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Author Topic: Two Go Mad in Kalkan  (Read 6208 times)

Offline Chris_S

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Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« on: June 23, 2017, 12:33:21 PM »
Firstly, let me apologise.

The plan was, in the beginning, to provide you an insight of the strange world of my mind (existence of which is open for debate) during the June sojourn.  This would be our first June visit, since normally we are, as you know, of the September persuasion.

So, with the with the new security measures in place, thus making the normal transportation of the laptop in cabin baggage impossible (on the return at least), we splashed out on a tablet, both to enable communication, and provide the much-needed (or otherwise), details of 'turn up and turn off'.

Well, the tablet works fine (Google Pixel C, since you ask), but the Wi-Fi at the hotel was, to coin a phrase, unreliable, at least in the early days of the visit.  This wasn't really anyone's fault, least of all ours, but they were trying to get better coverage and reliability.  Previously it has been a case similar to the old days of VHF televisions where you ended up standing one-legged on a chair with your arm out of the window holding the two bits of wire referred to in the instructions as the aerial.  This assumes that the Wi-Fi was actually working in the first place, of course.

Now, I, in my experience spanning a couple of millennia (no, I'm not called Methuselah), suspect the hardware, but you can't go around telling people what to use, can you?  Not unless they're paying you, at least!

This meant the first few days were not going to be productive, or for that matter efficient, so no blogs were attempted, as there was this problem of sorting it out later, without spending the entire holiday on writing on a screen like a demented teenager on Facebook/WhatsApp/Snapchat/this week's favourite app.

To compound the problem, I am most definitely not the 'get up at sparrow f*rt, and watch the sun peek out from behind a mountain' sort of person.  Scheduling the blog writing became a problem and never got going, principally due to other distractions, including good conversation, rehydration (it's important, as you know), and all the wondrous things that Kalkan and Turkey devise to distract you and separate you from portraits of the Queen.

And the next thing you know, it's passed.  You're back in the UK, not having done, met, gone to, or the suchlike, the numerous places, people and things you were thinking about or planning.  This is the embodiment of 'turn up and turn off' mentioned previously.

Anyway, you know these customer relations questionnaires that you keep getting, about whether the service you had with an organisation was good, on a rating of 1 to 5, and so on?

Today’s question is this:

Do you want the blog as a retrospective?  Only a failing memory and the need to protect the innocent will result in omissions, but I can do my best.

You decide.


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Offline Haybo

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
Whilst we love and look forward to your blogs,  I feel a tad mean asking you to relive the moment now you are home.  I think there is something about the immediacy of your posts and the freshness of the memories that add to the comedic value of  your submissions!

So for me, could I suggest maybe a highs and lows?  10 things you might do differently, 1.  of course being suss out the quality of the wifi before you board the plane....

Oh and just to say , I do get up a  sparrow f**t to watch the sun rise, and my stomach did a small leap as suddenly I was sat with my coffee doing just that..on well, only 8 sleeps and I will be......

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 01:46:28 PM »
Mean I can handle >:D

I can consider the retrospect to be an extension to being in Kalkan (the alternative is 'hippy crack' which I shall studiously avoid!

Offline lucasvdb

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 03:11:09 PM »
Well, we had the same problems!

Life without a keyboard is difficult for an OAP! The phone's virtual keyboard is only for teenagers as Chris said.
The internet isn't very reliable in Kalkan and, when it is working, very slow.
The old Tesco HUDL 1 was good when it was launched but now only good for a place in a museum. Left it in Turkey.

Made good use of the Kindle with already downloaded books though.

Dalaman security checks not very well organised. No indications that there were two queues - one male and one female - at the last checkpoint until being told so by a co-passenger when we were halfway in the wrong line.

But we might post where we have been in a separate thread as the season is still young and newbies might be interested anyway.

hoşça kal

see you in October!



Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 09:01:22 PM »
Go for it Chris_S, whichever way you are most comfortable.

It'll be a treat to look forward to however it's written.  :)

Offline keith

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 06:15:05 AM »
Morning Chris......I look forward to all of your blogs and a reflection on your last visit wouldn't be sniffed at.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 07:31:51 PM »
As it’s a respective, the tense is going to vary a bit, I suppose, lurching from past to present an back again, as my poor, weary befuddled brain copes with something that happened more than 2 minutes ago with the stress of coping with being back home!

You may have noted the Enid Blyton-esque title.  There ARE two us: tick.  We WERE in Kalkan: tick.  The Mad part is debatable.  Not mad to be in Kalkan, perhaps slightly in what we do, very occasionally provoked into such mental conditions by organisational frustration, probably mad for leaving (but returning in September – so maybe that’s not really a sign), but definitely slightly bonkers for not doing all that we set out to do.

But then, in Kalkan, that seems to be the norm, anyway, so let’s just call ‘Mad’ a useful conjunction in the title instead of an adjective.

Anyway,

We had abandoned British Airways this year, after last year’s debacle; we needed a flight that hadn’t turned into an EgyptAir dry flight after 25 minutes (Yes, we have flown EgyptAir!), flight attendants that actually answered the call button in less than two hours, and an in-flight option of more than an M&S sandwich (at a low price, to you, our valued customers, of just £4.75, instead of the High Street £2.80).  Not that we indulge in such things – a lunchtime FEB (Full English) at the exotic Luton Airport providing enough energy to maintain the blood sugar levels until the first Kalkan bar visit.  This as regular and historic readers will be aware, is due to the strict ruling on rehydration, both in flight and on terra firma.  At least Monarch didn’t run out of bar stocks nor Duty Free before Paris like BA did.  (for further derogatory acronym expansions for BA, please use your imagination – most of mine are unprintable – ‘Fly the Flag’ and ‘To Fly, to Serve’ indeed!)

