When we were at the hostel in Santorini, we were talking to a couple girls discussing their travels up to this point. Our next destination was Turkey and they had just come from there, so I asked her what we were in for. She exclaimed how much she loved Turkey, how beautiful it was and that she was disappointed in Greece. I remember thinking to myself…wow! If she thinks Greece sucks then Turkey is going to be UNREAL. Although it has some big shoes to fill since I had fallen madly in love with Greece and its beauty.
Marmaris is a Mediterranean resort town along the Turkish Riviera also known as the Turquoise coast. It has a beautiful harbour full of yachts and large touring boats for day trips for tourists. This place has endless options to keep busy including 4X4 trips, quadding, scuba diving, Turkish baths, fishing trips, water parks and much more. With plenty of restaurants to choose from and cheap shopping, it really is a great place to plan a vacation.
For those who have been following us, I think its safe to say that you know we did none of those. Although extremely tempted to book a day trip at an insanely cheap prices we are pretty content to spend our time walking and laying by the beach. The prices here are great. For every 5 Turkish Lyra it equals to 1 euro or 1.50$ Canadian. You can find full meals at restaurants for 20-30 lyra on average. The food has been amazing. We are back on to eating healthy again which has been really nice, but we have not missed out on good food doing so! Large omelette breakfasts are very common here and although everything comes with basically a loaf of bread, fries or pasta, we have managed to get around that easily ordering meat dishes and salads. We have particularly fallen in love with halloumi dishes here and continue to go back to the same restaurant for it! Last blog I boasted about the tomatoes and now Im going to boast about the red peppers. I had red peppers. They have to be cooked into something like a pasta or stew or sauce, I will eat around them if they’re too big or pick them out if raw. Our halloumi dish came with roasted red peppers and I decided to give them a try, I love trying new food cause you just never know, your palette constantly changes. Well I was amazed by this roasted pepper on my plate. It was sweet with a little kick to it, with a grilled flavour to it, it was the perfect combination with the chewy and salty halloumi cheese. Just writing this now, I want to go back for another dish and we probably will!
We do plan on trying some Turkish dishes but will give our bodies a bit of time to recover from what we put them through in Italy. Turkish Delights and Baklava are on the list but will wait until Istanbul.
We have gone to a couple beaches since arriving here. The beautiful and popular Icmeler Beach, about a 20 minute bus ride from the harbour. Sitting in a horseshoe shaped bay it is surrounded by large green mountains and plenty of walking streets and restaurants. The water is busy with speed boats and tourists tubing and parasailing. All the beaches here have sun beds and umbrellas and signs that say they’re free. All equipped with a local trying his hardest to get you to come to their side, we were a bit hesitant thinking “nothing is free these days, there’s a catch” but turns out, it basically is! They offer these free beds with wifi and showers in the hopes that you, in turn, order drinks or food. The first time we tried it we only ordered two waters and stayed waterfront for 5 hours! And we never got harassed or kicked out. Pretty awesome! So we took full advantage of this at Icmeler and Marmaris Beach right by our place. The weather has calmed down a bit since our first day here so we had a day of shopping at the mall and walking through The Grand Bazaar and side street shops.
Mark and I are total creatures of habit, meaning, once we find a place we like, we tend to continue going back. This has proved to work out in our favour in Turkey. We go to the same place for breakfast every morning and are always greeted with huge smiles and “what a nice couple!” and little perks of bigger portions or extra cheese! Some might think you could lose out on trying new things or menu items but I love building that report with a place, I like to think we all look forward to each familiar face. The breakfast place especially as it’s run by a sweet family that always makes you feel at home!
As we are actually in Asia now and not Europe so the way they try to coax you into their shop or restaurant can be intense. For those who have spent anytime in Cambodia or Thailand knows this all too well. You cannot window shop or read menus without being harassed immediately. Good luck walking by without being yelled at and followed for a few feet by someone saying “Hello brother…” “Where are you from…” “Can I ask you one question…” anything to get your attention to even just make eye contact. We try to completely avoid the Grand Bazaar for that reason. Last night for dinner we were walking by trying to get to our usual restaurant and I couldn’t even finish a sentence without being interrupted even though we aren’t making eye contact or even seeming like were interested at all in what their offering. I find it pretty funny, Mark, well it drives him mental. It can be somewhat uncomfortable but my suggestion is to pretend you dont speak any language, you’re a deaf mute and just smile, head up, look straight and keep walking. White noise folks, white noise!
When I heard about the way the bus system worked I was pretty stoked. You can flag it down from any spot on the street at any time. There is no looking for a specific bus stop or waiting for a specific time it comes. We are in the heart of downtown so the buses drive by every 30 seconds. So when we caught the cheap bus (3 lyra each one way) I said to Mark, “This is amazing, I love the bus system here!” Well on the way home from the beach we were eager to get home, shower and grab some food and this is where the system worked against us. It took what seemed like forever to get home! I swear the bus got flagged down every 20 feet! Someone would flag is down and you would see another person waited 20 feet up the road and we would have to stop for them! It felt never ending! So I guess I only like it when its convenient for me!
Our time spent here has been great, we are very eager to move on again and see what else awaits us in Izmir and Istanbul. Although I do agree with the girl in Greece that Turkey is amazing, I’m not quite convinced yet that its better than Greece. But hey, there’s more time and plenty more to experience! I am sooo excited for that.