Well actually the weather was pretty good considering it was still the latter part of the Turkish winter season (March/April). This was a very last minute Easter getaway and the sun had his hat most of the time, thankfully!
It was cold and pelting down with rain in London as my plane took off – very satisfying.
On arrival in Antalya it emerged that I had forgotten to purchase a visa beforehand, and had to buy one in the airport for £20 before I could get through immigration. That’s what happens when I book a holiday two days before the flight without doing any research beforehand – yikes!
Turkey’s welcome was hot and sunny – just what I’d been hoping for, and things swiftly improved with an unexpected room upgrade when I checked into my hotel!
Not long afterwards the heavens opened and it poured with rain and picked up a windy storm through to the next morning!! As it happens, I like a good storm.
Apparently temperatures reach into the 40 celsius region in the height of summer, too hot, even for the locals.
One of the first things that struck me whilst driving through Antalya was the prevalence of tower blocks of flats and apartments, cluster after cluster; I didn’t really see any houses.
Antalya is a very tourist driven region, so it was no surprise to see bazaar sign after bazaar sign along with never ending sprawls of outdoor markets and street sellers along the main roads.
Concorde Deluxe Resort Hotel Antalya
The food seemed very different to anything I’ve eaten in Turkish restaurants in the UK, though there was plenty of variety. The desserts were some of the sweetest I’ve ever encountered. Every night there would be an almighty spread to choose from, including varieties balaclava (which I first tasted in Greece). I didn’t think there was anything sweeter than balaclava but there was. Desserts so sweet that they burn your insides.
While we’re on the subject of things being sweet, here’s a word of advice – don’t order an apple or orange juice. It’s not fruit juice – it was so sugary and sickly sweet, concentrated to the max, I couldn’t drink the stuff.
Lunch and evening dinner were the best meals of the day.
Aka potato wedges!
Many of the hotels along the Lara beach strip look like elaborate and ornate palaces, the Concorde Deluxe one was the complete opposite, very modern/clean lines.
The Concorde Duluxe does not supply irons to guests, either in their rooms or for loan at reception. I was later informed by my holiday rep that this is due to an incident that ended in a lawsuit against the hotel after a mother borrowed one from reception, then her child had an accident with the iron in the hotel room. The woman apparently blamed the hotel for giving her the iron in the first place. So how do other hotels get around this then? My rep thinks it may have something to do with the amount of cover within the hotel’s insurance policy being somewhat wanting. So, don’t expect an iron for all those clothes packed in your suitcase. The hotel offer a laundry service, which includes taking your clothes away to be pressed if you like that sort of thing.
There is also a sign in the room asking you not to use electrical appliances – though they do supply you with a kettle!
Now I know this must mean something else in Turkish, but in English I couldn’t have described it better.
Gestures from the hotel in celebration of Easter.
A few other things
There are a lot of cats along the Lara beach hotel strip, the hotel next door seemed to have an entire cat society. The first thing I saw on my first visit to the beach was one of the fattest cats around relaxing comfortably on on a shaded beach lounger, attracting a lot of attention from tourists taking it’s photograph.
There are also quite a few stray dogs wandering around (not just on the beach but I noticed this whilst out and about and during excursions).
Wake up calls
Now I tended to sleep with the curtains open to admire the bright lights of the beach strip at night and get the hot bright sun waking me up in the morning. However, at around 5am (before sunrise, the night sky is still in full swing) you will probably be woken by the song-prayers on a loud speaker from the nearby mosque, playing out across Antalya. You’ll probably get used to it after a while.