At least Monarch had got their act together vis-à-vis the aircraft.  We didn’t have one of the ‘new’ seats with the tablet slot in the back of the seat in front so you can entertain yourself.  Someone at Monarch obviously realised that having the tablet in the hold on the return was somewhat counter-productive!  The old seats are a bit more padded, too.

Also, the Mobility Assistance worked well, and we were soon on our way along the D400, with intense anticipation of ‘that view’ at the top of the hill as you approach Nirvana.

Check in, dump cases in room, and then to the bar for the rehydration therapy to begin.  For once, the guys behind the bar were recognisable (more or less – age and varying hirsuteness dependent), and the winding down begins.  At least until we unpack to be in full-operational order for breakfast.  Wouldn’t it be nice if were to arrive a couple of hours earlier?  Living as we do, ‘Dahn South’ (but not as South as some – it’s relative), the aircraft always seem to do Malaga, or Alicante or something first, which means the mid-afternoon departure for us.  I noted that many from t’North had more, earlier flights, possibly because the extra flying time to Malaga and back made the second flight to Turkey impractical.

So to the real Day 1, or Day 2 if you call the expedition Day 1 – whatever!

By tradition, this is basically: 1) have breakfast.  This takes ages and is dependent on how many other regulars are there, with greetings and catch-ups, etc. 2) wander into Town.  With walking a distance becoming an issue for one of us, this means a taxi to the taxi rank, and then meander to the bottom.

Now, you all know how long this can take.  How far can you go before you’re stopped for a welcome, or enticed in for some tea variant or spot something more interesting (bar, café…).

You know the sort of thing: ”Come to my Restaurant”, “Look at my Menu”,  “Lunch?”; and then include the flagrant sales pitches of (named redacted to prevent embarrassment) Jewellers trying to sell bargain prices on the Koh-I-Noor diamond (“2013 prices – real bargain”).  You will, of course, have worked out that bags came into play as well.  The fortunate thing was that no actual currency was traded for any of the articles, but will we be able to withstand the onslaught for the whole stay?  Dutch Courage required – Yup, the rehydration thing again.

It’s not all trade and marketing, as you will be familiar.  It’s all the people that remember you from the multitudes that have been since you last visited.  Just how do they remember you?

Passing Agora, Ewen swiftly apologising for some rubbish Lamb chops from last year!  They were rubbish, and he was emphatic about the changes made to prevent a repeat (hence none on the menu this year, apart from some other deeper changes).  Eventually, he updated us on his family!

Thence past Samphire (Husseyin), Wella (Yusuf), Smyrna (Rami), etc.  A longer stop at Göz to talk to Barbaros and the best time to get the new optical prescription made up.  This isn’t as simple as previously, as the eye surgery received since last year has resulted in a totally different set of options (for the better), and the choices expanded considerably.  And, no, it wasn’t laser!

By now it was Lunchtime, so Aubergine to the rescue (better than going uphill at this point!), for a Pide, Salad and some dry white rehydration fluid.  Goodbye nearly two hours.

During which, it was obvious that there were a lot of boats in the harbour compared to, at least, last year.  M-m-m-m, ominous.

Moving on, lest we are accused of making Aubergine look scruffy, we taxi back from the Pirat to the hotel for a bit of doing nothing in a horizontal attitude, interspersed with the superhuman effort of crawling to the bar for, well you know.

First night.  Traditionally this used to be Alternatif in their old location, but not last year, owing to alternative invitations.  Restored to it’s proper place in the schedule, this is where we ate, choosing to share a Calamari starter, which we shared, Moussaka for one and the Beef with Mustard for the other.  Washed down with the appropriate rehydration, coloured red by Majestyk.  167TL if you want to know, and yes, it was up to Alternatif’s standard.

Mustafa updates us, concerned that Alternatif is 70% down on previous years, and reckons that if things don’t improve he will close.  It is the start of the season, so we shall see; though I suspect that the location on the roof is not helping, compared to the old location by the mosque (even though many people never went down that road, and never knew Alternatif was there).  Ambience seems lacking on this rooftop, somehow.

Other posts refer to his intention to run for Mayor.  He’s been telling us this since 2010!  If I was holding my breath I wouldn’t be writing this now, but if the restaurant closes it may enable him to change vocation (apart from the other businesses, that is).

At least the Taxis aren’t far away, and we are soon back in the rehydration suite at the hotel, talking to old friends and new acquaintances.  Tomorrow brings the arrival of more old friends, and horizons new and old.…

Offline keith

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2017, 07:32:52 AM »
Well worth the wait Chris. Even though I am in Kalkan as I write it is always good to get someone else's perspective of their visit. You inevitably get snippets of information whether it be trips that people have been on, restaurants that they have enjoyed or names of local people. All very useful information as the place evolves from year to year and people and restaurants come and go. It did seem awfully quiet in town last night but hopefully business will pick up.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 12:41:27 PM »
It’s a new day, and in keeping with holidays in general, you have to check your phone/computer/newspaper to see what day it actually is.

And this is early on, and the body clock has gone into neutral, basically telling you that it doesn’t really care what day it is.  This turns into a form of panic as the end of the holiday approaches and you realise all the things you were intending doing, or have planned to do are now greater than the time available.

For us, today is the day the personal transportation equipment is delivered to the Hotel.  One car, certainly not a Tofaş Şahin or Tofaş Doğan.  It’s a Nissan.  Big difference to a licence-built Tofaş, is the fact it’s not a FIAT 131 derivative, and has such things as climate control, sat-nav (though no road in Kalkan exists on it), cruise (handy on the D400) and other mod-cons that I never get around to using.  That said, it’s worth playing with the traction/drive modes when in Kalkan, on the D400 or going up into the mountains.

