We recently came back to Nicea and then to Istanbul when the weather turned. We should have checked with FF beforehand, i guess.
I thought, i would share part of my trip report, which included Karine, Dogubey, Gumbet, Gocek and Fethiye. The whole thing is too long and hopefully will find its way into my new book after much editing.
Hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing.
----The day dawned (became 8:30AM) beautifully. Terrific service at open buffet breakfast. I am not joking, there were three waiters competing with each other at bringing more tea and coffee to fill our cups and all of them remembering which one of us preferred which caffeine. (Ece Saray)
being the older member of the family (slightly, as you can tell from our profile photo) I got to choose the morning program. Off we went to Tlos, on a hill, watching snow capped mountains in the horizon, and parked quite close to a very friendly well-fed cow and one rooster with his current mate, who were not interested in us as much as the cow was.
There were two sections separated by a fence, a narrow goat path and further up towards a low hill, a ticket booth. We decided that;
a) the ruins on the hill photographed better from a distance, since we had an 18-250 lense which cost us about $500.
b) it was getting late and Eser needed to swim.
c) i was getting hungry and the three cafes all looked rather poorly.
As a result of some very quick decision making, we drove to Olu Deniz of the famed lagoon. The public beach was quite empty and looked fine, although a busybody mayor had had the bean bags removed some weeks earlier, possibly to reduce the amount of smooching on the beach. The lounge chairs, being all sharp corners, sort of takes the fun out of some sorts of activity, if i remember correctly from my younger days.
We assumed wrongly that the paid national park which had both lagoon side and seaside beaches would also be rather empty. We paid our $10, drove in to park, walked possibly 500 meters (although the gatekeeper had told us 300), and first saw that the lagoon beach was packed with screaming children and their screaming chaperones, with no danger of enough of them drowning within the next few minutes, because the water was very shallow. So, we walked further towards the seaside beach and the food emporium next to it, which looked rather splendid from the distance. Unfortunately, this was as bad or worse. There were only sandwiches in stale bread, soggy fries and a line which refused to move, consisting of playfull young couples who were trying to make up what they missed on the public beach while waiting for their other inedibles.
The only sort-of-semi-clean table i found was in the midst of a large group of tourists from a neighboring country who were each at least twice my size and could communicate in the upper decibel ranges befitting a good Italian tenor, but they were not singing.
Eser immediately left to change and swim, i ate a huge cold stale chicken doner and some soggy fries, sharing it with two picky ducks, one rooster and two hens who were not picky and four feral cats, who were all afraid of the ducks and the rooster.........