Eating Sunday lunch al fresco in the garden yesterday, it was hard to convince myself that we are now October… but the heat of the sun prompted me to think of our 2 lovely little week long interludes over the summer. We spent a week in Provence (where I have never been) and a week with all 6 children in Turkey. Provence was predictable in it’s loveliness ...sunshine, food, beautiful shabby chic French villa and rolling hills as it should be…a wonderfully relaxing week of ‘stopping‘ and catching up with family.
Turkey on the other hand, was somewhere I was curious about and we had never ventured to before. The lack of Euro in Turkey made it a very attractive option to plan a week on holiday with 6 children. We flew into Dalaman and spent the week in an enormous (even for all of us) villa in a Turkish village about an hour from the airport (the children thought it was a hotel when we arrived, based on the marble entrance, 2 staircases and jacuzzi in the en suite) Turkish Lira for British pound we got a lot for our buck!
The supermarkets were empty of anything sensible it felt like trying to shop with a ration book post WW1 …so we ate out. Just for comparison sake husband and I ate out one night in Provence, I think we dined on a pizza washed down with a couple of glasses of nice Bordeaux, 50€ for the 2 of us. We (just the 2 of us) ate out one night in Turkey it cost us equivalent of £7! All 8 of us feasted every night (on admitted mostly the same offer independent of the restaurant, a menu of pasta and BBQ fish) in one of the many lakeside restaurants for about £50…a big consideration when you are 8 in total.
Turkey is hot in August and lovely as our pool at the villa was, there are only so many lilo races 6 children can have before they get bored. So 3 of the 7 days we were there were spent exploring the surrounding Turkish islands by boat. Boat trips are booked the night before so after supper we would walk along the quayside by the restaurants and perused the agendas on offer from the boat owners promoting their trips: sailing or motoring, turtle island, roman remains, diving, snorkelling rocks, fishing, caves.
Mostly the form was that we set off, moored up, dived and snorkelled a bit and sailed on to another island ate BBQ lunch (incidentally if you don’t do fish and sea bass/bream in particular, you might want to consider somewhere other than Turkey or bring a jar of marmite in your luggage ) was followed by chugging on a little further to explore some caves or moor up and explore a few Roman remains on a chunk of land. The children had many diving competitions off the boat…slightly worrying when you look up to note your 6 yr old about to launch herself 20ft into the water below. It usually occurs to me how good all that brave stuff is for kids these days unless someone breaks something…they didn’t luckily!
No one seemed too bothered about sticking to a strict agenda but we usually motored slowly back to the quay in the evening watching the sun go down from the upper deck. As we all made our way back to the villa, tired, a little browner/redder and usually caked in sea salt it felt like returning from a chapter out of an Enid Blyton book…’5 on a Treasure Island’perhaps ..(8 in our case).
It was the most wonderful holiday (certainly not relaxing in the conventional sense) but with some wonderful memories…. and adventures attached and as we cling onto summer for another few days, I am thinking roll on next Summer!