Go to the Turkey photo album if you want to see the pictures.
A few customers of Sisi had made her enthousiastic about the cheap all-inclusive holidays in Turkey. So on Friday 30th of October Sisi and I left Breda in the early morning to catch an early flight to Antalya in Turkey. It was an 4 hour flight and another hour by bus to our hotel Can Garden Resort in Colakli, a nice beachresort on the Turkish Riviera near Side. We were welcomed by the friendly staff and brought to our nice room on the third floor, overlooking the swimming pool. After refreshing ourselves a little we were still in time for lunch. After lunch Sisi went to bed to sleep and I went to the beach, where our hotel had a small pavillion and a private beach, for a swim and a lazy afternoon. It was the end of the season and the beach was luckily not crowded. It was sunny and about 25 degrees, the seawater was not too cold, so no complaints sofar.
The next morning I asked Jackie, the in-house representative of Kras, where we had booked our holiday, where we could find a good taylor and hairdresser for Sisi. She give me the address of a hairdresser in Manavgat, about 15 kilometers away from our hotel. Later that morning I met Catharina, also from Kras, who gave me information about a few excursions and the address of her tailor, also in Manavgat. I booked the Antalya tour for the next day and the Amorok tour for Wednesday. Sisi had brought a suitcase full with clothes that needed to be adjusted, so our holiday week was already fully booked.
In the afternoon we took a dolmus to Manavgat where we found the tailor, Zevkim Terzi. I told him that Catharina had given us his address and that both their sons were friends. In German and English we explained what adjustments were needed for each dress. He quickly understood what Sisi wanted and we could come back a few hours later to pick up some clothes, because Sisi had forgotten to bring enough clothes that not needed adjusting. In the meantime we explored the shopping streets of this friendly town. All hairdressers refused Sisi to help and the last one told her that her hair was too short for what she wanted, a permanent wave.
Sisi was really happy when she tried her adjusted clothes on. She promised him to bring more.
Every evening after dinner, with always lots of foods, salads, vegetables and sweet cakes to choose from, we walked around the hotel to get some fresh air. Nearby were some tourist shops, selling shoes, leather bags, t-shirts, watches and more fake items.
The next morning we and another Dutch man from our hotel were picked up by a bus for the Antalya tour. The whole group, about 12 people, was all Dutch and our Turkish guide, a young guy full of himself, spoke good Dutch. He had lived and studied in Holland for some years and he was very good in explaining traditional Turkish life, but in the end he was quite tiresome with all his jokes and remarks.
The first stop was Kursunlu Waterfall Natural park, a small park with some nice waterfalls.
Since this trip was sponsored the next 2 stops were at Perge Jewels and Sultan Leather, located in the Sultan Shopping center, where Sisi bought, after bargaining a lot, a nice red leather coat and a Michael Kors handbag. In this shopping center were a few more shops, one of them was a small shop that sold all sorts of tea. The owner was very friendly and handed out small cups of tea. After trying a few we bought a few hundred grams of pomegranate tea.
After a rather disappointing lunch in a very crowded restaurant in the old center of Antalya we had a few hours to explore this beautiful little place with its narrow streets, mosques and fortified walls. Later that afternoon we went on a small boat that sailed up and down the rocky coastline of Antalya to see some waterfalls falling into the sea and that was the end of the tour. It took the bus another hour to drive back and drop us off at our hotel, where we went straight to the dinner room.
On Monday we took a dolmus to Manavgat to visit our tailor again to bring him more clothes to adjust and to explore the famous but very touristy bazar. In the afternoon I went to the beach for a lazy afernoon of reading and swimming.
On Tuesday we explored the historical sites of Side, such as the Roman theatre and the Apollo temple. We were in time to visit the sites and walk through the charming little town before the hordes of tourists came and before it came too hot to walk around. It was again a nice sunny and hot day and about 28 degrees. The afternoon was spent on the beach again.
On Wednesday we were picked up early and brought to the gathering place of the organizer of the Amorok tour into the Taurus Mountains. When all participants were present the teamleader gave a presentation of the tour we were about to make. The tour was a driving tour with an Volkswagen Amorok 4x4 car. If you wanted you could also drive the car, which most of the young people did. The older generation preferred to sit in the back of the car and enjoy the scenery and I was among them. It was another ride to their camp where the cars were waiting. Sisi and I shared a car with a German girl and her mother. She was really anxious to drive the car and her mother acted as a co-pilot, keeping contact with the teamleader by walkie-talkie. On normal roads we rode to the beginning of the mountains and soon we went off the main road, riding over small and bumpy dirt roads into Köprülü Canyon (Bridge Canyon) National Park. The views over the valleys and mountains were magnificent. About an hour and a few photostops later we parked our cars in the middle of nowhere and walked a few hundred meters to enjoy the beautiful views over the Eagle Canyon.
We returned back to the camp for a very nice lunch. After lunch we went back into the mountains to visit the ancient Roman theatre in Selge. Selge itself was just a small farming village where living was hard. The views from the top of the theatre were beautiful, local women were trying to sell us handmade souvenirs, such as woven hats and colorful stringlets. On the way back we made another photostop and then it was back to the camp where I thanked our German driver. She had really enjoyed the driving over the bumpy dirt roads!
Thursday was our last full day in Colakli. So it was first back to the tailor in Manavgat to pick up Sisi's clothes and in the afternoon I went to the beach, while Sisi was resting in the hotel. She was not really well to join me for a beachwalk. Jackie had told us that is was possible to walk along the beach to Side, an 2 to 3 hour walk. She had also told us that her Turkish husband was working at the Royal Taj Mahal Hotel in Kumköy. So I packed my little backpack and started to walk. I was not the only one who was walking along the beach. The nearer I got to Kumköy, the crowder it became. The beach was lined with huge 5-star hotels, a great deal of the beach was packed with beach chairs and beach cafe's. Even the sea was crowded with people. I was glad that we stayed in Colakli, where it was not overrun with tourists. After a look at the splendid Royal Taj Mahal Hotel I decided to walk back. Side was still more than an hour walk from here and my feet were hurting me a little, because I was not used to walk barefeet. I took a last swim in the sea and walked back to the hotel.
After an early breakfast the next morning we were packed and ready to go to the airport. We thanked and said goodbye to the friendly staff. We had really enjoyed this all-inclusive place and had also seen some nice places like Antalya, Side and the mountains. Who knows, we might see you back again some day.!
On the map you can see all the places we have visited.