As an aside, the worst holiday rental we had was in Malta in the 80s, when the supplied Ford had no wipers, 4 different tyres (one illegal), an exhaust that terminated under the front passenger seat (no second silencer), and lights that worked or not depending on the phases of the moon, or so it seemed.  And this was from Hertz!!

First trip out is to Adem’s.  We know he can collect us, but it’s just the right excuse to get tuned into the driving patterns in Turkey.  Not too far, familiar route, and, certainly not a bad place to have lunch.

And so it is.  It may be warm/hot depending on your personal threshold, and we get the warm welcome as usual (we must have two heads the way people remember us in Kalkan) from daughter No.2.  For some reason I can never remember their names (and no doubt someone will now remind me).  There are other guests, which is good, both for us and Adem, bearing in mind the downturn.

It turns out Adem is doing the world standard “Dad Taxi Service” picking up daughter No.1 from University in Fethiye, having completed her studies, and the end of the educational season.  No real matter, the service is in good hands and we settle on a Mushroom Omelette and a Menemen to keep body and soul together.  The downside, is of course, the driver has to go all abstemious, resulting in an excuse later to make up for lost time.  The non-driver, inevitably hits the dry-white fluid, and tries not to mention it too much, in order to keep the peace.

With the view towards Kaş lifting the heart, albeit with occasional vessels going along the coast and a very hazy horizon (at least for one of us, that wasn’t down to the aforementioned fluid), the lunch, which as it happens is very nice, and not to be ignored – we’re just a bit boring with food during the midday intake, dawdles slowly until we can see mid-afternoon starting to make it’s presence on the clock.

Time for a return to the hotel, via a circuitous route, and, due to the exertions of the last couple of hours, time for a bit of relaxation by the pool.  Yes, it’s a tough life in Kalkan!

Ignoring the R&R section of the day, predominately taken up by sitting around and chatting to the regular returnees at the hotel, and revelling in the longer days as midsummer creeps closer.  This is something which is taking a little getting used to, as coming in September like we usually do, it’s somewhat lacking in the sun’s rays by late afternoon/early evening then.  But here we are in June and we aren’t falling over things in the gloom and can still actually enjoy the twilight as it lasts longer in June than September.

Keeping the calorific intake up this evening, in order to ensure that we have the energy reserves for the future exertions, we rely on Marina.

A Taxi to the Pirat means that those that can’t walk far (or if they can, it would be breakfast by the time they arrived), are in for a treat, as this must be one (of the few) places that you can almost drive up to the door (other venues are available).  A usual (over-enthusiastic) greeting when you put your foot on the first step, to a table overlooking the crowd promenading along the harbour front.  Still the same sights though, ranging from “they obviously don’t have a mirror when they put that on”, to “how does she walk in Kalkan in those heels?”.  I shall refrain from commenting on those who couldn’t even be a*sed to put on a clean shirt!

Oh, I suppose you want to know about the food?

Well, for a starter, we shared a Calamari.  We rated this an 8-5 to 9.0.  But then we’re picky about Calamari, having memories of a place that consistently delivered 10+ for their calamari.  It’s obviously a black art/skill.  And no, it’s not in Turkey!

This was followed by the Porcini Steak, which was enormous (and I mean enormous!).  Cooked to medium rare as requested (rarely happens in the UK), I can’t fault it.  Though on reflection, I assumed Porcini meant the fungi, but may have been a typical Turkish/Kalkan mistranslation of porcine.  Certainly eating it was tantamount to pigging out.  The other side of the table opted for the Sea Bass Fillet.  This also got favourable reviews, both for portion size and for the pleasure of eating it.

Rehydration-wise, we started with a G&T (using Bombay – seems to be more of that around this year, like Hendricks) and Bloody Mary.  The latter being one of the 5-a-day, as recommended by health professionals everywhere.  This had an additional cornucopia of various salad additions, bumping it up to 2.2 on the 5-a-day scale.
Having started with those drinks we restricted ourselves to the glass of wine each (dry white and red), a bottle would have been the wrong colour for one of us, and one bottle of each would have meant an uncomfortable day after, as previously experienced by other members’ posts!

All this for 275TL.

Hailing a passing Hansom Cab, well the guy on the bench calling for a taxi, we returned to the hotel for some more coloured water (red) in order to ensure that we didn’t dehydrate before breakfast.  And anyway, we had to keep the other people in the bar company, didn’t we?  Rude to leave them to sit alone there.  We are so-o-o-o-o considerate!

Offline keith

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 11:28:43 AM »
Really enjoyable read Chris.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 02:39:35 PM »
Another day, another dawn.  Only we never see dawn.  Just not our time of the day, normally.  Exceptions do occur, daft flight times (rare), unusual leisure activities (like hot-air ballooning, before your imagination runs away with you), getting stuck on a motorway in a snowstorm, etc.  You no doubt get the picture.

Since we have the tablet this year, albeit with the flaky WiFi for the purposes of blogging, at least, with patience, I can download the newspaper instead of strolling around to pay exorbitant sums for the paper version.  This means we can analyse all the post June 8th goings on and all the things going with it.  All the rumours, extrapolations, accusations, Fake News, etc. are rife everywhere since yesterday, probably no different from being back in the UK, but far, far easier to ignore in Kalkan than back home.  I just wonder how the UK media’s sensationalistic reporting appears to others, where they are used to what may be a different interpretation of democracy!  It’s certainly livened up the conversation at the bar!

However much we may enjoy a sensible debate (or not so sensible, depending on the participants), we should really go down to see Barbaros and get my new spectacles in process.  We decide on just before lunch as evenings can get a bit busier as this is the time when most people go into town.

There are two gentlemen in there discussing their requirements, and I have to confess, I found it quite bewildering regarding what they wanted.  Quite apart from going round in circles for what they wanted (decisiveness not apparently a strong suit here), they also were forever changing their minds about who was having what.  This took over an hour, until they’d finally decided what they were having and made their order.  Lunch was looking increasingly likely to be a late one today!

