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Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Sunday, 12 September 2010

September 12th: Fethiye

On September 12th 1972, I was in Fethiye while driving through South-West Turkey.

From Tavas (after Denizli), where the good road ended, to Antalya took three days, much of it on poor roads, about 300 miles in all. This took us through open valleys and pine-covered mountain roads, through small villages with picturesque wooden houses, and small towns where we tried to shop for food, or find a bank or petrol. It was an empty, undeveloped part of the country, and the roads did not conform to the maps we had.

One highlight was arriving at the sea in Fethiye. We stood on the jetty and looked back at the caves on the cliffs which might have contained some of the famous Lycian tombs. This was the only part of the journey where there was any evidence of tourism as it was a harbour for yachts. Unfortunately the town was shut up that day and there was no-one around. There was some asphalt road on the way east out of Fethiye but it was poor and intermittent and had ungraded gravel stretches. It was a relief to get back on to the mountain roads again.  We drove up through the poor town of Kemer over pine-tree passes and through quaint wooden farming villages to reach the town of Korkuteli and down to the sea at Antalya.

We camped off the road each night, undisturbed. I remember one lovely spot in a grassy valley with running water where we cooked lamb cutlets on an open fire and drank wine. Another highlight in my memory of this journey was passing a travelling band as we came down off a pass, three musicians, one playing a pipe of some sort, one a beating a drum, one with some sort of stringed instrument. They danced along playing and had a bear running with them. They paid no attention to us.

I don't imagine much of what we saw remains. We must have passed close to where Dalaman Airport now is, and not too far from Olu Deniz. Here is a modern picture from Fethiye:

Lycian Tombs at Fethiye.  Picture by Andrew382, CC

View Fethiye in a larger map

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