Turkey Diary

Monday, November 09, 2015

Ok so this post is long over due, as I went on holiday over a month ago now. But with all the hype over Halloween and my laptop having issues, this post just had to wait. So lets get into it. I went on holiday to Kalkan in Turkey on 27th September for two whole weeks, and I was definitely looking forward to it.

Arrival (27th Sep)
After the late night at Hammersmith Apollo to see Dara O'brian (26th Sep), it was just get in, showered, dressed and ready. It was just a ridiculous time in the morning that no one wants to see. But at 3 am the taxi arrived and took us to Gatwick airport. We had some time to waste in the airport though, so we started with a hot chocolate and waited for the shops to open. Finally WH Smiths opened its doors and I hurried in looking for a good book. Well, I ended up getting Joe Sugg's new book; Username Evie and a book called Mad Cow. Well that was very eventful, but we still had time to waste, so me and my fiancee poped into a restaurant for some breakfast. Early breakfast at 4.30 am, filled up on pancakes and smoothie, this was probably the silliest thing I did as I just felt full and groggy. Time came to get on the plane, and 4 1/2 hours later we arrived in Dalaman, Turkey. Hot is all I can tell you. It was so hot I could feel myself burning while we waited for our mini van. Everything in the van and we were off, a 2 hour journey to Kalkan, full of mountains, blue sky and sunshine. For me however, this was just another annoyance, with no sleep and a long journey still to go it was agony. Finally we arrived in Kalkan, and was greeted by our pool cleaner to the villa, who showed us everything in the villa. From pool table to infinity pool it was breath taking, but only for about 5 minutes then I just wanted to go to bed. Rooms selected, annoyingly we had to stay on the bottom floor, but we made it work. There I collapsed onto the double bed. I was woken up about 3 maybe 4 hours later to be told that dinner was ready. In all that was just a tiring day and I really just wanted to sleep and not eat.






Day 1 (28th Sep)
Monday and I felt fresh and much more awake, great as I could really enjoy the view a bit more. From the living room you could see the beautiful view of sea and islands, with blue sky and sunshine, it was a little paradise away from home. But today was all about the food shopping, which meant heading out to town. It was hard to find a shop to buy food in Kalkan, and with the help of Google we were lost. No Adda supermarket exists in Kalkan, but we found a Carafour which had everything we needed. Though meat is really expensive out there, but that didn't stop us buying a bunch of stuff for a BBQ that night. Getting back to the villa, getting in the pool was the main priority. A wonderful cool feeling after an incredibly hot day. Finishing the day with a BBQ was definitely a holiday treat, with slight burning of the leaves around the edge of the villa.











Day 2 (29th Sep)
Lazy day, all that we did was lounge by the pool during the day. We did decided to go visit the Town for a little while just to have a bit of an explore. It was definitely hot and the pool is all we could think about.









Day 3 (30th Sep)
Pretty much another lazy day, especially for some, but for me and my fiancee we did take a trip to the beach. Well I say beach it is more of a ledge which ends in the sea. The reason we went there was to see how much the taxi boat was and when it left. Well it is 5 Turkish Lira for one trip and it comes when the bar guy phones for it. But, my fiancee's mum didn't want to use it, so we headed back to the villa. Now, our villa is on a hill, well more like a cliff edge, so when we decided to go a different way back we almost died. There were so many steps up the hill that you could easily pass out from exhaustion. But, it wasn't a pointless journey, as we did get to see a wild tortoise, lizards and even a little kitten. After that hike we definitely needed a dip in the pool. The rest of the day was just spent pool side. In the evening we did decide to go to a restaurant, the choice of some was Chillies. Now, for me and my fiancee this was one of the worse restaurants to go in Kalkan. I personally had a Hallumi Salad, which was OK but not amazing and the salad just didn't taste very nice at all. In all it was terrible and I think that there are many more nicer places to eat in Kalkan.







Day 4 (1st Oct)
Thursday, market day. We aimed to get up fairly early for the start of the market. So all of us were up by 8 am and out the door by 9. We decided to book a taxi to take us down to the market, which was a good idea, as it only took us about 5 minutes to get there for 15 Turkish lira. The market is definitely an experience, and one you will never forget. Though, you need to have your haggling cap on or someone that can haggle for you, as they will and they love it. We haggled for belts, wallets, bags and pants. With all our goods in tow we left the market and headed into the Old Town of Kalkan. This is where most of the restaurants and shops are, so we stopped at a bar and got ourselves some cocktails. I had a strawberry mojito, and it destroyed me. It was so strong that there was not flavor of strawberry what so ever, I couldn't finish it in fear I wouldn't be able to walk. But, we walked around for a bit looking in some of the shops and this is where I decided I wanted a Chanel bag. I know not a real one, not that there wasn't one available but it was way way to expensive. After a day of shopping we spent the afternoon by the pool, and decided that we would have dinner out again. So, off we headed out not sure where we would end up. We ended up in this little  terraced restaurant, with a funny waiter. He made some jokes and comments, which were at first funny, but, I did think to myself "just get on with it". It was a good meal and some selections available for vegetarians (which I became during this holiday). Back at the villa we played a few games of pool and then headed for bed.









