Hisaronu 89 -99 What a difference 10 years makes!
Hisaronu 1989, I fell in love! - With Turkey !
Arriving as a last minute package - on the strength of a photo of Olu Deniz- I knew little about Turkey, nothing of the language, and was new to travelling by myself!
I entered Hisaronu (Olu Ata ) as the sun rose. My 1st view was of the mountains, next- a woman in baggy harem pants, collecting water from the well, in 2 olive oil cans on a yoke across her neck.
A few minutes later I was deposited at my accom for 2 weeks. The owners spoke no English, I spoke no Turkish. I had a room to myself, their family shared the next room. Cooking was done outside on an open fire, and in the bread oven, their dog delivered a litter of pups!
Most evenings I sat on the Pansiyon steps, at sun set, as the daughter herded in their cattle and geese.
There were plenty of hotels, pansiyons and bars, 1 disco - The Lycian, at the edge of the village, and a couple of 'shops', a hut near the entrance to the Otel Susannah, which stocked bare essentials, and another on the Hisaronu to Ovacuk road. There was a cay house opposite the mosque, where a sweetcorn vendor used to appear late afternoon.
You could visit any hotel with a pool, just buy a drink for 'admission'
This was one of my 1st package tours, the holiday reps were so enthusiastic about their jobs and Turkey. Many had happily left lucrative jobs in the UK to work here for peanuts.
I soon became smitten with Turkey- The People, Food, Culture, Scenery, language etc!
From 91 -93 I noticed improvements such as pavements and lights, with a few more bars
1999, working for Airtours as a holiday rep. (partly inspired by my memories of the Sunmed Reps ) I'd requested to work in Hisaronu, and was disappointed to find I'd been allocated Marmaris /Icmeler.
Twice, I was promised a transfer to Hisaronu, only to be cancelled at the last minute. (I quite liked Icmeler, but wanted to be in Hisaronu) So, a few days holiday came up, and I was on the bus to Fethiye, then the dolmus to Hisaronu. The dolmus stopped, and I was aware of the driver trying to catch my attention- It took me a long time to realise he was trying to tell me to get off the dolmus. I kept saying Hisaronu! Slowly it dawned- THIS was Hisaronu! AAAARRGGHH! What had happened, it was completely unrecognisable. Roads, and shops, plus wall to wall bars and music blaring out from each property in competition for the most bass.
I grabbed my bag in stunned disbelief, descended from the dolmus, and tried to gain some recognition of a totally unfamiliar place.
My first visit to Hisaronu, I frequented the Susanna, a family run hotel, where I'd always returned to for meals, then had stayed at in 1993. It was somewhere I felt comfortable and at home. Was it still here ? Asking at the nearest shop, I was pointed in the direction of the Susanna, squeezed between 2 shops, I spotted a sign, and was pleased to recognise Susanna (who the hotel was named after) and her father, sat on the steps of the reception.
I stayed for 2 nights, but was quite saddened to see that the hotel had deteriorated. Before, it had been smart, but homely, with many staff, who were friendly, efficient, but unimposing. (Susannas father ran a 'tight ship')
Now, there seemed to be one waiter/bar person/gofer. and an atmosphere of dispondency, as they held out against the new brash arrivals.
The pansiyon I stayed in on my 1st visit had been bulldozed to make way for new bars etc, the fields were built on.I wondered what had happened to the family who lived here. I'd like to think they received adequate compensation, but I doubt it.
I was pleased to see that Fethiye, although there were some developments, had remained mostly recognisable.
Now I know that lots of people think Hisaronu is great, and there is still some charm, but I can't help remembering my 1st encounter with Hisaronu, and the sight of the woman collecting water from the well.
It has made me hesitant to revisit other unspoilt places in Turkey and Greece that I have happy memories of.
I'm all for progress, but...........
So my pics and few tips will be from the last century!, but are a reminder of how Hisaronu was.