Our holiday in Turkey turned out to be very enjoyable indeed. It was lovely resort, and great having the family around to help look after Elisha, too, meaning that Fliss and I could have a bit of freedom and relax without worrying about her all the time.
From the first morning it became apparent just how hot it was going to be compared to the relative heatwave we’d left behind at home. From temperatures in the high twenties in our own back garden we were suddenly exposed to the high thirties by noon, and the ridiculous forty–seven it reached later in the week.
I managed to get burned on the first day, despite keeping in the shade and applying plenty of sun screen in the morning. Sadly I forgot I’d been diving into the water during a poolside activity, which washed off most of my sun screen. Being mildly burned meant I kind of opted out of the following day, playing with my PSP in the reception area where there was air conditioning and free wireless internet access. It sucked to miss a day of being out in the pool, but I figured it was better to let my skin recover than risk being in a heck of a state by the end of the week.
After my Tuesday spent in hiding from the sun, the rest of the holiday followed a loose daily routine. We’d get up in time to have breakfast, go down to the pool and have a bit of a swim and a lounge about, then take part in the pool activity at midday if it wasn’t too hot. In the afternoon we’d go and have lunch, either in the chicky-in-the-basket place by the pool, or the main restaurant which had a better, healthier selection of food. Even if we did go to the restaurant for lunch, the chicky-in-the-basket place was always there for a top-up if required.
After having lunch we’d either go back to the pool or, in my case, catch a bit of a break from the sun. By the tail end of the week it was absolutely searing in the middle of the day. Once it gets past 30 odd degrees it might as well be infinity degrees, because I cant really go out in it regardless of what factor sun screen I apply. Lesson learned, though – I doubt I’ll go to a place as hot as Turkey in the middle of the summer again.
Usually after a cat nap, showering and changing we’d go and have dinner in the main restaurant at around half past seven. By the time we were done with that it would be coming on for nine, so we’d go and sit in reception, enjoy the table service, and generally chat amongst ourselves until it was time to turn in for the evening. Hardly action packed, but after a day spent in the heat it was a great way to chill out.
I’d brought my PSP plus a collection of games, and Worms proved to be popular between myself, Cousin Iain, Brother Andrew, and Fliss. It ended up that we’d play that almost constantly as the nights wore on, passing the PSP between us in increasingly wreckless fashion as the all-inclusive alcohol took effect.
Speaking of the all-inclusive package, it was tops. It did feel a little odd for the first day or so, to be taking a round of drinks away or getting a meal at the chicky-in-the-basket place without paying for it, but that didn’t last long. On the Wednesday evening we all went for a meal in the on-site Italian restaurant and the food was both brilliant and part of the all-inclusive package. Doubt I could ever go self-catering again after the positive experience at the Alba Resort, such was the convenience of not having to worry about paying for every little thing.
One weird thing was that Fliss got pulled up by some jobsworth for taking an apple from the restaurant. I didn’t get that at all – what the hell did it matter where we ate the food we’d paid for?
Except for that one incident with the Fruit Police, the staff were mostly very pleasant. I began to think that Elisha was the double of some Turkish goddess, because the waiters and other staff took all the time in the world to come up and say hello to her. They really do seem to worship kids over there and I think Elisha loved having all the attention in addition to being passed around the family.
As far as activities go, I tried to involve myself in as many of the poolside games as I could. These included things like diving over a limbo stick, or skipping while on a surf board. We went to play water polo on our second evening and it was a bit of a free for all. Not too keen on that sport, to be honest, but then I never really have been a strong swimmer.
Around mid-week, Cousin Iain got me to go along to the football at half five in the evening. The sun was less powerful by then, but it was still thirty odd degrees and you ended up drenched in your own sweat. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds, because the heat slowed down the game a little, meaning that even rubbish players like myself had some time on the ball. It was a good way of burning off all the calories taken on in the restaurant, and, in general, the activities were good fun that proved to be a good way of interacting with the other guests. Or at least it was a good way of finding out who was German and who wasn’t.
Which brings me to my main gripe about the resort, actually. Despite the fact we’d lost a full day travelling to Turkey, it kind of felt like we were in a very sunny pocket of Deutschland. The resort only became available to British holiday makers this year, having served the German market for years. Thus, all the staff spoke good German but very little english, which made things difficult on occasion. Getting served at the bar was one of those occasions; there was nothing more frustrating than hoardes of German guests getting served ahead of you (even when they came to the bar after you) because the bar staff could understand them. It was actually easier to order in German than to repeat yourself three times in English, too. This wasn’t the fault of the Germans, of course, just the fault of shit bar staff.
The reason this annoyed me is that we’d all paid for the same holiday regardless of nationality, so it was frustrating to see the staff favour the German guests time and again as the week wore on.
By the time Sunday evening rolled around and we were waiting to be picked up for the run back to the airport, I couldn’t help but think the holiday had come and gone very quickly. I done everything I wanted to do, too, although perhaps I set my sights low due to only having a week there. Highlights for me would include playing with Elisha in the pool, the football, the games of worms, the food, the banana boat ride, and the beach party on the Saturday evening. Add to that getting to spend some time away from it all with the family and it ended up being well worth the expense.
I’ll finish off by saying a special thankyou to Nicola, who not only booked the holiday for us, but put in a lot of time with Elisha during the week – nursing her to sleep and generally being a shoulder to lie on when neither myself or Fliss could be bothered. Thanks Nicky!
I hope we can all do something similar again in the future. :o)