Eventually, we were the sole customer.  Barbaros was, as usual, helpful and exuberant.  This, I suspect, was because of the eye surgery I had earlier in the year, meaning the prescription change allowed me to have any frame and lens combination I wanted; this is instead of the complex lenses I used to need and the strength reducing the availability of frame styles.  Consequently, we weren’t there long.  We knew the options, and such things, so, once the frames had been chosen, turnaround was brisk.  Price agreed, considerably cheaper than UK, and a better specification.  This is where Barbaros told us the previous customers had been in 5 times previously, taking about the same time on each occasion, before today’s purchase.  He must have the patience of a saint – it’s possibly worse than working in a shoe shop in this case!  Middle of next week should see the spectacles ready, so anticipation mounts.

And, yes, it was a late lunch.  Aubergine won the toss again, with the close harbour view, and the, now standard, mixed meat Pide with cheese, shepherd’s salad and a few glasses of House White (Rehydration had become critical by this time, even though Barbaros had supplied some lemon beverage the consistency of a fine Slush Puppy from the café opposite). Total 75.30TL.

Only one thing for it now, back to the hotel, poolside, relax and to what holidays are all about.  This is, of course, doing absolutely nothing.  Apart from read, drink and nod-off in the sun.

At the risk of seeming like all we ever do is drink, eat, drink, and laze around, I’ll skip to the evening.
Tonight’s chosen venue is Baharat.  This was a successful visit last year after the previous year’s dismal performance (probably detailed in a previous thread – can’t remember), so we gave it the premier choice for our first Saturday Night.

Not exactly full to the gunnels, nor was it empty.  But busy enough at around 50% to ensure that service was attentive, and the kitchen had the time to do things properly.  This meant the courses didn’t have much of a gap between them, but not as bad as some of those carvery pubs that get you out to get the next punter in.  It was OK, but we’d like a bit slower pace.  We managed to get it slowed down by talking to the boss.  Always a good ploy!

So what did we have?  As Rehydration is important, with traditional Bombay & Tonic and a Bloody Mary kicking things off.  The range of Gins has improved, but I wonder if we’ll ever see Fever Tree Tonic in Kalkan?

A Moussaka for one side of the table, and a Kuzu Incik for the other made us both replete, requiring only a shared Ice Cream and a trio of glasses of red wine to complete the meal.  245TL.

All that was required now was to negotiate our way back to the taxi rank without being enticed into bag shops, jewellers or bars.  Fortunately, this was successful, since BSG was behind us, thus removing one source of temptation, and all we had then to do was get past Infinity.  This also was successful, as Gino was off for the weekend (you mean these people have days off? Disgusting!).  Mission Accomplished.

The post-prandial drinks and discussion at the hotel took us up to bedtime.  We have noticed that it must be quite warm currently, as the Red Wine seems to evaporate in the glass very quickly.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2017, 03:46:17 PM »
Lazy Sunday.  In Kalkan this is, as you know, totally indistinguishable from any other day of the week.  Assuming you’re not being active and thus white water rafting, hang-gliding, scuba diving or bog-snorkelling (coming soon to a resort near you!).

So, apart from catching upon the news, both good and bad, speculative and factual, invented and real, it’s going to be a day for wheeling out the Bugatti Veyron and going out for lunch.  Did that say Bugatti Veyron?  Sorry, Nissan.  Predictive text again!

Being of an unpredictive, impetuous and adventurous nature, we, since we have this superlative vehicle available to us, push the boat out and re-visit Adem’s for lunch.

Yes, I know – loads of places to go and investigate, opportunities galore, but we return to the Kaş Road.  It’s really what Kalkan is about, in a sense.  A bit like putting on the old jumper when you do some autumnal gardening; you feel at ease with the world and chilled.  So if you know the place, you’ll understand the gazing mindlessly across to Meis/Castelorizo (I’m still hoping to catch sight of the Rhodes flight arriving, but I’d have to get up early.  These only operate Friday to Tuesday, landing at 0740, taking off at 0800), whilst ignoring the traffic on the D400 and praying that you can forget about the sewage works over the road.  To be fair, you don’t even notice the Works, but I have to mention it since one of the regulars at the hotel always makes the connection, in a curmudgeonly sort of derogatory reference.

As usual, the driver has to refrain from the more efficacious beverages on hand, but the passenger can indulge in the dry-white variety.  Accompanied by an Imam Bayildi and a Mushroom Omelette, the energy gap is bridged and we continue to wind down – not that there is far to go on that count.  The Imam Bayildi is an intriguing dish, don’t you think?  I can accept that different chefs have their own ‘take’ on things, but this one is in the realm of ‘never the same twice’.  The only common thing I can pin down is the aubergine; makes a good lunch though, wherever! Lunch at Adem’s: 56TL.

As before Adem is nowhere to be seen, catering duties being conducted similarly to our visit by daughter No.2.  he does arrive later though, having done a pick-up for some very regular guests who are apparently intimately acquainted with the family.  They are having a very cosy chat, until Adem comes over for a chat.  This is where he tells us that No.1 daughter has now finished university (in a discipline unrevealed), and is getting married in October.  This is to someone she has known for years and is associated with the Sunset Boats.

We express our condolences with Adem regarding the outlay he is going to have to make, and being a typical father is not overjoyed at his daughter’s choice!  We are treated to a couple of ‘on the house drinks’ before Adem returns to his old friends, and subsequently disappears, possibly to rob a gold bullion vault to pay for the wedding.

Time to return to the hotel pool for the obligatory read/snooze/rehydrate before the evening’s expedition.  Tonight it’s Mussakka’s turn.

