3 Euros and a Tip Box

Well here we go again… I’ve been on a history mad trip and it’s time to share…

So where have you been this time? I hear you ask… hey I’m not called Our Hero for nothing you know 😉

Well, I’ll tell you… Lone Support Angel and I went to the Antalya Region of Turkey… Originally we had planned to be joined by Entertainments Officer and  The Guard (previously known as The Matador but he didn’t like that nom de plume and having now seen the brilliant movie starring Brendon Gleason I feel “The Guard” is a more fitting tribute to the man in question) but due to some unforeseen circumstances our “Four Go Mad in Antalya” was renamed “Second Honeymoon” and off we go… First to the airport (for a ridiculously early flight… so early in fact that I didn’t bother going to bed the night before) … and then to…

Turkey! Would you believe this was my first ever “Package Tour”? Yes, that’s right, we payed a lot of money to spend eight days on a coach with a bunch of strangers and having our experience of Antalya dictated by a tour guide…

So, how am I going to do this? When I’ve presented previous trips, I’ve tended to break them down into one or two (alright, maybe three) day sized chunks simply because it was easier but I don’t think I can do that this time… I cannot fully explain why, maybe it has something to do with the format of the trip compared to previous journeys… With Pompeii and The Wall we were setting our own agenda and pace… with this trip we were at the mercy of our operator’s time-table… anyway, this may be one long ramble or it may be the first of a two-part piece… I can’t tell yet, so please bear with me…

I tell you what, while I try to decide what I’m going to say, why don’t you have a quick look at a few shots of just a few of the places and events I plan to cover in this… this… this… Have we actually agreed on what we call these things? Personally I like Spam-Filter Evader… But then I also quite like “Pointless Drivel” and “Self-Indulgent Waffle” but then I am just a bit twisted…

Where was I? Oh yeah, the previews…

It's a face innit?!

I love carvings like these

These things are bloody everywhere..

Rock Tombs

What? It's a wall of capstones, what else am I supposed to call it?

Wall of Capstones

I did say this was a History Mad trip didn’t I? Not into history? Then I suggest you jump ship now… Still with us? Then I shall begin…

By the time Lone Support Angel (Henceforth: LSA) arrive in Turkey I have been awake for about 28 hours straight… Not long I know but factor in the most uncomfortable flight ever experienced (so far) by Our Hero and you may get just a flavor of my mood… Add to that Our Hero walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke as we leave the Terminal (having given up less than 6 months ago so still vulnerable) and things are not looking too rosy for anybody on our coach that has what I deem to be a character flaw…

I gird my loins, stiffen my upper lip and generally prepare myself for the journey to our first hotel… 2… 3?… Possibly 4 hours later we are there… and the first twin beds of the week… Luckily for everybody, the group we are with are fun and engaging so I have not had to ask the driver to stop so we can bury the bodies 😉

First Impressions? Can’t really say… I know that I sort of dozed on the coach so I now have a cricked neck and a head ache to add to the overall sense of wonder and sleep deprivation… Oh and the weather people lied! It is NOT tee-shirt weather! In fact, I’m wondering if three layers and a scarf is going to be enough to get me through the week…

I’m not going to go into too much detail about our hotels and/or our meals… Suffice it to say that couscous, chicken, rice, kebabs, “nescafe” and franks-in-hotketchup are going to be regular mainstays of our options over the next week and a bit… The bread was nice wherever we went though, so that was nice… 🙂

First “KickYourself” moment coming up… We are told at dinner that we will be getting an alarm call at 6.30 am… Cue groans and moans from most of us…But I don’t trust hotel alarm calls so I set my own on my phone, and to ensure I have enough power to ensure it’s effectiveness I plan on charging my phone… No such luck, because Our Hero is a numpty of the highest order and has brought LSA’s charger but not his own… which could’ve been OK… If LSA hadn’t left her phone back in Blighty… OK, time to be very sparing with the photos (and leave phone on “airplane mode” to save as much power as poss…

Day 2… 6.30 start… GIVE ME COFFEE!!!!

our holiday begins in earnest… A quick trip over the Atlas mountains and we are at the Rock Tombs and Theatre at Myra… Do you want some photos? Oh alright then…

Don't worry, She ain't gonna turn you to stone

Medusa

Posh Houses for the Dead

Rock Tombs

Not at this theatre ;)

I deny shouting “Splitter”

We follow this with a quick visit to the church that covers the tomb of he upon whom the Hogfather is based… Lots of rather nice frescoes and some sloppy “renovations” by nineteenth century Eastern Orthodox Church sponsored antiquarians… and then a bit of a game of Dodge the Raindrops to grab our lunch… not that impressed with the first lunch break but they do improve…

