Name of the Book: 101 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN TURKEY BEFORE YOU DIE ( p/124) Author: AKDOĞAN ÖZKAN Published by: İNKILAP KITABEVİ Translator: Ekin Duru Date published: 2008
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Ovacık, Fethiye – Muğla
It was registered as a national park in 1983. In a public survey carried out in 2006 by Bild, the German newspaper with the highest circulation, on the subject of the “most beautiful coastline of the world”, it came first, receiving 85% of the votes. Some refer to it as “the paradise donated by God to the world”. With its turquoise coloured sea and unequalled sandy beach, it resembles the lagoons of the Pasific Ocean, yet Olu deniz is actually a unique location.
While we often see it in photographs mostly taken from the air, we have always observed it at sea level. Unfortunately, we have failed to grasp the “grand picture” (!) as seen from the sky. Whereas, it is possible to look over the beach and its environs, stretching from the Belcekız coast to Dilburnu, with the Gemile Island and Kayaköy in the background, and even the Valley of Butterflies from the air. Taking off from Babadağ at an altitude of 1975 metres from sea-level, you can enjoy this unique panorama to your heart’s content from the sky. You can even take pictures of this beautiful lagoon from the air and say “At long last I also have a photograph of Olu deniz taken from the sky.” You need not hire a plane or helicopter for this purpose. You can enjoy this extraordinary experience with small vehicles with engine and wings of sails called micro-light. The micro-light is a very light airplane, weighing about 300-495 kg., with one or two seats. In these tandems, the pilot takes the front seat and the passenger sits in the rear.
Micro-light flights take off from the Ovacık runway near Hisaronu, located between Fethiye and Olu deniz. The flight of 20 minutes is organized by the travel agency named Fly South and you pay 58 pounds for it—with 2006 prices.
Conducted by a lever just like the planes, these vehicles provide the greatest pleasure of flying. In the ones under the trademark Aquilla with Rotax engine, security is of primary consideration. You are given a couple of headphones in order to evade the disturbance of the noise of the engine and to communicate with the pilot.
During the flight, you enjoy the delightful panorama of the areas covered with forests of red pines and cedar trees. We ascertain from Strabon that the mountain was called “Anticragus” in the antique period. It is possible to observe the steep northern slopes and valleys with rare species of storax trees along the brooks. You can also see the wide plain at the summit of the Mendos Mountain, reminiscent of a football field.
Olu deniz possesses special geographical features which keep surprising you as you fly over it. It is especially for this reason that the International Olu deniz Air Games Festival, one of the most prominent sports events in the word, held for the first time in 1999, is organized here annually in late October.
The region is named Olu deniz after the lagoon here about which there is a story. According to the legend, the ship of a father and a son was caught in a fierce storm in front of the Yediburunlar.The son was enamoured with a girl called Belcekız who was living here and therefore was familiar with the surroundings. He knew that if they approached the rocks they could enter into a cove and be safe from the monstrous waves. He explained this to his father who did not believe him and there ensured a fight between them. The father, surmising that they would crash into the rocks, hit the son with a shovel and threw him overboard, taking the wheel. Just then he realized that they had entered into a cove where the sea was absolutely still. He took refuge at the cove and mourned over the death of his son for days. Meanwhile, Belcekız, hearing the death of her lover, threw herself from the rocks. From then on, the place where the son died was called Ölüdeniz and the area where the girl committed suicide was named Belcekız. That’s the way the legend goes!
The truth is that Olu deniz is not dead at all; it is very alive. See Olu deniz from the air before you die. Take a look from above, feel exuberant, click your shutter release, share this exuberance and have a taste of life.