Family Reunion time - in Kalkan, Turkey. With the Armstrong clan currently spread across the world it was decided that Turkey would be a good meeting place for a reunion. We flew into Dalaman airport where we meet up with Ian, Judith, Paula and Lydia (Paula's friend). We then hired a people mover and drove two hours east to Kalkan where we had a villa for a week. On the way we managed to inadvertently crash a wedding lunch. We stopped at a small restaurant thinking we could get some lunch there. We got provided with an amazing spread and when we went to pay they would accept any money as they said it was part of the wedding party! A pretty interesting first Turkish experience. The villa was amazing with a huge amount of space, great view and a pool. The first few days we spent most of our time reading, sunbathing and swimming at the villa. We also explored Kalkan a bit where we found the green grocer and some amazing (and cheap) vegetables and fruit.
Seeing we had a car we thought we would make good use of it and explore some of the surrounding area. First up we visited Patara which is the home of some ancient ruins from the Lycian and then Roman people. It also has one of the largest stretches of beach on the meditatrian coast. We had a bit of a dip and sunbathe here until we couldn't stand the heat anymore. Next stop was Kas which was about half an hour east from Kalkan. This was a bit more touristy than Kalkan and nothing amazing but we had a bit of a look around the town. On the way back we stopped at Kaputas where we climbed down the 100+ steps to a gorgeous aqua blue beach for a refreshing dip. Finally we headed to Xanthos where there were more ruins from the Lyican and Roman people. We actually got here before it opened which ended up being quite good as there was no one else there and we got taken on a private tour. The site was really interesting and has a long and amazing history.
Back in Kalkan we decided to visit the local market on the Thursday morning. The market was pretty big but consisted mainly of sunglasses, polo shirts, other clothes and souvenirs. Ellen managed to pick up some nice shoes and a nice top though at a reasonable price. We also had dinner out at a place with some amazing views overlooking Kalkan. Here we also saw a Turkish show which consisted of some energetic, fast and very synchronised dancing. We also got to see the traditional whirling dervishes as part of the show. While we were in Turkey we though it only appropriate to have a Turkish bath. This consisted of lying on a marble slab and getting water then foam poured over us. We then got rubbed down by the masseuse and then some more water poured on us. We both felt quite relaxed and quite clean afterwards. Finally, we also went on a gullet ride around Kalkan visited various coves, and bays. This was a great day with some amazing food and a large amount of sunbathing and swimming off the boat. We went a visited the 'blue cave' where we swam into a large cave with a large number of bats as well! We also swam onto a beach where we got to cover ourselves in dirt and water for a mud bath. We came back in after an 8 hour trip having had a great time but also feeling pretty exhausted.
We then left the rest of the Armstrongs (and Lydia) as they carried on with their journeys while unfortunately we had to fly back to the rain of London.