Well, it’s relatively busy, certainly compared to our (so far few) previous evening visits to other establishments.  Whether this is down to location, reputation, or whatever, is probably a good opportunity to discuss over some drinks.  Personally, I suspect reputation, but what do I know?  One thing does seem odd to me: this year the lady kneading the dough and making the bread has been moved from inside the restaurant to a position on the pavement outside.  This seems bizarre to me and cheapens the concept and status of the restaurant.  I have other views on this, but best not said – it’s just my impression, of course.

With a decent table overlooking the road outside, where one can watch, wonder, and be amused by the goings on.  This is enhanced by numerous cats strolling along the adjacent tiled roofs on the off-chance of a tit-bit or two to liven up their day (or night).

Skipping the opportunity for a ‘cocktail’, we instead elect for a bottle of the House red (Doluca, as it happens) to keep the blood alcohol levels in balance.

To sustain the other balances, we share the Fishcakes as a starter (does anyone each have three courses, anymore, we wonder?), followed by Lamb Chops for one and a Roquefort Steak for the other.  Allegedly, the lamb chops were excellent, and consumed without a tasting offer, and the steak, cooked as requested, had a nice Roquefort Sauce.  Bearing in mind, it seems ALL the steaks you get in Kalkan seem to be fillet, you need a good sauce to get the best from them.

Having had our fill, we finished with a couple of decaff. coffees, this being one of the places you can actually get one.
Cost: 216TL.

Which just leaves us the onerous task of making our way to the taxis, return to the hotel and then collectively put the world to rights, while attempting to deplete the bar of its stock of Rehydration fluid.
It is here where I should link into the thread “Keith can ….. in Kalkan!!” regarding the lights scanning the night sky.  Personally, I find it very nice to look up at the clear night sky, albeit with the lower levels of light pollution than the UK, and preferably with none at all.  (For that you have to find yourself in the Serengeti, at Uluru, or in the Indian Ocean, for example.)  In Kalkan, post 10.30pm, we have the damn searchlights oscillating across the sky, basically destroying the vista of a myriad of stars, the light of which has taken millions of years to get here.  Do they really think these devices encourage people to spend money in their bars, are they searching out hordes of enemy aircraft in a Blitz re-enactment, or are they trying to emulate the opening credits for a 20th Century Fox film?  I’m not against the younger people doing what they do later in the night in the bars, but those lights?  No thanks! (Incidentally, I haven’t seen any lasers, just searchlights).

(Rant Over!)

Instead we concentrate on what’s happening at ground level, and conducting serious scientific study regarding the evaporation of red wine at ambient temperatures…

Offline Lizilu20

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 04:25:43 PM »
Thank you for sharing your holiday memoirs with us Chris_S, I feel for you though, now you are home. It must be torture reliving each day.  :( I am also slightly envious of your memory. I'm sure I'd have forgotten half of what we'd done after a few days.

We must visit Adems in August. We haven't been for a while and it's always a pleasure up there at lunchime.  :)

Offline Blue Lizard

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2017, 05:54:00 PM »
Bog snorkelling is already in Kalkan...during our stay a whiffy smell seemed to waft over the top end of the village for a couple of nights from Moonlight Bar up to as far as Kalamar roundabout, one or two of the toilets in this range you would need a snorkel to enter! :o
Agree about Lasers ! these were introduced years ago by The Regency hotel who used to have a laser light show and later followed by No Name Bar (now chocolate)who projected it's "no name Bar" onto the hillside above the village...I prefer stars too!
People Of Britain.. When your missus asks "Does my bum look big in this? Never say "Dunno your blocking the light."... just sayin ????

 ta ta for now
Lizard

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2017, 11:06:07 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to do a retrospective blog, Chris_S! Like Lizilu says, I have no idea how you can remember with such detail when you are back in Blighty....top of the class for retentive memory, you must be great in a pub quiz :)
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt :)

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2017, 01:22:01 PM »
I don't know about retentive memory - I must at least claim I haven't got amnesia, otherwise you'll think I'm making it all up!

I'm not.

At least I don't think so.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2017, 01:29:49 PM »
Weekend over, whatever passes for normality in this part of the Mediterranean returns.  Any difference from any other day adjacent to this one is purely the effect of a deranged mind.  Or worse.

Fortunately (spoiler alert!), there isn’t a ‘worse’ day ahead, so you can rest easy.

As we have the Lamborghini Aventador (damn predictive text again!), we elect to emulate Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing.  In our case we don’t have a Sherpa (I’m referring to the LDV Van of the 80s here), and neither do we intend to utilise pitons, climbing ropes and ice picks.  Oxygen may come in handy, though!

We’re having lunch in Islamlar.  We prefer lunch, because, as we normally come in September, you can actually appreciate the view.  This doesn’t really apply in June, of course, with the longer days, but our other motivation is the relative peace.  It seems most people tend to do their evening meal up there, so lunchtimes are quite peaceful, tranquil and cool (in contrast to the lower altitudes at the coast).

No doubt everyone has their fave place.  For us, it used to be Mehmet’s, but that of course is now something else, so we tend to migrate to Değirmen a little further up, and slightly off the ‘main’ road.   This was as a recommendation from people with a bit of local knowledge (as in they live here) and seems to suit us.

As anyone who has done this trip knows, it is an interesting ride.  Playing with the Drive Modes on the car helps (ECO mode certainly doesn’t), and arrival at Değirmen is certainly a lot cooler, though not uncomfortable.

There’s all the (icy) water rushing down the mountain, keeping all those lunches happy (sorry, trout), and adding an aural backdrop to the environment.  I’m inclined to show my age and recalling the cigarette adverts of the 50-60s for ‘Cool, Clean Consulate’ but that may well go over some of the readers’ heads!

