A week of sun in Turkey

8 05 2013

After a long winter in Sweden (OK so I spent more than a month of it in New Zealand) it felt as though some sun was in order.

A quick look through what was on offer and Turkey became the country of choice. I have been in Istanbul a couple of times on business, but this was for sun and Alanya was what was on offer.
For what ever reason known best to the charter company we arrived at the hotel at 3am so breakfast was a little later than usual. As I was with my partner, shopping for presents for the grandchildren was number one item on the agenda.

Luckily there was a cache in town that was easily found. Alanya – Lights in Mehmet Sükrü Ulusoy CaddesiIt was at a restaurant. The cache owners were Danes but the cache was maintained by a guy at the restaurant who pointed out where the cache was as soon as he saw my GPS. It’s the first cache that I have found in a cardboard shoebox! The guardians of the cache were a couple of tame baby rabbits and a pair of Nike trainers.

One thing that struck us was the huge number of what looked like petrol drums on the roofs of just about every building.

Water heaters and chimney

Water heaters and chimney

There is an abundance of sun here and it is used to provide hot/warm water for the apartments. The “little house” on the top of the buidling was clearly the chimney but I don’t know if it was for a fireplace in the apartment or just ventilation.

The day after we decided to walk up to the castle at the top of the peninsular that divides the two main beaches. It’s only 240 meters high and the 3.5 km walk was a pleasant one, partly on the road but also on small steep paths. After an intial failure at the first cache Suleymaniye ve Ehmedek we went into the Culture House just a few meters away then came out and looked for the cache again. This time it was quickly found so we continued on up to the castle. Wow! Fantastic views from the top of course. What was most impressive was the little spit of land that stuck out and had housed a monastery or some similar kind of building some hundreds of years ago.

Kleopatra Beach from the castle at Alanya

Kleopatra Beach from the castle at Alanya

Peninsular at Alanya

Peninsular at Alanya

Peninsular at Alanya

Peninsular at Alanya

We attempted to find Darphane but gave up after 30 minutes of searching. The views were worth the little detour though.

Monastery ruins on peninsular

Monastery ruins on peninsular

We took the road down to the harbour and stopped for a well earned beer at the micro brewery at Red Tower as it was nearly 30C in the shade and of course there was none. Refreshed, we walked over to the old Red Tower where the guardian of that cache let us pass so that we could find Kizil Kule. I found out later that tortoises are a common sight in the wild as they thrive in the climate. 😉

Wild tortoise

Wild tortoise

Although there were no caches to be found that day we took a trip into the Taurus Mountains. They are rugged and full of small villages. I won’t go into all the tourist details but I could understand the pace of life.

Life in the countryside fast lane

Life in the countryside fast lane

A couple of days later we found two more caches close by. They were Damlatas Magarisi – an earthcache and Vega Star Holiday.

Damlatas Magarisi is a small “drop stone” cave found by the locals by accident when they were blasting for a new quarry. Once the cave was found it was bricked up for some years until an enterprising guy realised that he could make some money by exploiting it’s “medically proved” healing powers. Apparently, it was the base upon which Alanya’s tourist industry was formed. The cave was interesting and warranted a visit for the 4.50 Turkish lire (15 SEK/2 EUR) that the entry ticket cost.

Main chamber of Damlatas Magarisi

Main chamger of Damlatas Magarisi

Stalagtites & stalagmites in Damlatas Magarisi

Stalagtites & stalagmites in Damlatas Magarisi

It was good be able to tick off geocaching country number twenty nine and the tenth country in which I have found an earthcache. Let’s see what the next adventure will be!

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