Probably the most interesting but also most scary part about spending a year abroad is spontaneous travelling. If you don’t speak the native language very well or not at all, the simplest things of daily life can become very challenging. But it is tempting to take every opportunity that arises to travel. How they say: “spontaneous trips make the best memories.”
And I can say that is true! When the opportunity arose in February to take four free days, we didn’t hesitate for long, but agreed that we want to go on a trip. So, on Thursday we heard that we would have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off, so we decided on Thursday night in a bar that we want to go to Marmaris. Alarm clock set for an early rise, quick breakfast and then looking for an AirBnB. AirBnB booked and bags packed we booked the bus tickets while we sat in the Metro on our way to the bus-terminal. On a four and a half hour drive we made our way to Marmaris. When we arrived, we were greeted with light rain and chilly temperatures. But we already made clear that we want to go swimming in the sea on the same day. So, we brought our stuff to the AirBnB, got our swimming shorts and went to the beach. In a cool 14°C temperature we took the first swim of the year – in February…
On Saturday we thought that it would be pretty cool to explore Marmaris with the typical two-stroke gasoline scooters. And despite us not being 21 years old, we were able to rent two wanna-be Harley Davidsons. On our hell machines we made our way trough the hills of the Marmaris region and stopped in all the little villages which, given it was winter, were totally empty. I could imagine that these places are totally overrun in summer. But we were lucky to experience all of these areas with no one around. Also, the weather was awesome on Saturday, and we really got the summer spirit. We went swimming another time underneath the “Turgut” waterfalls. In that moment I realized how awesome this situation is: I mean we couldn’t do anything for so long because of covid and now I am underneath a waterfall in a foreign beautiful country.
On Sunday we took the scooters to see the other side of the bay but couldn’t go to the place we wanted to go because, as so often in Turkey, it was a military zone and not accessible for civilians. But given that we had total freedom of our movement with the scooters, we had no need to rely on public transportation to go the other direction and I had a total blast driving my shrunken motorcycle. I have always been scared of driving a vehicle in Turkey, especially in Izmir. But taking a scooter in Marmaris is very easy and possibly one of the best ideas we had. So, we cruised over the hills to the next bay and got to see some nice sailing vessels. I am a little sailing fan, so it was awesome to see some of the nice sailing ships laying in Marmaris. In the dark we made our way back to the apartment and we rode on the empty roads in the valleys of south-west Turkey.
We used the remaining time on Monday to explore the town of Marmaris and to go to the Kale. The old town is a labyrinth of cute little roads and restaurants leading towards the Castle. The Castle was especially interesting for me because some time ago I read a roman about a British captain who has to accomplish a treasure-rescue in the bay of Marmaris. I tried to recognize as much stuff as possible from the 19th century novel and spammed all of my knowledge I had of Marmaris from this novel into the ears of my fellow travel-companions.
It almost makes me feel a little melancholy when I realise that already half of my volunteer year is over. But this trip showed me that I should take every opportunity I get to go on travels and see more of this amazing country!