Day 5 (2nd Oct)
Friday and Birthday day for my fiancee's mum. The morning consisted of her opening presents and me washing my clothes. At 2.30 we had a chef arrive at the villa to cook us a 3 course meal. Now, we did pre-book the chef, but it is definitely something worth doing if you are staying in Kalkan. While I showered, did my nails and got ready, he was beavering away cooking. at about 7.30 pm dinner was served. First starters and we has 5, well I didn't as most of them had lamb, but I did get to have a couple of things. Second course/main was gain a feast, 2 to choose from, well for me it was just the chicken that I could go for as the other was lamb, but it was still nice. For desert we had his own design of Baklava, a traditional Turkish desert, which was lovely. Just to top off the evening we had Birthday cake and indoor fireworks. It was amazing, and the chef finished up with washing up all the plates. It was a well worth experience and a great day.







Day 6 (3rd Oct)
Boat trip. Yep we booked a boat trip around Kalkan, which we had to be up early for. 10 am the boat left the harbor and headed across the sea to a little bay, where we had tea and coffee and got to have a swim in the water. It was beautiful the water was so clear and you could see fish swimming around you. We had our snorkel gear on, but the salt in the water made is super hard to dive, but we didn't mind to much. Once we had finished to boat headed further round, and again stopped, allowing us to have a swim. Once we had enough we boarded back on the boat and were invited to have lunch. It was so yummy and there was so much of it. It was hard to keep saying no more as there was so much food. Finished we sat back on our deck mats and were treated to an ice cream, as the boat headed to its next stop, the mud baths. The natural mud baths were what we couldn't miss, but, there was an accident that had to be cared for. My fiancee's mum had a bad fall on the boat, that she got a deep cut of her knee and cut her nose open. She was rushed by speed boat to the harbor where they took her to the doctors. This left me and my fiancee on the boat, so we tried to enjoy the rest of the trip, though it was still in the back of our minds. We did go for our natural mud bath, which is very strange, being covered in mud and waiting for it to dry. Bath done we were then given fresh fruit on the boat which was very refreshing. We were then asked if we wanted to go to Mouse Island, which there seemed to be a resounding yes. So, the boat headed to Mouse Island, where no-one got off the boat, but we were given some cake to end our day out. Heading back to the harbor, my fiancee realized his dad had taken his tee, so he was topless for the journey back. Luckily his dad, came and met us at the harbor where we headed back together. His mum was bandaged up and laying down on the sofa when we arrived. Knowing that we had to be up early the next day we decided to have a quick bite to eat and head off to bed.











Day 7 (4th Oct)
Today was my wonderful fiancee's 28th Birthday, where he dot to open his cards. But, just as quickly as he opened his cards we had to head off on a 2 hour trio to the airport to drop off his sister. That journey seemed a lot different this time around then it did when we arrived, I think it was the lack of sleep that did it. After dropping them off, we headed for a place called Pinara, but not before getting pulled over. Yep even in a foreign country my fiancee gets pulled over, but it wasn't his fault this time. Apparently the tax had run out on the mini van so we were given some tickets to give to the car hire company. So, word of advice always check your car is in date with everything before you drive off with it. Pinara is a place filled with ruins, it is a bit of a tricky place to get to especially in a mini van as it is a windy road that just goes up and up. Paying for out ticket in we headed up the rubble track. The path is marked with red blobs now and then indicating where you can go to next. Up and down rocks as we went up the hill, every step was tricky as you could easily twit your ankle or even fall over. Going up you could see the rock tombs above in a mountain face, strange but beautiful, till we past a corner and we were met with a beautiful site. Ruins, built right into the face of the mountain, very ornate and decorative, with so much detail still visible even after all these years. Right next to that, yet more wild tortoises and mountain goats. every turn showed a few more beautiful ruins, till we headed back to the start. At the start we took another route which lead us to a theater, still obvious and beautiful. A few photos later a noise that resembled banging came from the side. Investigation lead to two tortoises butting each other. A very strange site to see, especially in the wild. Seeing every thing we could possibly see we headed back to the villa. As the cleaners came during the day we decided to change rooms, and move up one level to the 2nd floor. A bigger room, more light and an en-suit bathroom. Not having much food in the villa to make dinner with, we decided to have dinner out. We headed to Adam's Restaurant, just outside of Kalkan. It was a little dark that evening and a little chilly, but it was very nice. The food was reasonably prices and very tasty, even two local cats made them selves at home with us. One took a fancy to my fiancee's dads food, he wouldn't leave him alone. It was a very nice night out and peaceful sleep had by all I think.













