Paige, Jordan and myself had our Turkish residency meetings scheduled in Antalya which is about 1.5 hours away from Finike. As our meeting was so close to Christmas we left our shopping until then. Normally I have completed our shopping by November, so this was weighing on my mind quite heavily. We love Finike, however, the shopping is very limited. Thankfully Antalya is the fourth largest city in Turkey with plenty of shopping.
The residency appointment was scheduled for Dec. 21 (or so we thought)...... We forgot to look at the paperwork before we left (duh!). It turned out that the meeting was Dec. 22 so we had to book the hotel and car for an extra day. We also didn't make a list of paperwork to bring (double duh!). So, when we arrived in Antalya without our passports (oops), off Shaun went back to Finike for his first trip for documents (yes, there was more than one).
Shaun booked us into the old town of Antalya at the Otantik Otel. If you ever get a chance to come to Turkey and end up in Antalya, stay in the old town area. Stunning, cobble stoned narrow streets, beautiful tucked away restaurants and an all around great vibe. Old town is within walking distance to a large, modern shopping mall where we were able to acquire some much needed commercialism.
Once we got settled into the hotel, we headed in search of the first mall to find some toy/book stores to see what the girls were interested in before we went shopping for the gifts. We also wanted to find out the showtimes for Star Wars, as this was another goal of this trip.
The following day we went back to the mall to see Star Wars and when we went to pay we disclosed Jordan's age to be six when asked and were promptly turned away as the movie is 7+. Shaun was so upset that we headed over to the 5 M Micros mall. We told Jordan that today she was 7 if anyone asked (I know some of my parent points were being deducted by asking my 6 year old to lie). When we got to the Micros Mall, they didn't even ask ages - got my points back! Woohoo, we were able to see Star Wars in the end!!!!!!
|lights inside the mall|
|fountain outside the mall near old town Antalya|
|outside the mall near old town Antalya|
|cole stone street in old town Antalya|
|promotion for Expo 2016 happening in Antalya in April|
|Christmas "train" outside the 5 M Migros|
|another display at the same mall|
|getting ready for Star Wars in our assigned seats|
|photo bombed in my selfie (a little blurry)|
|another polar bear xmas display inside the mall|
|view of the light display|
We wanted to make sure we knew exactly where the government building was, so we planned a day to drive there and find it, then search out sushi. Our new Canadian friends on s/v Maple had made a trip up to Antalya to pick up a visiting family member and had found some sushi restaurants as they were craving sushi. They informed us that is was really good but a little pricey. Shaun and I were so excited at the prospect of having sushi cost was not a consideration. Shaun found one called Kokoyaki with excellent reviews (the reviews were accurate). We knew that it opened at 2:00 PM so we timed it to find the building and to allow for Shaun to have a shave and hair cut.
The food was fabulous. Salmon maki, a cucumber roll, a shrimp tempura roll, chicken fried rice, salmon sashimi, shrimp tempura, and a california roll. We also had a ginger tea that got spicier as we drank. Superb! Jordan tried fish eggs and raw ginger. She took a large piece of ginger and the look on her face was priceless when the spice kicked in. Her eyes nearly popped out of her head with surprise.
|getting ready to dig in|
|imported Norwegian salmon maki|
|hurry up and take the picture so we can eat the SUSHI!!!!!!!|
Before we left Antalya we headed out for a quick walk to the water front in old town to snap some pictures.
|another narrow street in old town Antalya|
|more of old town with the broken minaret in the background|
|part of the broken minaret in old town later used by the Romans|
|view into the broken minaret structure|
|more furry friends|
|"the tower" being renovated that over looks the coast|
|view of snow capped mountains from old town - there is skiing in them there hills!!!|
|view up of the tower|
The following day we arrived at our appointment in the government building only to be told that we had to drive to Kemer (30 km's away) as there was a new immigration office that had opened the day before. I personally was not impressed...Off we went to Kemer to locate the new building. We arrived at the new office to be told that we needed our boat registration translated into Turkish along with our marriage certificate and birth certificates all translated. Here comes the second trip for Shaun back to Finike to grab papers.
We ended up having to stay overnight in Kemer and having to extend the car rental by yet another day. We did learn a costly lesson and now carry all of our papers with us along with our boat documents. The cost of the immigration turned out to be significantly less than we first anticipated, but managed to spend most of our budgeted amount on travel anyway. During this whole debacle we made the best of our time in Antalya.
|Jordan riding the lion in Kemer|
|side view with a sneak peek of Paige|
We packed our stuff up and finally were able to head back to Finike 2 days before Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, Paige and I were able to get the gingerbread dough rolled, baked and built in time for the kids to have a Christmas movie and house decorating time. While I was constructing them Paige and Shaun headed out on a candy run for the decorations
|pre-decorated homemade gingerbread houses|
|Paige and Iris waiting patiently to start|
|everyone getting started from left to right: Shaun, Paige, Ella, Iris and Jordan|
|Darryl helping with the icing|
Christmas morning arrived without children waking us. Crazy, I know. I actually had to check to see if they were still sleeping at 7:30 AM. Once everyone had gone to the toilets then finally woke Shaun up, we got started on the gift opening.
