September 2013, and we’re getting ready to jet off on our first holiday together. Most couples would’ve probably picked a short weekend break to test the waters of being away together for the first time, but we jumped in with all four feet into a two-week holiday to Marmaris, Turkey.
To a lot of people, Marmaris is a resort you go to when you want a cheap holiday to lay by the pool and sip cocktails. It’s the quintessential location for package holiday lovers. But it’s also so much more than that.
By nature, we’re not really the type of couple that enjoys just lounging by the pool for hours on end. The thought of doing absolutely nothing apart from rotating every 30 minutes to obtain an even golden glow fills us with an unbelievable sense of boredom. In fact, we tried to do a ‘pool day’ on this particular trip – we lasted 45 minutes before we rose eagerly from our sun loungers and set out to explore a little bit more, and find out what Marmaris had to offer apart from intense heat and great nightlife.
It had a lot.
Across from the apartment block we were staying in was a company selling excursions, and we were quick to book a few in. On our first day in the resort we booked an experience at a hotel to get Turkish massages. Now, they might not have been the most authentic of Turkish massages. But at £20 for a sauna, full body mud mask and not 1 but 2 massages each – how could we pass that offer up?
We went on a safari – although the word ‘safari’ was used rather loosely. We didn’t see one animal, and instead spent the afternoon being flung about in a jeep at full speed. But we did get to visit Jesus Beach, and it was a pretty cool experience to keep walking out into the water and never have it rise above our shins. Later in the holiday we took a catamaran ride over to the Greek island of Rhodes, where we wandered the streets of Old Town and tried moussaka for the first time.
There was the trip to Dalyan, with a dip in the famous mud baths, and a boat ride past the Dalyan tombs. There were walks up the gorgeous Marmaris Marina, chatting to locals and getting pulled in out of the midday sun so they could share samples of the local cuisine. We had afternoons sitting in the shade sipping unbelievably, wonderfully strong Turkish coffee, with its thick tar-like layer of coffee at the bottom of the small dainty cup, or delectably sweet apple tea served in tulip glasses.
We hopped on a bus that took us to the city of Ephesus, where we stepped back in time and walked the streets of this incredible Ancient Greek city. We looked up at the Library of Celsius, and climbed the steep and crumbling steps of the theatre, imagining what it would sound like packed full of spectators. On that same to trip to Ephesus we stopped off at a local store that sold the most incredible hand-made ceramics with stunning colours and attention to detail, and were told tales of Sultans and splendour. We paused at a mosque, where we were humbled by the incredible serenity and beauty of this place of worship.
Marmaris, and Turkey, took us completely by surprise. From the luscious rolling green hills of the country side, the eerily beautiful sound of the call to prayer ringing out over the resort, and the genuine warmth and friendliness of Turkish people, we enjoyed every moment of our time there. We hope can return to this beautiful country one day, and explore more of it.
Stay safe & keep planning the next adventure!
Brianna & Iain