05 September, 2013

A Turkish Vacation - Patara (27 August-3 September)

What an amazing vacation with the extended Vural family in Patara!

Our travel group included: the five Allen's, the five Vural's, Hatice - Hakan's mother, Sema - Hakan's older sister, Emir and Seyda - Sema's children, and Seda - Hakan's younger sister. 

We caught our Pegasus flight (airlines that is - our Percy Jackson loving family got a kick out that) and headed from Istanbul to Dalamon. From there it was supposed to be an hour and a half ride to Patara. It seems the Vural's travel like the Allen's ... I don't even remember how long it actually took us ... super market stop, restaurant stop, bathroom stop. But we finally made it to our little hotel. 

The first night we stayed in a smaller pension, but the next day we moved into the Golden Lighthouse for the rest of our stay. It was such an experience spending time here in a very simple, comfortable and welcoming place - not only our hotel, but the village as well. 

And now it was all about eating, beach, eating, pool, gift-shopping, eating ... you get the picture. 

Everything was taken care of for us - we were spoiled!  Hatice made friends with all the ladies in the small village and found the best place for us to eat (It seems that the Turkish world goes around by who you know and what kind of deal you can make. Hakan and his family are masters at this skill).

The first few nights we ate at a restaurant just a little ways down the hill from the Golden Lighthouse. Yummy! Soup, salad, main course and tea. All of the Allen's have tried and liked so many new Turkish dishes. 

A special extra at this restaurant is that a turtle scientist (like my official title?) is staying there. He is watching over the leatherback turtles as they lay eggs at Patara Beach. Each morning he goes out to check on the turtle eggs and see how they hatch. If he finds a few turtles that are stuck in their eggs he will bring them back to the pension to help the turtles hatch. What this long explanation means is that we were able to hold baby turtles!

Hatice soon found us another wonderful spot to eat dinner that was down in the village. The food was just amazing. A whole host of traditional Turkish cuisine. But, we still got our lunch from the first restaurant - yummy gozleme. 

Unfortunatly, Courtney got a stomach bug and was out of commission for the first few days that we were there. Not fun. So the rest of us took the shuttle to the beach, enjoyed the pool or hung out on the reading terrace and the "hammy sacks" as dubbed by Nazeriah (otherwise called hammocks). 

One of Chayton's new friends - Zack from London.

And relaxing:

The only other blip on our vacation time was Kaija's reaction to the sun, salt, water, chlorine, sunscreen or something else - maybe even all of the above. So she had to spend some time out of the sun and water while the swelling and redness left her face. A huge thank you to friends of the Vurals who came to visit us in Patara.  One of them had a very bad sunburn in the past and the doctor told her to use Silverdin (a burn cream). 

Hakan, Babaanne and their friend scoured our little village of Patara to find this cream for us. Even driving to the town over to the actual pharmacy to pick it up for us! Not only did they get that, but also some lidocaine cream for the pain. These were a miracle. Not only did it help the swelling go down, but the redness disappeared and it saved her skin - no pealing! This in just a matter of days. We were all relived and happy with this outcome, especially Kaija!

Sadly, all things do come to and end and we had to say goodbye to Patara and travel back to Istanbul.

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