...and we even made it all in one piece and mostly sane!
The first couple of days were hellish and I just wanted to come home but it got better!! Although at the end of the holiday both Z and I agreed the holiday was one year too early for the girls. It took them awhile to get used to the new rountine and enviroment and until they did they were impossible and we spent most of the time running after them or trying to keep them out of things- in a year's time they would be a bit more aware of danger and other peoples belongings and would be able to communicate their needs/wants without always crying. It made for a not very relaxed holiday and we came back needing a holiday to recover but I'm assured by family and friends that that is normal for holidays with children.
The temperatures were in the upper 30's (°C obviously) and it was really humid as well which made it fairly unbearable. Although our hotel apartment had air conditioning we could only turn it on when we were in the there, as the room key had a plug attached necessary to turn on the electricity in the rooms. The best thing we did was about 3 days into our holiday we lost our key, the replacement key cost us €30 but the plug was loose so we could cool the apartment down before naps and night time which meant the girls slept better and weren't quite so irritable. Unfortunately the air conditioning was in our bedroom while the girls slept in the lounge in cots, we froze at nights (I literally slept under a thick wool blanket while Z caught a cold), while the girls slept just in shorts and were still restless as they were too warm. Next time I go to the Mediterrean I refuse to go any later than May as it gets too sticky hot for me!
Turkey itself was lovely and the people are baby mad, our girls have never been kissed so much (well not from strangers anyway) as they were on holiday, thank goodness JS had warned me or I might have got defensive initially. Even the young men in their early twenties would smile at our girls and chuck their cheeks, it was amazing to see.
We didn't get to do much exploring but did get a couple of visits into the local towns, Alanya was amazing with it's huge fort complex on the hillside and old roman shipbuilding yard built into caves at the bottom of the cliff face. Unfortunately it was too hot to spend more than a late afternoon exploring the ruins and we didn't even get to explore the facinating shops and stalls lining descent road from the hilltop. Konakli where our hotel was, was not very interesting as it was very touristy. All the shops were full of cheap ripoffs of named brands and not very cheap at that.
Basilica in the fort complex
We also went to Side which I loved, again we only spent a few hours here but I loved the way the new city is built amongst the roman ruins, it was just a pity we couldn't explore more as it was not very pram friendly. The best part of Side was the Temple on the beachfront.
Apollo temple in Side
The girls loved the water although it did take Enya a few days to warm up to it and she never liked the sea with it's waves. Ciara loved it all, she didn't even mind being bowled over by the waves while playing with gravel at the surf line. We didn't spend much time on the beach though as it was too stressful keeping the girls from eating the sand and gravel (and unfortunately cigerette butts) that made up the beach. On the last day we even took the girls on the big slides at the hotel complex which they thoroughly enjoyed!!
Enya and I on the big slide
Enya and her shades Our girls had to have been the most uncool kids in the pool, these photos will be bribe worthy in 16 years time!
Ciara refused to wear her sunglasses
I had been warned in the internet reviews that the food in the hotel was not suitable for young children, what a load of rubbish! I'm very grateful that I had my puree stick with though as Enya got very lazy after a couple of days and refused all table foods even bread, but ate the foods pureed with gusto. In one sitting we even got down about 400g of food with not a hint of protest or distraction required (at home she eats about 200g max). Ciara was Ciara and just ate everything and came back wanting more. The staff at the hotel were fantastic and couldn't do enough to help us, we were spoilt and I unfortunately have managed to put on a kilo or three due to the fantastic food we were offered. What really amazed me though was the effort that went into decorating the buffet tables- they have some real artists on their team.
PS is that not the ugliest doll you have ever seen? The girls love them though and that's what counts.
Lastly a gratutious Ciara photo showing her pulling her latest face, to balance things out as Enya has had so many photos already in this post.