Thursday, 6 August 2015

Sail Back: Marmaris

Marmaris in Turkey will always hold a special place in my heart. It was where I spent my first long holiday alone without my parents. Granted I was 20 years old back in 2009, but my holidays had always been family affairs, and the occasional day in Cherbourg and a long weekend in Barcelona can't really count.

July 2009

Marmaris was a world away from the relative security of fly and flop holidays to Spain in my childhood years, made clear by the long journey which saw us arriving at Ceylan Apartments with the breaking dawn and before the first of the days call to prayer.

Marmaris Old Town

Nestled beneath the hills above it, Marmaris is similar to many resorts, with a wide sweeping bay dotted with restaurants and finished off with a marina. We were here for some sun, and it was guaranteed with the mercury hovering at about 35c most days. Mostly we enjoyed relaxing on the beach whilst kind staff brought us chilled beers and cocktails.

In the evenings, we ran a gauntlet of Maitre d' all making various offers and telling us about the freshness and quality of the food in their restaurant. As our first experience like this we were unprepared and likely made a few bad food choices. I do remember each restaurant tended to dish out a kind of dried bread with what I can only describe as curry butter; it was simple and tasty and I wish I knew more about it. Our hearts were won by the man who simply said "I say nothing". Get me a table!

Parasailing

The beach was popular for watersports due to the size of the bay and space available on the public beach. As soon as we spotted the parasailing boat we knew where the day would take us, and a few hours later we were soaring above Marmaris with spectacular views of the bay. The following day we'd have some fun on the ringo being dragged behind a speedboat whilst we clung on for life!


Of course no trip to Turkey would be complete without exploring the old town and bazaar, and after a pick about the narrow market, we were lured up to a bar by weather worn signposts which boasted panoramic views over the marina. We weren't disappointed, and loved finding a little peace and quiet - we were the only ones there after all!

Seeking out hidden treasures

Marmaris also had everything else a couple of twentysomethings might want from a holiday, some we explored, some we didn't. Boat trips and belly dancers made for a great day and night out, but we stayed away from the nightclubs favouring  poolside fun with the reps and a laugh at the karaoke singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. I figured I had nothing else to loose as I'd already done a drunk Macarena after a fishbowl. Oh and, fishbowls.

Looking back at this first trip now, I can see where so many of our holiday trends have come from. Trends like looking out the hidden gems, boats and watersports, and good times. We were pretty broke, packing our own cereal into our hold luggage, and gladly accepting the free bread from the shop opposite our apartment to make sandwiches with to save money. But we has a great time exploring a new country just the two of us, and that's become the habit of a lifetime.

Ringo fun!
Other blogs from the Sail Back series: