Thursday, July 9, 2015

Discovering the Turkish Riviera - Five on Friday

It seems that I have have been away too long from my beloved blog.   My family and I were in Turkey for three weeks.  It was my second visit to that wonderful country and this time we discovered a new area.

So, there are a couple of items on today's agenda.  First, I'm linking up with Amy at Love Made my Home for Five on Friday.   If you have the time, please drop over to this great link party.  And, I'm going to share some pictures of my visit to Alanya, Turkey.

We flew nonstop from LAX to Istanbul and then took a flight to Alanya.  It's a beautiful city situated on the southern coast of Turkey.  Here's a view of my son's home up on the mountain overlooking the sea....

They say that Alanya can get quite warm but it was much cooler up high....

 Our first sightseeing adventure was to see Alanya Castle. It sits high upon a peak overlooking the Mediterranean on three sides.  It was built in the 13th century.....

The view from the top was amazing.....

Here is a door in one of the castle walls...

If only the ruins would "talk".....such fascinating history


The castle was built over Roman and Byzantine fortifications.  Seeing this ruin of an Byzantine Orthodox church was amazingly heartwarming to me, being an Orthodox Christian.  I was surprised to see the dome is still intact.....

Here is a photo of the sign telling about the church.....
Another day we ventured to the east of the city into the mountains.  After a short drive, we arrived at Dim River  (Dim Çayı).  The scenery was breathtaking.  Being from Washington state, it reminded me of the beautiful Cascade Mountains....

Dim River is a very popular area for the local people.  There were numerous "pik nik" areas with restaurants and water parks.  We chose one and had a lovely Turkish lunch, including this amazing bread hot out of the oven....

I loved this display of Turkish pots outside the pik nik area....

And, they also offered traditional seating for those who wanted to relax and take in the amazing view...

The downtown city of Alanya is a tourist town.  They have lovely beaches but tons of stores selling knock off items that really didn't interest me.  But, I found a beautiful little garden area next to the beach club we went to.  I thought this trompe l'oeil was quite lovely....

Here's a very poor photo of one of the beach clubs.  The one we went to was free (including umbrella and lounge chairs) as long as we ate or drank.  It was very inexpensive and the beach/water is very nice....
We had never had a proper "Turkish Breakfast" before so this trip we went to the Tepe Mountain Restaurant.  It sits high up on the mountain and has a lovely view of the sea. The breakfast consisted of homemade breads, hot from the oven, numerous kinds of cheese, olives, pickles, potatoes, omelet, homemade preserves, candied figs and quince and much more....

We saw numerous goat herds during our stay in our home.  This beautiful creature was grazing on the side on the road on our way to the breakfast....

Alanya and the surrounding area is a beautiful place.  For years my family has gone to Egypt for vacations.  But unfortunately, it has gotten harder each time to visit due to many factors.  For us, Turkey has become our new family destination.  There is a significant foreign population in Alanya.  Home buying for foreigners is quite easy; hence the purchase of my son's home in the mountains.  The beaches are beautiful.  The downside is that parts of the city are too commercial but you can find many non tourist areas and attractions that are great.

Here are Five Facts that you may enjoy:

1.  Alanya is surrounded by the Taurus Mountains
2.  The city has a population of around 100,000+
3.  Over 30,000 homes in Alanya are owned by foreigners (Russians, Scandinavians and Germans make up the majority of foreign owners)
4.   The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira.  At the time of my visit is was approximately 2.67 TL to $
5.   Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal in 1923.  He was later given the title of "Ataturk" meaning Father of the Turks.  His photo is still prominently displayed today. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into  travel and history.  At a later time, I will share one more episode of my Turkey trip.  My best to each of you and I would love to hear from you if you have a chance to comment.  Enjoy your weekend!

Pat 

Note:  I wasn't sure if I should share this but I will.  As I mentioned, the shops on Ataturk Blvd. in downtown Alanya are numerous.  They are selling knock off brands of all types of clothing, shoes, handbags, etc.  They usually have a little section of Turkish souvenir goods but the selection is very poor compared to the bazaars in Istanbul.  As soon as they see you, you are aksed "where are you from".  It becomes very annoying.  Needless to say, we were in one of the shops (they all look the same) and the shop keeper was pestering us to buy and of course asked us where were we from.  When we answered, California (America), his demeanor changed completely.  He started on a triad saying how America is trying to dominate the whole word, his father who worked on F-16 planes, told him all this, and on and on.  We were a bit shocked to say the least.  We didn't reply and at that point he told us to get out of his store as he didn't want any "dirty American money" and any (I won't say the word) loving people.  

If I wasn't in a foreign country, I would have spoken up.  First,  just because I'm an American doesn't mean I always agree with my country's politics.  Secondly, if he hates American money, so to speak, why is he selling knock off brands of AMERICAN designers?  Why is his shop full of Michael Kors, Nike, and Disney designs to name a few?   It really doesn't make any sense to me.

