8th December 2016
At nine o’clock, we left our apartment after a lovely Turkish breakfast, made by mother, and drove down to Kleopatra beach. The beach is very wide and sweeps all the way on the west side of the peninsular, ending just before you reach the marina. With its fine golden sands and rows of hotels running behind, the beach is packed in the summer months, but as the winter months roll on , the beach is almost empty…which is great news for the dogs, who can run and jump and bound as much as they want, without disturbing the usually sunburnt and sleeping German tourists. From the beach, there is a beautiful view looking up at the fortress, which seems very high, and also visible are the tops of the snow capped Taurus mountains.
After walking along the beach for an hour and stopping for a drink on the front, we split up, Summer going for a walk and shopping around the town, while Mum, Geoff and I would go into the Damlatas caves. The dogs were not allowed in, so they wanted in the car with the windows down.
The Dalamtas caves are very famous because of there 98% humidity and constant high temperatures, which do cause the Stalagmites and Stalactitesto grow very long and sharp. The high humidity is meant to help asthma sufferers, and many tourists love to explore the small but incredible cave, however, Geoff did say that the cave in Cheddar Gorge was much more impressive.
Afterwards, we went to the Aercheological museum, near the beach. The museum holds many fascinating historical finds, like oil lamps, terracotta jars, hand woven killims, dating from the Seljuk, Ottoman, Greek, Roman and even from the Bronze Age. Other finds include many old and interesting things such as arrow heads, coins, axe heads, cannon fragments and small but detailed, bronze figurines, which have all mainly been found within the area of the 7km walls of Alanya castle. The museum does not contain any Atatürk memorabilia, since the main Atatürk history is kept in the Atatürk museum, near Alanya’s Grand Bazaar.
We met Summer back at the car and drove back to the apartment, where we had lunch, relaxed, and enjoyed the view.
Later that day, we got back in the car and drove to the top of the peninsula, where we went into the great Alanya fortress, which looks over both sides of the town. The walls, which date back to the 13th century, run all the way from the Red tower, up to the main enclosure that holds a cistern, church and storage rooms. Because of its high location and it being impossible to reach from the sea, air or land, the castle was one of the most well protected castles in Turkey.
Most of the interesting parts of Alanya castle are in the little winding lanes leading up to the uppermost parts. Here village life is in full swing with fruit and veg sellers and crafts on display. The decorated gourds are beautiful here, and mum would love them, but where exactly would we keep one on a sailing boat? Perhaps fasten it to the mast as a steaming light?! She did rather like the ones painted as Father Christmas!
From the viewing points in the castle, there were stunning views that are most impressive, however, there wasn’t too much information about the castle, so, we went back to the apartment to read about it and watched the sun set from the roof.