Spring Is Springing…
March is the month where nature reveals to us that winter is departing and making way for the arrival of spring.
The mimosa trees are in full bloom as I type – their vibrant sunshine yellow blooms providing a burst of colour and brightening up even the most nondescript areas of neighbourhoods.
Obviously, the mimosa trees come into their own when they have the backdrop of the Mediterranean or the waterways leading to the sea.
We love the mimosa tree tunnel that runs along the pebbled pathway at Duck Island.
And The Summer Season Is Beginning
Everything is starting early this year and it’s great to see.
Whilst direct flights between Dalaman and London Gatwick and Manchester continued throughout the winter of 2022-23, March was also the month where direct flights started from many other regional England airports, too.
There are people around, already, enjoying an early break. Easter is almost upon us so we’re expecting to see more arrivals, imminently.
Whilst places like Ölüdeniz fully emerge from winter hibernation in early May, the bars, shops and restaurants of Çalış and Paspatur are up and running – or at least hosing down and getting ready to open.
Oh, and let’s not forget the happy sight that tells us summer is on its way. From mid March, the Çalış water taxis and day trip boats started to make their way back into the water.
The canal is once more lined with boats awaiting their daytrippers.
And you might remember from a past news update that we told you about the group of kiosks along Çalış Beach which had been smartened up and made more visible and accessible to passersby.
They remained empty for some time but over the last few weeks, businesses have started to move into them.
So far, we have an independent coffee shop, a clothes boutique, an optician, a travel agency and an ice cream shop.
A few more of those units are still to be filled so guess we’ll find out sooner rather than later what they will be.
Around 11 days earlier each year, Ramazan started in March. If you’re travelling over the next couple of weeks or so, here’s what to expect from Ramadan in Turkey with a focus on Fethiye at the end.
Our nearest local bakery is a bit of a walk, these days, but we don’t mind that walk to get some fresh Ramazan bread straight from the oven!
And leftovers of bread don’t go to waste. This Turkish et sote on a bed of bread croutons is lovely!
Spring Seasonal Food
It’s still a transitional process, however.
And earlier this week, the weather took a turn; winter reminding us that it wasn’t quite done with us just yet.
A return of the snow on the mountains and an excuse to indulge in a bit more comfort food before the warm spring temperatures return; a steaming bowl of Turkish lamb and chickpea stew – kuzu etli nohut yemeği.
But salads and meze are making a return to the table on a more regular basis.
Earlier in March, we shared our recipe for the famous Turkish puffy balloon bread.
Of course, you need lots of yummy dips to go with such treats. A bowl of spicy Antep ezmesi was in order as well as a minty yoghurt haydari.
That went really well with the balloon lavash.
The salad and the bread are our two latest additions to our collection of Turkish recipes.
Out & About
A little bit of mooching around in March as the weather has been getting a bit warmer.
Those of you who know Ölüdeniz will probably know Cloud 9. Well, they have now opened Cloud 9 Çalış along the beach promenade.
I’m really not a fan of the current colour trend of black and grey so it’s lovely to see that they’ve gone for pastel colours of blue and yellow.
They’re very newly opened and still settling in and tweaking, but we have been there for a pide which was lovely.
In Fethiye, we had another great lunch at Paşa Fırını in Dispanser. Always a nice buzz in that place.
And if you remember Wooden Stage Pub in Çalış, they have now moved to Karataş Beach.
They held a day long music festival in March – a celebration of a few of the local bands.
A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. We left as the clouds gathered and the wind picked up, but many stayed late into the night.
We’ve also got another review to do to add to our list of places to eat and drink around Fethiye. But we’ll tell you about that later in April.
We now know we’ve been Fethiyespor supporters for 10 years. The first match we ever went to was for their 80th birthday.
In March, the club turned 90 years old. Not as much celebration for this milestone. But some of the supporters did do a march from the stadium to the square, Beşkaza Meydanı.
As for their performances on the pitch, we have the usual ups and downs.
We went to the home match against Karacabey Belediye Spor on March 15th. We must have brought them good luck because we got to see a 2-0 Fethiyespor victory.
The following three matches have all been losses!
In Other News
The beginning of the month was spent by us in Antalya’s old town, Kaleiçi.
We got the bus from Fethiye to Antalya and took part in the annual Runtalya event.
Barry ran the marathon and I did the 10k. Lots of you will remember we decided to raise money for Turkey Mozaik Foundation for their earthquake appeal.
Thanks so much to those who donated – we knew people had already done so much.
We had an original target of £500 – that we later increased – and we ended with a total of £841.
The horrendous February earthquakes hit cities in Turkey that are famous for gastronomy.
A Special Relationship
We love a little happy story about human-animal love. Last month, we told you about Enkaz; the cat who adopted a first responder rescuer after the earthquake.
In March, we read this lovely story about Yaren the stork and Adem Yılmaz.
Adem Amca is a fisherman and every year, for the last 12 years, he’s been visited by a migrating stork who he has named Yaren.
A bit of worry and sadness this year when Yaren didn’t appear. However, all is now well.
He was just running (flying) a bit late. He’s visited Adem Amca on his boat and is now nesting with his partner, Nazlı the stork.
A happy ending!