We honeymooned in Kaş on the Turkuaz Coast. I was by then a seasoned Turkey traveller but Liam was an excitable novice. Kaş is a beguiling Bohemian jewel, surrounded by a pristine hinterland that has been mercifully spared the worst excesses of mass tourism. No expense was spared and we took a suite at the Deniz Feneri Lighthouse Hotel through Exclusive Escapes, an altogether superior hotel by an altogether superior travel company. No one star Gümbet with no star Thomas Cook for me on my first and final honeymoon. We bathed in the sparkling blue waters, strolled along the relaxed hassle-free promenade, feasted by candle-light and danced the night away with the locals in Bar Red Point, the best watering hole in town. I promised Liam the genuine Turkish shave experience and we got a lot more than just something for the weekend from the predatory married barbers on the pull. It put Liam off for life.
We hired a car and explored some of surrounding must sees in old Lycia. The area is stuffed with them. We lunched in pretty but twee Kalkan, meandered through the grand ruins of Patara, relaxing awhile on the adjacent beach – a stunning 18km protected stretch of soft white sand – and bathed in its shallow waters. We stumbled across the intimate ruins of the cult sanctuary of Letoon and watched turtles play in the warm pools. Letoon seduced us with its intimacy while nearby Xanthos, one-time capital of Lycia, awed us with its monumental scale and picture postcard aspect.
My first visit to Kaş was ten years earlier and it had hardly changed a bit. It was then that I met a middle-aged Scottish emigrey couple. They were ex-publicans with money to burn. The lazy town had worked its magic and they instantly decided to buy a house – no research, no cooling off, no going back. Prices were cheap and they visited a cashpoint machine each day to gather the deposit. I wonder if the dream lived up to the reality.
It was in Kaş that the seeds of our own change were sown though germination took another year. As we sipped chilled wine by the glorious infinity pool, we idly speculated about dropping out of the rat race and finding our place in the sun. We dreamed of Kaş and the Turkuaz Coast as if our lives could be one long honeymoon. Common sense prevailed as it must. Kaş is what it is because of its glorious isolation, protected by a wilting three hour drive from the nearest international airport. I hear talk of a new gateway to open up the coast. I would gladly chain myself to a tree like Swampy or pitch a tent like a Greenham Common lesbian to prevent it.