7th December 2016
So far on the roadtrip, every place we had been to was very interesting and fun. The pension that we had been staying at in Kizilot, near Side, was a lovely place, “Nostalgia Pansyion”
The owner, Evrem, is very good cook and was a very generous host.
You have to think outside the box sometimes especially In order to do a road trip like this.
You have to look at every kind of accommodation. Obviously from a cost perspective camping and pensions are the best options. Some people would never dream of using a pension, but they really are a choice worth testing. Especially when most of the Turkish hosts are so eager to please. Nothing was too much trouble, the water was hot and the air conditioning reversed in the rooms to be a heater. Evrem built a fire every morning and evening at breakfast and dinner and made delicious food each evening. This was great as the other hotels and restaurants in the area were in total shut down!
Today, we left Evrems pension and got on the road to our next destination, Alanya!
Similar to Side, Alanya is built on a peninsular jutting out in to the Mediterranean, with long beaches going for miles on end either side, and is South of the Taurus mountains. Alanya is also one of the main tourist destination in the area, but unlike Side, the place is most popular with Russians and Eastern Europeans, as well as Scadinavians.
Once a sleepy Agriculture and fishing town, Alanyas tourism has boomed since the 1980’s, but only lately figures for tourists have fallen. Tourism is so popular that some local people pretend to be tour guides, and ask for money from people, signs around the red tower, one of Alanyas key landmarks warn tourists about this!
The drive to Alanya was short and on our way in we drove along the D-400, we passed tall, luxurious hotels, which obviously are aimed at Russian tourism as some look very much like massive cruise ships others look like they have been transported straight out of Saint Petersbourg square to make the Rushkies feel at home.
Further along the main road building has only taken place along the coast, since the slopes of the Taurus mountains are too steep but recently some people have undertaken the work, and small villages do dot the hillsides.
Since we had left the pension at ten thirty, and we arrived at Alanya atquarter past eleven, we still had a whole day spare, so after unpacking ( and letting mum play ” house ” for an hour or two- she was very excited to have a real house that doesn’t Bob about if something sails past, with cupboards and washing machines and stuff to clean!! She had vases out filled with orange and olive branches, napkins arranged on tables and generally just things prettying up the place, all the kind of stuff mum doesn’t get to do on a boat!) after she had had some time to play we went down to the harbour and the Red Tower.
Overlooking the harbour is the five storey, octagonally shaped, Kizil Kule, known in English as the Red Tower. Built in 1226, under the reign of Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I, the ancient building has now been restored to it former glory, it was only in the 1950 s that this iconic building faced restoration, it must have just been being left to crumble before that!
If you reach to top of the 78 step climb, you will see wonderful views of Alanya, the harbour, and the bay.
If you walk along the castle walls, you will reach the Tersane, which is actually a 13th century shipyard, capable of building/holding up to five boats, built by the same sultan who built the Red Tower. On the entrance to the shipyard, there are two small rooms, one believed to be a mosque, and the other thought to be an office for the officials who worked there then. Above the entrance is a 5 lined inscription in Arabic.
There is a lot of walking and climbing involved in exploring just this little piece of Alanyas history, -be warned!- so, After a few hours around the Tower, old shipyard and harbour, we went back to the apartment, stopping of at Migros-(Turkeys Tesco’s)-before relaxing in the living room, and enjoying the view. Mum likes it very much, for two reasons. One, it doesn’t move or bounce every time something passes by, and two, it’s orange.
The view from the apartment is also wonderful, over one side there’s Cleopatra beach a vast sweep of now deserted sand which is no doubt teeming with sunbathing bodies in the summer months the main road and the headlands going of into the west, while the town centre can be seen infront of the apartment and houses and villages dotting the mountains before us.
Orange trees and mandarin trees around the apartment provide lovely free fruit and beautiful scent to the flat and lovely arrangements! Mums in her element and doesn’t want to go out!