Fire Dance, Turkey: In Pictures

I came across these fire dancers in Fethiye, Turkey. Walking home from dinner late one evening, we stopped to watch their performance. It was mesmerising to see as they moved with grace and precision, gently lit by the soft light of the flames in the darkness.

Playing with Fire

A little bit more about Poi…

A regular favourite of fire twirlers. Poi is a Maori word and the art of spinning poi originally comes from New Zealand, though it can be found throughout the world today.


A fire poi is an arm-length chain with a handle attached to one end, and bundle of wicking material on the other. The wick is soaked in fuel, set on fire, and then spun with beautiful dramatic effect. Usually twirled in pairs, they create a beautiful circular fire trail about the fire dancer…

If you’d like to read and see more about this region of Turkey, check out my other post Fethiye: Escape to the Old Town

Fethiye: Escape to the Old Town

It was a last minute, spur of the moment holiday to Turkey, a bargain package deal so I was expecting to end up somewhere really touristy and just spending my days lazing on the beach and eating lots of delicious local food, which I did do in good measure. But at heart I’m not really that much of a beach lounger and after a day or two I start to fidget and the need to explore takes over. So I headed out from our beach resort near Fethiye, in the well-known tourist region of Dalaman, with the famous resort of Oludeniz just down the road, and took a short ride by dolmus (shared taxi or minibus) to explore the Old Town.

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A great place to relax and watch the world go by sipping a strong turkish coffee or a deliciously fresh juice in a small cafe… Stroll along the harbour, haggle in the markets looking for bargains… Take a slow walk around the old town, with its little cobbled streets, traditional buildings and white-washed mosques.


And don’t forget to visit the Fish Market (on Tuesdays), you can buy a fish of your choice from the middle of the Market and then get it filleted and cooked to your liking by any of the surrounding cafes. As we visited early in the holiday season in mid June, the locals welcomed us eagerly and I noticed at this time of year the majority of the tourists were Turkish and Lebanese holidaymakers.

A mix of the traditional and the touristy, but that’s fairly normal all over the world nowadays, there are some great finds here.

And a great place to just walk around with my camera, so here it is in pictures…


Sounds of the Deep South, Part One: Nashville

I’ve often heard the Deep South described as a ‘musical landscape’, so when I chose to go on a tour of his region I knew I was heading out on a musical journey. Being a music lover (and a bit of a food lover too) I was looking forward to experiencing what the Deep South had to offer! And I have to say it delighted me in every way!

Nashville, Tennessee

Country Music hall of fame11

I began my journey in style in ‘Music City’, Nashville. This place is just brimming with musical talent. It’s on the streets, in the Honky-Tonks on Broadway, in the parks and even up on the bridge! Whatever your musical taste if you look hard enough you could probably find it here, or you could just embrace country music, it’s infectious! Nashville comes to life in the evenings, I spent my first night on Broadway dipping in and out of various venues, catching some great bands and singers, my favourite spots were ‘Tootsies’ and ‘The Second Fiddle’, which had a friendly atmosphere, down to earth vibe and great music.


To get into my country groove, you might like to listen to my Nashville soundtrack here…

Honestly I wasn’t a huge country music fan when I left the UK but by day two in Nashville I was converted. I started my day at the amazing Johnny Cash museum, getting to know this American icon. Its a great collection of Cash memorabilia and personal items charting his life. There were music booths and films along with letters, scripts, lyrics and his guitars. It was a very honest and personal exhibit, and I felt I came away knowing the ‘Man in black’ a little better and loving his music even more!

At lunchtime I was trying on over-priced cowboy boots on Broadway. By mid-afternoon I was working my way through the Country Music Hall of Fame and by nightfall I was in my seat at the Grand Ole Opry, rocking out to some great country talent both young and old.

A night at the Opry

Often called “The Show that Made Country Music Famous” the Grand Ole Opry is an American icon in itself, a weekly country music show, broadcast live on the radio and famously known as one of the longest running radio broadcasts in history. It seemed a must do in Nashville, even though (as I might have mentioned before) I was not a huge country music fan, it wasn’t top of my list… but I’m so glad I went!


Although it’s dedicated to country music, the Opry embraces a mix of musical genres from country to bluegrass, folk and gospel, there is something for everyone. I love live music and I always feel when you try something new, you can often be surprised at what you find and what you like!

And that’s exactly what happened that night at the Opry, I found a band called Needtobreathe. The final band of the night, which so far had been quite sedate (sitting in pews it does feel a bit like a church) suddenly became a One Direction concert with the band taking the stage and the girls in the row next to me going wild! A cross between country, bluegrass and Christian rock, they had a refreshing sound, a youthful vibe and their songs stayed with me on my travels in the Deep South….

More photos from Music City

Look out for Sounds of the Deep South Part Two: Next up Memphis!
Coming soon…