Arriving at the Glamour Hotel, we sensed that the holiday might not be going in the right direction when the Hotel manager offered us a seat in the lobby and asked us what we wanted to drink. Sure enough it turned out that the hotel was full and that for the first two nights we were being accommodated at another hotel about 10 minutes away. However, we were assured that when we returned we would be given a bottle of wine and a basket of fruit, along with free use of the safe in the bedroom. Since the holiday is ‘all inclusive’ wine comes free, and there is ample fruit provided in the dining room, we looked forward to the free use of the safe! (I had always assumed the room safe was free, but here it costs two euros a day). Halfway through the week and we have yet to see the bottle of wine or the fruit. The safe however was replaced as it didn’t work initially.
The first hotel was ‘interesting’. We soon discovered that everyone, including the Turkish staff, only spoke German. We were the only English in the building. Unfortunately, our rooms were facing the pool and we were woken up by a German equivalent of ‘hi de hi’. Every morning the pool staff did a little exercise routine which was quite amusing. However, the noise was overwhelming at times but fortunately were relocated before our patience ran out. It is likely that we will express some dissatisfaction to the tour company, but on as the week has gone on and we have enjoyed ourselves, the inconvenience of having to pack and move hotels has receded.
Back at the Glamour hotel we requested rooms that were away from the pool and the noise and were given two very nice rooms overlooking the mountains. The beach is a typical Mediterranean resort, but there is plenty of sun loungers and shade. The water is beautifully clean and warm and the temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees.
There is an abundance of food and drink which took us a bit by surprise. A lavish buffet is laid on for all three meals, plus there is various Turkish snacks at the bar. After dinner has finished, there is a lull in the eating before soup is provided at around 11pm! Wine, beer and some spirits are free and can be obtained 24 hours a day.
The week has provided a number of opportunities for the enthusiastic people watcher, such as myself. We have been following the comings and goings of three Arab women who we have called ‘The Kardashians’ since they wear similar floaty dresses to the ‘celebrities’ that are the Kardashian family of reality TV shows. The senior sister seems to lead the way and the two, rather sultry siblings follow obediently in a line behind her. They are always going somewhere! In addition to this, it has been interesting watching people’s eating habits. It has been so hot at lunch that we have just been eating salad, however one rather large single man had piled his plate with two or three burgers and mashed potato, and went back to the buffet to get some more food. Unfortunately, when he returned the staff had cleared up his plate, thinking he had finished so he had to go back to get yet more burgers and mash potato. It is an interesting phenomenon that when food and drink is included, many people seem to have to eat extraordinary amounts, presumably to get their money’s worth.
Since this area is of course Muslim, another feature has been watching matronly Muslim women going swimming wearing full hajib. I have decided that clinging wet hajib is not a good look, certainly it doesn’t veil their bodies as intended! The effort of swimming in all that cloth always necessitates having a fag when they get out the pool! Some of the women wear all in one shell suits which we have nick named ‘burkinis!’
Waking up each morning, Donna would turn to me and say “Did you hear the muezzin this morning?” This became something of a catchphrase. (A muezzin is a man who calls muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque). I woke early one morning took the opportunity to photograph the glorious sunrise, but I think it was the muezzins day off as I didn’t hear anything! However, I have included it on the video though.
Donna has found a novel way of fending off unwanted attention. There have been a couple of men who have been hanging around Chris and Donna. The answer! Take out your knitting!
The dreaded ‘selfie sticks’ are very popular too. There is one couple here who have an abundance of tattoos all over their bodies. I am not quite sure why they sun bathe as there isn’t much flesh to tan, that isn’t already a blueish ink colour! The said couple spent 15 minutes in the pool taking selfies of themselves from every possible angle with a selfie stick. They didn’t swim but as soon as the selfie session was complete they got out the pool. Presumably they wanted to photograph their tattoos in different exotic locations.
Originally we intended to hire a car and drive into Side, which has some interesting Roman ruins, including an amphitheatre. However, the beach and the pool have been so refreshing that we haven’t been out of the hotel at all. We soon got into a routine where we got up late, usually skipped breakfast, had several coffees on the terrace and then went to the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon.
The staff here at the hotel have been excellent and very helpful. We soon got into a routine of having coffee on the terrace overlooking the pool, and the waitress on this floor kept bringing us coffee and bottles of water without us asking. Similarly, the staff at the beach knew our drinking habits after a day or two and would bring two beers and two white wines when we sat down. However, ordering drinks can get lost in translation as the Turkish staff only spoke German, not English. I asked for a gin and bitter lemon with lots of ice and got a bitter lemon, no gin and no ice!
On our last evening the pool was virtually empty and after we had all been down the slides together we sat planning our next holiday, which hopefully will be a cruise somewhere warm. To Chris’s amusement, Mark has had several gin and tonics and is now hiccupping and slurring his words!
This week has been really enjoyable and definitely relaxing. I think it has come as a surprise to us all, that an ‘all inclusive’ holiday like this, has been a great success.
The music in the video diary that follows is taken from the selection played to us everyday at the pool, particularly the “Guten Morgen” song which came on the PA every morning at 10am with out fail!