Days 9-12 Relaxing in Kas and Kalkan
My family travelled around Western Turkey & this site tells our first hand experiences.
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This part of Southern Turkey is known as the Turquoise
Coast and is truly beautiful. It has a rugged and rocky feel to it and
the whole coastline (at least that which we have seen) has high rocky
hills (or small mountains?) surrounding the land like a castle wall protecting
Turkey from the marauding army of the Mediterranean Sea with the small
towns such as Kas (pronounced Kash) and Kalkan looking like marketplaces
have sprung up around ornate castle gates. The view of the little harbour
of Kas is stunning as we float high above it, close the top of these mountainous
castle walls suspended under a large banana shaped parachute. Paragliding
had not been on our original itinerary but the lure of the thrill of this
new experience had been just too difficult to resist as we had sat by
our hotel pool at Club Hotel Phellos watching these human birds fly over
The most stressful part of the experience was actually the video being taken to capture the moment. I don't object to the idea of a video but they did insist on trying to get us to whoop or scream which really didn't seem appropriate on such an otherwise stress free descent. The panorama as we flew was immense and I wished that I had been able to bring my camera. The curve of the coast looked like a scimitar blade with the turquoise blue sea meeting the reddish/white cliffs of the coastline before it turned green with the many small climbs of bushes and olive trees that run all the way up the hills. As we came lower we could easily spot our hotel and the place where,the previous day, we had sat contemplating whether to do this. As we landed I think we unanimously enjoyed it but now also yearned for something a little more exhilarating - Sky Diving seems to be top of the list!
The rest if our day and much of the rest of the days were spent either by the hotel pool, walking around the beautiful market of Kas, eating and drinking in the many restaurants and by the beach which had the unusual feature of a fresh water spring running into the sea which meant that the top of the water was ice cold while beneath it was comparatively warm. There was not a proper beach as such where we went but a series of sun loungers severed by a local restaurant and a large platform about a metre above the sea with a ladder to the water but plenty of depth to dive or jump in.
Callum and Kate to into town to get a 'noodle' float but despite 45 mins of searching (and as I later found out a bowl of ice cream) they return with 2 plastic inflatable rings a pink one and yellow one. They're cheap but do the job and Kate and Tom spend a good deal of the afternoon drifting further and further from the shore until their paranoid father (their words not mine) calls them in as he is worried they won't be able to make it back against the strong current. There are so many shops but many if them sell the same or similar. Callum buys Turkish Delight for his friends, Kate buys a white dress (with a substantial donation from Callum) and Tom finishes off his money by buying rose water soap (a present, not for himself !) and a pen. The kids also club together to buy me a t-shirt I have been eyeing up (basically a Turkish Flag (bright red with a crescent and a star). It seems by the end that Callum has given away most of his money so the rest of us decide to buy him a backgammon set he has been eyeing up for a while.
I've been looking everywhere for a local picture or painting but despite the amazing array of artefacts on sale, artwork is difficult to find in the shops. Initially I find a beautiful water colour of Istanbul in an antique shop but it turns out to be by a semi-famous Russian artist and costs £700! Finally I find a small workshop where a local artist is creating handmade wooden print landscapes of the Kas area (although even this man is not Turkish - he has a distinctly French accent). During our trip we've all eaten and tried a lot of the local food but now we are in a tourist area the kids all rebel and insist on a cheese burger! They also pick a spot in a local cafe/bar near the town centre where they sell excellent milkshakes and ice creams. We come back to this spot whenever the heat gets too much or they need something cool to drink.
We play rummy, go fish and motormouth for many happy hours and even learn (or in my case re-learn) a new game - Pit (which is really a very old game). We also have breakfast here one day where we discover that 'scrabled' egg is not the same as scrambled egg. In fact it appears instead to be fried egg!
Our final day relaxing is spent at the villa that the Harris' are renting in Kalkan, a nearby town. In order to tick off another experience we decide to take the bus. However this isn't quite as 'local' as I had thought. It turns out to be a minibus carrying lots of tourists to and from beaches along the coast. Once in Kalkan, Martin comes down from their villa which is high in the hills of Kalkan in his hire car which is a little white Fiat to collect us. It would be a strenuous walk up the hill to the villa and even the 1000cc Fiat struggles in anything less than 1st gear.
The villa is wonderful. There is a good size swimming
pool surrounded by paving stones an sun loungers, a small garden with
a lovely pale green olive green that dapples the garden with some welcome
shade and where the wall meets the road there is a wide vista of the bay
of Kalkan. Inside the building it is tastefully furnished. A lounge, kitchen,
diner gives way on one side to a small conservatory with wicker table
and chairs while the other accommodates a spiral staircase which leads
to two good sized bedrooms with a connecting balcony. A further set if
stairs takes you to a roof terrace which a handy wooden roof than provides
shops selling Turkish lamps, carpets, clothes, fezs (Kate and Tom Harris
both buy one and manage to negotiate a buy one get one half price - 15
TL for the two), painted pottery, obviously fake leather handbags, watches
and t-shirts. Every restaurant appears to have its own roof terrace and
we had a very pleasant meal in one called Authentic Restaurant (is this
an implied insult to the rest!?).