic in the tourist areas. It’s got a slower pace.

A place where you can slow down and enjoy a bit of time relaxing in your surroundings.

Marmaris from the road above
Marmaris beach front
Marmaris beach front

It was enough for the weekend. No doubt I could have spent more time there. But I didn’t.

Rhodes to Marmaris

I took the ferry over here and it took me about an hour.

You can see us all queuing up to board here.

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Island hopping

Island hopping

On landing in Bodrum, I quite fancied a trip to Kos which is a short hop on the ferry. 40 mins. Not worth not spending one night there, so that’s what I did.


Or idiotville as I would refer to it.

Prices are for idiots, the people in the shops and restaurants treat you like an idiot. They try to trick you and rip you off. Like you were an idiot….

The exception being the accommodation. They were pretty nice.

Don’t think I’d go there again.

I was happy to be on the way to Greece on the ferry.

Been a while

Since I’ve been to Greece.

The ferry over was around €35. At the time, I bought a return which was about €12 more. When I arrived and settled in, started planning my next moves, it became obvious that I wasn’t going to be cycling eastward from Bodrum.

If you look at the terrain on a map it’s just hills. And these hills have no roads running through them. I would have to go significantly North, toward Pumukkale, before I could start turning east towards the direction I wanted to go.

When I did a bit more research, maybe take a bus over these hills, it turned out there were no buses. You had to take 3 separate buses. Obviously with the bike along for the ride, you’re adding an additional unpredictable variable.

Buses are not obliged to take your bike. It’s conditional on them having enough space in the luggage hold. Obviously, you’re multiplying this chance by 3, then adding the fact that I’ve no idea how big the buses are.

When I put it into Google, it told me to go to Kos and Rhodes! So that’s what I did!

I love Kos
Do you love Kos?

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The road to Bodrum

The road to Bodrum

Is a heavy one. The sun was blazing. The hills were winding and continuous. The scenery was amazing, in places.

100KM from Didim to Bodrum. I requested that I could have breakfast at 8am rather than their starting time of 8.30am. Any contribution to an expided departure when you’ve got a long and hard journey is appreciated.


I’ve had this discussion on previous blogs. In the morning, you are what you put in your body. Let me suggest this… never put cheese in there.

Bad and heavy breakfast makes you want to stop all the time, wonder what you’re doing here. Avoid it.

Just had some honey, jam and Nutella with bread. A hard boiled egg and a very small sausage, (not by choice, that’s all there was). Plus some chips, almost forgot about them. Cup of coffee. No juice. I prefer juice, it’s full of sugar. Had water instead. That was it.

Off I went. 8.30am.

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Day of the Dolmus

Day of the Dolmus

Due to inclement weather and the long distances involved, I was going to take the bus to Kusadasi and had bought a ticket.

What the agent had omitted to tell me was that the time stated on my ticket was not the time of departure from Pumukkale, but the time of departure from Dinizli, the nearest big town!

Obviously, I missed the bus. As I was sitting drinking my Turkish tea outside the hotel, I could see the clouds forming big and dark and asked my host, “is it going to rain?”. “Yes” he said.

I took this as my cue to fire the bike up and get going.

I was going to have to cycle to Denizli and buy a ticket for the later bus. So that’s what I did.

It’s not so far away. Only around 20km. Downhill. Mostly.


Entering Denizli
Entering Denizli

Was an interesting city, after I got my ticket, I dropped my panniers in storage and had a very short look around.

One of the place I found was this Hamam.

This was the real deal. Proper baths with plunge pool. Main treatment area, also with a steam room and sauna. The cost: One treatment, (scrub and rub), plus unlimited time in the baths 320tl. That’s about £8¿?!

Not. €55. The facilities were better. More for £40 less.

Gave my Hamam in Istanbul a 1 star review.

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To Pumukkale

To Pumukkale

The last couple of days, one to get here, one to look around the ruins.

Yesterday – Endless vines

Hotel La’bella

Didn’t think much to the hotel I stayed in on Wednesday. The place was advertised as having WiFi throughout. Turns out there was none, anywhere. This obviously causes problems. After a period of trying to sort it out in my room, then trying the public areas, I returned to reception and asked to speak to the manager.

Suddenly, and mysteriously the WiFi suddenly came on. I did the more serious stuff and went out for dinner. When I came back, it had gone off again and it stayed off until I left in the morning.

3 Mobile phone masts

When I was testing the public area’s WiFi, I went up to the rooftop terrace. There I discovered that the hotel had 3 mobile phone reception masts on the roof!

Maybe you’re aware, churches in the UK use these to make money. Operators pay a lease. If you own a tall building in somewhere they want to be, they will pay you a sum to have their service operating there. Sometimes it can be a lot.

This woman had 3!

That made me think that the place made plenty of money, without any guests. They were just creaming it off basically.

Reception weren’t at all interested in the internet not working when I left. Nothing you can do apart from leave a good honest review, so that’s what I did.

To be fair, I left a really good review for the previous hotel, so they kind of balance each other out.

Getting to Pumukkale

Travel conditions: Ideal for cycling. Overcast, cold (for Turkey), no wind, not too much sun.

Whilst cycling down there, on this side of the Pumukkale hills, I saw some of this.

Keep out

There was like a local farmer parked close to the front of this one. I was going to ask him what it was all about, but after some consideration, I thought better of it and cycled on… past a number of these devices.

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