Going Solo to Turkey - Chapter 2: Olympos Hotel
Single Silver Traveller Christine Reid travels to Ovacik in Turkey with Solos Holidays and writes a regular blog for Silver Travel Advisor about her experience.
Belly Dancing Aqua Fun
As I stepped from the plane mid-afternoon the Turkish heat was intense and my eyes were shocked by the brightness of the day. Arriving in Dalaman after a smooth four hour flight from Gatwick, the cheerful Solos representative was waiting to take the group to Olympos Hotel in Oludeniz. It was nice to see trees heavy with oranges as we left the airport after a weary UK winter and wet spring. Some people in the group had been on a Solos holidays before but a few had not, myself included. A magnificent mountain range then framed the horizon as we climbed steeper with peaks almost touching the cloudless sky. The sea gleamed invitingly to our left as we continued on our journey. The transfer from airport to hotel took just over an hour and gave everyone a chance to chat. Olympos Hotel is new to the Solos group but they have chosen wisely - it is ideal.
Mamma and Pappa the owners of the hotel greeted us with much appreciated bottles of cold water and a welcome smile.
The first evening was spent with a welcome party, drinks around the bar and an enjoyable meal cooked to your liking from the varied menu in the hotel cafe.
This is a chaotic affair though as everyone is tired and hungry after a long day and waiting for 26 meals is miserable if you are number 26. A better idea would be to either have a buffet on arrival day or have a limited menu with dishes that can be cooked quickly. There are twenty six bedrooms in the hotel, and once everyone had arrived from various locations the hotel was full.
The hotel pool opens from 9am and the brave are out under the scorching sun straight after the buffet breakfast. Others like myself hide in the shade until the pool warms up and our bodies can cope with the shock of some sun. Large Tortoises roam freely in the mountains and a small version wanders the hotel garden. It shows more sense than us, venturing out only in the late afternoon.
Mamma leads a fun water aerobic belly dancing class that provides great entertainment for those too shy to actually join in.
Get the local bus into Oludeniz from outside the hotel less than 15 minutes later and you step off at this impressive beach. The beach was quiet at 10am but the boats were loading supplies of beer and cold drinks for the day ahead. The nearby hotels were spilling out the holiday makers and the web cameras scanned the beach. Apparently it is popular with expats and people planning their holidays to log into Oludeniz beach Turkey and watch the web camera capture the unsuspecting.
Sunset Boat Trip
We went down to the harbour in Fethiye to a boat trip organised by rep Ferit, it cost £27 and included a great meal. The sunset decided it was not going to let us see it set behind the mountains and stayed sulking behind a curtain of cloud. We did have a wonderful evening though and most of the Solos guests joined this trip.
Some of our group went to the famous Tuesday market nearby and haggled with the locals for Turkish delight and `rolex` watches to impress their friends. The Turkish baths are a popular choice where for £10 for an hour you are soaped and scrubbed and flipped over like a kipper by Adonis and his eye candy crew.
Outside the gates of the hotel chickens run around the car park….. free range chicken for dinner then. Nearby supermarkets and restaurants provide the local shopping. A pedicure is 10 lire and the exchange rate is approx 250 Lire for £100 sterling. Minibus public transport runs in both directions every ten to 15 minutes and for a few coins you can be at the beach. A little longer and you can be in the busy town of Fethiye. It was getting chilly as the day drew to a close but we had a great time. On Friday a group of us are going to the National Park which has the famous blue lagoon. I shall take plenty of photos and let you know how fabulous it is.