Alanya Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I've always thought (knew) that no matter where you go you're the only one who can make the trip good or bad. It's not about the place, it's about being open to try new things and not be stuck in the hotel or at the swimming pool, getting your face burned and eating as much as your stomach can take. I've been to Alanya twice and I'm totally in love with it. I've heard people saying that there's nothing to do and they didn't like it. And I know why - they didn't look around for possible fun. In 10 days I experienced things that some people do in two years.
I used to work for a tourism company, collected some points as an agent and could choose a place where to go to. Offered one of my friends to go with me, so she said "yes" and there we were. I had been in Istanbul before going to Alanya, so I had an idea what Turkey is like, but I had to say that both places have different charm.
Got out of the plane and almost passed out. It was hot! I got used to the weather pretty fast though, but still... The first things I noticed:
Everybody is starring at you
2. Everybody is smoking. Smoking everywhere.
3. Palms (but it's definitely not the view of paradise... go to Hawaii for that).
Once you get on a bus and go to the hotel (it took us like 3-4 hours to go from Antalya airport to Alanya) there's a tour guide telling stories about the place and about the tours and prices. All I did is get her phone number (just in case) and then forgot about everything she said. We didn't see the guide until we had to step in the bus for going back to Riga. I'd say I didn't see the guide then either. It was 5am and I was half asleep already. Anyway... the place looked all dead, a few palms sticking out, 2 to 3 cafes at the side of the road, pretty dirty, etc. However it's not about the looks, it's about the beauty inside, haha J Well.
The view changed a bit when we got into Alanya. There were many small shops selling Calvin Klein, D$G, Diesel, Armani, etc. clothing. 10$ a piece! :D It's the original, of course! :)) Lots of small, cute cafes and restaurants, lots of scooters. You could even see four people sitting on a scooter (it's meant to be for 2 people max) and going somewhere. It looked funny, but I got used to it, I even tried it (not 4 people though, just 3).
Our hotel was pretty nice (Krizantem hotel). Filled some kind of a form at the reception where it said that I requested a king size bed for both of us. Geee... we were worried before going in the room, because I wouldn't be able to sleep with her in the same bed. I have nothing against girls, but I'd prefer not to sleep in the same bed ;) It was all good though, no king size bed, just two cozy beds + shower + balcony. It was nice and clean.
We put our stuff in the room, changed and went out to explore the place. The first thing we wanted to do is get some tours somewhere. They have a lot of local tour places, where you can bargain and get everything cheaper. We didn't know which one to choose at first, they're all running out and trying every language they know just to get your attention (well... usually those are just a few words they know). If they're not lucky, they just try to guess where you're from. And then there was that one guy who started to speak Latvian as soon as he saw us! Ok, he's the one! It all started with bargaining which was fun, but later on (on both trips) we spent a lot of time in their small "tour shop". I'd say I have good friends there now. It had a perfect terrace with soft couches, it was facing the beach. So... we spent an hour there almost every day and were checking how the guys are working there. One of them is a monster man! He knows how to sell just anything! A dog poo for 20$! I really enjoyed it and hope I actually learned something.
Anyway... a small description of the tours and things we did and I'd suggest:
Basically, you drive on the top of the mountain, get your parachute out, run... and you're flying. Non-experienced weirdos (like us) do it with an instructor, of course. So... they just help you to buckle everything, put some BIG boots on and here you go... I was scared, because just before it was my turn they told stories about a guy crashing in the water, because something happened in the air, but he just broke his arm or something. It was beyond expression though. If I'd have an opportunity to have one super power, then it would be flying! The instructor had to have some fun , of course.
I'd say it's more for girls than guys, but who knows. All you need is lots of bottles of water. A bunch of jeeps full of people are going in the mountains, splashing people in the other car with water (I'm like a small kid, I enjoyed it), stopping at some places where you can just gather grapes and pomegranate. The driver kept getting all kinds of fruit for us! I mean.
We stopped and checked one mosque. You had to cover yourself before going in. It was really nice though... They were just telling about the mosque and how important religion is there.
Then you have lunch in the middle of the tour at a nice place in the mountains. The view was perfect!
The whole safari trip was beautiful, but it didn't have any action going on. Just the water fights ;) So... I think that guys would be a bit dissapointed and would want to drive themselves.
3. Cliff (boat trip).
If you've ever tried the free fall, then you know how it feels. This was one of the best things ever. Scary as hell though.
