Sunday 28 October 2018

Turkish Delight

Hello dear readers!

Yes I am back! The wanderer returns. The boy is well and truly back in town.

But back from where? You may ask (If you didn’t read the last blog post you might, anyway). Well back from holiday. Back from a week in the last of the Turkish sun. A week of rest, relaxation, and maybe a light spot of overindulgence.

Unsurprisingly, said holiday is the subject matter of today’s most humble offering.

Packing Up
It was two Tuesday’s ago that saw the start of our adventure. Granted the previous few days had been swallowed up in a maelstrom of packing, printing out travel documents, and panicking that at least some of the aforementioned tasks had been missed or messed up, but Tuesday was the day that saw us say goodbye to the cats (The dog having gone to her Auntie Deb’s for her very own little holiday), lock up the house and lug the luggage (is that why it’s called luggage? Enquiring minds would very much like to know) into the waiting car of a very good and extremely kind friend for the journey to Manchester Airport.

This for me was where the holiday started. The full import of that statement will become clear soon.

It is a mere hour or so to Manchester Airport, given a following wind and a nice clear road., so we were soon there, and, as it turned out, ridiculously early too. Check-in had been accomplished earlier by way of the online service and the time of the flight had been slightly mis-remembered (luckily, in our favour) meaning we had a little time to kill before take-off. We therefore, after getting only slightly lost, settled in for a coffee and a chat before making our way to hand the cases over to the nice man by the conveyor belt and get my ‘chair nicely tagged with a label denoting it’s final destination.

Free Wheeling
The pre-selected plan, you see, was to keep a hold of my chair for the time being, staying in it until the plane door was reached, rather than send it in to the slightly mysterious black hold behind the man at the desk. It does come in handy, does my old jalopy, handy for reasons of independence, for moving under my own steam, without having to rely on someone else doing the pushing and therefore choosing exactly which direction one goes in. It also stops one being left, stranded whilst the designated pusher goes off to do her own thing (Not that I’m thinking of anyone in particular, Tina Rankin!). Being that the next destination was the Aladdin's cave that is Duty Free, I thought that this was particularly useful.

Ignore the over-priced confectionery and the slightly tatty ‘souvenirs’ resplendent with Union Jack’s and other slightly London-centric hallmarks of Britannia, when I hit Duty free I’m looking at two main things. Aftershave and booze. (It is best not to get the two confused). This was the exact points things went slightly wrong.

It wasn’t the aftershaves, although, had we been in a slightly more affluent position then I’m pretty sure that we would have parted with a more than prudent amount of money. No, the issue was with the booze, and in particular with the very nice man in the whisky section who uttered the fateful words ‘f you want to try anything, just let me know’.

Shaking It Up
Yeah, you guessed it. To be fair I only had one generous measure of bourbon (oh and one of gin too, as they were offering) but this, combined with the beer in the airport lounge and the Jack and Coke on the plane itself. Well, you’ll see.

The flight itself was a dream. Jet2 might be a budget airline but the seats, although not hugely comfortable, do give plenty of leg room. Take off was so smooth that my very nervous traveller of a wife only very nearly broke my arm in three places and landing was almost equally as gentle, leaving only an hour and a half bus journey to the hotel, and a soft, warm bed to fall into.

The next day we woke, breakfasted and made our way to the pool, where we spent the bulk of the remainder of the day. Lunch was had in the shelter of the pool bar (something that became a bit of a habit over the seven days), and before we knew it we were back in the spacious and well equipped quarters of our hotel room to get ready for dinner. It was here, just after a wash and change, that I started shaking.

Exchange Is As Good As A Rest
It turned out that, to the best of our knowledge, I’d become slightly severely dehydrated. The previous day’s alcohol, seven hours of transportation, and the day in the sun turning out to be a bad combination. I made it down for dinner but pretty quickly made it back up again and spent the rest of the first night tucked up in bed sipping water, cola, and eating the occasional sweet. Luckily this was a combination that did the trick and hospital, insurance, and total ruination of the holiday was avoided. I will know significantly better for next time.

Fully recovered, apart from a few cold-sores, the rest of the holiday went swimmingly. Club Atrium, where we stayed is a lovely little resort, full of very helpful and friendly people, the food was good, choice plentiful (as long as you didn’t mind breakfast being eggs, eggs, more eggs, and a side of eggs), the oranges green, and the exchange rate meant that everything was extremely cheap (two main courses, and two cola’s came to about 70 Turkish Lira or about Ten Pounds). The sun might not have been quite as scorchio as July or August might have provided but this was to our liking (especially my fair-skinned, red-head of a wife) and temperatures were generally still around 27 degrees for the week, despite being in the last two weeks of the holiday season.

The Wanderers Return
We didn’t really get out and about or explore Marmaris too well, although the last day did see us hit the bay and do most of the touristy cliches (kebab, Turkish coffee, baklava et al). The coffee was superb. Strong and sweet, although care has to be shown not to drink the last remnants of the cup where the sediment lies like caffeinated quicksand), and the kebab was like nothing we’d ever tasted. A distant and much more refined cousin to the 3 o’clock specials available in this country.

Yes, all things being considered it was a wonderful week away and we have already said that, as and when finances allow, we will definitely be revisiting not just the country, not just the resort, but the exact same hotel. I think when that happens we might explore pushing the number of days and perhaps just going bed and breakfast (so we can still get green oranges). With the price of food and the nearby plethora of eateries (most British themed, one named for The Chuckle Brother, one for Only Fools and Horses, and two themed for Celtic football club), and the slight sense of missed opportunity not trying these out that might just make sense.

So, yeah. Time to save up the pennies. Time to plan the next trip, and time to remember that next time, I need to take more water with it.

Until next time.

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