We are just back from preparing the villa for the new season. Every year we spend some time at the end of March in Gumusluk, visiting the villa and making sure that all is in order for our forthcoming guests. This year we have repainted the inside, washed the carpets, replaced the BBQ, replaced the lampshades, cleaned the patios etc etc. There is always something to do!
Whenever we go at the beginning of the year we are always reminded how fresh and green the scenery is. There can be the odd day of rain, but generally the weather is around 20 C and it is quite pleasant to sit in the sun with a chilled glass of wine or beer; we were often able to sunbath.
Not being too hot it is also possible to embark on a walk or two and enjoy the profusion of spring flowers. So if you enjoy walking this is definitely the time of year to come (although October and November can also be very pleasant months for walking).
The season had not started properly and the restaurants along the shore were still preparing for the new season when we arrived on 26th March; painting the chairs, tables and pergolas, white washing some walls etc. By the second week of April, however, a few more restaurants were open and they had blankets draped on the back of the chairs in case the evenings got a little chilly.
Not quite the weather for swimming yet – although this didn’t stop two young girls jumping in the larger swimming pool on site. It was ‘cold’ they admitted – but the sun soon warmed them up again.
If you’re looking for a warm welcome and excellent value this is it! Situated next to the ‘dolmus’ station, the Mars Cafe is probably the friendliest establishment in the fishing village. They serve a variety of dishes including vegetarian options, all at very competitive prices.
Mariette and her Turkish husband run the café; it’s more of a bar and restaurant really. Mariette is a very friendly ‘front of house’ host and will even teach you the rules of Backgammon if you want to use one of the boards available for guests.
It’s not exactly a prime position, but makes up for its lack of beach / harbour front with good old-fashioned hospitality and a friendly welcome. Check out their weekly steak night and buffet night and meet some new people. It is a particularly good venue during ‘off peak periods when it attracts a lot of the locals.
If you’re on a budget and have already seen how cheaply you can buy a glass of cay (tea) at the Gumusluk Cay Bar (next to the jetty in Gumusluk Fishing Village), look no further than the small kiosk sitting next to the Bar. Here you can buy piping hot meat balls in fresh Turkish bread for the price of about £1.25.
It’s probably not the place to go for that romantic evening meal, but it does provide a cheap snack at lunch time and a pleasant view of the harbour. You could even splash out on a bottle of water from the Cay bar for another 50 pence!
If you’re in Gumusluk on a Wednesday, you really shouldn’t miss the weekly market! It’s a lively, colourful affair and offers an excellent choice of fresh produce and textiles. (Pop into the fresh fish shop in the fishing village afterwards and you’ve got everything you need for a great barbecue that evening.) The market is held just a few minutes’ walk* along the Bodrum road from the fishing village. It’s laid out in a ‘T’ shape with tents shading the stalls alongside the edge of a couple of fields. Everyone is friendly and there’s the usual banter as the stall holders ply their wares. One of our favourite stalls is at the far right of the ‘T’, selling fresh ‘Gözleme’ or Turkish pancakes with a variety of fillings including aubergine, cheese, meat, spinach and potato. With some fresh salad they make a great lunch. Another popular stall is one with a vast array of herbs and brightly coloured spices and stallholders who can answer any questions you care to ask. We rarely come away empty handed! Try to master a couple of phrase before you go to the market : Merhaba HelloNe kadarlütfen? How much is that please? …and a few numbers so you understand the reply: 1 bir (beer) yarim (yareem) half 2 iki 3 üç (ewch) 4 dört (durt) 5 bes (besh) Tesekkür ederim (tesha cure edarim) Thank you.
To walk to the market from the villa is a pleasant 30-40 minute stroll, mainly through country lanes. Details on page 29 of the information folder at the villa. If you don’t want to walk back you can catch the dolmus (local minibus) The one going to Gumuskaya will drop you off at Opus top gate.
There aren’t that many bargains out there at the moment, so it seems well worth noting this one. Where else can you find entertainment for less than 50 pence ( 1 TL) for two. No, I’m not joking. You can really go to a bar, sit outside with great views of the harbour, order two teas and pay 40 pence for the experience! (Update 2014: will now set you back 4TL and it’s self service – but still a bargain!)
The Turkish, as you probably know, have a tradition of tea (çay) drinking. This tradition is not only observed by the hospitality of being offered the beverage at various shops and businesses, but also by the preservation of unpretentious tea bars/ cafés ( usually with brown chairs and tables) where you can sit and order a small glass of çay for 0.50TL each.
One of the Çay Bars in Gumusluk fishing village sits next to the harbour where everyone, from locals to tourists, can sit and watch the world go by; try it yourself – the Gumusluk Çay Bar pictured also serves Apple (Elma) Tea for the same price, if you find Turkish tea rather strong.