It's been a tough winter throughout most of Europe - and Fethiye didn't escape; colder than normal temperatures and torrential rain that lasted for days on end with only a few days gap in between. During the winter months, many is the time that we've laid in bed at night, listening to rain pelting the roof of the house and thinking, "This is bad."
This winter, however, we knew it was bad - but that still didn't prepare us for the shock when we woke up on the morning of 26th January and were greeted with Facebook photos from our friend Murat, the owner of the Sundial Otel.
Past photos of the Sundial show that the place is built on a hillside overlooking most of Fethiye and the sea beyond. Murat's photos showed us that this hillside - the hillside where we spend many a summer's day lazing around on sun loungers, the hillside where we have watched our friends get married, the hillside from where we have photographed the Fethiye sunset on so many occasions - had taken as much rain and underground water as it could handle and a huge section of it, along with its supporting wall, had collapsed, causing a landslide.
The fenced area and most of the grassed area was washed away down the hill
Of course, Murat's photos were inundated with comments because no one could believe what they were seeing. Were Murat and family okay, was anyone hurt, expressions of shock, commiserations, offers of help - and once all that was sorted (no one was hurt thankfully), we all wondered what would happen next. This was not just a quick winter repair job. This was a case of rebuilding and strengthening the side of a cliff and the hotel grounds that previously rested above it. We wondered if that was the sad and premature end of the Sundial...
But hey, you can't keep a good man down, as they say. As soon as the rain stopped, it was time to regroup and get on with the job in hand - and major construction work began. We've been following progress via Murat's Facebook photos and of course we've bobbed up there occasionally to see for ourselves. Just amazing!
The new, extended Sundial groundsAnd this family never do things by halves. An awful situation has been changed into an opportunity to extend the grounds westwards, giving even more extensive views over Fethiye.
The all-new Sundial 2012 is nearly completedThankfully, winter has finally turned to spring and the weather in Fethiye is currently sunny and warm. We went up to the Sundial a couple of days ago to see Murat, to watch some progress and take these photos - and to ask his permission to show them here. The prediction is that all will be completed in three or four weeks. We believe that prediction!