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Author Topic: Memories of my first visit to kalkan  (Read 2264 times)

Offline kris kadin

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Memories of my first visit to kalkan
« on: September 07, 2010, 03:53:08 AM »
Hi All

I just thought it would be nice to share with you my first experience of kalkan.

It was back in 1992.  Four of us arrived in Kalkan by bus after spending a week in Alanya.  The journey took 8 hours because they were dynamiting the new road half way between, which meant hours of delays.  Needless to say we arrived tired and thirsty.  Not knowing anything about Kalkan we asked one of the locals if he knew of any decent and reasonably priced pansiyons.  He referred us to the Saka pansiyon some way up the hill yonder.  It turned out to be a basic hotel, but the owners were a nice middle aged couple from Istanbul who spoke absolutely no English.

Luckily I had taken some lessons in Turkish and knew enough to get by.  The breakfast was a choice of Turkish or eggy bread, which was a great starter for a day out.  We spent our first day looking around kalkan and it was then that we realised it was the nicest place we had visited in Turkey.  We had fallen in love with the place.  Previously we had visited Turkey about 4 times and each time travelled about a bit.  We had stayed in Altinkum, Istanbul, Izmir, Bodrum, Marmaris, Calis, Fethiye, Olu Deniz, Antalya and of course Alanya.  kalkan was just so different, and for some reason you feel at home the minute you walk down the main street.  It has a kind of magic feel to it which I'm sure you've all felt otherwise you wouldn't be involved in this site  ;)

We discovered the Merkez cafe was the place to start your day or evening, and became firm friends with Fatih and his family.  They are an extremely nice family!

Since our first visit to turkey we had become addicted to the daily Gulet cruises, and found ourselves boarding Egemen cruises with captain ercan.(we have since become great friends and have stayed at each others houses on occasion).  We had no idea how special that week would turn out to be.

The boat motored around to kaputas and the blue cave and we had the traditional dip and swim into the cave(which I don't think you're allowed to do now).  It was when we began the journey over to Mouse Island that the trip became interesting.  Firstly the wife caught a swordfish trolling off the back of the boat, and then Ercan spotted a shoal of tuna on the horizon and steered the boat toward them.  After around 15 minutes we were surrounded by a mile wide circle of large tuna swimming at the surface.  It was hard  to tell what they were doing.  The shoal was way too big to be feeding.  Ercan managed to throw a couple of lines in, but they broke, so no tuna for dinner.  It was a truly awesome spectacle all the same.

After losing a couple of lures we changed course and made our way toward  Mouse Island.  We hadn't cruised for more than 15 minutes when we were approached by a large pod of Bottlenosed Dolphins.  Everyone donned their snorkels and jumped into the sea!  Amazingly the dolphins stayed around for about half an hour and seemed to enjoy swimming with us.  They swam really close to us, but stayed just out of arms reach.  It was a truly amazing experience.

We spent the rest of the week on ercan's boat looking for dolphin and tuna and playing Bob Marley on his CD player.  We didn't have any luck with the dolphins, but the tuna stuck around for a few days and I think a couple of locals managed to hook one or two with tracer wire. Ercan's monofilament just wasn't up to the job.

By the end of that week we'd decided that kalkan was the best resort in Turkey and we were definitely gong to come back.  Unfortunately the week ended on a sour note.  There was a friendly young chap staying at the saka called Ercan(Not captain ercan).  He was half Turkish/half Greek and I thought he was a member of the Saka staff.  Unfortunately he wasn't.  He was a petty thief and had discovered that his room key fitted one or two others in the pansiyon.  Unfortunately for us, our room was one of them. 

He must have spent the week going through our things and had probably stolen stuff we hadn't even noticed was missing.  Thankfully I kept my wallet and travellers cheques with me at all times.  His Achilles heel was his choice of cigarettes.  I had noticed a white cigarette butt in our toilet one day and thought the cleaners had probably left it there.  I should have complained about it then, but didn't want to make a fuss. 

