Day three it was back to the beach, but this time to ölüdeniz, which wikipedia informs me means “dead sea” because its waters are calm, even in storm. This clears up one mystery where Turkish people kept telling me I had to go to the Dead Sea while I was in Fethiye, which left me scratching my head, cause, what? The Dead Sea is in a completely different country! Aha! Now all makes sense.
If you want actual information about Ölüdeniz, like how to get there and what to actually do, please refer to Turkey’s For Life‘s lovely, helpful blog series. I’m just going to tell you what I saw and ate, pretty much.
Our first adventure was on the bus ride. We got on at the first stop and so got seats easily, but as the driver went along he picked up more and more people. A rather large British family got on- four adults and five or six teens, (all blonde. What really freaked me out about Ölüdeniz was I haven’t been around so many blondes since the last time I set foot in a club in Towson on ladies night, but most of these were genuine blonde.) The children immediately started complaining loudly about the lack of space, even after a mama shushed them and told them (more politely and Britishly of course) to shut up and deal.
“I haven’t got anything to hold onto!”
“Peter there’s a rail above your head.”
“Mummy I’m in Peter’s armpit! This is ridiculous!”
“I’ve never been so squashed in my life!”
“I can’t move!”
“What if ı broke wind right now?”
“Peter! Don’t you dare!”
And on and on, loudly, until I was reduced to helpless, silent giggles.
“They would never make it on the metrobus,” I observed quietly.
At the next stop yet another family of four got on, pushing the other children back away from our seats, and a new wave of complaints started.
“Why didn’t we just take a cab?”
“Well, this is less expensive.”
“The real reason they should be taking this bus is to have probably their only authentic Turkish experience this whole trip,” I observed to J. “This? Squished on a bus in someone’s armpit unable to move? This is an authentic Turkish experience they’re not gonna get in any inclusive resort or theme restaurant.”
The children all survived and so did we, and shortly we were in the down town section, where every other restaurant had a sign proclaiming the authenticity of its English Breakfast.
“There’s only one reason for a sign to proudly proclaim that it has ‘proper English sausages,'” I observed. “About a million people came here, looked at their sucuk, and wailed ‘But don’t you have any proper sausages?!'”
In Istanbul, we have all kinds of tourists from all over Europe, the States and the Middle East. Ölüdeniz seems to get only British tourists, and as such is a cozy haven of Britishness: curry shops, fish’n’chips, shepherds pie; everyone speaks English impeccably. It was hard to believe I was in Turkey.
The beach, which we hit first, was amazing. The water is turquoise, but murky, there is actually, for a sea, a fair amount of surf, and though it’s shale the pebbles are so smooth and round your feet don’t mind them so much.
To the right and down the beach from where we sat was the lagoon, which is more famous and therefore far more crowded. To our back, mountains rose and paragliders came soaring out of the sky from them at a fairly regular beat.
The water was salty, and cool and beautiful.
After a bit we retired to a beachside bar for some beers and people watching. It was really rather amusing to watch families drift by; some of the parents would clearly rather have left the children at home in Norwich or whereever, while some families all seemed happy. Some had clearly been fighting all day. It was also the first time I’ve really seen the modest swimsuits for covered ladies in action, outside shop window displays. It was also entertaining to see the parade of landing paragliders, and the poor boys who had to run around in the heat collecting and neatly folding the parachutes.
What a great find! Why? 1. It was empty
2. Great view:
3. Excellent, excellent pide:
We took another dip, and discovered it was actually more exercises and more fun to sit on the edge and let the waves crash into you. Good way to get rocks in your bikini bottom, though. Then we all fell asleep on the beach, in the sun. When we woke up, we went back for a few more drinks and then home.
All in all, it was a lovely day. For beauty, Ölüdeniz can’t be beat. I think though, that I prefer Çaliş- less crowded, fewer families, and a bit more sand than shale. I think I should go back one more time just to check, though, don’t you?