…And Atatürks House…
9th December 2016
The last two days in Alanya had been interesting and today was going to be another, fun and adventurous day.
We left the apartment and headed out onto the streets of the spectacular town.
The towns itself was hustling and bustling, car horns honking, shop traders haggling with sunburned and unwilling tourists, men shouting from one side of the street to the other. What makes Friday special in Alanya, is the fact that today was market day.
Men, women and children were flocking to the local market which kind of has an allocated area but basically just seems to line the town centers streets, all of them carrying their bags or drawing shopping baskets behind them. That’s how we found it, mum started following somebody drawing an empty shopping basket behind them, there was only one place she could be heading!
Most of the sellers were selling Apples, Tomatos, Oranges and fruits and vegetables from their farms or orchards and most of the market sellers were wearing black harem pants. Mum fitted in quite well as today she was wearing hers! I do have to say though that the old guys certainly know how to rock their harem trousers better than mother!!
Many people were strolling in and out the avenues of traders, picking out many different types of fruits, vegatables, nuts and spices. Some traders had brought large and beautiful designed Kilims and carpets, and others came with delicate glasses, hand made silk scarves, and antique ceramic vases, plates and goblets.
The market here was very lively and colorful slightly smaller than the one in Fethiye…
We left the market and walked back along the high street, watching police cars, ambulances, buses, trucks, cars and Lorries fight it out at for first places when they eventually stop at the traffic lights. When we reached the car, which was parked at the side of the street, we drove into the back streets, looking for a place that has a little amount of historical importance, but a lot of love from the people of Alanya.
Atatürk visited Alanya years ago and was entertained in this house in the back streets of the town centre, although Atatürk only stayed in the house and Alanya for three hours ( as he wrote in his telegram, that he ” found no reason to stay longer”….) on the day of 18th Febuary 1935, the owner of the house kept the building preserved and eventually presented it to the government in honor and in memory of Mustafa Kemel, the house now acts as a museum for Atatürk.
The large yellow building is not normally busy, despite no entrance fee. Inside, there are several telegrams sent from the Turkish president, and also a beautifully decorated shot gun, a lovely silk jacket, and many wonderfully handmade Pericles of jewelry, all at one point, owned by Atatürk.
Atatürk…..you’ll see him there, you’ll see him here, you’ll see him everywhere. On flags, as statues, on plaques, even his signature is a sticker on almost every single car in Turkey. A statue of Atatürk will be in every main square, in every city, town and village….he is the national hero! So when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk visited Alanya in 1935 and was very impressed by the town the people cherished him.
Afterwards, we went and had a traditional kebab in a traditional Turkish kebab shop on a traditionally noisy and busy Turkish street, drank some chai and watched the racetrack which is the Main Street through Alanya.
10th December 2016
Our last day in Alanya was to go and visit the Dim cave, just past the outskirts of Alanya. So late that morning, we set of from the apartment and drove along the main road, passing the quiet and empty beach.
The streets today were not as busy as they were the previous day, but the shops were still open, and wacky races were still continuing. The sat nav Sabina, didn’t know of such a thing as Dim Cave so we continued along the main road, looking for signs.
Soon, we thought we had found the correct road, but we then turned around the other way, and then the other way, and then the other….soon, we decided we were lost…..sometimes being lost is fun and you never know what you might find, and again stumbling upon sights that we didn’t know we were even looking for turn up beautifully unexpectedly.
Like the Dim Cavi, which was the sign we were following thinking that the Turkish word for ” cave” was surprisingly so very similar to the English word for cave, clearly things in Turkey are never going to be quite so easy, and we found the river….. ” Cavi” river………..This was great, because we also found the Dim Dam which prompted great hysterics as Summer decided that she would like to have a ” Dib dab ” ( you know a sherbet dip thing…. ) up the dim dam…… I guess you really had to be there!
eventually, we found signs, and started going the right direction.
Dim Cave is at a distance of 145 Km from the touristic city of Antalya and 11 Km from Alanya, which is mostly attracted by the European tourists, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
The Cave is at a high of 232 metres from sea level and is at the western slope on the 1,691 metres high Cebel Reis mountain.
Dim Cave was known by the surrounding villagers previously. Some parts of the Cave were used as shelter by hunters and sheperds.
This cave has first been investigated and measured by professional speleologists in 1986. After several years, it was brought to the show cave conditions and was leased to Magtur joint stock Co. by the Government in 1996 and was open for visitors in 1998. Dim Cave , in this case, is the first cave business enterprise operated by private sector in Turkey.
Inside the cave, there is a very eiry feeling to it, stalegtites and stalegmites are everywhere, and some are still in the process of being created. It is estimated to be 1 million years old. Also inside, there are two paths, one is of 50 m, the other of 360 metres. The 360 meter one leads to a small lake, where in it, has formed a stalagmite that looks like a mother with her baby clinging to her…..this is one of the examples of mystical formations in the cave and the world.
The cave was very interesting, and because we thought it was going to be smaller than the Dalmatas caves, we were all very surprised! Geoff still thinks that the caves in Cheddar Gorge are larger, but he was impressed by it too.
On the way back, we stopped at a restaurant over looking Alanya and the wooded area before it. We had a great day out and a fantastic meal in the sunshine overlooking the whole of Alanya.
Tomorrow we would be leaving Alanya, and going to Beysehir which many people call the equivalent of the English Lake District, where we would stay for several nights as the whole of Konya was completely booked, our plan is to go into to Konya each day. Keep reading to find out more.