Day 8 (5th Oct)
Monday another lazy day, which was fine for us, as it gave us an opportunity to catch up on some sun and splash around in the pool. As we booked a table at a restaurant we had some time to burn, so a good swim was needed. Evening came and it was time to head to The Small House Restaurant in the Old Town. It is exactly what it's called a small restaurant that can only house 16 people, well at a push. The food was nice and there is a bunch of options to choose from, but as for over experience it wasn't as amazing as everyone made it out to be. If you want to go to the Small House you need to book in advance as it gets booked up fast. Getting back we headed to bed.





Day 9 (6th Oct)

Busy day this day turned out to be. We headed to Xanthos, a place full of ruins which a lot of tourists usually head to. Again you need to pay when you arrive, but you get to spend most of your day there wondering around the ruins. The first we walked along was a roman road, then to a church and then up to some rock tombs. These rock tombs were much different to the Pinara tombs, as you could get close enough to them that you could go inside on and have a look. These tombs can house up to 6 people, so having hundreds there you can just imagine how many people could be there. Heading back down we were met with a man telling us where we can find lion tombs. Well, something seemed strange, but my fiancee's dad jumped and the chance and followed this man down. We went up and down, saw tombs and tombs all looking similar, till we headed back. So as we thanked him we gave him 5 Turkish lira, this was not enough for him, that he actually said "no, 20". Yep we just got coned, so be careful for strangers that tell you something they aren't real staff, just locals making a quick buck on tourists. Getting back to the start we stopped for a drink and an ice cream, we definitely needed it we were just so hot and tired. Finishing we walked over to the theater and took some photos. Again a local came over to say about other ruins which we definitely declined. Leaving Xanthos, we headed to Patara a protected beach. During the day the beach can be accessed by the public at a cost, but by night it is all for the turtles. It is one of the only sandy beaches near Kalkan, and one of the longest at 12 miles. We sat and enjoyed the sun, sand and sea, dipping my feet in the water feeling free and calm. We caught a crab and collected shells, and just really relaxed. By the end we got covered in sand by the wind and headed home with sand in our shoes. Another night out on the town trying the restaurants, going to one just on the start of the town. It was nice and there was a lot of variety available, but the alcoholic deserts aren't worth it it is literally just a tiny bit of ice cream in alcohol.














Day 10 (7th Oct)
Wednesday, another lazy day. Relaxing by the pool and enjoying the sunshine. While we were enjoying out lazy day the cleaners turned up and we decided to swap rooms once again. This time we were given the master room. A king size bed, with an enormous bathroom and an amazing view. The only downside was that the bed was just to hard, which was similar for all the rooms. After a relaxing day we got ready to go out for dinner. Heading back into the old town we settled at Ramies Terrace Restaurant. By far our best meal yet, so much variety. We even got free tapas, garlic bread and some amaretto to finish. We even treated ourselves to a cocktail, which came out with sparklers, not to mention it was delicious. We had such a good time there we even chatted to the staff and decided that this would be the place to go for our last night in Kalkan.











