Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Turkey

Last week myself and the Kermoury clan spent the week in Turkey. It feels that I have been totally consumed by work recently so it was really nice to get away and relax.............and considering we haven't been on a beach holiday for about 2 years it was well overdue!! We have been on city breaks in that time but I would hardly call them a holiday!! City breaks are great in their own way but you don't seem to have time to relax as you are too busy taking in the sights. All I wanted to do was lay in the sun, sip a few cold beers and do nothing..............which is pretty much what I did for about 75% of the time!!

We stayed in resort called Side which is about an hour coach drive from Antalya airport. There was a slight delay before boarding the coach though due to the fact that I had to apply for visa before I could through passport control. The strange thing was that Aicha and her family didn't need one! When I questioned it they just kept saying "No visa, no visa!!" and pointed to the visa application desk. I wasn't aware that I needed a visa to visit Turkey and even now I still don't know why the Swedes don't need one! I wasn't going to argue so I headed to the visa desk....................and after a 20 minute wait and stamp in my passport which cost 15 euros, they finally let me in!!

We had 2 apartments at the hotel complex. Aicha and I shared one with her brother Tariq and her parents, sister and our nephew Younes stayed in the other. The apartment was quite decent. There was a large lounge, with a TV and dining area, a nice kitchen with a fridge/freezer and 3 balconies. I was pleased that we had a TV in the apartment as it allowed me to keep up with Euro 2012!! There were 2 games on everyday during our week in Turkey.................so the remaining 25% of my time was spent watching the footy!! Most of the days were spent around the hotel pool, which when writing about in retrospect is not very interesting so its best illustrated with a few pictures...............







When we did venture out to the beach I tried my best to avoid getting sunburn. Usually when I hit the beach I end up looking like a lobster rather than gaining a decent tan so I made sure I was fully lotioned up before getting some sun. All was going well until I took a dip in the sea. The lotion I used said on the bottle that it was water resistant..................but that means fuck all really as we all know!! The problem was that when I was out of the water I never re-applied the sun lotion.................which is why after the first day at the beack I ended up looking this this.............


I'm not sure why I'm looking so happy as hurt like hell!!  The next few days were spent in the shade as you can imagine!! The temperature in Side was well over 30 degrees during the day and with the sun so strong it was difficult to remain cool. Even in the evenings the temperature was still around 25 degrees!

Side was previously the site of an ancient Greek city and there are many ruins still standing today. One of the main attractions is the Temple of Apollo and the Greek amphitheatre which are located on the Side pennisula. The main town centre is right by the harbour and has all your usual shops, bars and restaurants. There were a few times we headed into the town centre to eat but generally we went to places close by or cooked at the apartment, mainly because the town centre was a 30 minute walk! Most of the restaurants served things like kebabs but there were some which we found that served more local food. We did go to a really nice fish restaurant right on the harbour called Liman's where we able to pick our own fish to be cooked on the grill! We had the huge king prawns, grilled squid and freshly caught seabass. The food there awesome so if you are ever in Side I recomend you check it out!!! On the odd occasion when we did walk into town, we did manage to grab a few photos.............










The resort is mainly visited by Scandinavians so there were alot of Swedes out there. I watched the England game against France with Tariq in the hotel bar and I was the only English guy in there!! That didn't stop me from running around the bar shouting when we scored though! Sweden played Ukraine after the England game then the bar really filled up. The Swedes were out in force for that one! I got talking to a few of them about the next game against us and was consistantly reminded about how England had never beaten them in a competitve match. My answer to them was that record cannot last forever..................and I was proven right when we beat them 3-2 on Friday night!! It was nice to get one over on them plus it meant I had the bragging rights when I got back to Sweden!!

I am back in Sweden now but it was depressing coming back. Not only was it raining when we landed but it all seemed to go by so quickly. The thought of going back to work was playing on my mind but I've been back 2 days now and its not been to bad. I think the fact that I was able to relax for a while has certainly made a difference...................although I'm not relaxed at the moment because I'm watching England play Ukraine!!

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