It came as a shocking realisation to us that despite having been in Turkey for 4 days, we had somehow omitted to spend any time sitting on the beach, so on Sunday, after a late and fruit-filled breakfast, we headed out to Ölüdeniz, which is reported to be one of the most photographed beaches in the mediterranean.
It is lovely. There is an almost land-locked lagoon, and it is a National Park (Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs there,so it's protected) - no motor boats are allowed in the lagoon, so it is quiet, as well as beautiful.
It's also very busy. The beach is covered with sunloungers and parasols, all for rent, and there are lots of little booths selling cold drinks, snorkles, ice cream and so forth. It's not the kind of place I normally go, but a little hard lounging once in a while never hurt anyone.
We rented a some loungers, and settled in for some hardcore relaxing. We'd brought along some goggles and snorkles, and I went for a long swim. The water is crystal clear, and there are lots of fish, even in the shallow water by the beach. Around the rocky banks at the end of the lagoon, where it was quieter, there were not only fish (in every size, from whitebait up to 2-foot long thin, pointy fish with blue and yellow bits on) teeny tiny jellyfish, a few sea-urchins, even sponges. If, like me, your normal sea-side experience involves the North Sea or English Channel, then the mere concept of being able to swim for more than 10 minutes without losing all feeling in your extremities and turning an unattractive shade of blue is, in itself, a revelation. Doing it in water so clear, and being able to see so much, is even more amazing.
We stayed until almost all the sun-loungers were empty, and the shadows growing long. sometimes it's nice not to have a time table to keep to.
The retaurant is next to the ruins of a crusader castle, and there was, inevitably, a small selection of goats scrambling among the ruined walls!
We sat over our meal on the terrace all evening, watching night fall, and the stars come out.
And one of my favourite things about this town? The random Lycian sarcophagus in the middle of the road...