Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Holiday in Bodrum Turkey

  Holiday in Bodrum Turkey September 2011

This was our 4th trip to Turkey and our 3rd Holiday in the country, some 25 years ago I attended an IBF Congress and Karate tournament in Istanbul and did not like the place.

The first to places we holidayed in was Kalkan 2 hours from Dalaman aeroport and for this reason we decide to go some where there was not such a long drive from aeroport so we picked Bodrum.

The resort was Turquoise Sitise, Milas,  Mugla the brochure showed a beautiful complex just 15 minutes from Aeroport on reaching our destination. In the brochure it did state that there were steps! But the amount came as a shock the first flight was about 25 steps then a 20 yard walk and then a further 18 steps to the apartment. To get to the apartments swimming pool was a further 50 yard walk then up a further 30 steps, if you wanted to go to the Bar and communal pool there were a further 40 odd steps  plus 100 yard steep incline and I mean steep. I thought for my age I was reasonably fit but the first time Val and myself walked there I had to stop and have a break, when I got there I was  puffing like an old steam train, the only  time we walked it again was to book a hire car. What a relief to get into a car.

After having a moan the apartment was very clean as was the whole sight and there were plenty of pools even if they were not as close as suggested in the brochure and the coastal areas are beautiful with some excellent beach areas all with restaurants, toilets and showers. There were plenty of excursion on sea and land if you wanted them, for night life you had to travel to Bodrum

 Our first meal out was in one of the on site restaurants which consisted of soup for myself and a mixed grill, we  had lamb shish 2 bottles of wine, 1 beer, 2 vodka lemonades total cost 120 lire £47 not a bad price, at the end of the evening i ask for the bill and gave them 150 lire 1/2 later still waiting for the change, when I called the waiter over he told me I had the change NO I Did NOT Then came the owner with five of the waiters telling me I must have forgot and made a mistake before I could say anything VAL buts in and said in a threatening voice "He does not make mistakes" I had to laugh afterwards realising he had brought all waiters over to intimidate me which did not work especially as I told him to run along and get my 30 lire needless to say they received no tips
                                                      65 in November still in good shape

This was unusual for the Turkish people who are normally so polite and caring but I was told by a Cafe Owner in Bodrum beware of those not listing prices as they charge what they like one Irish couple were charged 60 lire for two Donner Kebabs£23, I did not hear of anything like this when we stayed Kalkan

Food and Drink has become very expensive in Turkey I am told it is because I £ is so weak and the lire is strong but sometimes I feel it is greed for example price for a bottle of water is between 1 Lire and 5 lire, some shops would not put a price on things and people were charged a different price on the same item, this was particularly prevalent with loose goods i.e. fruit. Car hire is about £35 a day for a 10 day hire but you only 125 KM then it is 1lira per km.

As this was a gated community everything evolves around tourism so if you go out of season which we did mid September the place is dead with no entertainment unless you want to travel 30 miles. This does have its advantages as there is always loungers around the pool, no screaming kids, no loud music to the early hours and youngsters rolling home drunk and loud at 5am

The area around Bodrum has literally thousands of these holiday apartments and what I see the most were empty, a lot were still in their shell form state I am told in high season it is packed but how can they afford it when 7 months of the year they are empty and of course they can not. On owner was telling me he bought his unit 2 years ago and is trying to sell for £82,000 some hopes more like £40,000 is the going rate. Some are renting for a 12 month period to Turkish families for £200 a month. I know the recession is biting everywhere but letting in locals to live will eventually turn the place into a massive council estate. In fact where at the beginning of our stay I said the complex was clean by the following Monday when local families started arriving we saw the appearance of empty cans and bottles, plus soiled nappies just thrown on the grass I complained to the management agency and it took three days to clean plus loose dogs started wondering around the complex

I love it when the advertise a corner shop as a Market especially as they have very little in it not like our local Paki Shop which is normally full to the brim with products they could certainly come to GB and have a look at one of these shops for ideas NO on second thoughts we have enough foreigners in GB

