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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Fethiye Market Onward to Marmaris & Datca Peninsula + Turkish Grocery Costs

Fethiye Market Set-up

Yesterday afternoon/evening we had quite the production happening outside our Airbnb. In the empty parking lot across from our place they have a market each Sunday. However, when I think of markets back home, typically people roll up and set up their vending area a couple hours prior to the start. The set-up here is 100 times intense! Some vendors started arriving yesterday morning and more came that afternoon/evening. They all hung large tarps off light posts across their areas; and some of the eating vendors bring ALL their own tables and chairs - complete with tablecloths! For all the time they spent setting up, I can’t believe it is only a 1-day market!

When we awoke on Sunday morning the market was in full swing outside our windows. I had woken up a couple of times during the night so peaked out with curiosity. Around midnight there were trucks coming to deliver goods and with their beeping, it was a little loud. Around 3-4 p.m. there were a couple vendors still working on setting up, but for the most part the activity had died down. Then around 5-5:30 a.m. things were busy again with people preparing for the morning. Here is the crazy transformation of the empty parking lot into a full 1-day market:

We headed out, and directly outside the gate of the Airbnb were some pancakes at the food stand - a perfect stop for breakfast! The pancakes were similar to crepes, but they weren’t as light - more of a tortilla consistency - but still delicious! We enjoyed some lemon/sugar, honey/banana and chocolate ones. We also watched them squeeze the oranges to make the fresh squeezed orange juice.

We walked around the aisles of the market - they had candy/Turkish Delight vendors, fruit & vegetables, clothing, shoes, toys, handbags & belts - pretty much everything you could think of! What was the most amazing to us was the amount of things that they brought in for their market stand considering it was just one day. I would say the inventory and the displays were comparable to permanently set up bazaars. Clara enjoyed going around and checking it out as well, and had quit the 'want list'.

Marmaris - World Rally Championships

After a couple hours at the market we headed to our next stop - Marmaris. It was a 2 hour drive from Fethiye to get there and Alex wanted to get there in time to watch Stage 17 of World Rally Championships that was being held there that day. About halfway to Marmaris we started to notice police & traffic officers stationed every so often along the road. When we stopped at a gas station we asked and the attendant said “Big Boss coming through.” So we assumed some high ranking government officials might be coming/going from the Rally in Marmaris to the regional airport in Dalaman. As we got closer to Marmaris we even saw a couple of the rally cars on the highway. The rally cars actually drive on the normal highways to get from stage to stage. You could definitely hear them coming, as they don’t have a muffler! :-)

We arrived in Marmaris and you couldn't miss the fact the rally was happening, as they had all the signs for the rally set up. We proceeded to Icmeler (right next to Marmaris) and went to the area where they had the portion of Stage 17 set up for viewing. We found a spot mostly in the shade and waited for the first car. This was proceeded by the safety cars going by and some helicopters overhead (videography), which was very entertaining for Connor! The cars were spaced apart about about 2 minutes so you could see them do that short portion of the course before they would proceed on to the remainder of the course, followed by a 2 minute gap before the next driver would come by. The kids kept busy playing behind the viewing area, but as soon as they heard the cars coming, they would stop and go to the edge to watch. Each time Connor would ask to be lifted up so he could see. We stayed for about an hour to watch.

Afterwards we headed to our new Airbnb, which was only about 5 minutes away from the view point, and almost right across the street from the Rally Headquarters. We put Connor down for a good nap as we planned to head down to the Dancing Fountain Show, which is past the kids’ bedtime. When he woke up from his nap we went to the downtown/seafront promenade area and let them play at some of the cool playgrounds they had right on the oceanfront. Alex went to get some pide, which is like a Turkish pizza, and we had a picnic at the park.

Dancing Fountain Show

We headed over to the Fountain plaza to watch the dancing fountains - we were a bit early but the kids just liked being able to run around and explore. The fountain show started shortly after 9 p.m. They weren’t into the choreographed water and music initially, but we moved up closer to the fountains and Clara became alive with interest in it! There was a good mist coming from the fountains, which added to the ambiance, and she gave quite the performance!

I don’t know if I personally would say the fountain show was worth our time, but the fact that Clara liked it so much, made it a great outing for us! I read somewhere the show lasted about 45 minutes, but we ended up leaving about 20-25 minutes into it as it was getting late for the kids.

Little Helper

Our second day in Marmaris, we had a slower morning as we were trying to coordinate a boat tour for the following day. However, Clara was enjoying the novelty of hanging clothes on the clothes rack so much that she decided to remove the dry clothes, re-hang the dry clothes and then remove again. At least it kept her entertained.

Datca Peninsula & Datca Eski

We finally headed out for the day and we drove out to the Datca Peninsula, which is a peninsula just west of Marmaris. It is known for having the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Aegean Sea on the other. It took us about 1 hr. 15 mins to get from Marmaris to Datca. The drive was scenic and there were lots of mountain curvy roads again. The scenery was very similar to the drives we had done before from Southern Turkey & up. We stopped in Datca Eski (Old Town) to explore and have lunch. It was a very quiet, quaint and cute Old Town, although small in size. They did have a playground there in the shade, which the kids put to good use. For lunch we found a café that was tucked in a little courtyard a few steps down from the road.

Orhaniye Beach

We read the drive out to the tip of the peninsula to Knidos is amazing, but with the kids being in the car so much this trip, we decided to skip that portion and head back home. However, on the way back we stopped at Orhaniye Beach, which has a sandbar off its shore so you can walk out a fair bit of ways into the bay there. Clara was impressed she could walk so far out, but overall the kids just enjoyed playing in the water.

The view driving back to Marmaris:

Turkish Grocery Store - Cost Comparison

We came back, stopped at the grocery store for some food to make dinner at home and then stayed in for the evening. The larger grocery stores have a good selection of items and food is cheap compared to Canada/U.S. For all the items needed to make our chicken/vegetable pasta dish (+ a couple of extra snacks & items for lunch) it was only 75 TL, which is about $15 CND.

Here's a brief breakdown:

Small bottle of olive oil was 18,95 TL ($3.92 CDN or $3.01 USD)

2 chicken breasts was 16,83 TL ($3.48 CDN or $2.67 USD)

Bag of grapes - equivalent to North American size - was 6,08 TL ($1.26 or $.97 USD)

Small bag of pasta was 2,60 TL ($.54 CDN or $.41 USD)

Loaf of bread was 6,45 TL ($1.33 CDN or $1.02 USD)

Small package of ham was 6,25 TL ($1.25 or $.99 USD)

Cheese (5 slices) was 5,10 TL ($1.06 CDN or $.81 USD)

This type of affordable grocery food is one way we save money while travelling. We try to enjoy one meal out a day, but by making our own food (most of the time for breakfast & lunch) we can make travelling as a family of four affordable.


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