A week break in Turkey before the Christmas mayhem! Leaving Gatwick on 17th at 8 o’clock. Today will be panic packing and checking flight times!
Here we are at Gatwick, arrived early as usual! Just waiting for our flight at 20:10. Just been called to departure gate, and guess what, Di is in the loo!!
After a flight of just under four hours, we arrived in Antalya at about 2:30 am local time. A full flight with, as always, interesting characters. Quickly through customs and on to our bus for an hour’s run in the dark to the hotel, Seher Resort. A comfortable large room and we slept well until the alarm woke us at 9 am.
After breakfast we set off for Aspendos. On the way we stopped off at an ancient bridge across a river. Aspendos is a fantastic ancient theatre built in Roman times.
Inevitably I had to call out… Fwends, Woman’s, Countweemen…. Etc.
Well worth a visit, surprisingly quiet and free of tourists (except for our group of course!) Back to the hotel via some impressively constructed Aqueducts towers, supporting the waterways to feed the villa habited by the local important Romans. Here Di met up with her new Turkish Mama.
On to an appetising lunch on the banks of a lazy river with great views.
Early start tomorrow for a long coach ride to Cappadocia.
Woken up by the 5:30 call to prayers from the local Mosque. Turkey's majority religion is Muslim, although there is no hint of radicalism, they seem to go about there business and religion in a peaceful manner respecting all others. If only all societies could exist with similar tolerance. So the call to prayers was just as well as we need to be on the bus at 7am. Good job we are morning people, but the Southern Comfort last night didn’t help!
We were prepared for a long journey to Cappadocia. First stop was on the pass through the Taurus Mountains, with some wonderful scenery.
The roads are well maintained and traffic is light. We are surprised how green Turkey is, we were expecting desert, so pleasantly surprised. The next stop was the Whirling Dervish museum where Romie, the initiator of the sects interred. Interesting architecture,but clearly a sacred place for some.
Then on to an Underground City where the rocks were excavated to produce a hidden city to hide from marauders on the Silk Route. This reminded us of the troglodytes in the Loire valley in France. The rocks of volcanic origin are very soft and are eroding all the time.
Finally we arrived at our hotel, where we would stay for the next three nights, so we were able to unpack our cases. A good meal with good company. One of the fascinating things about coach tours is how a group of people, thrown together, develop in to a microcosm of society and how small groups gel together. I don't really understand it, but Di and I seem to be part of most of the groups! (I suspect Di's wonderful nature is a major factor, but I hope I have a small input too!) It was great to be included in a family of 16 Indian people who seemed to adopt us, isn't it?
A brilliant day today visiting the wonderful volcanic rock formations in Cappadocia. The way that erosion has played its part in erosion is just stunning. A photograher's dream! This terrain must be a movie director's dream for science fiction of fantasy films. One can almost expect Luke Skywalker to come flying around the next volcanic pinnacle! The weather was very kind to us photographers!
We finished the day witnessing a ritual by the Whirling Dervish…….interesting, but stupid! I should try to be tolerant of religious ceremonies, but whirling around and around for twenty minutes until dizzy is the sort of thing our kids did when they were two years old.
Back to the Hotel for buffet dinner, which was the standard offering for the whole week, which was good because one can choose what, and how much, to eat. I don't believe there was one instance where the food was anything but good with a wide choice of dishes.
Today, we visited a Turkish Carpet factory where we saw wonderful rugs and wall hangings. There was no hard sell, but we were encouraged to part with our cash! Unfortunately the products did not suit our circumstances so no sale! The workmanship and materials are astounding. Silk being a major raw material, giving a wonderful sheen and changes of colours in different lights.
We then visited another panoramic site before lunch, then one last panoramic site before an early return to the hotel to prepare for the Turkish Cultural experience in the evening.
Well, a great evening of traditional dancing and music held in a packed restaurant. Really good fun before heading back to the hotel for drinks and packing ready for an early start on Saturday.
An early start for the journey back to Antalaya. A lengthy road journey, calling in at a Caravanserai building. As we left Cappadocia snow was falling! We finally arrived at Hotel Vera Verde in Antalya, very nice and well appointed…. however…..
Not a good start today, being falsely accused of trying to leave the Hotel without paying for our bar bill. Not much support from our guide. However I was able to prove that I had paid, but not before being humiliated before the group. The day didn’t get much better as we were transported to companies selling Gold and Leather at exorbitant prices. Things got a lot better after lunch when we had the opportunity to look around Antalaya, with its pretty harbour area.
A restful start before heading back to the airport for our 16:20 flight. Before that we lunched at a restaurant on the coast where a river joined the sea via a pretty airport.
The flight home was uneventful, apart from my Ocular Migraine making the journey a bit uncomfortable, but didn’t spoil a good break.