The trouble with writing a blog that covers current topical issues is that it gets out of date so quickly…. The General Election was only a fortnight ago, but seems an age. Since then we’ve had the truly terrible Grenfell Tower fire, an attack at Finsbury Park Mosque by a white terrorist, and the start of the Brexit talks. It was a relief to fly out of the UK and arrive in Cirali, Turkey. See previous posts!
Firstly, people say ‘aren’t you nervous, going to Turkey?’ Nervous of what, pray? We are substantially safer here than we would be in the UK. Turkey is a vast country, and the coastal areas are very different from Istanbul and Ankara. Cirali is a quiet, sleepy village, 7km down a steep, narrow winding road from the main highway to Antalya, approx 1.5 hours drive away….. Our plane was absolutely heaving with cut-price Brits going for cut-price packages in the resorts around Antalya. Think bulkhead-to-bulkhead screaming kids for four hours…. Here, it is incredibly quiet. Nobody except Turks. Derya, who owns our accommodation, says that he has had no Europeans all year. Even the Russians seem to have stopped coming.
As in previous years we have the company of our friend Shaun – he goes back on Monday, leaving us here until the following Saturday.
Days on the beach, afternoons dozing on the shady sunbeds in the orchard outside our little houses. It is very peaceful – except today Hussein, one of the staff, decides to mow our grass with a huge ancient smelly motor-mower – so have retreated elsewhere to write this. Normally, as I lie there, am visited by inquisitive local creatures- chickens, peacocks, and the other day, a tortoise.
Evenings are spent pottering about Cirali. There are plenty of restaurants and a few shops – mostly of the hand-spun local herb oil variety. Then, playing hard-fought Scrabble. Shaun plays on-line, so confounds us with ‘didn’t you know that Z is spelt Zee…’ Doesn’t mean he always wins, though.
Spent a day out at ancient site Phaselis, followed by quick visit to high-class-Russian-hooker-shopping destination Tekirova – Shaun was under instructions to buy a high-class fake Birkin bag for a friend.
For our next poetry assignment we have to produce a poem using a formal structure, so I decided to produce a suitably Middle-Eastern ghasal about Phaselis. Shaun went for a solitary walk, Philosopher sketched romantic ruined arches and I sat on a broken marble column seeking poetic muse and fighting off giant sized ants….
It is a lovely place, very atmospheric.
Next day we went on a boat trip – same route along the coast as we have done before. In the two years since we were last here, the day boats seem to have been ritzed up into Pirates of the Caribbean look-alikes. Ours, quite a large and handsome old boat, was now apparently the ‘Jack Sparrow’. However, it was quiet and very comfortable, with excellent service – coffee in dainty cups, good lunch. Again, very pretty and we actually saw a sea-turtle. Here’s a photo from Philosopher
Here is a picture of our boat and another horrible tacky ‘boom-boom’ boat that comes down the coast from some low-rent resort further up the coast. Clearly it is based on skeleton-style spectral pirate ship also from the movies (not that I have seen them). Fortunately it boom-booms its way past our beach to anchor at Olympos.
Finally, today, we found a fabulous café for lunch – it is like a child’s colourful fantasy garden.
The photos on this post seem a bit washed out – it has taken ages to upload them using dodgy wifi…. I’ll put the pictures of the café on the next post – am fed up.