Life on the water, Turkey - Part II

Once I've told you about the final two boat trips we took, my Turkish holiday is at an end! The second boat trip involved crabbing - any baby or mating crabs were returned to the water, don't worry - and a walk along the beach at sunset. How gorgeous are these colours? Amazing. 

The final boat trip took us to the Sultaniye mud baths, before the boat was anchored in the middle of the lake and we were able to watch the stars come out. Whilst we didn't go into the mud baths or sulphur pool, we did try a fish pedicure which was bizarre! 

Weird sensations aside(!), this was definitely my favourite boat trip out of the three, though I don't think I will be having a fish pedicure again. Maybe it's because we just had six minutes and the soles of our feet are relatively smooth anyway but it didn't seem to do much to them, in all honesty. They also seemed more concerned with nibbling the top of my feet than the soles or heels.

I wish I could share the stars that we saw later that evening and the peace experienced on the lake but instead I'll have to let you imagine the gentle sound of the water lapping against the boat and leave you to cry out in delight because you've just spotted a shooting star. (Did you make a wish?)

Turkey is never going to be a favourite country of mine, but this was an incredibly relaxing and sunny holiday, and it was definitely more of a Turkish delight than the first holiday I ever had in Turkey! Have you been? x

Life on the water, Turkey

Since Dalyan means "fishing weir", it goes without saying that this is a town that is based by the water. Depending which way you travel up or down the river, depends whether you'll reach the Mediterranean Sea or Lake Köyceğiz; it's up to you which vessel takes your fancy to get you there!

Whilst we were on holiday, we booked three different boat trips with Ünal of Villa Duran. Each trip cost us around £18 each, which included a hearty home-cooked Turkish meal and BBQ on the boat. I'll tell you about the first trip now which was in the daytime and explored the beaches around Dalyan, and the other two trips tomorrow. 

This boat trip did involve crossing the sea which I didn't like as it felt quite choppy and I started to feel quite sick - eek  - but I managed to survive and was greeted with this inviting turquoise sea. Definitely worth a little bit on nausea! How inviting does this look? x

Kaunos, Turkey

From Dalyan, if you're on the river, you can see the burial tombs of the Kings and Queens of Kaunos, which date back from around the 4th Century BC. The fronts of these look like Hellenistic Temples which is probably why I like them because the style reminds me of Petra, though Petra is much older.

Kaunos was an ancient city, just along the river from these tombs, and a pretty important one. King Kaunos himself they say was the grandson of Apollo - the Dodecanese islands of Greece are just across the Med from Kaunos.

Kaunos dates from around 200 to 400 BC so a lot of it is left up to your imagination to figure out what was what. Excavation work is still ongoing but it's not a developed tourist site like, say, Rome's Colosseum. The information there is, which is few and far between, is complicated and aimed at experts. The cost of getting into Kaunos is probably reflected in the lack of information - it's about £5 - but I for one would rather pay more to find out more!

The best parts of Kaunos that remain are the acropolis, the amphitheater and the mosaic tiles that have been uncovered near one of the temples. The amphitheater seats 5,000 people and must have been an impressive sight in its time with the fountains of water that poured down its sides.

Absolutely amazing to think that it has survived this long. What do you think to Kaunos?

Turkish cuisine

In Dalyan you'll find lots of yummy restaurants to eat in, plus there are a few further afield which are worth visiting - that's another reason to hire mopeds as I mentioned before, though some restaurants will pick you up and drop you off for free, so it's worth checking. 

One restaurant worth visiting just outside Dalyan is Ley Ley which has Turkish entertainment and nesting storks, as well as its yummy food. (They'll pick you up and drop you off.) And since Dalyan means "fishing weir", then it's worth visiting one of the fish farms in the local area. We hopped on our mopeds and headed to one off the beaten track. Yuvarlak Cay is the one most tourists visit but we made our way to a local hotspot instead.