We went on a boat trip, music on board, everybody is relaxed, could snorkle at some places and then there's that cliff... The boat stopped and the Turkish guys who worked there offered people to jump from it. It looked scary, but why not...? So there were like three Turkish guys going up there (they were like monkeys climbing it up), helping all the fat and weak tourists get up J The thing is that you have to climb a bit and then you get in a narrow, dark hole that goes all through the cliff. It's impossible to see anything and you have to lean forward while moving, because it's so small and narrow. I just kept bumping into one persons butt, who was in front of me.
I got on the boat again, saw my friend and we didn't say anything.
We wanted to do the same thing next year, but they didn't offer it anymore, because somebody had actually died there.
Then there was another "interesting" thing on the boat. They had an animation show. The staff was trying to get everybody on the second floor of the boat, because of the show that nobody would regret seeing. So we went up and what happened... they put the music on (Craig David - I'm walking away. They love the song. You could hear it everywhere even the next time I was there. Craig was still walking away...) and all the staff guys were walking around with a broom or a tennis racket in their hands (like playing guitars) and pretending like they're singing.
They took us out in an open sea, had a small instruction, everybody put the equipment on, paddles, etc. We dressed up, looked at each other and couldnâ��t stop laughing. And we realized one thing - do not EVER look at each other while under water!
Ok, we got into water, the Turkish macho got in the middle, took my left hand and my friends right hand and we went down.
After our small under water trip a photographer came down and that was the worst part! We had to hold on to a rock or something and he was taking photos. It was funny, he just showed what we have to do (wave, show "peace", etc.) and then he was trying to show us that we have to look at each other. We understood it, but tried every possible way to show him that we're not gonna do it. And I guess he thought we didn't understand him and he came closer and made us look at each other... Ok, that was something! The first second I saw her (she saw me) we started to laugh so bad! I mean.
Other tourists who were on the boat thought we were high or something. Because we were laughing once we got in the water and then laughing once we got out. I mean... there were no funny fish.
A bunch of people get on a raft boat (or it's possible to get a canoe type of boat and go down the river by yourself) and go down the river.
There are a lot more tours to do (swimming with dolphins, all kinds of city tours, aqua parks, fourwheeler drive, anything on water, etc.)
I found my paradise on a river between the mountains. They have small cafes/restaurants on a river with small floaters with pillows. So you can lay down, get a drink, jump in the water from your "table" (aka floater), climb back up... it was so perfect! We rented out a scooter and went there a couple of times to enjoy our afternoon. It was perfect.
The centre is full of clubs. Full of Turkish guys looking for tourist chicks and full of tourist chicks looking for Turkish guys. Some of the "ladies" wore 20cm heals and animal print lacy dresses. Killers!
Partying there was really fun. I mean - Turkish guys there are like sharks! You don't have to do anything and you're already in a relationship with a guy you haven't even talked to.
It was funny, because all the tourist guys were pretty pissed there. I went to hang out and have a good time there and no preferences in guys or girls. So I was just hanging out in one club and suddenly a Danish guy comes up and starts to come down on me (I didn't do anything). He starts to yell and the text is as follows: "Are you one of those girls who just want those Turkish guys here??!! Are you?? Or do you want a Danish guy like me?? Tell me! Tell me!!!"
That was surprise from nowhere.
But really... guys can get pissed there.Gir ls are mostly not interested in them if they're not Turkish. I think it's because of the attitude. It's exotic for some of them. And Turkish know how to dangle a girl. They're not being rude, they just make you feel special (even if you're not).
It was interesting to watch some couples. Sextourism is really popular there :P Women are crazy! And then the age differences. You see those 18 year old Turkish guys and 50 year old tourists (women) holding hands and kissing.
The Turkish "love" is everywhere. You get love letters on serviettes from the waiters at the hotel, they slide around your table all the time, making some jokes, bringing flowers, etc.
There is a harbor right at the clubbing area.
And then you need to try the Turkish tea! I ordered it at a restaurant and they brought me hot water and a Lipton tea bag :D
I think there was a high birthrate in 1983-1984 in Turkey, because all the guys say they're 24! And another interestinf thing about them - they're all cousins. What a big family!
We had a little shop at our hotel that sold beer, sweets, some food (I don't even remember) and the guys working there already knew us. They were happy to help us pile up the beer and laugh about the only souvenir we got - Turkish viagra. They sell it in small jars and they have an interesting label on it.
Anyway... there are a lot of details and a lot more things to do. It might seem dirty and boring to some people, but itâ��s not. You just have to look around and try things. Try to bargain (that's even fun), try the massages, try to find a top without brands on it. That will be hard!