The main beach at Vlorë, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Vlorë, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Sarandë, Albania on April 14th

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fethiye and the Amyntas Rock Tombs

We are just getting ourselves into a blog posting routine here in Turkey. I know that it feels to most of you like you missed a daily blog post along the way, but our activities take place 7 hours ahead of eastern time and this blog post actually gets us caught up. You haven't missed a thing! 

We will try to post during our morning here which means when those of you in North America wake up each morning, there will be a blog post waiting for you and you will be able to read Travel with Kevin and Ruth while drinking your morning coffee.

Wednesday morning, we slept in a little bit and didn't get up until around 7:30am. It will take a couple of days for our systems to get used to the time change difference. We don't really let ourselves experience "jet lag" so to speak, and we force ourselves into the current time zone right away.

We relaxed for the morning and did some internet research about the area. We didn't set off until almost noon.

Morning view from our apartment.

Ruth found a friend.

We decided to walk down to the old central area and the Amyntas Rock Tombs. It was about a 3.5 km (2.1 mile) walk one way, mostly downhill.

This place sells an odd selection of products!

Typical side street.

We walked by this cemetery.

These rock tombs date to 300BC!

And just up the hill we found the Amyntas Rock Tombs. 

The tomb was built around 350BC by the Lycians, the people who lived in this area of Turkey at the time. The Lycians were never members of a specific country, but rather a tightly-knit confederation of independent city-states, which included Telmessos.

The tombs were carved out of the rock wall.


We paid the 10 lira ($1.70 CAD, $1.30 USD) to climb the steps to the main tomb.

Not many other tourists around except for a van load of young people who we think were speaking Czech.

Ruth, climbing the steps to the tomb.

Ruth at the main tomb.



Views from the tombs.

When we learned we were coming to Turkey, we got in touch with friends Volkan and Heather. Volkan is originally from Turkey, and Heather is from South Africa but we met them in New York City in March of 2014. We've kept in touch over the years, but not regularly. They also travel a lot, so they could have been anywhere in the world.

He got back to me to say that they are in Turkey right now! And even more surprisingly, they were in the same town that we were headed to. Wow!

So we made arrangements to meet for dinner at the fish market. We made our way there just to check it out to be sure we knew where we were going later in the day.



The fish market.

It's an interesting place because you buy your fish at the market and then whichever restaurant you choose that surrounds the market will cook it for you for a small fee... and supply salads and drinks as well.

The old town.

The "old town" is the trinket area where the cruise ship tourists go. We decided to wander through, against our better judgement.

There are very few tourists in town, and of course no cruise ships at all. So the place was pretty dead.

This spice guy waved us over.

Immediately, his wife showed up with a cup of apple "tea" each. Tasted more like apple juice to me! And the guy started asking us to taste things and try samples of everything. Well, because we have a basically empty kitchen, Ruth needed some spices anyhow so we played along. Eventually we did choose three bags of spice and some dried apricots.

But of course we hadn't talked about prices yet.

The guy brings us to his scales, and weighed everything and he declared that it came to 130 lira ($21.60 CAD, $16.40 USD) which is ridiculous and we started to walk away.

But he wouldn't let us go, and said "oh wait, but that is the regular price... not the price for you."

It was too funny. We bantered back and forth and ended up paying 70 lira ($11.60 CAD, $8.80 USD) which is probably still double what it should have been, but we felt sorry for the guy, and he did give us quite a few freebies including some delicious Turkish delight.

Then, we needed somewhere for lunch.

Because of our gluten free situation, and the fact that we don't speak the language, it's not easy. But we found a little kebap place where I had a meat one and rice, and Ruth had chicken wings.

Not the best lunch we've had, but it put something in our stomachs.

32 lira ($5.30 CAD, $4.00 USD).

Then we went for a walk along the waterfront.
Nice bike path, and maybe we will rent some bicycles for a couple of hours one day.


Scenery along the way.

Okay.

One of the reasons we use Scotiabank in Canada is that they are the most fee friendly bank for Canadian travelers. Our Scotiabank Passport Visa has no foreign exchange fees, and they have a large network of foreign banks where you pay no ATM fees. So we need to make sure we use the TEB banks whenever possible here in Turkey to get cash.

We came across one such ATM, and took out 1,600 lira ($265 CAD, $201 USD) cash to keep us going for a while.