The local's trout farm is surrounded by trees - it's called something like Bilen Farm - and given the temperature in Dalyan in August is around 35°C at 9am, shooting to above 40°C before it's even lunchtime, it's the perfect spot to cool off and refuel. I'm never a fan of having to debone fish but the trout we had was probably one of the freshest fish I've ever eaten and we had a feast for about £6 each.

In Dalyan itself, there are plenty of restaurants to take your pick from, each one calling you with promises that there place has the best Turkish food you'll ever eat.

Meat is a big thing in Turkey, though as it is a Muslim country you won't find (much) pork on the menu. Meats served up in clay pots, on skewers and in stews are the must-try dishes, as well as the freshly-caught fish. Ali Baba, Okyanus, La Vie and Caretta Caretta were the best restaurants we went to but given we barely made a dent in the many restaurants there then I'm sure there are plenty more amazing ones! A main course will set you back £6-10.

Some of the restaurants on the river, which includes La Vie and Caretta Caretta, have an incredible view - they overlook the tombs of the Kings and Queens of Kaunos, which are beautifully lit up at night. For now I'll leave you with this picture of the tombs, but I'll be talking more about these and my trip to Kaunos next time! x

Dalyan, Turkey

After visiting Turkey in summer 2009, I declared I would never go back to a Turkish coastal resort because of the hassle I experienced there. But, when the opportunity arose to head back to the south-west coast, I decided to give Turkey another go.

This time round I wasn't traveling with a female friend but I was with Olly, his parents, plus his sister and her fiancé. We were also somewhere less developed than Ölüdeniz which made a difference. I think you get hassled more in larger resorts because if they insult you and don't get your custom, there are plenty more potential customers around.

We stayed in a private villa in Dalyan - the villa was about a twenty minute walk from the town centre, which was the right sort of distance that you didn't feel like you were in the thick of things. One thing to say about Dalyan is that it's not near the beach, though you can easily get a water bus down to İztuzu Beach.

İztuzu Beach is one of the nesting habitats loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta). Since these turtles are endangered, it makes this a pretty important place; throughout the years, many a battle has happened to ensure that the turtles are kept safe. There's now a Rehabilitation Centre down at the beach where injured turtles are nursed back to health, like this little fellow here.

The easiest way to get down to the beach and travel around the local area is by renting a moped (it costs about £8 a day) - the roads are quiet so it doesn't feel too scary if you've never been on one. I left Olly in charge of the driving and sat back and enjoyed the view. (OK, I was terrified, though after the first day I got more into it!) There are pancake houses dotted around with great views so you can always break up your journey like we did if you don't fancy being on the bike for extended periods of time.

Of course, the best place to relax is by the pool and we certainly did a lot of that over the twelve days we were there. There were some inflatable toys and watersports involved too so we didn't get too sloth-like!

I'll have more to share about some of the things we did whilst we were there later on this week. Have you been on your summer holiday yet? x

Summer in the city

We had a heatwave in the UK last month, so when the weather is warm and you have a friend visiting, what better time is there to show off London? We started off locally at the Lambeth Country Show for a spot of camel racing, before moving on to some more familiar landmarks...

Back in Blighty

A quick update from me as I've been away on holiday for the past few weeks. We went to Turkey, which when I went there in 2009 I said it was Not so much a Turkish Delight... thankfully it was a lovely holiday this time, and I'll be blogging lots about it next week!

Now I'm back though in freezing Blighty - it feels it to me after the 40°C heat - I'm going to be busy editing my next book Geli Voyante's Hot or Not which is released on October 17th. I have to send my final version to my Editor on September 9th which seems alarmingly close this side of the holiday - eek! I'll be revealing the cover in a few weeks time, so keep an eye out for that.

Finally, Kept is currently on sale for 99p on Amazon UK in Kindle format, and it's 99p on Kobo as well. I've had some lovely 4* and 5* reviews left whilst I was away, and I'm thrilled that the majority of reviews for Kept are positive. In fact, I've only one bad review to-date - hurrah! Hope you're all well, and make sure you look out for my Turkey tales next week! x 


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