Written for Fethiye Times and with photos by Mike Vickers

Feature photo above: If you can get up early enough, this is what Fethiye harbour looks like at dawn. The sea that July morning was the calmest I’ve ever seen.

Come on, let’s cheer ourselves up! Forget about the pandemic with all its restrictions, put on hold cracking open that first-of-the-day post-breakfast early-morning bottle of red and let’s spend a little time reminding ourselves of the simple pleasure of living in and around Fethiye.

This very beautiful seaside town charms both visitors and residents alike, but there are also hidden depths to Fethiye. If you scratch the surface, step away from the main roads, plunge off-piste (a phrase that always makes me chuckle, and yes, Miranda Hart is right, ‘plunge’ is one of the greatest words in the English language) and spend a little time exploring the hidden nooks – but not the crannies – you’ll soon discover there’s a lot more to Fethiye than just the kordon, the rock tombs and the Paspatur, lovely as they all are. So, in this album I’ve tried to present a slightly different portrait of Fethiye, with the emphasis on things you might not have seen before as well as the unusual, the delightful and, because I can’t help myself, the quirky.

For instance, we’ll be exploring the Old Town, a compact area squeezed between Çarsi Caddesi, the only main road out of central Fethiye, and Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi, also commonly known as Lover’s Lane. This is a steeply-sloping rabbit warren of alleys and steps threading up between the densely-packed houses, all strung out between the 11th century crusader castle and the even more venerable amphitheatre. Well worth investigating, it’s a fascinating quarter where not only is living very much communal, but also many of the houses and apartments are blessed with the finest of views out over the harbour and away towards the distant mountains.

By the way, I’ve really enjoyed collating all these photo albums for FT over the last year or so. It’s saved me a great deal of writing, what with a picture being worth a thousand words and all that, which is fortunate as this has allowed me to rest my two typing fingers – right index and, oddly enough, left middle. Maybe I should copy the trick Fethiye’s notaries once employed way back before these namby-pamby soft-touch computer keyboards came along. In those days, a fair amount of physical effort was required to pound away all day long at those old mechanical typewriter keys – so they wore sewing thimbles on each index finger!

Nothing protects like alloy steel…

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Ancient Lycian tomb resting peacefully in the shade. If you know where to look, there are remnants of Fethiye’s past scattered all over town. The personage for whom this was built would be pleased, I think, to find himself near an excellent coffee shop, several bakkals and a lively tea house. I’m pretty sure a family of cats now lives inside.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Did you know there’s a substantial waterfall in Fethiye? I came across this in a back street just on the far side of the amphitheatre. I thought initially that it was a natural fall, but then one day I walked by and finding it dry, peered into the pool only to discover what appeared to be a suction inlet for the pump. Ah, well, it’s still pleasantly cool to walk past in high summer

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

This tickled my funny bone. Look at those meteorological symbols welded into the railings surrounding the local weather centre. Fantastic!

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

The vertiginous Old Town in Fethiye. Best give it a miss if you suffer from dodgy knees or get wobbly when confronted with a sudden drop. I’m guessing the man who installed the water supply must have forgotten his pipe bender that day.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

A green-fingered resident proves you can create a garden absolutely anywhere. A leafy corner in the Old Town.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Hopscotch behind the amphitheatre. Probably a good idea not to hop too close to the wall – it’s only waist-height if you’re sitting down and there’s quite a fall on the other side.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Old Town roofscape. Your neighbours will let you know if you’ve slipped a tile in the winter storms.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Geraldine’s diligence ensures only disabled vehicles can park here. Bless.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Is this a tree I see before me? Nah, it’s a very prickly cactus thriving between these two apartment blocks near Esnaf. This one will be level with the third floor windows before you can say, ‘Ouch!’

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Balloon heart floating all on its lonesome in Umbrella Street. Seems a shame there appeared to be nobody around to appreciate it…

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Not that summer’s are hot here, but this is what you need to cool down a small cupboard. If each of those is a 2kw air conditioning unit, that’s a total of 44kw when they’re all fired up together. Now I’m not an electrical engineer but even I know that’ll make your ‘leccy meter spin faster than a politician in a decorating crisis!

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Colourful umbrellas in Fethiye market. Summer visitors never get to see sights like this.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Candy floss Man, Fethiye market. Good job it wasn’t a Blustery Day day otherwise this lot would be off to meet up with Winnie The Pooh in Yaniklar.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Fethiye marina from above the old town. Now that’s a nice view. You can see the newly-renovated sections of the amphitheatre from here. Does anyone, anyone at all, know when it’ll be finished?

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

There’s a farmer in Babataşi who specialises in rearing young Renault Estates. This is his prize-winning specimen.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

The window dresser in this shop gets a well-deserved 10 out of 10 for imagination, but a less than impressive 2 out of 10 for basic knowledge of human anatomy. If memory serves, Victor Frankenstein also suffered from the same affliction.

Readers’ Album - Surprising Fethiye

Finally, I think someone has played a practical joke on this poor man – it seems his bottle of fizzy pop has been definitely shaken and not stirred! Either that or he has the strongest bladder on the planet!