The slight downside of Değirmen are the steps down from the road and then back up to the same level to the restaurant.  This is, of course, typically Turkish!  Oh, how we would appreciate it if there were a walkway across the divide.  You wouldn’t get so close to the pool full of fish swimming around, oblivious to their eventual fate, but don’t you get a bit pi**ed off by all the staircases?

The view, when you get there is pleasantly calm down the valley to Mouse and Snake in the distance.  Did we really come so far; did we really come up so high?  Obviously!  The breeze is indicating that, although the coolness comes with altitude, the breeze is exaggerating the effect.  We shall see how we get on.

Then it’s selection time.  It’s all a bit Meze, really.  Selecting the things you like (most of them) and praying that they’ll arrive at sensible times.

We select fried Cheese, Fried Aubergine, Shepherd’s Salad, Chips (first of the holiday) and 2 Grilled Trout.  Some highly evaporative dry white accompanies this for the non-driver who settles on the sensible option of basic rehydration.  It is beginning to be irksome – doing the driving and being abstemious – but common-sense prevails until a taxi can take over on other occasions.

What can one say about all this?  It’s very good, filling, and tasty.  The trout don’t seem bothered, but then they can’t really say otherwise.  It’s leisurely, friendly, peaceful, and has a few other groups coming and going while we take ages over enjoying the food and the surroundings.  The only thing we would resolve to do in future is ask for the chips to arrive with the trout, as they don’t really work with the other items and get cold very quickly.

As one of us was.  That damn breeze was starting to etch deep into you.  A request for a pashmina was made, and subsequently provided.  I can’t see you getting such treatment anywhere else.  I mean, can you see yourself sitting outside a pub in the UK as dusk falls and the usual chill gets in the air, and the pub having a supply of pashminas to keep you comfortable? No, I didn’t think so.

That’s another 110TL added to the local economy.

At least downhill is more sedate than uphill, even though the temptation to pretend that Carlos Sainz is at the wheel has to be resisted.  ECO mode works for this bit though!  Normally you judge distance by miles or kilometres, but on this one you can do it by temperature.  Even though we have Climate Control, you can spot the change by how it copes with the outside temperature.

Skipping the boring pool – read – snooze – drink sequences at the hotel while we sort of recover from the exertions of sitting down and doing nothing except eating and drinking, and since nothing really happened (shades of Monty Python and The Adventures of Ralph Mellish – on YouTube - https://youtu.be/lIople8Sv6E), I’ll move on…

…To the evening.

Where we are booked in to Agora.  You will recall from an earlier post in this thread that we chatted to Ewan on day 1, and the booking was done then.  We try to spread the love (and money), and contrive, in an effort to assist those who struggle to walk far at any reasonable pace, to ask the taxi to drop us by Chocolate, etc.

Now you know the Car Park there.  It’s handy, but access is somewhat restricted; but full marks to the driver(s) have taken us there to shorten the walk.  Sometimes it’s a traffic jam, which must be hell for them, and makes you wonder why they can’t utilise the layout better than they do.  But then this is Turkey, so I won’t hold my breath.

A very short walk, and then more bl**dy stairs.  The guys at Agora are very helpful, patient and supportive, and we get to the roof eventually, without incident.  We have what may be described as the best table, overlooking Samphire and the streets below.

Once again, we skip the drinks before and instead go for a bottle of Majestyk red.  To accompany this we share some Stuffed Mushrooms as a starter, and one of us has the Calamari starter as a main course (try doing that in the UK!).  The other has the Ottoman Beef.  The Calamari is a 9 (see previous posts) and the Ottoman Beef is tender and a nice change from fish and fillet steaks.  The dessert is shared Ice Cream.  We do like (most of) the ice cream here – it seems to have a ‘gloopy’ sort of texture which we like.  This is possible because we were both brought up (as many were) on the post-war pseudo ice-cream made of vegetable fat, the legacy of which prevails to this day.

Total: 165TL.

We note that Samphire is VERY quiet, not that Agora was busy, though it was nice to see Ewan and his wife working the tables.  If anything bugs me about Kalkan and Turkey, it’s the macho-oriented attitude of some of the restaurants regarding the female gender serving at tables.  It’s getting better, but there’s a long, long way to go.  And yes, I know it’s the culture!

Similarly we can see that Akdeniz isn’t exactly heaving either, certainly not compared to Alternatif days.  How much of this is due to the downturn, the pending discovery of a relocated restaurant, or just that most people don’t really go up and down that road as much as the other streets is open for discussion.

Completing the relatively easy task of going down stairs, I say relatively, because it’s still hazardous in the mind if there is this lurking fear of a fall possibly have catastrophic life-changing effects (too complex to explain), but the staff are helpful and cautious as usual and we negotiate the myriad requests to frequent numerous places for a drink as we go to get a taxi at the Pirat.

Here of course, the Marina staff indulge in some usual banter (baffles me how they remember you) while we wait for the Joni Mitchell vehicle to arrive, only small in this case, not big.

Back at the hotel bar, you can guess the rest – putting the world to rights again, tall stories (again), the Blitz overhead (again), and rapidly evaporating vino (yet again – research continues).

Just another late evening in Kalkan.

Offline pw

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2017, 06:30:43 PM »
I'm please S you enjoyed Agora. We were there when Ewan opened for the season and he was worried about the season, anticipating it was going to be quiet.

Since then both daughter and son have both been with their partners and contributed to his turnover and we'll all be back September.

They are such a lovely family. I hope they do well. Ewan told me how much he's invested in the rent and equipment and it was eyewatering!

When we were there the Trip Advisor entry was closed. It's now open again and as a family we have all added our reviews. I don't necessarily agree that Trip Advisor is a grea t indicator of the best food but I do believe a bit of hype will help him.

pw
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Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2017, 06:13:01 PM »
Another day, another agonising set of decisions on what to do, where to go, followed by a superhuman to motivate oneself into actually doing it.

