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Highlights Of 2022 – A Year To Feel Grateful

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And just like that, it’s almost 2023!

But before we go hurtling into the New Year with the best intentions, fitness goals and life goals, it’s always worth taking the time to put the breaks on for a moment and have a look back at the past 12 months.

Life is full of highlights – and lowlights – but for us, 2022 was generally a good year.

As far as the blog is concerned, we’d like to be getting new articles out to you on a more regular basis and that’s definitely an aim for 2023.

But for now, let’s look at 2022…

Friends & Family

First of all, 2022 was a special time for us because we got to spend time with family and friends – some of whom we hadn’t seen for years.

All those cancelled and postponed trips due to the pandemic – and all of a sudden, once the Fethiye summer season kicked in, there everybody was.

So for that, we’re very grateful. It’s only when you see everyone again that you realise what was taken away from you.

Slow Travel

And as our friends got to travel with more ease, that, of course meant we could travel, too.

Not taking off like a bat out of hell or anything like that!

Just enjoying some changes of scenery and chilling out in a world of lifted restrictions.

Up The Road To Nif

And travel doesn’t need to involve journeying many miles away from home.

In May, we went to stay at Highland Retreat in Nif for a couple of nights. Nif is a mountain village that is but a short drive up the road from Fethiye centre.

Highland Retreat, Nif
Escape to Highland Retreat for peace and tranquility

However, this mountain life is a completely different world to life in the town. Fresh, clear air, wild mountain scenery, wildflowers dancing in the spring breezes.

And a hop over the provincial border from Muğla Province into Denizli Province to more highland village life and a tasty Turkish village breakfast! Bliss.

A Short Break On The Greek Island Of Rhodes

And another reason to be grateful. The pandemic, topped with a sprinkling of politics, meant ferries between Turkey and Greece stopped for a while.

In 2022, those links were once more restored and it meant we could go to Greek islands such as Kastellorizo from Kaş, Kos and Leros from Bodrum and Turgutreis, Samos from ports around Izmir.

Fethiye To Rhodes High Speed Ferry
A day trip – or longer – to Rhodes in winter

And for us in Fethiye, we were able to get the Fethiye Rhodes ferry.

We’ve enjoyed a day trip in Rhodes Town so many times. This time, we made the most of the situation by having a few days on the island.

Lovely to be able to able to enjoy wandering the old town at our leisure. But also lovely to hire a car and explore more of the island.

There was a bit of a heatwave in Fethiye at the time so the island breezes of Rhodes were very welcome!

Rhodes Town View
We love a trip over to Rhodes

Right now, here in December, some of the ferry companies are still offering winter crossings.

We love that these ties are once again in place and hope they continue.

We’re slowly building our Rhodes content on the blog with the two new articles linked above added this year.

You can also read about the village of Koskinou. And we’ve got lots more of the island to share with you, too.

Antalya Times Two

Antalya featured twice in our 2022 travels. Again, a feeling of gratitude, particularly for the first of our two trips in early March.

We were there for the Runtalya event.

Whilst the run had taken place the year before, it was under pandemic restrictions. And as bars and restaurants were closed at the time, we would have had to stay in an all inclusive hotel.

Not our idea of a great weekend away. And, really, the mood just wasn’t there.

So, this year’s event was more anticipated than usual! 2022 was the return of running events in Turkey.

So happy to be able to get on the Fethiye to Antalya bus and to be part of a crowd of runners again.

Kaleiçi Old Town, Antalya
We always stay in the old town of Antalya

And happy to be able to wander the streets and alleyways of the Kaleiçi old town so freely.

I didn’t even do any specific training for the run. It was about trotting round in my own time and soaking it all up.

One of my slowest Runtalya 10k times and I cared not one jot. My favourite Runtalya event to date – and we’ve done a few!

Barry, meanwhile, raced around the half marathon course, bagging himself a course PB by 14 minutes! Good effort!

Times Two

And then in July, we returned to the city again for Barry’s birthday. We’re always in Antalya in March so we wanted to see how it changed in the summer season.

Spoiler alert: Apart from the temperature being a tad hotter and the beach bars being in full flow, there’s not much difference, at all.

Like Fethiye, life continues as usual, at least around the old town area.

We visited favourite bars and restaurants and tried a couple of new (to us) ones.

Düden Waterfalls Antalya
The Upper Düden Falls didn’t disappoint

And, after having good intentions for so many years to visit, we finally made it to the stunning Upper Düden Waterfall.

That completed the mini set after we visited the lower falls a few years earlier.

It was much appreciated, too, in the summer heat. Lush greenery and the cooling spray of the fall!

You can read more (and see photos), here, of both the Upper and Lower Düden Falls.

