No surprises there, then. Just a meagre roll of the eyes in what is yet another twist and turn in the Coronavirus History Of The World.
We’re referring to last month’s news where we told you about Fethiye restaurants reopening to sit-down diners and we commemorated the event with a burger at Denizatı Restaurant (we’re adventurous like that!)
And here we are in this month’s roundup of news from life in Fethiye. As I type, we are on day 2 of a 17 day lockdown…
Ending Where We Started
It just felt right. We did the rounds of our favourite bars and restaurants and April continued in the same vein. A stroll into town with the aim of catching up with Deep Blue friends and a lunch at Büyük Ev Pub & Kitchen, first.
Büyük Ev is a lively spot and the socially-distanced tables soon fill up, so we found ourselves sitting on the terrace area that lines the street. No worries.
Completely personal choice – and this can change at any time – but this is probably the best burger in Fethiye. But we were determined to order something different.
Chicken curry for Barry, Mexican chicken for me. The meals came with hot rolls and a dressed salad (not photographed). Just a great place for a lunch in a bar with a student vibe.
But what about that end? When the government announced that restaurants would once more close their doors and revert to delivery and takeaway (for those that offer the service), we and a couple of friends decided it would be fitting to spend that last Monday at Denizatı.
On my part, I just had an urge for some fried calamari and some homemade potato wedges. Meals are served with warm village bread and spiced garlic butter with olives so, for me, that all combined perfectly.
The Çalış Beach Project
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Çalış Beach promenade will be completed once we re-emerge from lockdown. End of lockdown and projected completion dates tally, so we shall see…
At the beginning of April, we took ourselves off to Bahane – one of our regular watering holes and the area where lots of the promenade activity has been taking place. It’s here where you can see why progress has been a tad on the slow side.
The finished product is going to look great but we’ve got various shapes and sizes of paving and we’ve got the ‘piano’ pattern running along the beach wall.
All of this needs to be set out in wooden frames, the concrete poured in and then the paving laid over it.
Fast forward a few weeks and this was the scene a couple of days ago. The top end of the beach was the first to be concreted. That concrete then disappeared and now, thankfully, it’s reappearing again. We hope that means whatever the problem was is now sorted.
With regards the complicated paving, some of that is making its way towards the beach entrance, as you can see. There’s still a big gap midway along the beach, along the Calisto and Motif Restaurant stretch – and still lots to do – like those piano concrete shapes.
But, 17 days with no one around. Uninterrupted progress. A few more people on the job. We really are curious to see what the promenade will look like…
The Little Things
So, daily life has plodded along. We do our thing (well, we did until lockdown) of keeping fit outdoors – walking, running, fitness classes. And, of course, lots of time in the kitchen, too.
Not so much ‘the little things’ as being part of the slowed down lifestyle we’re currently living. We took in the last of the mimosa blooms. So vibrant in their sunshine yellow as their branches are weighing down over the footpath that winds along the shoreline at Duck Island.
And – always good to have an excuse to stop and take a breather and appreciate your surroundings when out on a morning run – the sights of wisteria have brought bursts of joy along regular routes.
When we’re talking about food, I often tell people we’re having leftovers for our meals that day. That is true – but not strictly true in the sense that, whichever one of us is cooking, we usually make enough to eat for evening meal and then have for lunch the day after.
If it’s already cooked and it’s going to be eaten the day after either as it us or reheated, that could be described as leftovers. But, is it leftovers if you make too much and you don’t cook part of it – you save it for the day after?
Street Food In The Home
We decided to pair them with köfte for dinner one night. And, well, if you’ve got the meat and the ingredients and you’re going to the effort of making the meatballs, you might as well keep going til you’ve used all of the meat!
The result of that was 7 leftover meatballs. No second best for those precious treats. Off to the shops for a fresh loaf, some fried onions, a bit of rocket and fresh mint, a generous drizzle of chilli sauce.
Bringing street food into the home. Köfte arası ekmek. That was a satisfying lunch!
Al Fresco Brunching
And we know the weather’s changing when we can open the terrace up (we’re west-facing in a breezy area so these things take time) and feel the urge for a leisurely simit brunch.
As you can see – a simit is not just a simit in our house. If that decision is made, it’s a leisurely affair with lots of added extras. We’ve had two of these, now, which just shouts out to us that summer is around the corner.
We love this time of year! A little bit of hope for all things new and better to come.
The Heat Of Hummus
There’s a bit of a trend at the moment in some of the restaurants around Fethiye. Whilst hummus has long been a regular feature of the meze fridge, some places are now offering hot hummus topped with either pastırma or sucuk.
As we can’t go to restaurants at the moment, we make our own at home. This recent one, topped with hot entrecote pastırma and sizzling chilli oil was quickly mopped up with fresh chunks of Ramazan pidesi!
On The Blog
If our slower pace of life over the last 12 months has done one thing, it’s given us the opportunity to really sit down and give some articles on the blog the time they deserve.
We’ve still got a long way to go and these two articles have been a long time coming.
April was the month where Turkish pickles – turşu – took their rightful place as a standalone article on the blog. How to make them, how to eat them, why you should eat them. It’s all there.
And April was also the month where we celebrated all things Turkish sucuk!
Seasonal Food Abundance
As the weather starts to warm up, springtime brings with it an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables. April has been a month of broad beans. And, in the fruity department, the branches of trees are weighed down with loquats and mulberries.
Local strawberries are also out at the moment and this strawberry tart, using local ingredients is a light treat.
No local markets allowed during the current lockdown which is a shame – they’re much missed by us – but we can still buy from elsewhere.
Guess what, Fethiyespor’s last match of the regular season was today – and the boys enjoyed a massive 6-2 win at home against Atlas Maden Çengelköyspor! It seems like this season has gone on forever.
For now, though, the matches continue as the team have finished in the playoffs. Click here to see the league standings. So, if we’re allowed to go to matches next season, let’s hope we’re watching them in 2. Lig rather than the current 3. Lig they’re playing in.
Earlier in the month we had the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. One of the legs is the Fethiye to Marmaris leg so a smattering of people stood by the roadside to cheer the cyclists on as they left town.
And in wrestling news, earlier this month was the Wrestling European Championships in Poland. Gold medal in the 57 kg category was won by Fethiye’s very own Süleyman Atlı. The event was also an Olympic qualifier so Turkey will be represented by Süleyman Atlı in this category.
Ending On A Happy Note
And, just to end on a feel-good happy note. Earlier in April, it was, of course, Easter. The Guardian posted a great article about paskalya cöreği (Easter buns) and how, in one patisserie, they unite different communities in Istanbul. You can read the article here.
We really hope, at the end of May, we’re telling you about the end of lockdown, the reopening of restaurants and markets. And maybe even a few travel plans!