Friday, 13 March 2015

© Destination Turkey! - Istanbul to Kalkan

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One of those cities on a lot of people's 'Bucket List' - Istanbul. We arrived in early March to find some cold weather compared to the UK! A vast city spread over 2000 square miles.
Staying in the area of the famous Blue Mosque we explored the neighborhood on foot.

Inside the magnificent building the huge dome and interior is viewed by thousands of visitors from all over the world.

The neighboring Christian Mosque is also a lesson in Ottoman architecture. At night both buildings show off a beautiful illumination.

The main square shows its fine architecture with impressive detail to all its gates.

A study in perspective!

Transportation around the city is best done on the efficient modern tram system.

Heavy clothing was the secret and exploring the shops where windows were stunning in their displays of food and wares!

Local food was always delicious!

Turkish displays always gorgeous!

The local mobile green grocer makes his daily rounds!

An occasional splash of colour in the city.

From the streets of the city we flew on to our familiar haunt on the southwest Turquoise Coast and lovely resort town of Kalkan.

Beautiful Kalkan Harbour

The blue waters of the Mediterranean beckon!

Cobble streets hold uncountable shops!
Fabulous Restaurants in Kalkan - too many to chose with unmatched hospitality!

Bay of Kalkan

Fun exploring up into the mountains - a stop for a drink of spring water!

A perfect bay for visiting yachts to come and lay anchor!


Kalkan Harbour entrance.

Nearby Kaputas Beach

Wherever we traveled in Turkey it seems that the attitude toward stray animals, dogs & cats namely, is one to be admired and sets a great example. We understand all are cared for by a Government Vet as well as some of the private sector, all well fed and clean. (we are interested in knowing the origin of such animal treatment in Turkey, if anyone knows please drop us a line!) This makes them all very friendly to the general public and not a nuisance, rather a pleasure to have as company through the towns and no vermin to be found anywhere!

Shrimp Roll anyone?
The lovely town of Kalkan offers some of the best early evening walks and real relaxation is easily found watching the sunset from one of the many wonderful restaurant terraces! We have found the hospitality here unmatched making some fun new friendships!

Market Day every Thursday in Kalkan town centre. One has to see to believe! Everything one could imagine at fabulous prices. We love supporting the locals who farm their wares about 80km from town and display them here today and over to the larger town of Kas tomorrow. 
The shear size and quality of fruit and vegetables we found remarkable.

Eating lunch under the tent with homemade veggie & cheese pancakes makes for a treat with a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. Tastes beyond description!

We had to take some oranges home and try the Medicine Man's secret potions!

Without question: THE sweetest oranges we have ever eaten!

We find every talent one can imagine from the watch repairman to the DVD man!

Certainly each Thursday is one not to miss in Kalkan ... more to come!

Another lovely day to explore the neighborhood of Kalkan, to the north lies Islamlar and the stunning landscapes below of the agricultural regions abeam Patara with its famous long beach!

Coming down the narrow mountain road we find natural refreshment flowing out of the hillside, sweet fresh water to stop and enjoy!

Further around the coast we find the far side of Kalkan Cay and beautiful places to explore the shallow waters while snorkeling in the turquoise ocean that is seen from the roadside above.

Once in a while a ferocious storm can sweep through the area as did in past months taking out the road to Kas. This time there was a strange phenomena of high winds from the east coming down the protective mountainside and roaring across the bay of Kalkan!

The day before ...

Storm arrives!

Tropical Storm force winds roar westward.

Last days in Kalkan .... the town just coming back to life from a winter hibernation! All of "Old Town" still under renovations, shops being upgraded or expanded for the approaching season. The fire debris is now removed and rebuild is imminent not affecting the waterfront too drastically now. From above it is hardly visible and the view back to Kisla still gorgeous.

After a few months away this year 2015 see us return to Kalkan in September. Fabulous warm weather still prevails but days are quite comfortable now with windows open allowing the breeze to flow off the Bay of Kalkan.

This trip we explore the attractions found close to home. The first with a 40 minute drive northward into the Saklikent Gorge. Spotting rows of pomegranate trees being clue you are very close.

Cut by water thousands of years ago the hike through the gorge is 4km long and for those fit enough to accept some of the small challenges along the way. Wearing good soled water shoes being the secret the gorge offers vistas beyond comprehension making it one of southern Turkey's main attractions.

The Canyon is 300 meters deep and 18km long, one of the deepest on the planet. Rising winter waters flow so hard within that tourism comes to a halt being too dangerous. Melting snows from the Taurus Mountains contribute to the levels as melting snow water flows into the Mediterranean Sea. After April the tourism season can begin again.

Reaching the end of the hike one finds a small waterfall poring from the creases above. The round trip taking about an hour to complete. Once back outside the casual restaurants found throughout the grounds making lunch and a cool drink very welcome. Lazing by the quiet waters as ducks drift by your table dining on fresh trout is the way to go!

From Saklikent Gorge we return back to the villa and witness yet another stunning sunset from our top-deck overlooking Kalkan Bay. Tomorrow we explore the ancient Lycian City of Patara!

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