For those of you that are interested in such things, most of the photos in this thing were taken by LSA due to my aforementioned brain-freeze regarding the phone charger… Indeed, a couple of them are here for your delectation now…

We were on a boat for this bit

Heading for the sunken town

believe me, they are there

If you look carefully you will see the walls of sunken buildings

It was as we docked that we had our first “3 Euros”…

 

 

 

a local photographer trying to make a bit of extra cash in the off season… Yes, we bought our photo… It is our holidaze after all… we don’t bother to get the next few though…

Are we enjoying our trip so far? You bet your last sprazzie we are… Ok, so in the first two days we do cover a lot of ground in the coach… a couple of multi-hour journeys between the site we are visiting and our accommodation for the night… Due to the weather situation (and thanks to the advice from our guide) LSA takes the opportunity to invest in a BatCape… And Boy, does she look damn good in it 🙂

Our second hotel is better than the first but truth to tell we don’t really care as we fill our bellies and fall into bed… another early start tomorrow…

Things do not go entirely to plan… Due to the heavy weather over the past few days we are unable to visit the beach famous for its visiting turtles… not that they are there at this time of year so it’s no great hardship to take a boat-trip around the lagoon instead after we have seen some more Rock Tombs… I tell ya, these thins are all over the place in this region… the original culture that employed them to honor their dead must have covered quite a large area of influence… we end up in a lake side restaurant for lunch… quite a nice place, even if the downspout is broken and pouring water all over the floor inside the building during the heaviest downpour of the week…

A quick coffee break at a stork sanctuary (with two of the sorriest looking storks you’ve ever seen) where a few of our fellow travelers, admiring of LSA’s BatCape, attempt to purchase their own (to no avail)… and then we are onto next hotel… Result! We are to stay here for two nights…

I’ve just realized that this is quite a dry account… It’s a lot of “we did this” “we went here” “we looked at these things”… I’m not really giving you a good impression of our visit am I? We really did enjoy ourselves… We had a great crew on the bus… lots of laughs were had… Our Guide was really informative and patient… and boy did he need that patience…  We never left a hotel on time… we were always waiting for at least one person at the end of each comfort break… but he shoulders his burden and our trips go swimmingly

We did develop quite a fun game to play… well, when I say fun, you really had to be there to fully appreciate its charm… we never did spot a unicorn though 😦

We did see some amazing things through our coach windows…  In no particular order, lots of solar panels, sheep, flags painted onto cliff-sides, poly-tunnels, rock tombs, goats, more poly-tunnels, a Star Trek inspired landscape, unusual rider combinations on scooters, horses, mountains, giant mushrooms and tomatoes, and… oh… er… oh, lots and lots of things… I would just like to reassure you gentle reader, it wasn’t us that encountered the half-naked, sleep-walking Irishman in the hotel corridor… It did happen, it just didn’t happen to us 🙂

I’ve just checked my aide memoir and it appears we have reached the night before Ephesus…  A night of ups and downs… as we have arrived with plenty of time before dinner LSA and I decide to take advantage of the amenities offered by our hotel… For LSA this involves the purchase of a new swimsuit and the meditative effects achieved by swimming about 390 lengths in about 15 minutes… for myself? My first Turkish Foam Bath, Massage and Facial… A few of you may have read this, in which I attempted to explain my almost transcendental experience having my hair cut… Well, as you may have guessed, if I can get absolutely blissed out just getting my locks reduced in length, I was reduced to a pretty much puddle like state after my “spa treatment”… oooooohhhhh I tells ya, it was one of the most divine experiences I’ve ever had… and it did result in most of the rest of our bus having the treatment the following evening… Apparently I looked rather chilled for a couple of days afterwards… I will admit our trip to Ephesus the following day was, despite the early start, a delightfully pain free experience…

Actually, I’ve just seen that I’m almost at 1800 words so I think it’s about time I let you get back to your own lives… I tell you what, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of Ephesus to be going on with…

My, what a tall frontage you have

Library at Ephesus

No, they are not really small... They are far away

Looking down towards the Library

Otherwise known as The Woman With Lots Of Boobies ;)

Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus… Oops I’ve forgotten her Turkish name…

Honestly I took the picture for the carvings not the cat

Caldacus and (If I remember correctly) Heracles or maybe Ares

I wish I could remember who she is stood in front of

My Beautiful Lone Support Angel rocking her new BatCape

Actually, I think you deserve a treat, so I’m going to make the last photo one of Our Hero as he looked not long after his Blissyfying Spa Blissness…

Yes, alright... That is a fag in my hand... No I am not happy about falling off the waggon...

“Oh I am so blissed right now”

Our next installment will continue from Ephesus and include such highlights as LSA’s magic ring, one of Turkey’s hidden treasures and the joy of early flights…

I’ll try to get it written very soon…

 

 

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