Day 11 (8th Oct)
A bit of a cloudy and damp start to our day. Our journey destination, Saklikent Gorge. It took us about half an hour to get there from the villa and it rained on and off all the way there. Getting out we walked a short distance to the ticket booth to go in. Paid and in we walked along a wooden walkway attached to the side of the gorge. Under us was a rushing river flowing very fast in some areas. Walking along we got to an opening where the main start of the gorge was. A little stand shop was open selling plastic water shoes, food and drinks. There were a lot of people here and a lot of fast flowing water. On one side a chair and bench was covered in the flow and at the other a que of people insure if they should make the plunge. The Gorge is designed to be a nice refreshing walk through a river.  Well this is the idea and much more nicer during the summer. However, being that we arrived in autumn it was not really what we had in mind. Due to the rain the water was much higher than it would be in summer reaching waist height on most tall people. I dipped my finger in and decided it was definitely not a good idea, it was freezing. While we were taking photos and enjoying the scenery, a man came up to us telling us it was against the law to go into the Gorge without a member of staff. This is fake, a con, I read earlier in the day that these bogus guides take you up the Gorge and back then demand 50 Turkish lira, only to get back and find that they didn't need a guide after all. This is a real problem in tourist areas of Turkey, which does kinda ruin your day when you are constantly pestered by these people. Any way, we told him no and that we weren't going in, so he moved along. Only to reappear 10 minutes later demanding to have my phone to take a photo of everyone for money...no I don't think so. After that we decided to go, it was probably safer than potentially getting our stuff nicked. Heading back to the car, we decided to stop and have a drink at one of the little trout farms. It was definitely an experience, sitting on the floor on little cushions. I wouldn't have eaten there but a can of coke was just what we needed. Getting back the sun was hotter than ever, so a dip in the pool was needed. Dip done and shower had we headed out for dinner, somewhere sort of posh. We had huge soft chairs and the food came out on fancy plates. The only think that made the restaurant on of the bad ones was the service. We were accused of lying about getting a free starter and then we waiting for 30 minutes maybe even more for the bill. We were not happy at all, considering there was only 2 other couples there it was very shoddy indeed.

















Day 12 (9th Oct)
Up early again, this time we were heading to Kas for the market. The journey was one of the bests we had, following the coast all the way around. It was beautiful, especially seeing the sun reflecting on the sea. Getting in to Kas was a little tricky as it seemed busy, but we managed to find a road to park up on. This is where our first problem started, the curb was higher that the door, meaning no-one could get out except the driver. We had to come away from the curb just a touch to open the sliding back door, this meant I had to climb into the back just to get out. This was definitely a bit of a laugh to start the day. Walking into the market it was hot and seemed a lot bigger. But a little disappointing, as it was largely produce that gifts. We did find a few stalls that we got to haggle at. Though the haggling was stepped up a gear as they wanted more than before,  we managed to haggle them down though. We left with a scarf, tees, belts, a wallet and a load of Turkish Delight. We were told that the season was coming to an end and that was the reason for the haggling being so tough. All our goods in tow we headed back to the villa, with a slight detour to some shops. We went into a shop similar to Aldi but there wasn't much on offer, no bin bags. So we went down the road a bit and found one that looked like a cheap naff shop. Inside it had everything from makeup to cat food, if you wanted it it was there, definitely the place to go to get your food. Back at the villa we thought we would enjoy a bacon sandwich each, as we bought two packs of the stuff. Opening it up we had a shock, only 2 rashes in each pack, what! Yep we spent 24 lira on two packs of bacon just to find out we got 4 rashes. Luckily we had other food in the villa that everyone could eat something. The rest of the day was spent by the pool, till the evening. Off out again, another restaurant and food food, but still nothing like Ramies. After we decided to do a bit of shopping round the town. Wanting the Chanel bag so bad, I finally bought it, as I couldn't find a similar one in the market. I love this bag.









Day 13 (10th Oct)
Our last full day in Turkey, so we did what anyone would do, laze by the pool. Our last chance to enjoy it so we took it. It was a shame that it wasn't cleaned while we were there as the water just seemed but groggy by the time we left. We swam for a bit but we enjoyed the sunshine more. Knowing we were going back to cold cloudy weather made us really soak up that sun. In the evening we all made an effort, even the selfie stick came out just to take some more fun glamorous photos. Second time in Ramies and another great night, fab food and company. After we decided to do some last minute shopping, where I picked up a matching purse for my new Chanel bag. It seemed different this night though, some shops had shut early than usual and it was very quiet. It was nice but I think the holiday had just come to its end. Back at the villa we decided to play a little bit of pool and table tennis, before heading up to bed.











Leaving (11th Oct)
Sad sad day. The sun was just up and reflecting off of the hills and sea. But, for us it was that little reminder that we were going home. Dressed ready for England we headed off for our 2 hour journey to the airport. At the airport we had to go through 2 security checks, which was strange to say the least. But through check in, we had a look around some shops. In one we found a Turkish tea set, which we couldn't resist and I found a box of diabetic Turkish Delight, great for a present I needed. Finished in the shops and with 45 minutes to go we went upstairs to Burger King for some lunch. Having no meat all holiday gave me a bit of a craving. So, like my fiancee, I devoured a Triple Whopper, oh dear. It was so good I can't explain. Finished we headed to our gate and got on the plane.  Goodbye Turkey it was fun, 3 and half hours later we were back in cold England.









So that's it, 2 whole weeks away condensed into one post. It has been a photo heavy post so I'm sorry about that, but i had the most amazing time. It is such a beautiful place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone after a week away. Until next time...

Stay Gorgeous
XOXOX 

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