Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Alanya, Turkey

We utilised the benefits of room service this morning for our first port of call, Alanya,  as we had to be at the Concierge lounge by 745am for priority disembarkation. Surprisingly there was only our party of 12 and another couple there. As soon as the ship was cleared, we were taken through the staff elevators so as to be able to go straight down to the gangway. 

We walked out to another glorious day with calm waters, blue sky and the sun shining brightly. 16 degrees felt positively warm! Emin, our guide for our day in Turkey, was waiting for us. He summoned his rattly van for us to climb into and we headed for Cleopatra's Beach. It was a long stretch of beach and was one of the nicer ones we've seen in Europe. From there we drove up to the Old city of Alanya. where we got a magnificent panoramic  view.

Pulling into Alanya, Turkey. Pilot boat

Pilot had just jumped on the ship

Welcome party!

We're off!

Cleopatra's Beach

At the Alanya Castle ruin at the top of the hill to see the view...

The  view of the harbour below and our ship the NCL Jade

The family!

We left the coast behind and headed towards the Taurus mountains. It was a very scenic drive and we stopped for a few photos on the way to a local village. Once there, we shown into the mosque, and some silk weaving. It was then onto Sapadere Canyon. There was a boardwalk built above the waters alongside one face of the canyon wall which led to a waterfall. The water was crystal clear and would be beautiful to swim in during the summer.

After our Canyon walk, we returned to the nearby restaurant to find our lunch of fresh salad, rice, chicken and trout ready for us. It was surprisingly fresh and delicious. On our way down the mountain, we stopped at Dwarfs Cave. It was a limestone cave which had just opened in May 2012. It was small but the children thought it was cool. Personally though, we've seen much better caves. From there we visited a 'fruit garden' where the children, especially Jonah, went berserk picking and eating mandarins. Emin was lovely, helping the children pick the fruit. The 'garden' belonged to a family who also owned the local shop. She served us a feast which included pomegranate, carob syrup, bananas, nuts, and turkish delight. We ended up buying a whole array of things like clay soap, olive oil hair cream and pomegranate turkish delight. She let us keep the mandarins for free.

The tour was far from the polished and professional ones that we've been on in other ports, but it was simple and a whole lot of fun! We also paid a lot less and saw a lot more than other passengers who chose to go with the ship's tours. Give me Emin's "can do anything" attitude and his rattly van anytime! The whole family had a good time.

As we had finished the tour a little early, Malcolm and Ryuji were dropped off at a Hamam. We discovered later that they were pummelled by a hairy man and had their ears cleaned with foam and a finger. Ewww! The rest stopped at the shops near the port for some retail therapy and walked back to the ship. Dinner was a quick visit to the buffet and it was back to the suite to get the children in bed. Malcolm got to watch the show and I got to have a massage at the spa. I thought that was a fair deal...

The beautiful mountain scenery

Excited to see a functional silk look

The start of the Canyon walk

Crystal clear water!

Swim anyone...just no drunken swimming please


I need to touch some water...any water...PLEASE!

Enjoying the sun and lunch by the river

Time to check out some limestone caves

The Sound of Music tour continues...High on a hill was a lonely goatherd

I have never seen a goatherd!

Never tire of this scenery

Finally at the caves

At the 'fruit garden'

Couldn't stop him...

Picking these

With his precious loot

carob syrup

The spread awaiting us after we ransacked her garden...


Time to go back to the ship. Goodbye Alanya!

Nice way to end the day. His brother and sister were running around the cabin like headless chooks...

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