Actually the decision on the day had been made previously, only kept secret and locked in a fireproof safe to ensure confidentiality.  This is because we aren’t a TV channel telling you what the next episode is about when one has just finished.  This is an insulting technique where they must be convinced they have such a rubbish programme that they need to tempt you into watching the next episode – assuming you remember the following week!  Of course that’s almost as bad as reminding you what you just watched 5 minutes ago.  The younger generation’s short attention span has a lot of explaining to do!

I instruct the hotel garage’s Valet Parking Manager to bring the Bentley Mulsanne Turbo round to the front for today’s venture.  You know that this is rubbish, but I thought I’d get ahead of the predictive text this time.  Or just be wildly imaginative.

Today’s expedition, is Fethiye.  For this we shan’t need the backpacks, sleds, camel train, huskies, horses, elephants or anything else.  Just the car.  We know the way to Fethiye well enough, but the SatNav was in the checked luggage along with the other appropriate items – you know why – principally in case we have to a) divert, or b) change our mind and go somewhere else.

The latter is unlikely, and we set off up the D400 towards the city of Telmessos, now Fethiye and named after Fethi Bey. [Note that if you look up Fethiye on Wikipedia, there will be a reference to Fethi Bey which actually takes you to the page for Ali Fethi Okyar.  For the real page (with not much information) you need Tayyareci Fethi Bey on the Turkish Wikipedia site (https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tayyareci_Fethi_Bey).  Obviously, if you’re reading this in Turkey – you can’t!].  If you’ve been to the ancient theatre, his statue is at the entrance.

Setting Cruise on the D400 (when appropriate)we settle down, negotiating that confusing junction where you can go to Antalya (it’s not so confusing now, but…) until we get to the left turn to go into Fethiye.  Eyes everywhere, aware that Turkish drivers treat traffic lights as largely advisory (like London Cyclists) we join the sedate traffic flow down to the harbour.  Is it me, or is this much, much quieter than last September?  I know tourism’s down, but this level of reduction?  Could it be Ramazan?

It must be the impressive sight of the Bentley Mulsanne (!) that makes everybody treat us with caution, or so it seems, or it may be the ADDA Group logos on the vehicle, effectively saying “Caution - Tourist Ahead”.  This time, at least, when I stopped at the T-junction with the big red DUR word in the middle of it, I didn’t get hooted at by a bus (last September) for not suicidally driving into a continuous stream of traffic.  All in all, quite a calm drive for a change.

We like to park near the harbour, and are, fortunately successful, noting that the back-up plan of street parking had many opportunities.  We are wary of this as we don’t understand what the regulations are!  This is down to the oppressive UK Parking Wardens and inherent mistrust.  Anyway, the spaces are tight in the car park, but we manage to open the doors and stroll down to a café/bar to look at the boats, people and generally acclimatise.  The nearby enormous fountain is chucking some spray our way, but not enough to cause concern, but enough to rankle.

After some light beverages (God, I hate Sprite!), we make our way to the Fish Market for lunch.  I have got this very much on the brain’s built-in SatNav, so we manage to do this quite directly, pointedly avoiding being distracted by the usual retail establishments.

We enter via the main, signposted entrance, and are picked up about 25mm inside the boundary by one of the restaurant guys.  He exhorts us to use his establishment and my partner agrees.  After a further bit of rehydration therapy we have a shufti round the fishmongers and purchase the King Prawns (this is a no contest for one of us), but only six, as that’s about as many as can be consumed without being greedy, whilst I chose a nice looking Grouper.  I say nice, not because of any sort of attraction, but because it was the right size, and was fresh (gills, eyes, etc.). We pay and resume our seats at the restaurant and wait.  And wait.

Eventually, our purchases are presented to us (obviously to ensure that the purchase and customer are connected) in the carrier bag.  The Prawns will be done in Garlic Butter and Chilli, while the Grouper will be grilled.

We wait.  And some more.

The food arrives, and so does some light rain.  Accompanied by some thunder.  It’s beginning to appear that the fountain was erroneously blamed for the dampness, it was the beginnings of a shower.  We are fortunately out of the rain under a canvas awning, so it doesn’t really bother us.  The rain gets a bit heavier.  We get a bit heavier, the plates getting lighter.  The rain chucks it down, we are replete, and the plates are empty.  The rain continues.

The fish was excellent, though we were not as pleased with the culinary expertise of the restaurant.  It certainly wasn’t as good as the one we used last year, but you have to try others don’t you?  During our meal, and the ensuing idleness while we waited, it became apparent that this restaurant guy was picking off everyone who came through the main entrance.  His restaurant was next to the main entrance and not many managed to escape his persuasive powers.

We did come to a conclusion.  We wouldn’t go through the Main Entrance again, choose one of the other three entrances (there’s one on each side of the quadrangle), you will thus avoid him, and the restaurant; this was Hilmi for your future reference.  If this is your favourite, I’m sorry, but it’s not ours!

The Grouper and the Prawns came to 70TL, and the restaurant charged 92TL for their end of the deal.  So a total of 162TL – not expensive, but the restaurant part was also noticeably more expensive than the one we chose last September.

Time to leave.  Rain is still bucketing/teeming down, with short pauses to lull you into a false sense of confidence to venture out in it.  Which we have to do.  This requires careful planning and timing, which, by and large, we achieve; making it from one covered area to another between the showers.  This means hanging around outside ‘come in and buy something’ shops, but not long enough to get desperate enough to actually venture inside.  Fortunately, we get to the end of the covered precincts just as there is a long enough pause between showers, returning to the car.  The rain then stops and doesn’t recur.  God has obviously given up trying to catch us out.