Bodrum/Akyaka

September took us on a quick overnight trip across the Muğla Province from our home in Fethiye to Bodrum.

Friends had stayed there for a week and then were coming to Fethiye for the following week.

An excuse for us to drive over there for a night.

Akyaka Restaurants
Dine with the ducks and geese on the Azmak Nehri in Akyaka

We stopped off for lunch in the tranquility of Köyceğiz on the way there. And then we all stopped off in pretty Akyaka on the way back.

A meal by the river and a wander around town. Akyaka is always guaranteed to impress those who have never been there before.

Wigan

And then, the beginning of this month took us to our old hometown of Wigan!

I hadn’t seen my dad in such a long time, so we headed to the UK.

A real highlight of the year was the opportunity to take part in our first ever Parkrun with friends.

Haigh Woodlands Parkrun
A crisp clear morning for the Haigh Woodlands Parkrun

A cold frosty morning around the woodlands of Haigh Hall in Wigan. Just perfect!

A few (too) short days with my dad. We’ll be back to visit again in 2023, hopefully…

In The Kitchen

Throughout 2022, we’ve worked hard on the foodie section of the blog, revamping lots of recipes that have been on there for some years.

Better photos, improved recipe, clearer descriptions. We change, recipes change.

Along with those improvements, we’ve also added some new dishes to our collection of Turkish recipes as well as creating a dedicated list of vegan and vegetarian recipes for you.

Favourite Turkish Vegetarian And Vegan Recipes
Our most read article of 2022

Every year, we tell you our most popular article of the articles that were written in that year.

Our list of vegan and vegetarian recipes was our most popular article of 2022! Link above.

We also built a list of recipes for using Turkish sucuk and those all-famous Turkish egg dishes.

But let’s get to those brand new recipes from 2022…

Kuzu Etli Nohut Yemeği

This is real January food when you need a warming bowl of comfort.

Turkish Lamb And Chickpea Stew
We love to serve our lamb & chickpea stew with mashed potatoes – patates püresi

A good old Turkish lamb and chickpea stew!

We love it served with mashed potato – common in local lokantas – but you can also serve it with Turkish rice.

Vegetable Güveç

After being asked for the recipe by a reader, we thought it was about time we started our collection of güveç recipes.

We started off with this vegetable güvec recipe using seasonal produce – springtime vegetables.

Vegetable Güveç Recipe
Serve your güveç topped with melted cheese if you like

If you make this dish, you can use whatever suitable vegetables are in season.

Gül Böreği

How many different börek recipes are there in Turkey? So many to mention!

Our latest one, added in June, is a rose-shaped pastry – gül böreği. This is a perfect shape for taking to picnics or eating on the go.

Rose Börek Recipe
Rose börek makes a substantial snack

I regularly buy one at the otogar if we’re going on a bus journey.

Click here if you want to make the famous rose börek.

Orzo Salad

As the heat of summer starts to kick in, our appetites shrink and ask us for salads and other light dishes.

This Turkish orzo salad was a definite 2022 favourite throughout July and August.

Turkish Summer Orzo Salad
We added this tasty Turkish orzo salad to the blog in July

We loved it on its own but also as a side dish to grilled meats like grilled köfte and the chicken shish linked to further down.

Sahanda Yumurta

Because a Turkish fried egg is a much appreciated addition to any Turkish breakfast table.

Turkish Fried Eggs Sahanda Yumurta
Simple comfort food – sahanda yumurta

Whether you’re enjoying them on their own or as part of a bigger breakfast, here’s how to recreate those lovely Turkish fried eggs you’ve enjoyed on your travels.

Turkish Spaghetti

This one was another reader request. And if you haven’t been on a boat trip around Fethiye, you might not know this dish.

We’ve also seen it described in Turkey as the ‘student’s friend.’

Turkish Spaghetti Recipe With Mint And Basil
Who doesn’t love a bit of spaghetti?

Just a simple pasta dish that is great on its own or as part of a meze table – as you’d see on the boats.

Here’s how to make this Turkish spaghetti.

Chicken Shish Kebab

Everyone has heard of Turkish shish kebabs even if they haven’t tried one!

In December, we added our final new recipe of the year – chicken shish kebab (tavuk şiş).

Recipe For Chicken Shish Kebab With Vegetables
Marinated Chicken Shish Kebab – Delicious

We loved this served with seared vegetables. But if there’s an extra side dish to be had, a shepherd salad and a serving of bulgur pilaf does the trick, too.

We added chicken shish to our Christmas and New Year party food list because it’s easy to make lots of them ahead of time. They make great finger food.

Out & About

It’s the natural pattern of life here that we have spells of going to particular places more often than others.