The price for the apartment was only £250 for 7 days we stopped 11 days and as I said before the apartment its self was good size and clean. would I come again I doubt it the stairs put me off and if the renting to local families is to be the norm I feel it will bring the area down by the end of the week the communal pool was nearly all Turkish residents, they were no problem but you felt out of place not a good thing for a tourist

Whilst on SunSet Beach, which is one of several beaches on the beautiful blue crystal sea they are basically concrete wall around the sea where they have loungers, chairs, parasols etc and cafe/Restaurants. I got talking to a Software programmer from London he was in his early 30's and had bought a two bedroom apartment for £60000 and tells me some of the 3 bed villas with pool are fetching £180000 he reckons he has already made a profit. He did make a very interesting comment he said young people in the City are money rich but time poor and with Bodrum just 3 hours from Gatwick, this city slickers can get away for long weekend break. He intends buying more it sounds good but I am not to sure with a deeper recession heading our way and massive over build of these apartments I would be very wary.

The local Restaurants were not up to much because of end of season nothing much on menu more cafe unless you went into Bodrum. I had a lovely Sea Bream there but once again got caught got molested at the front quoting a very cheap price, at the table I was invited to try some nibbles and they were nice calamari, olives etc what I did not realise they £4 each nibble I had 4 but the meals was nice we on the waterside looking on the Castle. The best meal of the week was on the Saturday we went to the Paradiso in fact they picked us up and brought us back, this was a lovely restaurant well mannered staff, a singer on a guitar in the back ground, moonlit night I felt like proposing all over again to Val but then realised I still find it difficult to kneel on my false knee but thought was there. The main meal was Casserole which came in a flaming clay pot a brilliant bit of theatre but also very taste and considering this was a quality restaurant the meal for two with a bottle of wine came to £44 which I found very reasonable. This place was the only one I could compare with Ozgars Turkish restaurant in Faversham who does an excellent meal.

Whilst sitting on the Sunset Beach I noticed a little Boat Park up the beach, the boat dropped anchor and people started milling round him buying fish, there was no staging post you had to walk across the rocks or swim in the sea to buy from him. I bought a couple of Sea Bass for £10 this seemed a reasonable price for fresh fish and with Valerie coking it they were delicious.

I enjoyed the holiday but it was spoilt with my stays in Kalkan Kaliman this was a far better area with plenty to do and good shops to visit but I still feel Turkey is one of my best holiday destinations and lets be honest there is no such thing as a cheap holiday let me give you a quick run down Apartment £396 Flight £539  Aeroport Car parking £72 diesel to aeroport £20 car hire and insurance £380 (extortionate)£50 diesel I have not included  food or spending money. I would not go to this part of Turkey again if I would return it would be to Kalkan in May but have to say I have gone off very Hot Sunny Holidays so next year will be two weeks in Devon in my caravan you can not beat it any rate the way the country is going I will not be able to afford a Foreign holiday next year

Final thing I managed to lay on Sun Lounger and break it, no matter where you go people have mobiles stuck to there ear, no matter where you go you can get a can of coke and the Sun, every pub/cafe has a Flat screen for Football (horrible) Best buy for your holiday a KINDLE had plenty of books on it but most importantly I received the Daily Mail every day for 75ps. Gatwick is being refurbished when we got back we were mis- directed went up and down on a lift bloody night mare

Flying is certainly the pits the waiting, the queuing, the uncomfortable seats then arrive at destination waiting queuing and they say holiday should release stress?

Final Final thing watching adverts in a foreign country can be a good guessing game one caught my imagination

Ladies volley ball Team playing an important match

You see the team in very tight sports knickers bending over and one member keeps fiddling with her lower garment

Because of this they are losing the match

At half time a friend take the offending player to one side and gives advice?

This is getting exciting what has been a matter with her?

Suddenly we are told the answer she is wearing the wrong sanitary towel

So back the action the camera again pans in her backside and no fiddling any more and they win the game

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