Last week I wrote about my A Divided Heart about Life in Turkey and the Twist of fate which has brought us to Demre (Kale), Antalya. Now it’s been no secret of mine that we wanted to move from our old location and to live along the coast but as it seems to be the way we never land in the most popular locations but that its one of the reason I already love Demre.
Some love city living, others love coastal life, some like rural and some like remote. I love semi-rural life, my home in Scotland you would call a country village, from our front door you walk 5 minutes and you are in the countryside.
Yet, we are close to a large town, and several major cities within easy driving range meaning you never feel cut of from the world and you can pick and choose which side of life to enjoy and when.
However Demre was a kind of accidental choice. When we were making our selection it wasn’t Demre that was on the list but a little village called Cerverli about 20 minutes outside of Demre town centre and about 30 minutes from Kas.
Then we made a few other selections, even one choice was the little unknown island of Marmara in the Marmara sea and would you believe we were the only ones out of thousands crazy enough to add it to our list.
When the list returned we realised we made a little mistake and had listed Demre before Kas, your choices get put in order 1 through 25, 1 being your first choice. Had we put the choices down in the order we meant, we may well have been living in Kas, but I can’t help but feel destiny had a hand here!
When we found out we had got a place we were so happy, jumping around, laughing and full of excitement, and then the dust settled and we began to wonder what we had done. Where exactly are we moving. Will we have to live in some remote village with no facilities! I tried to calm us down as I did my research well, I had made sure to only pick village close enough to large town. But the uncertainty of our choice began to creep in.
As the days passed, the paper was done and the packing was finished. All was left to do was say our farewells, pack up our car and start the nearly 12 hour journey to our new home. Somewhere we had never seen and none of my friends seem to know. All we could find was information about the St. Nicholas and Myra.
As we drove through the last town on our route, Finike we were dazzled by the beauty of the harbour and town with the sea shining a beautiful turquoise colour as the sunset. We headed round the bendy coast road and our first view was of a mass of green houses and poly tunnels, glinting in the setting sun.
Then just at twilight we enter the town of Demre (Kale) and at that point our hearts sunk, what had we done, why oh why did we not make sure our list was right. We headed for the teachers house (little pansiyon type hotels for teachers) and though it was right next to the seafront, the first impression was none to pretty.
We dumped our bags and heading to the town centre, which was busy that night as the local theatre group was putting on a show, we walked around for a bit looking for rental signs and despite all the new builds we couldn’t find any ‘for rent signs’.
Deciding it was time to eat something better than crisps and biscuits, we picked a local restaurant called Gaziantep, which is lovely place with good food and friendly staff and a play area for the kids, which our little boy appreciated after a long day stuck in the car.
We were in luck the owner apparently had a house to rent in an area I had been informed was right on the coast with sea views. How lucky could we be and it was ideal for family. I can tell you now you would need to be a very close family to live there! Our new kitchen is almost bigger than that place and the sea view was questionable and the price more so.
Disheartened we headed back to our accommodation which reminded us of the tiny apartment!
The next day we were refreshed and hopeful and as we headed out into the heat of the day, we were surprised by Demre. Grubby as it seems at first it is surrounded by green houses and poly tunnels, growing tomatoes in the winter months to keep the Turkish population in tomatoes all year round, the town is modernising and tidying itself up and new hotels are being built including the newly open Andriake Beach Club, which I believe is a new destination for UK tourists.
I love the feel of the rural and the town mashed together and the lovely farming community where in all honesty I have always been most comfortable and then we have beautiful beaches and stunning coastal views only a short drive out of the centre and wee have the amazing history of Myra, St. Nicholas and the Lycian way.
This mishmash jumble of life thrown together makes for a fantastic little town, with warm smiley people, happy to help and not down trodden or over marketed for the tourists (yet!)
In Sakarya, men would not look or speak to you, the strong religious side of the area meant men would ignore women. I had never realised how accustomed I had become to this and was shocked in the first few days here to be greeted and treated normal by men, I wasn’t sure how to respond!
As we drove out to the village where the school is, we where stunned by the beauty of the area and the historical remains dotted about. When we arrived at the village we instantly liked it and the new stone building of the school is so pretty in the village you can’t help but like it. We even have an itch to maybe live in the village some day!
Heading back to Demre, we spy a for rent sign and we find this lovely apartment, brand new with wonderful views of the mountains and decide this is where we stop for now. And so within 24 hours we had found a place to stay and fallen in love with our new home of Demre (Kale).
Demre has a lovely relaxed feel to the place, its close to Kas and Antalya and the ruralness of the town makes me feel at home, I feel like I have known this place for a long time. Destiny really did have hand in our choice I feel and I look forward to finding out more about Demre and our reason for being here……
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