Sometimes, there’ll be a huge gap before we return to a place again to rediscover it.

So, here’s a quick listing of the places where we’ve found ourselves in 2022.

Some are constant favourites. Others were new-to-us places. And others were those rediscoveries where you wonder why you left it so long!

  • Motto Dining along Çalış Beach has been a good lunch venue on the odd occasion.
  • And, also along the beach, Calisto is our autumn/winter venue for enjoying a winter sunshine drink and pizza.
  • When we’re around the Yerguzlar area, Gustorante is great for their famous taco salads. They also had a revamp in 2022 so we’ve updated that article.
Gustorante Chicken Taco Salad
Chicken taco salad at Gustorante
  • In Fethiye, Cafe Park Teras underwent a significant facelift and our friends who visited over summer loved it!
  • Rediscoveries came in the form of El Camino where we hadn’t been for such a long time.
  • And good old Iksirci Tezcan where the fruit juice and toastie is still one of life’s simple pleasures!
Iksirci Tezcan Toastie And Fruit Juice
We’ve updated our article about Iksirci Tezcan
  • More bus travel meant more time at the otogar – and therefore the opportunity to eat at the lokantas opposite. Seçkin Lokanta was our lokanta of choice so that article is also updated for you.
  • And more friends to visit meant the perfect excuse to have a feast at Cin Bal in Kayaköy.
  • Other haunts for us have been Büyük Ev, Denizatı, Deep Blue in summer.
  • And for a special occasion, Çarıklı is our place of choice for a great steak! One of our first tasks of 2023 is to update this article!
Seçkin Lokanta Fethiye
Always a feast of food at Seçkin

All of these places are on our list of where we like to eat and drink around Fethiye.

And, as you might expect, there are always new places opening. We’ll be adding more places to the list throughout 2023.

Around Fethiye

We kept you up to date with goings on around the area via our monthly Fethiye news updates.

And, of course, we have our dedicated page telling you all about the best things to see and do in Fethiye.

In 2022, we added two more articles about the area. If you’re staying in Ölüdeniz, here’s our guide for things to do in Ölüdeniz.

And don’t visit the ghost village without reading our guide to Kayaköy.

Kayaköy Lower Church Interior
In 2022, we rewrote our guide to Kayaköy

Local history, including of the church doors from Kayaköy, is reflected in the compact but endlessly interesting Fethiye Archaeological Museum.

Every so often, we visit there to see if any of the displays have changed. Our article about Fethiye Museum was updated in 2022.

  • Elsewhere in 2022, the revamp of the Çalış beach promenade continued (and continues) and we got a new viewing terrace at the entrance in April.
  • In September, after getting tired of waiting for legalities to be sorted, the belediye reopened the ancient Telmessos Theatre and a concert was performed there. We presume it will be used for events in the future.
  • And during this month, an impressive bird observation area was opened at the end of Çalış Beach. It’s already one of our favourite spots!

2022 Events

Ahhh, no more pandemic restrictions and events galore. More reason to be grateful!

In 2022, the belediye (local council) went above and beyond to make sure the national holidays were celebrated in style.

Harbour processions, vehicle convoys and live concerts in the town square were the order of the day.

There’s a free live concert tonight (New Year’s Eve) in the town square, too, to celebrate the arrival of 2023.

And 2022 also saw the return of Race for Life, the Fethiye Ultra, the International Ölüdeniz Air Games, the Çalış Christmas Fayre and a spring fayre, too.

To name just a few.

If just for a return to local events like this, 2022 wasn’t a bad year, at all!

And In Other News

Most of you will know that the church of St. Nicholas of Myra is in modern day Demre.

There’s been much debate as to where his tomb is actually located. But in 2022, archeologists think they located the tomb under the tiles of the church floor.

St Nicholas Of Myra, Demre, Antalya
Archeologists located the tomb of St Nicholas

To celebrate the anniversary of the United Nations International Union of Geosciences, a list of significant geological sites around the world was created.

Pamukkale Cotton Castle, Turkey
Pamukkale made the list

Not surprisingly, some Turkish sites made the list. Pamukkale travertines, Cappadocia and Mount Nemrut were all named.

And how can we not mention this 2022 highlight from Apri? The launching into space of an Adana Kebab by a kebab chef, Yaşar Aydın, and an engineering student, İdris Albayrak.

Adana Kebab At Babzen Kebab
Eat one or launch one?

It almost succeeded!

The spicy kebab was launched to commemorate International Day of Human Space Flight and the chef wanted to promote Adana and its cuisine.

Well, if you’re gonna do something, you might as well do it in style!

Thanks very much for reading and for all your support throughout 2022! We have lots planned for 2023!

Mutlu Yıllar! Happy New Year!

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