|letter from Santa|
|inside this present was monster slippers that Paige picked out and tried on (we wrapped them anyway)|
|I'm so excited it's Christmas|
|money from my sister|
|Turkish operation woohoo!!!!! (Future aspirations?)|
|LEGO!!!!!!! - of course...|
|PJs that fit|
|just like the title says it is meant to wreck|
|new runners (before the mud!)|
|big lego platforms yay!|
|post gift opening building|
On Christmas Day, all of the cruisers that were staying in Finike for the holidays organised a Christmas dinner. Everyone was asked to bring a side and a dessert along with their beverages of choice. We paid 25 TL per adult and the kids were free. The main course was turkey and lamb. The appetizers comprised of shrimp, smoked salmon, Russian salad, and anchovies on toast. The sides that were brought included, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, carrots, snow peas, fresh cranberries, stuffing, roasted pumpkin, gravy, and a couple of other items. The desserts included cookies, pavlova, tiramisu, baileys ice cream, homemade pumpkin pie, lemon tarts, and a few other goodies.
I even made eggnog (but was a little leery on the raw egg part). It tasted great. On a recommendation from our new friends on s/v Maple I went ahead and purchased "The Boat Galley Cookbook by Carolyn Sherlock and Jan Irons". Great recipes and very informative. I highly recommend it. It was a feast for the belly and the mind. My Christmas spirit was officially full, along with my belly.
We also had a choice to buy a 10 TL gift for a secret santa. This turned out to be a blast. The first name was drawn from a bag. This person chose and opened a gift. The next name was pulled, this person chose a gift, at this point they had to choose whether to open it or steal a gift from another person. If they stole a gift the person that was stolen from had to open the gift. My turn came and I ended up opening an ab roller type piece of workout equipment (plastic). I thought for sure I was going to be stuck with it. Turns out that someone else wanted it more than me. In the end, I ended up with a flashlight. On Shaun's turn he opened a lovely pink hamam (Turkish bath) wrap. It even had an evil eye with it. It turns out someone else wanted it. He ended up with 3 dark chocolate bars. Throughout this event, the kids were given gifts that the other cruisers had purchased for them. I felt truly blessed to have spent Christmas amongst these people.
|decorated tables care of s/v Maple's creativity|
|Anne and Paige|
|cute homemade reindeer|
|another pinecone creation|
|enjoying the appetizers|
|more cruisers and Barbaros (marina staff)|
|checking the meat temperature|
|before dinner movie|
|Antoine and others eagerly waiting for the secret santa gifts|
|Yvonne (s/v Puff the Magic Dragon) calling the first name|
|waiting for my name to be called|
|the helper children from left to right: Ella (s/v Maple), Jordan, and Edward (s/v La Famillia)|
|putting together the collapsible hola-hoop that was opened|
|my awesome ab work out thing|
|Shaun's pink hamam towel with the evil eye (the colour suits him don't you think?)|
|Ziya (marina manager) and the light sabre|
|carving the lamb|
On boxing day we joined several other live aboards for a trip 30 KM's away to the Arykanda ruins - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arycanda. In total we had approximately 14 adults and 6 children on the bus. The weather was fantastic, 20 + degrees and sun. It took us approximately 40 minutes to get to the ruins. Once we arrived we had 1.5 hours to wander around. The kids had a blast running around, climbing and exploring. It definitely made a huge difference having other kids around. The ruins themselves are beautiful, nestled on the side of a mountain. As I walked around I kept visualising the Lycian people living in this beautiful part of the world overlooking the valley below.
My new friend Janna and I wanted to explore higher up the side of the mountain so we left the kids and headed straight up instead of taking the time to walk the trail. This allowed us to get to the amphi theatre more quickly. With the glorious sun we were able to lie down and soak it all in. Shaun arrived without the children. I figured I needed to be responsible so I headed down a rough staircase and found them as they were ascending to the amphi theatre. I decided to sit and wait for them. I wanted to absorb as much of the beautiful surrounding as possible before we headed out.
|bus peeps (Joan I see your telling me I'm number 1)|
|Paige and the lion|
|view from above|
|walking in between walls|
|view up towards the top of the mountain|
|left to right: Christer and Ingrid (s/v La Famillia), Paige, and Edward (s/v La Famillia)|
|Ella, Iris and Jordan|
|just the right size|
|columns where the floors sat upon while warm water flowed below for heat|
Once everyone met up at the bus we bused to a trout farm for lunch. Funny side note. As we were driving up to Arykanda we passed a big sign with a restaurant name on it (Altıntaş Restaurant). I had this fleeting thought that this was where we were to have lunch. It turned out to be accurate.
We arrived at the restaurant located beside a river with, cats, geese, ducks and 1 surly looking dog. There were several tables alongside the river. We decided to sit there. Further along there were tanks of water where the trout lived.
We all chose a seat and chatted while the waiter took our drink orders. Once we had our drinks he asked us to choose chicken or fish. A few minutes later the mezes (appetizers) started to arrive, bubble bread, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, and a tomato/onion/cucumber salad. The second round was roasted garlic, roasted onion, potatoes and roasted tomatoes. Finally the main dish appeared. It was one of my favourite turkish meals by far from a restaurant. The price was fantastic as well at 13 TL per order. As everyone enjoyed their meals the children finished and were excused to play at the park. It is amazing how kids can occupy themselves when there are 2 slides and 4 swings, especially when there are other kids to play with.
|the river at the trout restaurant|
|the trout tanks|
|trout snouts at the surface|