We got up on the last day to go out on the boat and I picked up my camera case and found it to be empty.  Having realised that we had been burgled we went to the Jandarmes to fill out a report and I spent the rest of the day sitting on the Saka roof terrace mourning the loss of my camera.  Ercan the thief sat with us and consoled us along with the owners of the pansiyon.  It was then that I noticed he smoked cigarettes with a white tip and my suspicions were slightly aroused.  I didn't mention it to anyone because I suppose I didn't want it to be anyone at the hotel and was hoping it was just coincidental.  Lots of Turks smoke white tipped cigarettes, and at that time I still thought Ercan was a member of staff and I wanted him to be trustworthy.

All said and done I still made a point of going down to the room every time Ercan disappeared to see if he was hanging around.  I needed to catch him in the act of stealing and not cleaning if it was him.  It wasn't me that caught him though, it was my friend Tracey.  She went down to our rooms some time later in the day and caught little Ercan coming out of my room with my wife's bracelet in his hand.  As I suspected, the brazen thief was still stealing from us as we sat upstairs.  The jandarmes were called back and Ercan was promptly arrested.  The jandarmes searched his room and found several items of jewellery, some of it belonging to my wife, but no camera.  He must have stolen it the night before while we were out in kalkan and fenced it.

I was impressed with the way the jandarmes handled the whole incident, and the concern showed by the locals.  It came to light that ercan didn't work at the saka, he was just renting a room.  The captain even offered me his truncheon to give little ercan a beating, but I politely refused.  As tempted as I was to give him a good hiding, I think he was in enough trouble and I suspect he had already received a few digs that day.  The locals don't like to see tourists as victims of crime, it's bad for business.  Strangely I felt sorry for little ercan and the consequences he was about to face for his thieving.  He looked absolutely terrified!


I wasn't going to let that incident tarnish my view of kalkan and returned on several occasions.  The incident had been the talk of the town all that year, and little ercan had received 5 years gaol.  Good for him!  Or at least I hope it did him some good ;)  Instead of conceding that their security was lax, the owners of the saka pansiyon concocted the story that I was an insurance fraudster and had planned the whole thing, right down to the planting of Ercan's cigarette butts in my toilet.  They obviously hadn't seen Midnight express ;) The fact that Ercan was caught red handed burgling our room by Tracey wasn't concrete enough evidence for them.  And here's me feeling sorry for them and their hotel's reputation! 

Strangely enough, I have had several incident free visits to Kalkan since then and enjoyed every one of them.  Kalkan is a wonderful holiday destination, and we plan to retire out there in a few years.  If I could give any advice to holiday makers, it would be to choose a hotel with a mini safe in the room.  I have stayed at the Oz pansiyon and all their rooms have a safe.  The owners are related to Captain ercan and are Kalkan people. 

http://www.hotelozkalkan.com/index.html  Here is their url if anyone is interested.  lovely little pansiyon.

Hope you enjoyed my little thread  8)

Chris


Linkback: https://www.enjoykalkan.com/forum/holiday-reports-and-reviews/12/memories-of-my-first-visit-to-kalkan/6340/
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 08:28:36 AM by cjcadden »
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Offline lorilou

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Re: Memories of my first visit to kalkan
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 01:13:22 PM »
HI CeeJay - wonderful account of your first trip - lots of adventures. A great yarn, well told, very enjoyable.

Bet you've seen some changes over the years!

Enjoy this next trip ...
if you can walk you can dance

Offline kris kadin

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Re: Memories of my first visit to kalkan
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 01:28:33 PM »
The place has grown quite a bit since then.  I remember kalkan being very quiet and half of the boats in the harbour not going out in high summer due to the lack of tourists.  I've stayed there in the off season too and it is blissfully quiet.  I suppose it needed to grow and be a little busier to accomodate the industry there.  haven't been back since 2003 but will be scooting over in a couple of years to have a look at some apartments.  I suspect it will have expanded a little and all my old mates are still around.

Offline lorilou

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Re: Memories of my first visit to kalkan
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 02:04:14 PM »
Gosh if you haven't been since 2003 you will I think see many, many changes.
Not much chance of the boats being idle these days ... and I recon there will be one or two more in business too!
But the expansion will mean your old chums will have been able to make a better living. It's the people that give the place it's heart, that doesn't appear to have changed ...


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