Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Visit to Finike before we commit

August 13 - 16

We rented a car and drove the 4 hours to Finike to see what life will be like in our new home. We took the coastal road, which was extremely twisty. Amazing views, it very much reminds us of BC. Not what I expected Turkey to look like at all. Mountains, valleys, ocean and prairies are just the beginning. Tons of agriculture and fresh fruits and veggies.

We stopped in Fethiye for lunch as we may need to stop here to have our fibreglass repair done from when we were hit in Mykonos. We also stopped in Kas to check out their marina and get a quote. The marina is beautiful but the marina is not within walking distance to town. There was not much there other than the Migros market and a few restaurants. We decided against this marina for these reasons.

umbrella covered street in Fethiye

lunch in Fethiye
I am glad we made the trip to Finike before arriving by boat. It would have been a shock had we not been prepared. It is a small agricultural town. Unlike Marmaris that is EXTREMELY touristy, Finike is the opposite. I thought that I didn’t really care for loads of people and busy places but was shocked to find out how much I would miss the craziness of Marmaris (loud clubs and tourists) and our new community of people. By the end of our 4 day trip I had come to terms with the small town feel and knew that we would be able to make a new community of people once we arrived.

Finike is like Hope, BC (mountain views and all) with the exception of the ocean, 12 KMs away is a larger busier city called Kumluca, and 1.5 hours away is Antalya the 4th largest city in Turkey. 

Shaun had booked us a super cheap 2 bedroom apartment not far from the marina. The apartment was very spacious but lacked many basic items including towels. Sorry, they provided 2 towels, not much help for 4 people. Luckily we had brought all of our dirty laundry that we forgot to drop off in Marmaris. We were able to grab towels for showering. Everything happens for a reason. There was 1 roll of toilet paper and no drying towels for dishes. We realized that we would have to pick up some staple items fairly quickly. The apartment complex was next door to a huge orchard of pomegranate trees.

pomegranates galore
more pomegranates
We headed back to the marina and parked the car with the idea of fighting out what was within walking distance and how long it would take us on foot. We walked along the main street (lined with orange trees) which included several play parks and a snack shop. We found a local Doner (Donair) shop and sat down for chicken and rice wraps. For 20 turkish liras we had 4 huge wraps. The gentleman that runs the place doesn’t speak much english but was super friendly. We walked back to the car on the main street and hoped back into the car to grab the few groceries from the Migros Jet down the street. We carted them up to the apartment and chilled out in the main room with the air conditioner.

Although there were 2 bedrooms we ended up pulling all 4 mattresses into the main room because everywhere else in the apartment was stifling hot. Paige was very much out of her comfort zone as she was concerned about bed bugs. She wanted to sleep on the floor but I made her sleep on the mattress. She piled up our towels and didn’t use the pillow. By the 3rd night she was using the mattress, pillow and covers like a regular human.

The following morning we headed back over to the marina to meet with the marina manager Ziya and to look at the facilities. He is a friendly and accommodating fellow. We were asking if there were any children activities available. He was uncertain about this so asked his receptionist to come in and chat with us. She has 2 boys and explained that there is a sportsplex that offers several weekend activities. She offered to help us when we need to book the kids in. This made us feel better knowing we can get some help. We also met one of the cleaning ladies who also has an 11 year old daughter. She offered to bring her down to the marina to meet Paige. Very accommodating. 

Ziya took us around the marina, we checked out the showers and toilets (in excellent condition), the sail cleaning area along with the “Port Hole”, this is the local building that has books, a BBQ area, a table and a bar area. This is where a lot of the celebrations are held. Every Saturday or Sunday the local cruisers BBQ. The local cruisers also host a radio net everyday to keep everyone informed of events, weather and any other information that comes up. 

In our conversation with Ziya we found out about a Friday market in Kumluca the town that was 12 KMs away. I was feeling under the weather so Shaun took me back to the apartment to rest while he took the girls back to the play park and snack stand. They arrived back about an hour later as Jordan needed the toilet. We all jumped into the car and headed over to Kumluca in search of the market. We had no idea where it was so we parked the car down from the main street and followed our noses. We turned right at the main intersection and happened upon the market. Very cool. Tons of excellent produce, nuts and dairy items. We headed back into Finike after we had our nw favourite dessert called trili├že. It is a cake with a creamy milk and a strawberry or caramel topping. I was sceptical at first but it was refreshing. We are now on the hunt for it in Marmaris.

We woke up on Saturday and headed to Finike’s market. There were stalls and stalls piled high with some of the best fruit and veggies I have seen and tasted. There were stall after stall of one of my favourite “vegetables” olives. We also stopped to watch 3 ladies rolling out dough very thin, adding a mixture of herbs and potatoes and then cooking it on a dome frying plate. It was amazing. The one lady got me over to flip the lovely packet and then wanted me to try rolling the dough out. I politely declined as I was scared I’d mess it up. In hindsight I should have jumped in with both feet. I will try next time I see her at the Saturday market.

clothing stalls at the Finike market
view from the back of all the stalls
more stalls
the colours were amazing
nuts and dried fruits
potatoe/herb crepes
my attempt at flipping
looking like I know what I was doing

It was time to leave so we packed everything up and carted it down to the car. I drove this time and headed along the inland road back to Finike. The views, valleys, mountains and pastures were amazing. We again marvelled how much this part of Turkey reminded us of Canada. Along our way we were in a line of traffic behind a tanker truck. It took forever but I passed it finally….. here is where my years of hearing the Dora the Explorer “I did it” song come into play. Shaun and I started to sing it…… it was hilarious.

Follow our video adventures on the following youtube channel:

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