After googling this episode, I found that one of the shops actually had a sign outside stating that there was a group of people who are not welcome in their shop.  I find this appalling.  I later spoke to numerous Turkish people who said that we should have called the police and that this is not the norm.  It was the only incident we encountered during our stay in Turkey.  All the other people we met were very kind and welcoming to us.  


Linking With:

Create with Joy....

Bella Rose Antiques....

Oh My Heartsie Girl.....




41 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit, such a shame about the incident you mentioned. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  2. On the whole it sounds like you had a lovely trip. It's a shame about the incident in the shop x

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    1. Yes, we did have a good time. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  3. It was lovely to "take five" with you and enjoy your holiday! It was interesting to read your facts too! Sorry about the bad incident, not nice, but I think that you dealt with it well by saying nothing and just going. Not much else you can do is there. It doesn't look as though it spoiled your fun though! I like the picnic area with the traditional seating, looks as though you could spend ages there relaxing! Thank you so much as always for joining in. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy for your kind words. We did have a good time and our weekend is off to a great start. My best to you.

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  4. I'm so glad you had such a good time. I've never been to Turkey but we have friends who go there every year and love it dearly.

    What a shame about your encounter with prejudice. In 1974, when I was a teenager, my family was visiting Greece. The country was recovering from the years of the junta, and there were NATO aircraft carriers stationed in the harbour. Anti-American feeling was very high due to the perception (reality?) that the US had backed the junta regime. My parents were threatened by an old woman in black who came up to them as they were walking through the park. Luckily they were with an English couple, who said, "We're English". That was an early lesson in global politics for me. My mother said, "Who knows, perhaps that woman's sons were killed by the junta."

    Here in the UK we are trying to come to terms with the massacre in Tunisia. Many people have been at pains to point out that the Muslim staff of the hotels risked their lives to protect the UK staff. People can be very quick to form gross generalisations. I hope that the world can heal from these black-and-white outlooks, and that we can all learn to see each other as unique individuals. I believe that ultimately there is far more good than evil in the world.

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    1. Hi Christine, yes, it is a shame that prejudice is alive and well in this world. But, I didn't let it overshadow my trip. I had recently viewed a documentary about Tunisia, a lovely country. My heart goes out to all those people who have been hurt. I too think that good will overcome evil. Many thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. What lovely pictures! It's very sad this happened, but you must only think of the happy time you had beforehand. Have a lovely weekend. Barbara

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    1. Yes, you are correct. We didn't let this incident change our views. My best to you Barbara, for a wonderful weekend.

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  6. Your photos and commentary on Alanya is very interesting. Sounds like a great place for your son to live. I'm sorry you had the nasty shop experience.
    Have a great weekend. (visiting from Five on Friday)

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    1. Hi Lorrie, thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my post. My weekend is off to a wonderful start. My best to you.

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  7. Loved your pictures, Turkey is one of our favorite countries. We lived in Izmir, Turkey for 2 years.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment. We are scheduled to visit Izmir next year. I'm excited to discover another part of Turkey. My best wishes to you.

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  8. There is ugly and ignorant all over the world sadly to say. Prejudice seems like it will never die out. It just keep rearing it's ugly head in a new form of a new so called evil. We have to remember too, it only takes a few to mess it up for everyone. There is and probably never will be a shortage of ignorance. *sigh*
    Your photos looked lovely though and that goat, oh my. I can just picture spinning yarn with some of that gorgeous fiber!
    Sorry you had such a miserable experience, I'm sure it tainted your trip...
    Hugs for now,
    Beth P

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    1. Hi Beth, yes, I agree with your comment. But, luckily I was able to overlook this incident and continue on. There are so many good people in the world that one needs to focus on. Thank you so much for stopping by. My best to you, Pat xx

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  9. Looks like a wonderful city and country, I've enjoyed your photos and descriptions and your 5 facts. What a shame about the man in the shop, I think you did the right thing keeping silent as you can't argue with blinkered people as nothing is going to change their point of view. Glad you didn't let the incident spoil you lovely holiday:)

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    1. Hello Rosie, thank you for taking the time to comment today and your kind comment. I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

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  10. Oh my...such beauty. I'd want to return over and over!!! And Old world charm. I enjoyed this much.
    I was thinking Turkey was founded much earlier than 1923!! But, I re-read it and realized it was MODERN Turkey...my blond roots shone through the silver strands that time!!!