Our overpriced apricots and spices.

We walked back to the apartment and rested for a couple of hours before heading out again to walk down to the fish market.

View from our apartment at dusk.

We tried to book another week here, but unfortunately he already had someone coming in the day after we leave. So we got one more night here for a total of 8. We will leave here next Wednesday morning.

At the fish market.

We met up with Volkan and Heather. Last time we saw them, six years ago in New York, I knew that we would meet up again at some point in time. Who would have thought it would be in Turkey?!

We had a nice meal and it was convenient having Volkan around because he speaks the language! We sat for a couple of hours and got caught up with each other. They will be in Turkey for the next few months, so we will no doubt be seeing them again.

Dinner is served!

The whole fish itself cost 25 lira (4.16 CAD, $3.15 USD) each. Then, it cost another 40 lira ($6.65 CAD, $5.04 USD) each to cook it and serve up a salad and a shot of raki, the local hooch. 

Forgot to get a photo of us together. I looked back to the time we met them in New York, and we also didn't get a photo of us then! Strange.

We ended up walking 17 kms (10.5 miles) yesterday, so today might be a day of rest, however I am sure we will go out for a stroll. There is a path behind us that leads up into the hills... maybe we will see where that leads!

Total distance walked in Turkey 17 kms (10.5 miles).
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Deal of the day on the AstroAI Mini Fridge.

And in Canada...


30 comments:

  1. I always like to look up animal sounds in different languages. In Turkish, cats say "miyav". Looks like you guys are off to a great start! Enjoy and be safe.

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    1. I never thought about that, although it is spelt differently it still sounds the same as "meow".

      We are off to a great start! :-)

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  2. You're right, I read your blogs while having coffee when I get up. Thanks for posting all three costs of things it's quite a difference. I love following you, thanks.

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    1. We are glad that the post was there waiting for you in the morning.

      We always like to post the prices of things to give people and idea of that things cost and of course the exchange rate, and because the majority of our readers are American it is only right to post the US equivalent as well. :-)

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  3. Wow, now that was a full day for sure. Paid a good bit for those spices for sure but think of it as travel dues. It could be that the money you paid is all the revenue they earned in a day. Everyone seems to be struggling lately these days. Apartment is nice and too bad you couldn't stay longer but you can trek back another time. Have fun. Thanks for the posts.

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    1. It was a full day but it was also a fun and interesting one.

      The spice guy was a good salesman, and yes it wouldn't surprise us if we were his only customers of the day. Once we got him down to a more reasonable price we don't feel too badly ripped off, we needed some spices and he was a really nice guy.

      It is a shame we can't stay in this apartment longer but I have no doubt that Kevin will find another that is just as nice.

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  4. Very beautiful view from.your apartment..interesting markets and so fun To explore the local foods and wares...always barter as low as u can at foreign markets..lol.. love following your travels.. enjoy :-)

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    1. The view from our apartment makes the hike up the hill worth every penny, or should that be lira, lol!

      We love going to the local markets, they are so different from the ones at home and yes, you need to barter down as much as you can especially in this culture, they expect it.

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  5. This is bringing back many wonderful memories of having stayed in Fethiye a few years back, thank you. Just as a tip, if a shoeshine boy drops his brush, don't pick it up. ;) Don't ask how I know.

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    1. Up until Kevin booked our Airbnb, we had never heard of Fethiye and now we are reading comments of other readers including yourself that have been here in the past, we think that is pretty neat.

      We will keep your tip on the shoeshine guy in mind, lol. :-)

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    2. Not sure if this is in your plans but look at visiting Oludeniz beach, its where the movie "Blue Lagoon" was filmed. Beautiful area.

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    3. We are headed over to Ölüdeniz tomorrow, I am sure we will see the beach but we aren't actually going to visit but to catch a boat for a day trip. Hopefully we will have time to come back and check out the area.

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  6. I notice some people wearing masks!

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    1. Yes Mom... just like everywhere else in the world right now!

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  7. Hello Kevin and Ruth - always enjoy reading about your travels! Great photos - makes it somewhat OK to be stuck indoors or at least stay local during these strange times. The shop you in your photo was selling mostly items not approved for Muslims - Pork and pork products and alcohol. Only thing not on the forbidden list was the Tabaco - probably why they had the sign that way.

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    1. Ah, of course, thank you. The Muslim - Pork connection never clicked!

