We left Tomb Bay and sailed all the way to Wall Bay where we planned to stay the night. Unfortunately the wind became uncomfortable and with Fethiye just around the corner, we thought it best to just go there. With the wind behind us we had a great gennaker run all the way into the bay of Fethiye. As Fethiye will probably be our last shopping town for the season and we might as well make the most of it. Arriving there the Lycian rock tombs on the cliffs above the town immediately caught my eye… And then the big marina with a few very impressive big power yachts on the one side of it. We settled in pretty quickly and could not wait to see the town. Fethiye to me will always be the city of markets, shopping and the amazing Turkish bath experience! The Markets! Oh my word! The Fresh Food Markets are absolutely fabulous! The fruit and veggies were just that tad nicer, bigger and juicier than we had before. The Turkish delight in rolls upon rolls are gorgeous and eye-catching in their bright beautiful colours! Don’t ever walk past them! You do not find them anywhere as fresh as here on the markets. Then there is the Fresh Fish Market. It is quite something. In the middle of the buzzing market is a circular counter housing about 15 fish mongers each with about 15-20 different types of seafood displayed on ice. Around this is about 12 different open-air restaurants. You just pick your fish and then go to a restaurant of your choice, where for a small fee they will gill or cook it to perfection! It is a very popular place to hang out with the locals and that gives it an even nicer fibe and ambiance. If I go there again, I will make sure I eat as much of the puff Turkish bread I could stomach! It is simply delicious! What a wonderful experience!
Beside the fish, you can also choose from a few butchers any cut of dry-aged beef to be cooked or BBQ-ed for you to perfection! An absolute treat! This is where we telepathically ended up meeting old friends of ours, Kaylene and Eric. It was such a coincidence with them being on an organised world tour – what are the chances to end up at the same time, same (only night) in the same place…and that it happened to be Fethiye, was even better! We spent most of the evening right there, listening to their amazing travel tales while indulging in great food and wine. All the while being bugged by a small Turkish boy wanting a TL1 to weigh you on his own scale! It was quite hilarious. He needs to still learn the value of “timing your sale”. The Shopping: How good is that!? Before you leave Turkey, make sure you get yourself a designer bag, leather jacket and a silk scarf! They are very well made and great value for money and sometimes have the designer look, design and label! The boots however, although stunning, I found was too hard inside and comfort did not meet the beauty even halfway! If you are into these kind of decorations…they have amazing lights and ceramics! They can ship it anywhere in the world! (I don’t even mention the Turkish carpets – I have learned my lesson and it almost cost me my marriage 25 years ago! So this time we skipped all those shops!:) ) Well that has brought me to The Famous Turkish Baths! Oh my word! If you were looking for a treat… …this is it!! Here is how it works:
(The picture above is with the courtesy of Google! ) These wonderful marbled bath houses are just amazing pieces of architecture. From floor, walls and roof being made of marble and the used water that is running away in groves on the floor and not into drains to the beautiful large domes decorated with small glass windows to create a soft light for maximum relaxation. Once you have removed all your clothing in one of the dressing cubicles and wrapped the Turkish cotton cloth (looking a bit like a table cloth) around you sarong style, you are ready to go. Communication is minimal (which helps during the awkward moments!) – Not a lot of English is spoken by the attendant and may be a challenge. You’ll be given choices of bathing yourself or receiving a scrub, or massage (I think!?). I just said yes to all options – and it was the right choice anyway, all the way! You’re taken to a warm, humid room (the niches with fountains in the corners) with a raised stone benches to sit or lie on or even to a sauna (hot room) to perspire freely before they advise you to go and have a shower and shampoo. (It is a good idea to take your own Shampoo and shower gel as they don’t have great quality products there and at some places you even need to buy it off them!) Sometimes the scrubbing and some treatment like feet scrubs might start here. After the shower (to get rid of the sweat and most dirt) you are on your way to the slaughter room! No… Just joking! The whole bathing process is a treat! The biggest room in the center of the building has a large raised marble stone slab called Tummy Stone in the middle of the room, surrounded by bathing alcoves in pretty coloured quartz tiles. The tiles remove static electricity from the air, and help to relax the mind and body.
The centered Tummy Stone is where you will go and lie down half naked (cotton wrap now underneath you) and cannot wait to get on your tummy (from there the name … just a wild guess) to bury your face in your arms! From the corner of your eye you can see another male and female walking in…and it all became all a bit too weird for comfort! But you are here and will have it all for the sake of the experience! The male person (attendant) with his Turkish cotton wrap around his loins are getting into scrubbing you with a linen glove to get rid of dead skin (disgusting!), then lathering you up with a lacy cloth, like an icing bag, and blows through it to create bubbles so you’re covered from head to toe with white frothy bubbles. (A truly great felling when this soap bubble bag swooshing over you!) Now the slippery effect will be in top gear and unstoppable! With nothing to hang onto…and with buttocks tightening with every swoosh, trying to just not slip off the slab like a wet fish! – You start doubting the relaxation part of this exercise… I know now that nails do not work on marble slabs … neither is grabbing his loin-cloth! – avoid that at all cost! 🙂 (I, being much lighter than the average person around me, was moving around like a slippery bar of soap on the shower floor!) According to most websites they bath women and men separately – well, here in Fethiye we were NOT separated!!Which made it slightly more interesting… having to parade and slip around in your g-string/ bikini bottoms and bra/ no bra in front of all sexes!! I was totally unprepared for this one- I thought I have done my homework reading up about what to expect in a Turkish bath! 🙁 Then the massaging starts! Oh my word! It is fanTAStic!! – by now you will be used to be half naked under these unknown Turkish hands going freely all over your body … and you start to relax and realise that it is wonderful! It might hurt slightly at times and is certainly rougher that a Swedish massage, but it is great! Head/ scalp, neck,arms legs, feet, hands … back, stomach … they do not skip an inch! After that you get rinsed off with clean water and taken to the next room. The cold room is to relax, dress up, have a refreshing drink, sometimes tea or cold water, and, where available, a nap in a private cubicle after the massage. I was amazed how tired I felt and just sat there for almost 20 min just relaxing! I couldn’t help to spend a thought for the attendant and how tired he must have been after this hour and a half session! A great relaxing hour and a half to two hours and the best money I have spent that day! (That is besides the G&T after the bath!;) )