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    1. Haha, I like your comment. Turkey has such a long history that I need to read more about it myself. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

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  11. Turkey is such a gorgeous place. We went several years ago and my favourite bit of our holiday was visiting Ephesus. The shop encounter sounds very unfortunate ...and he'll find himself out of business before long in holiday season as his 'principles' will cost him. I always find it sad how people from different cultures can turn on one another....we're all just people after all! I hope you had a great time apart from that xx

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    1. Yes, we did have a wonderful trip and I didn't let this cause me any stress. I'm excited to visit Ephesus and discover all the history in that city. Many thanks for your kind words. My best to you, Pat

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  12. We have been to Alayna and unfortunately experienced the same as you! We were there 07.07.05 & were told that Brits deserved it for being allies of the US. But the beaches were beautiful and the weather glorious, I'm glad you didn't let it spoil your holiday. Have a lovely weekend xx

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    1. Hi Lisa. Isn't that sad that you too had this same experience. After this incident, I was going to say I'm from some neutral country but I didn't. I hope you are having a great start to your weekend. Many thanks for stopping by, Pat xx

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  13. Turkey is fascinating, beautiful and with an interesting history....but not a free country. I was sorry to hear about your problem in that shop. I loved your photos. The fresh baked bread I bet was delicious! Wonderful to see the ruins of that Orthodox Christian church!

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    1. Hi Marie, yes you are correct in your comment. But, I love seeing the old and the new working together in such a historical country. Thank you for stopping by today.

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  14. What a lovely post, the cushioned seating area with the amazing view looks very inviting! I can imagine lolling there nibbling on that delicious bread....
    I'm sorry about your encounter in the shop, I think you handled it well. I agree with my fellow commenters, there is a lot of prejudice in the world but the majority of folk are good and kind. X

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    1. Hi Sue, yes, I could sit there sitting tea all day looking at the beautiful water. I agree with you, there are so many good people in the world that I will always focus on the positive. My best to you.

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  15. It looks beautiful, what lovely scenery, I'm sorry to hear about the prejudice you experienced but unfortunately you will always find it wherever you go. I have never been to Turkey but lived in Syria for many years and their cuisine is almost identical I used to love breakfasts and the bread is delicious fresh from the oven. :)

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    1. Hello Linda, yes I agree with you that the food is very similar to the Middle Eastern cuisine of the surrounding areas. I love all the Turkish food and the fruits and nuts are amazing, too. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  16. The water is so blue! Wonderful views from high up overlooking the coast and the river. I'm sure the wooded areas were also beautiful and refreshing to visit. It was good that you found a nice beach club where you could relax. I'm sorry about your experience in the shop. Even one incident can be upsetting. As you say, most people are friendly and welcoming. Turkey must be a fascinating place with so much history in evidence.

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    1. Hi Linda, yes, Turkey is so beautiful and the people are kind and welcoming. My incident in the shop didn't dampen my trip as there are people like that throughout our world. I hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start. We have moderate temps here in Southern California, perfect weather for sitting outside. Many thanks for stopping by today :)

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  17. The trompe l'oeil is amazing - I hadn't realised that they weren't real flowers until you mentioned it! I'm glad that the shopkeeper didn't spoil your trip; we should really feel sorry for people who see the world in such a blinkered way but it can be very upsetting at the time. Three weeks is a lovely long time to stay and get a good feel for a place, your pictures look fabulous! xx

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  18. Beautiful photos and lovely stories about your holiday. Like to hear from you in case you've tried my recipe....

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  19. What a wonderful holiday, and your son has a beautiful home overlooking the sea! Gorgeous! I'm glad that you enjoyed your three-week stay there with your family. Such stunning views of the mountains. Too bad about the shop keeper, but sometimes even visitors see the not so friendly side of residents. At least it didn't ruin the rest of your trip. Thanks for sharing your holidays :)
    Wendy

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  20. Such beautiful photos and the food everywhere looks amazing! It's really too bad about the shop owner, and unfortunately I think there are many parts of the world with folks who do not like us and look down on our country. Thankfully, it's not the norm and I pray often that our whole world become a more peaceful and loving place.
    xo

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  21. Wow I've never seen such a blue sea! Absolutely stunning :) And the buildings as well, I've never been to Turkey but really want to go. The incident with the shopkeeper sounds horrible, I wouldn't have said anything either - I always feel a bit vulnerable in a country where I don't speak the language. I'm glad it didn't ruin the trip, the rest of it sounds wonderful.

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  22. What a lovely trip and so nice to spend time with your son and family. The scenery is just beautiful, and yes, it does look like the Cascades! That must have been scary to be ordered out of the shop because you were American. There is prejudice in every country.....it is sad. Love the little goat on the side of the road. xo Karen

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  23. What a beautiful locale for your vacation. I have been to Turkey a couple of times but not to this area. Thanks for sharing your incredible photos.

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  24. What a fantastic place to visit, the views are just amazing! And even more wonderful that you visited these beautiful places with your loved ones. Sorry to hear about that awful incident. Hope it's a one-off and you'll have many more happy visits to Turkey with your family.

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