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  8. That store definitely catered to men!! As for the spices, they are expensive here in the States and I'd like to think yours are fresher. What language is spoken there and have you encountered any issues?

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    1. Yes, spices can be expensive at home and that is sort of what I was gauging our price for bartering on. These spice most likely were fresher but they were also a mix of many different spices so that is something that we could never have found at home. We will see how they work for us, as I will be using them in my cooking over the next week.

      The language here is Turkish but there is some English especially closer to the port area where the tourist ships would come in. No, so far we haven't had any issues, we are trying hard to learn some of the basic words and phrases and what we can't convey or understand we use the Google translation app.

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  9. Nice first blog entry about Fethiye. I’m so looking forward to reading and learning about Turkey! The header photo and photos from the tombs look like somewhere in Mexico! Amazing location and history about those tombs. Too bad you forgot to take a photo with your friends.. it’s really uncanny and serendipitous for you to meet up again at this time and place! Stay safe!

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    1. Thank you Lynnette! We are very eager to tell you and our other readers all about Turkey too. We are learning new things every day here.

      We have both said how some things here remind us of Mexico and other things make us think of Romania and Moldova.

      Heather and Volkan took a selfie of us all but she hasn't sent us a copy yet, when she does we will add it to this post. It was really neat that we were both here in Fethiye at the same time, who would have thought!

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  10. According to Wikipedia, "The domestic cat is a revered animal in Islam. Admired for its cleanliness as well as for being loved by Muhammad, the cat is considered "the quintessential pet" by Muslims."
    There is a good documentary about stray cats in Istanbul called "Kedi".

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    1. Thanks for that titbit of info on the cat. We are certainly seeing more cats here than dogs, but then I remember that dogs aren't especially liked by the Muslim population. It does seem that the pets are all well looked after though.

      We will have to see if we can find that documentary online so that we can watch it.

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  11. Nice photo Ruth with cat. In Islamic tradition you can touch a cat, they are thought to be ritually clean. Different with dogs. I know you like them as much as I do. Traditionally, dogs are considered haram, or forbidden, as they are thought of as dirty. But moderates simply say Muslims should not touch the animal's mucous membranes — such as the nose or mouth — which are considered especially impure. Pork is the only meat that categorically may not be consumed by Muslims. The Islam also prohibits the consumption of alcohol. But in reality you will see Moslems drink, specially in cities, less common in rural areas, where they still follow their traditional Islamic rules. On 3 January 2008, Turkey passed a smoking ban for all indoor spaces including bars, cafés and restaurants. That explains your photo with the selection of "odd" products.

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    1. Thank you Renate and thank you for the explanation about cats and dogs and the Muslim religion regarding them. I had forgotten that dogs aren't considered to be a normal pet for them. We are finding that the Muslim population here is a little more laid back compared to our visit in Morocco so we are seeing more things here that are considered taboo than we did in Morocco. Alcohol is the main difference that we have found because we never saw alcohol in the stores in Morocco but almost every store here in Fethiye has a wine, beer and hard booze section.

      We had totally forgotten that pork isn't eaten by the Muslims and wondered why we didn't see it in the store but as soon as you mentioned that I remembered why we didn't see it, although we did see bacon in the store yesterday but it was a tiny package and it was very very expensive, we of course didn't by it.

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  12. It would be great to have a map! Very interesting reading about a fascinating city.

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    1. Kevin posted one in our next blog post for you. :-)

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  13. How very interesting viewing the Stone tombs. I appreciate the input from fellow bloggers r/t Islamic traditions with cats & dogs & food restrictions of pork & alcohol! Always enjoy educational experiences! Look forward to joining you in your continued travels!

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    1. We definitely enjoyed our visit to the stone tombs, we more or less happened upon them as we hadn't had a lot of time to do any real research into our trip here as it was such a last minute thing.

      It is nice that fellow readers have been giving us some input into the traditions of the Muslims here, we knew many of things before from having visited Morocco a few years ago but of course we had totally forgotten about them.

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  14. Kevin & Ruth,
    Nice pictures, and very interesting town. Was the fish good? It looked tasty, but I don't have smellavision! Keep having fun! Rawn and Joann Stone

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    1. Thank you! Yes, it is an interesting town and we look forward to seeing more of it over the coming days.

      The fish was delicious and it was cooked perfectly.

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