Rock tombs and seafood on a rainy day in Fethiye…

Backpacking in the rain is not fun.

Let’s face it – it’s just really not an activity that holds its own too well when everything is wet. So as I woke up to the drum of heavy rain on the tin roof on the morning of our only full day in Fethiye I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more than a little disappointed.

As we tucked in to a massive Turkish breakfast in the upstairs terrace area of the Ideal Pension hostel I looked out over the stunning (but rainy) view of the harbour and silently bargained with the weather gods to just give me just a little bit of sun!

It seems they heard me – although perhaps not that clearly – as a few tiny rays of sunshine began to peek out from behind the clouds and the drumming on the roof grew steadily softer before ceasing all together. There were still some fairly ominous clouds swirling in the sky so we quickly hightailed it into town – not knowing how long the sunshine would last!

Fethiye is a beautiful harbour town nestled into the hills on the southern coast of Turkey. I had read some mixed reviews of the place whilst researching our trip – some seemed to love it whilst others branded the place as tacky and overrun with tourists. Even after only spending one full day in the town I can say with assurance that my allegiance lies with the former – I really wish that we had been able to spend more time there.

The view from our ridiculously cheap hostel’s common area.

Yes, there are a lot of overzealous salesmen peddling their wares but there’s not too many places in Turkey you don’t see them. And yes, there did also seem to be quite a few sunburnt, slightly obnoxious tourists walking along the streets – but with views like the above from your room window that you paid a pricey $14 a night each for, who cares?

We wandered the streets, ducking in and out of buildings as the weather switched between glaring sunshine and torrential downpours. Somewhere in the midst of one of the torrential downpour periods, we managed to find ourselves right beside a path that led up to some Lycian rock tombs in the cliffs overlooking the city.

Lycian rock tombs that were carved directly into the cliff face

The tombs themselves were carved directly into the rock of the hillside and are pretty remarkable when you first notice them from the town below. It was a fairly slippery scramble up the steep path towards one of the major tombs, but I was greeted with a stunning sweeping view of the whole town and its harbour with the nearby mountains towering in the background. In the end that made the several close calls I had to spraining my ankle well worth it!

The inside of the tombs is nothing that impressive – just a rather small space that used to be filled with golds and riches before everything was plundered by grave looters many centuries ago. It’s the ornately carved exterior of the tombs as well as the ridiculous view that’s the real drawcard here!

After leaving the tombs behind we realised that all of our storm dodging and tomb exploring had left us both pretty ravenous, so we stopped by the local fish market for a rather unique dinner…

Some of the delicious seafood on offer at the Fethiye fish market

Scores of boisterous men yelled out to us as we circled the different stalls within the fish market trying to make the tough decision of exactly what type of seafood delicacy we wanted to fill our bellies with. After some not so careful consideration (it all looked delicious!) we chose half a kilo of prawns and a whole sea bass. With one decision down we now had to face the next one – where to eat?

Will gets up close and personal with out possible future dinner!

In an ingenious move a number of restraurants are positioned directly surrounding the fish market – close enough that you’re in your chair within 20 seconds, but far enough away that you don’t get wacked in the face with the smell of all the fish. For the grand total of 6 Turkish Lira (roughly $3.50 AUD) they will happily take your fish market purchases off your hands, cook them up in whichever style you choose and serve them up to you with a huge salad and masses of freshly cooked bread.

Hot tip – if you managed to get chatting with some of the staff they might even kindly personalise the bread with your name written in toasted sesame seeds!

Poor Will didn’t get any such personalised bread – he obviously wasn’t chatting up the waiters sufficiently (either that or they ran out of sesame seeds). We split the ‘SALLY’ loaf between the two of us and I have to confess that I’m pretty sure I ate the whopping ‘SALL’ section of the bread – leaving Will with nothing more than a measly ‘Y’ – woops!

Our prawns arrived, cooked in olive oil, garlic and chili. These are three of my favourite food items in the world so I had a sneaking suspicion the dish would be to my liking – and was I ever right! The simple but strong flavours paired beautifully with the fresh prawns and I can honestly say that it was the best dishes I had in all of Turkey. Our sea bass arrived soon after and although tasty, it had nothing on the taste sensation of the prawns, so we opted to finish it off first before carefully savoring the remaining prawns one by one!

We mopped up the chili/garlic-y goodness of the prawn dish with the SALLY bread and giggled as the Turkish man who was baking the bread in the stone oven by our table chatted to us about his long lost Australian love and other tales of his time living in Fethiye.

Sadly, the dishes came to an end and we had to cheerfully bid goodbye to the waiters and the bread baker. Bed had never seemed more appealing – our bellies were full, our clothes were (almost) dry and our legs were feeling more than a little weary after a day of climbing slippery paths and dodging torrential downpours!




3 Responses to “Rock tombs and seafood on a rainy day in Fethiye…”
  1. turkischland says:

    Reblogged this on turkischland and commented:
    welkom my homeland turkey

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