Cirali, Turkey – a return visit

A rather ragged update from Cirali, our WiFi is a bit erratic. The place looks much the same, quieter as it is later in the year, still cheap…..

      I have just finished breakfast at the hotel in the company of Philosopher, two dogs, approximately 15 chickens, and Duckie, my favourite duck. We are staying at the somewhat up-market Olympos Lodge.  It costs about five million pounds a night more than last year’s abode, but we thought we’d treat ourselves.

     I thought our little Cirali place last year was big on domestic creatures, but this hotel has even more. We have a flock of peacocks outside our bedroom – they do not have much personality. This is particularly gormless white one. 

     The hotel is very pretty, set in a big garden, and our rooms are little buildings scattered round it. We were seduced by its charms last year and booked it even though it is at least three times more expensive than anywhere else in the village.
       It is, how can I say, a little eccentric.  You only find things out bit by bit, by trial and error – both good things, like they make all sorts of eggs to order at breakfast, and bad things, like the dogs will steal your shoes if you leave them outside the door. I took the remaining one of Philosopher’s  to Reception, and (very nice) Ayeesha said ‘Those crrrrazy dogs! They always do this!’  The boys were sent to find it, and it reappeared unharmed. But even then it was the English honeymoon couple who told us to bring our things in…..
        At breakfast, everything is there, but it is very labour intensive. Fresh orange juice – Squeeze the oranges yourself. Nuts? There are the crackers…..
         In our room, which is a tasteful pure white expanse, we have no storage, no bedside tables, no waste bin, no mirror that you can dry your hair in…. Baskets of pinecones, shells, an arty light picture of silvered palm leaves on the wall that buzzes when it is switched on. The shower has knobbly pebbles on the floor and sharp pointy shells on the walls.
         But it is pretty, and very peaceful.  Shaun is staying just up the beach in probably the cheapest place in Cirali.  We didn’t know if he would hack it but the family who run the place are very good to him
     We have spent most of our time on the beach. As well as big padded sunbeds with thatch shades, the hotel beach has lovely palm thatched gazebo structures, ideal for our pale English skins. They seem happy for Shaun to share the beach also. 

     Yesterday we had a day out. We were driven many miles down the coast to a place called Demre.  I felt sick. Then we went on a boat, quite large and fortunately quite empty – past the sunken city at Kekova Island, and then we stopped for coffee at a great place called Kale. Inaccessible by road, it is built on an ancient city site on a steep hillside. Much romantic bougainvillea tumbling down ancient walls.  Shaun was very taken with the place and saw it as the rightful setting for Shaun The Writer. 


After a good lunch and too many swimming stops we visited the Church of St Nicholas in Demre. We gave it a miss and went instead to a pharmacy where I had to mime car sickness to get some tablets. The place was full of tacky ikon shops. I read that the site is the most visited place in the whole province, attracting hordes of Russians.
     Then we went to ancient Myra, which was very interesting. Fortunately, being end of day as and end of season, the place was almost empty, so we could explore and even declaim in the theatre in peace. There are amazing rock tombs up the cliff behind the theatre, but not accessible. Disregard the tent dress – it is good for the beach.

     We have also walked along the beach to ancient Olympos.  They have tidied it up, put more notices about and made more ruins accessible to the public since last year.

     Fortunately, am feeling much better from my bugs – still got residual cough when I lie down in bed.  Duckie is pulling at the hem of my dress. No, I know this is not a duck.

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