Friday, October 16, 2015

October 13th – Marmaris and Me

Marmaris and me go back a long way. When we were in our early 20s, Tracy and I had a very cheap package holiday here, when the town was just beginning to boom as a low-cost resort. In the early 90s, we paid very little, and unfortunately we got exactly what we paid for. The hotel was so bad that Tracy burst into tears when she saw the state of our room; while, our end of town was mainly a dusty building site, peopled by youths who drove up and down endlessly on noisy mopeds.

The good thing was that that trip persuaded us that package holidays were not for us, and it forced us to be much more adventurous in our travel – Marmaris proved to be our inspiration and our last resort.

20 years on, Marmaris has improved markedly – just the walk in from the ship through the yacht harbour, showed us that Marmaris is trying to carve out a more upmarket image for itself. This is the largest yacht harbour in Turkey, and there were plenty of megayachts in there to justify the row of upmarket boutiques targeting the rich yachties.

Then we got to the old harbour lined with restaurants – again, looking pretty good, even if it was pretty deserted. However, the further you went along the coast (the further towards where we had stayed of course), the more mass market the resort got. We passed boats offering trips at "Asda Price", bizarre looking pirate-themed boats, plenty of restaurants offering all day British Breakfasts, karaoke bars, and pubs named after English football teams.

Just when we got to the epicentre of tackiness, it all began to look vaguely familiar. We headed a couple of streets back and found a particularly dodgy looking hotel that fetched up some negative memories. Yes, it was our hotel – looking as grotty (in fact, more grotty) than we remembered. No wonder our tastes in travel have changed.

So, from this low point, we headed back and things improved again. Basically, if you're visiting Marmaris by cruise ship, I'd do one of the tours (trips to Dalyan or a boat trip), or don't head too far from the ship.