Sunday, September 11, 2016

Alanya - down by the see

Alanya is located across the Gulf of Antalya from Kemer where we usually holiday in Turkey but about another two hours by tour bus as the coast slants away to the east.  Tanya and Masha had been there in 2014 but it was my first time.

We should have known the trip was jinxed when we got there at 1:00 am and found that our Samsonite suitcase combination lock had been rolled.  I never use it and had no idea what the combination was.  Three wheels of 10 numbers is 1000 possible combinations.  I went through 800 in an hour and a half but had to quit with blood blisters on both thumbs.  Next morning I borrowed two screw drivers and pried the lock open.

 Besides swimming, I like to take in some of the historical sites of which Turkey abounds and had pretty well seen all the ones close to Kemer.  On the peninsula which you can see in the above picture are the ruins of a Seljuk Turkish castle and citadel with 6.5 km of walls built in the 13th century on the ruins of Roman and Byzantine fortress built 2000 years ago. Links here, here and here. There is also the Red Tower and ancient dockyards in the same area.

I found Selavi Tours which offered a city tour which included the fortress, the tower and the dockyards as well as the Dim Cavern. Not sure how the tour company pronounced its name but it should have been c'est la vie or better yet, caveat emptor.  We did indeed go into the fortress but we toured a Turkish home set up as a museum and an old mosque in one of the older settled areas inside the walls.  Because I raised hell with the tour guide, we then did not even stop at the tower or dockyards.  Do not ever use this company if you are in Turkey.

Add to that a terrible chest cold (heat, humidity, AC) and one bad night with Norovirus stomach flu which was working its way through the hotel and you have my holiday. Masha had the flu one night too but not so bad.

We did get to swim, Tanya and Masha more than I did, but still enjoyable.  Once I get out in deep water, I bob up and down like a cork and slowly move around like a 40' barge with a 10 horse motor. The salt water makes it possible as I do NOT swim.

Getting in and out of the water was a bit trickier for me as the wave patterns near the shore created some problems if you were not careful. The waves are stronger here than Kemer. There is about 15 to 30 feet of gravel when you first hit the water, followed by a shallow rocky shelf.  The waves seem to roll in but when they hit the shelf they stand straight up and really hit you.  Which is not bad if they are a foot high but a two or three foot wall of water has a lot of power.

Going into the water, you just follow a wave after it breaks and get past the rocky shelf before the next one. Coming in to shore for me was difficult as I have no balance coming out of deep water and my keel draws too much draft to float in on my back.  A wave would push me forward and the undertow would pull my feet out from under me, dumping me in the gravel.  The first time it happened the undertow also took my swim trunks down around my knees, much to the audible amusement of the onlookers.

At supper one evening we were sitting with a young couple from Poland.  They had been swimming and the girl showed me her scraped shin from being dumped by a wave.  I told her what had happened to me and she said her bikini bottoms ended up around her knees too with the same wave.  Her boyfriend thought it was funny.  Male bystanders, I expect, to quote Robert De Niro, were just grateful.

9 comments:

  1. I want to go to different places, but dont want to get there. just want to wake up and tada I'm there.

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    1. Me, too. Getting from point A to point B is not enjoyable for me. Merely surviving is all I strive for when I travel. But it is the only way to see the world, so far anyhow.

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  2. Too bad about the suitcases! Not a good way to start a vacation. Please forgive me for laughing so hard at your swim trunks escapade!

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  3. We left an arctic village one Christmas for a five day vacation at the Empress hotel in Victoria,B.C. We had been looking forward to the trip for months, but both came down with flue on the second day and were sick for the rest of the week. Sometimes the best laid plans...
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Truth. Did you ever go back to the Empress? My bet is no.

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  4. Yikes. That's the kind of "holiday" I prefer to read about instead of experiencing. Glad you made it through unscathed except for your dignity.

    P.S. Can you access Jono's blog? When I click on the link I get a "dangerous website blocked" message from my anti-virus.

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    1. No problem with Jono's blog.
      Dignity is highly over rated.

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    2. Guess my anti-virus has an overactive imagination.

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