Monday, September 20, 2021

A great holiday in Turkey

 

Panorama of the beach. The safety guide rope is visible on the right.

Tourism is huge business in Turkey, the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world. People are drawn there for archaeological sites such as Ephesus, cultural sites such as the Blue Mosque or the Hagia Sophia and the beach resorts along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. In 2019, 51 million tourists entered Turkey. This year they expect 25 million as the world recovers from Covid and Turkey battled forest fires all summer.

Russia is #1 country of origin for tourists and Ukraine is #7

We took our first holiday in Turkey in 2008 in July. Never did that again. 40C+ is out of our comfort zone. So after that we went in late September and sometimes into early October. Weather is still warm and the water is too. Also the price is way down. Our experiences have been mixed, to say the least but the swimming has never disappointed us. 

Antalya, the tourist capital of Turkey, sits on top of the Gulf of Antalya with resorts down both sides. Until this year we stayed in resorts in the Bildebi area, north of Kemer on the west side of the gulf. This year we tried one south of Kemer, Club Akman Beach Hotel in the Camyuva area and were so happy with it. I'd give a 5 star rating to this 4 star hotel.


Location of Club Akman

Overhead view of Club Akman Beach Hotel

Tanya in front of the hotel. Everyone at the resort is double vaccinated
 or had a negative test within 48 hours of arrival
so no masks inside but if we went out we wore masks

For great pictures of the hotel, go to www.clubakmanbeach.com/en/ or watch https://youtu.be/eiVQ5HVK8FU. Far better photography than I am capable of.

North of Kemer the beaches are very bad. Narrow with coarse sharp gravel. You need rubber sandals even in the water. Not very good for kids. The beaches in Camyuva are not perfect but far superior and great for kids. The sand is coarse grey but not impossible to walk on in bare feet. The sea does not drop off quite as soon so there are decent shallows. Club Akman was swarming with kids, ranging from babies to toddlers to preschoolers and a few 6-10 year olds. Little ones were in flotation devices with parents close by. Even the babies. 

I can't swim but here, I can't sink either. It takes little effort to stay upright in the water and paddle along. Tanya swims like a fish and is usually way out from the beach area. I stay close to the safety guide rope where it is only 5 to 6 meters deep and would paddle back and forth between the two docks in the picture, about 400 to 500 ft.. The water is so clear you can see the bottom. 

Just paddling along, vertical to the horizontal

Tanya off to the left along the safety guide rope.

All of the resorts we stayed at over the years, including this one, catered to Russian speakers. Up and down both sides of Kemer, even the people in the shops spoke enough Russian to make sales. So I was a bit of a curiosity and got many questions, "Where are you from?" The Activity Director (6 ft blonde model, 1/3 my age, 6 months making money in Turkey, 6 months spending it in Moscow, flawless English) said I was the only foreigner at the hotel, maybe in all the Kemer area. 

That cracked me up. Housecleaning staff were Tajik or Uzbek, grounds maintenance were from Turkmenistan, the night receptionist was from Armenia, some guy who looked homeless but told me he was director of maintenance, was from Manchester. But I was the only foreigner.

Women outnumbered men about 2 to 1. Mothers with kids. Wives holidaying while husbands worked. Men, by and large, wore boxer swim trunks and sported washtub abs. A few 6-pack abs but mostly two-four pack abs. I felt right at home.

Women's bathing suits were much more varied. A few one piece but mostly two piece. Some were mainly strings which, like barbed wire fences, protected the property but did not obstruct the view. The rest of the tops fell into five categories. Orthodox which were divinely iconic. Catholic which supported the masses. Presbyterian which were staunch and upright. Salvation Army which lifted the fallen. and Baptist which made mountains out of molehills. 

23 comments:

  1. I am glad that you both had a wonderful holiday - and smiling at your description of the upper part of the women's bathers...

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  2. Glad you had a nice, relaxing holiday, even if you were the only foreigner there, LOL! I enjoyed your religious categories of bathing suits and your reference to "two-four pack abs" -- also known as "Molson muscles," amirite?

    Your holiday was much more exotic than my little jaunt to Regina, LOL! But in my post about the Queen City, I gave you a little shout-out (hope you don't mind) --

    https://shewhoseeks.blogspot.com/2021/09/regina-queen-city.html

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    1. Thank you. Picked up two of your readers at least from that. I have to catch up on reading everyone's blog posts tomorrow.
      Did you go to Milky Way for ice cream?

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  3. I was surprised you went to Turkey for holidays despite all the latest news in the press. Good for you! Your stories are always amazing and I am jealous Tanya can swim as it's none's business. :) When are you back in Canada?

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    1. Tanya looked at several locations and said to our travel agent, "All we want is some place cheap where we can swim" and she said, "Go to Turkey", and found us this resort. The fires were more or less under control and were more over towards the Aegean and northwest of Antalya. Antalya was very smoky when we landed but going home had pretty much cleared up.
      As to other stories, no pictures of Ataturk or of Erdogan anywhere to be seen. It is like politics did not exist in the tourist area.
      Back in Canada next summer, I hope. Unknown, please provide a name.

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  4. wow..that looks beautiful and lovely place to paddle back and forth. ha

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    1. It really was a great place to holiday, Jackiesue.

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  5. Looks so wonderfully serene. Water that you can't sink in - that's the best. (I floated on that type of water - Caspian Sea maybe - Grecian waters. Loved it.)
    Thanks for taking us there vicariously.
    Robyn
    Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com

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    1. Caspian would be salty and the Mediterranean is saltier than the Black Sea in which I cannot easily stay afloat at all.

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    2. Ah yes, I think it was the Caspian.
      I'm glad to be here, and I appreciate your follow.

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    3. When did you go to the Caspian, why and where?

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  6. I think Turkey would be interesting simple because of history of trade.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. We have visited several Roman sites from 2000 years ago and Greek sites going back much farther. The Greeks established cities all around the Black Sea for the purposes of trade. Turkey has sites going back more than 10,000 years and someday we hope to visit more of them.

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  7. What a beautiful spot! I can see why you enjoyed it... you foreigner, you. ;-) Is the water extremely saline, or were you just in a particularly buoyant mood?

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    1. Oh, I was not just buoyant (Booo), I was bubbly (don't ask). The lead in my butt kept me vertical and the lard in my abs kept me afloat. The Mediterranean is quite salty 38 ppt. The surface of the North Atlantic is around 37 and other oceans are less. Nice map here. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/686-ocean-salinity

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    2. Very cool - thanks for the link! :-)

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  8. It never occurred to me that Turkey was such a popular vacation destination, so thanks for the education! Your religious classification of women's swimsuits gave me some much-needed belly laughs too!

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    1. Hello and welcome. No blog of your own? Start one. They are good fun. Turkey is a great place to vacation. Glad you enjoyed the swimsuits as much as I did. Every woman has a bikini body and no one cares.

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    2. A blog of my own would be too much work -- I prefer to live and laugh vicariously through other people's blogs!

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    3. OK, I will try my best to entertain you.

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  9. My only experience in Turkey was during the 1960's, We crash landed our airplane on a Turkish runway and were put under house arrest, in a very nice hotel, for five days, until our squadron could negotiate sending a repair crew for our aircraft and getting our release.
    Not the same experience.
    The Ol'Buzzard

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    1. No kidding. Glad they at least treated you decently. Today the Turkish runways could be any major highway as they are all built with an eye to use by military aircraft in a wartime situation.

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