After a night in Pamukkale, I hopped on what became a very long and strange bus ride to the seaside town of Fethiye. The 16-seat minibus started out only half full, with only fellow foreigners as passengers. When the bus started up and departed, we all seemed to take this as a sign that we could remain spread out amongst the seats and that there would be no one else boarding the “direct” route to Fethiye. We were wrong on both counts, as was made clear by the time the bus had pulled over seven different times so Turks, young and old, in one small town could board, often with huge suitcases and sacks of food, to go to another small town.
The bus quickly filled with unexpected passengers and their bulky carry-ons, and the new additions often stared at us as if we were the ones that boarded unannounced. Eventually the comfy little minibus became more an image of an Istanbul city bus at rush hour: people crammed in the aisles, pushing to make space, falling over each other. We made several stops along the way to let people off in little mountain villages and dusty country towns, where they’d take their children by the hand, heave the sacks over their shoulders, and walk off down the lane to wherever it was they were going. It was strange, to say the least, but not altogether surprising, and the drive was quite picturesque. I hope everyone was able to get to where they wanted.
I, of course, got to where I wanted, and upon arrival at the bus station, was accosted by staff members looking to sell me accommodation for the night. When I informed them that I’d already made arrangements, they tried to sell me other things: tours, boat rentals, bus tickets, paragliding.
Paragliding. Like parasailing, except instead of getting lifted off a boat, you sprint and jump off a mountain and hope for the best.
I was sold.
“But maybe you are too tired today?” they said. “You can go tomorrow?”
“Is there time today?” I asked. It was around 5pm.
The looked at me surprised, but excited for a sale. “Yes! Sunset tour! Very nice, very nice! The best. They will pick you up here in 5 minutes.”
After haggling a little over the price and making sure that I’d be dropped off afterwards at my hotel, I found myself on another minibus, clutching a flimsy ticket, prepping my camera, and cruising up a mountain. It was a pretty impromptu splurge, but it was nice to get something out of the day other than traveling, and I can safely say I’d have paid twice as much to do it again. It was that incredible.
As promised, I was dropped off at my hotel afterwards, which was a great place with a pool and a lovely view. During the next couple days I spent a lot of time poolside, relaxing and looking at photos and trying to do some blogging, but I also took a day tour of nearby Dalyan, which I’ll post more about next time. Until then, all my love!
OK. You’ve done it. I am JEALOUS.
We’re at Lakeside, Michigan for the week and sitting an internet cafe (listening to The Chapel of Love). The beach has been spectacular. But when Anne and Hannah looked at these pix, they just said, “wow.”
Maybe next summer you can come to Turkey instead! I’ll take you all along the Turquoise Coast! :)
Crazy but exciting! Just a question.. How did you manage to take pictures from up there??? Weren’t u afraid of losing your camera????? :)
Haha! I was actually nervous about it until we took off… But part of the equipment and harnesses is a seat that you sit in for the duration of the flight, so it helps create a nice lap. Plus, the air time is really very calm, not choppy or turbulent like you might expect. It’s literally floating! So my camera was around my neck, and when I wasn’t using it, I was able to put it in my lap without worry! :) The tricky part was that the harness prevented me from being able to move my arms much, so I just kind of help up the camera and hoped for some decent shots.