Monday, 30 May 2011

CHRISTMAS TURKEY - Dec 2010

Sorry guys but as I've left this blog sooooo long, it's more like a quick overview odf the holiday than a blog. Maybe I will have to visit Turkey again to do it justice...
CHRISTMAS TURKEY
We were due to fly out of Gatwick the day after snow had crippled both major London airports. It took the guys from the midlands over 10 hours to reach their hotel at Gatwick. For us coming from London, it was an hour and a half drive, avoiding the 25 as our junction was closed due to a jack-knifed lorry.



Finally we were all at the airport, listening to the announcements for the several cancelled flights. We were due to depart at 17.30 but were told our flight would leave at 21.00. this was about 14.00 but rather than get annoyed, like some fellow passengers, the 9 of entertained ourselves by singing Christmas carols and playing charades... until 18.00 when we were told our flight would not leave until the next morning. We spent the night at a hotel near the airport and finally departed shortly before 10am the following morning. It was hard to complain though when I thought about all those people we had left stranded at the airport.
Finally we were on our way to Antalya Turkey. Our resort was based on Lara Beach and I braced myself for a 2 week stay in the same place – something I have never done except if visiting relatives in Barbados or the states.




Night one we celebrated my brother’s 40th with dinner at the Al la carte Italian restaurant. Our waiters sang a hearty rendition of ‘happy birthday’ over a sparkling log cake
Our organised tour to Manavgat was a letdown for several reasons. Amongst them the fact that we were only given 2 hours in the market and that the area leading to the water falls were flooded so we couldn’t actually get to them.
The uncover Antalya tour was better. There was an enforced stop and at a jewelry and leather shop, but after that we went to another water fall which were beautiful and then into the town centre of Antalya. Some of the other in the group really enjoyed the shopping but in my opinion, everything seemed like fake tat. I decided I’d hold out until the January sales back home; a decision I was even happier about after the strap on one of my sisters bags broke within the first two usages.





Then there was the day that the two men in the group hired a van and took us all out for a day trip to Aspendos and Perga. Following the sat nav directions we came to what looked like a little road block. We couldn’t figure out why there were 2 large rocks in the middle of the road. One of the drivers decided to just move them despite the cries from the back seat saying they must be there for a reason. 400 yards on we found out why. There was a local street market!!





The views from the amphitheater in Aspendos were stunning. We were glad we had hired our own van as we spent almost 2 hours there and still didn’t feel like we had done it justice. I finally gave into the ‘tat sellers' and purchased a bracelet from some ladies selling outside the ruins of Perga. Partly because I did like it but more so because I caved she pleaded so deeply and I thought, what are a few euros!





Christmas was disappointing as it wasn’t recognized by the hotel. We had our own mini service in one of our bedrooms; then join a shooting lesson to learn how to fire a shot gun! New years’ eve was better as the hotel put on a spectacular gala for all the guests – at least 500.





The day before we left, my brother and sister accompanied me for a Turkish bath. A sauna and a steam, followed by a good wash before a relaxing body massage.
The weather was surprisingly good for the time of year (although we had apparently missed a violent thunder storm 2 days before we arrived). We had been expecting degrees in the late teens but we got 22-23 which we were more than grateful for. On the day we departed, it rained for the entire day but one out of fourteen isn’t bad so there were no complaints.





Well the departure journey was just as adventurous as the one on the way out. After arriving at the airport, checking our bags and making our way through customs, it was announced that there was a problem with our flight and it hadn’t indeed left the UK. So, we had to return through customs, re-collect our bags, re-board the coach and make our way back to a different hotel. It was the wee hours of the morning once we arrived and t say most people were tired and grumpy would be a small understatement.
And then the whole palaver the next day when it started all over again. But finally, we were on our way back home.

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