Monday, May 24, 2010
Yes, Patara was nice, laid-back, friendly and beautiful in its own rurally-Turkish way, but Dalyan is a cut above even that. I came here intending to spend 5 nights, but now I'm planning on 11. I was going to head up to Çannakale, see the very disappointing ruins of Troy and get in on the ANZAC tour that spotlights the WWI travails of our English-speaking friends from Australia and New Zealand, but no. I'm staying here. This place is just super. It's located on a river between a lake and the Mediterranean. You get to the beach (and a very nice beach it is) by boat. People, ıncluding myself take tours on boats. There are many boats going many places. I first came here in 1998. It was a sleepy little place barely aware that tourists existed. Now things are different. It is a destinatıon for packaged tours coming from Britain. The tourist breakdown is as follows: 65% from the UK, 15% from Turkey, 10% from Germany and 10% from everywhere else - France, Holland, Ireland and undesirables like myself. You know what? The English are now quite fat. They also sport quite a few bad tattoos - not as many as Americans, but still very many. So they've got those things going against them now, too. If they weren't extremely pale, they could just drop the accents and be Americans.
But we were talking about lovely Dalyan. Here is the beach. By the way, the Mediterranean here is warm and wavy:
It's called Turtle Beach, because the loggerhead sea turtle comes ashore here to lay its eggs. Dalyan is all about the turtles. That a likeness of the loggerhead (also known as the Caretta Caretta) adorning the town center up above in the first photo. These aren't like the Saturtles. They're big, they dive deep and they eat tons of fish. Saturtles eat grass and the occasional slow bug. They also live forever. Anyhow, Dalyan is about as eco-touristy as Turkey gets. People actually come here to see the turtles who swim in the river and into the nearby lake. I saw them once. It was early in the morning. I'm still not sure what I saw.
So this is my fourth time to Dalyan. If there's one thing that keeps me coming back, it the Carian rock tombs across the river. Have a look:
That big tomb over on the right. Do you see that? It's unfinished. I guess they figured they didn't like the guy they were building it for when he croaked, so they must've just stuck him in some hole in the ground. My hotel has the best view of the tombs across the river in all of Dalyan. Here's the lovely place right now:
I stay here every time I'm in Dalyan. They always give me the same room. Around 11 years ago, I had a fling with a Turkish girl, so I'm staying in the exact same room where we had our, ahem, foreign relations. It's not weird.
Here are thing you see along the way to the beach:
Here's something that you might see at the beach:
That's a blue crab. Ahmet the tour guide is holding it. People hang out in their boats and sell them close to the beach. I wish I liked crab, but alas. This is Dalyan's main square:
They love them some Atatürk. There was a big Atatürk celebration a few days ago with a marching band and kids doing strange folk dances and other kids reading poetry. It was a great day for Turkey and why not?
Here are a few more random photos from around town. This is the completely vacant information booth:
And this is out in front of the dolmuş stand:
Well, that's one way of putting it - and not spelling it right.
None of this can really give you a flavor of Dalyan. You have to visit. This place is completely outstanding. If it can manage to keep me for 11 nights, then they've gotta be doing something right.