Leaving Fethiye is a calm and relaxed as entering, and we return to Kalkan in an unremarkable and fortunately uneventful way.  Just in time to do the afternoon meditation on the sunbeds, combined with suitable rehydration.  This is especially appreciated by the driver.

A lunch at the Fish Market leaves little space for a full-blooded meal in the evening – the thought of which can be a bit nauseating sometimes.  Not that it’s that bad – just daunting.  So we opt for eating in the hotel tonight.  Something light, something manageable.

The bar staff often assume that you’re going to eat on the roof decking (or whatever you want to call it), but we prefer round the bar, where they do a pretty good job of smartening up the tables round the bar, and make it much, much nicer.

This is where my first memory lapse comes in, as I cannot remember what we had.  I do remember that the red stuff still evaporated quickly, though.  This meant that we were sitting at the bar when the other guests returned from their culinary ventures, and the review of the night sky, evaporation studies, and providing various alternatives to the world’s ills began a little earlier, though some anticipation was present as we wait for the wail of the air-raid sirens as the searchlights swept across the night sky.

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Two Go Mad in Kalkan
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2017, 01:33:17 PM »
A little rush on today.  At least at breakfast, and this will be the last bit of rushing we do today!  Today is a Boat Trip.

The Hotel Boat Trip, to be more precise.  This is all organised by the hotel and we board a bus, or in this case two, immediately after breakfast for the trip to Kekova.  As is the case with most road journeys, this is somewhat boring until you get to the drop-off point in Kekova, and meander through the village past the hand-crafted goods for sale (and other non-hand-crafted goods).

I suppose we really should say we go to Üçağız or Kaleköy, the large island adjacent to them being Kekova or Caravola, but it seems to be collectively called Kekova.  Incidentally, Bing Maps doesn’t have the island, but Google Maps does.  The island is visible on Satellite View on both of course.

The vessel is waiting, and because of the journey time, it will be closer to midday before we embark, as opposed to the 10 o’clock timings that you may be familiar with in Kalkan.  The procedure and itinerary is predictable, we’ve been on these trips before, and we aim directly from the moorings to the Island, where we turn to port (nautical mode already – you should be impressed!) and follow the coastline of the island and, for those unfamiliar with the island, can view the remains of the buildings that exist above the water line, and accept there’s many more ruined buildings below the surface.

It’s the rock-cut steps and hewn walls that stand out and emphasise the existence of habitation a couple of millennia ago until the abandonment in the Byzantine period.

Those of us familiar with the terrain, instead commence the day’s entertainment with sunbathing on deck, sitting around drinking tea/coffee (with biscuits) and the occasional chat.  Until we get round to the Mediterranean side of the island, where there is a distinctive cove and conventionally we moor up there.

Only the usual spot has been taken by charter boats (they obviously don’t realise this boat uses that cove most days and has ‘his’ spot), but we have other venues, and the family crew back us up to a suitable point and we drop anchor, etc. for the time being.  Actually it’s for most of the day, as unlike the Kalkan Boat trips, this one stops just twice.  As is customary, some travellers decide that as we’ve stopped, we are imminently about to sink due to hitting rocks/an iceberg/torpedoed by a U-boat and throw themselves overboard in a desperate effort to save themselves.

We, instead, get another drink in.

Tables rearranged, and the ‘captain’ scurries up the rocky slops and gathers bracken and other inflammable wood-based articles and starts a fire in the rocks.  This where he will cook the lunch, in a fashion that would have made Baden-Powell proud.

We are all sat down drinking at chatting as the ‘freshly cooked over an open fire’ (what a sales pitch!) food arrives in batches as it’s cooked.  Starts with chips.  Not just any chips – these are chips that you would kill your entire family to replicate.  You won’t, in either case.  They are just exceptional, and we don’t know how it does it, let alone over wood fire!  These chips pop up periodically during the lunch, depending on the pressure on the kitchen (kitchen?!!), and are accompanied by Calamari (9.3 if you’re following the rankings), and various fish(es) that were caught by the family the day before.  These can be anything and everything, though not much you could put a name to.

All very leisurely, and filling, partly due to the fresh air, but also due to the fresh ingredients and the standard of cooking.  To say nothing of the interesting conversations and discussions on all sorts of subjects.

Before we leave, the ritual abandonment of the vessel is repeated, and we subsequently make our way back to the mooring, and giving us all both a different perspective on some of the sights and ruins, stopping off in a cove near an access to the fort (no time or energy left to actually do that climb).  Some people can’t seem to stay on board for more than a few minutes, giving you a headache on trying to understand why they’ve come, as they insist on departing the vessel at the first opportunity.  We stay dry.  On the outside at least.

After further Tea and Cakes we navigate through the various rocky islands and their resident ruins back to the mooring and the end of the nautical part of the trip.  We just have to waddle back to the buses and return to the hotel.  The buses are noticeably quieter than the outbound journey, could this have something to do with the booze and the food?  Surely not!

Once back at the hotel, at which we arrive around 7pm, the long day of doing very little suddenly changes as everyone dashes back in to get ready for their evening.  Experience has told us that this will have to be another light meal evening.  And not the hotel this time, there are around six of us in the same frame of mind and we target Ali Baba’s for our disruptive influence tonight.


As there were different variations of the dish selection, some in raptures over the spinach, and being focussed on the existence of a 1-litre bottle of red wine (with six of us that, didn’t last long – so another was requested to see if it differed from the first), each of us made our choices.  For me it was the liver, and the other choice was chicken.  Being out in the street, also gives you another edge on observation, ranging from the fashion choices, the carrier bags being transported back to their residences and the arrival of the younger ones for the second night shift in the (noisy) bars.

Just time for further research into evaporation at the hotel bar before we retire.  The rented transport didn’t get used today, but ‘c’est la vie'!


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