Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Travel - Side, Turkey

Side (prn. SeaDuh) is beautiful. Historical and quaint. Seaside and hot. Difficult to get to, but certainly worthwhile. We went to Side June 2006.

Bussed it. Boarded bus in Istanbul @ night. Bus takes Ferry and then its a 10-12 hours bus ride to Antalya. And then a small van ride, maybe an hour. Dropped off at an intersection and hopped into a waiting cab for the last trek, 3km into Side.

Bus station - looks chaotic. It is chaotic...but we did get on our bus. The buses are comfortable and include food service and attendant and stops for an hour or so in the middle of night! Reliable, safe and comfortable bus companies are Metro, Pamukkale, Ulusoy.

Lale Park Hotel - A boutique hotel. Loved the hotel and gardens, room and service and location in central Side. Fresh, white, airy rooms.  A little tight in the room, maybe because of the crib. There was quaint balcony to step outside.  Typical bathroom, shower stall (no tub). Dinner and breakfast included. Dinner was served in the garden; breakfast was self served inside. Lovely garden, pool and cabana area.

view of dining area and breakfast room

the pool; 1st time w/ floaties

Beach: There were three beaches (and maybe more). One is in center town. Locals go in the early mornings and evenings to enjoy the Mediterrean. Tourist go mid day...the best time to burn.  We perused the eastside beach, which was a short walk and climb down a hill from our hotel. The sand is HOT.HOT.HOT. The sea is refreshing.calm.beautiful. The lounge chairs and umbrellas are rentals. Definitely get one. I walked early mornings, along side the beach to the Pier. Stay off pier, it is also owned by someone :).

forefront town beach; background east side beach
city scape

east beach, dawn. The Pier seen below, is in the distant fog

There is a third beach on the westside. I walked this one on our last morning without my camera. My guess is it is the busier beach, lots of hotels along the shore. It is also more of a U shape and protected. Not that the sea was ever a threat. The eastside beach was never busy...actually, it was serene, very long and serene. Sandy beach and beautiful soft white stones to find on the shoreline.

Very pretty town with shops to browse, tour kiosks to learn about other things to do, restaurants and ancient rocks. Eat some icecream.

Things to do:
Side is a historical city and therefor has many ancient rocks and structures around town. The main feature is the 15,000 Roman spectator theater which has live shows. We did not see one, either time restraints or lack of something else, but I imagine it would be worthwhile. Other historical sites include:

the Temple of Apollo @ night

this ruin (emperors salon) is above the eastside beach

near the harbour at the tip of the peninsula

the Temple in daylight

Day trips:
We took a boat ride to Manavgat waterfall. The waterfall and river made this a very cool market area to spend an afternoon. A needed break from the 90+ temps in Side.

making flatbread

White water rafting. Yep, only in Turkey would they let a three year old go rafting. Actually, with my past rafting experience, I knew it would be safe for my child and Köprüçay river in Dipoyraz mountains is a beginner route. One has to try really hard to get knocked out of a raft. My son fondly remembers his three friends that he met on the trip. Three 20 yr old local boys on a day off who adored my son. No pictures of the rafting, we bought the video.

On our return to Istanbul, we spent the afternoon strolling the harbour and market area of Antalya. The market is along a cobble stone narrow road that winds up a hill.

1 comment:

  1. oh looks like a lovely vacation- I love the ice cream shots- how universal are those- I was in Turkey about 15 years ago- it would be so nice to take my monkeys there.


Another 100 year old house renovation

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