Playing Tourist

I have lived my whole life in tourist destinations, from beautiful Pembrokeshire to the Costa Del Sol, from the Mayan Riviera to the Turkish Aegean, and I am lucky to have lived like that and it isn’t that I take the places I have lived for granted but it often takes guests to make you realise how much fun living somewhere like this is.

The other week we had my daughter and her boyfriend staying, they aren’t Turkey virgins, they’ve been here a lot but each time they come we do the tourist thing and we often end up doing stuff we wouldn’t do normally because life gets in the way.

On the first day we took them for their first Turkish Bath at Ada Saray Haman in Kusadasi. As they relaxed on the warm marble of the central slab an elderly Turkish gentleman, his withered loins covered by a flimsy pair of swimming shorts, was dealt with first. After being briskly scrubbed and adroitly manoeuvred around the slab in a pile of foam he was sluiced off with icy water that made him yelp and mutter. So they had some idea of what to expect when it was their turn.

Nigel, Naomi’s boyfriend took it all with his usual aplomb only crying like a girl when they tried to give him a pedicure – he has some sort of foot phobia, which is probably better than a foot fetish, but still odd. Being a mechanic by trade Nigel produced a gratifying amount of dirty skin and ended up the cleanest he has been in eight years. He stayed clean for exactly three hours as when we returned home my sick car was delivered by the recovery driver and Nigel happily plunged his hands into the engine and got oily to the shoulders!

Naomi was dealt with last, but that’s hardly surprising, they were probably drawing lots in the ante chamber to see who got to scrub her. She loved the pedicure and the scrub but was less keen on the short massage at the end. All in all the outing was deemed great fun, mainly for the opportunity to pour lots of cold water on each other!

For the next week we played tourist. We drank Starbucks at the port and watched the cruise liners. We shopped for clothes at Mudo in Scala Nova, a shop that Naomi adores for its preppy style. We window shopped around the jewellers and carpet shops in the old town before strolling along the sea front towards Bird Island.

We had a beautiful dinner at Be Bop at the marina and a fun fish and chip supper at The Salt Box and we pigged out on the first of the season’s water melons which are sweet right down to the rind – you need a swim after eating them because you get covered in the juice.

We went to Adaland Aquapark for the first time ever and had the whole place pretty much to ourselves. We played on the beach at Yoncakoy and Pamucak, lazed beside the pool, shopped for bargains in Selcuk market and watched a fabulous sunset from the terrace of a friend’s house in Kusadasi.

I think it was everything a holiday is meant to be, including too short!

Hopefully this year they can come again in a couple of months, particularly as Naomi needs to see her dentist – it’s a bit mad having your dentist 2000 miles away but it’s the best service we can get for her. So with good luck and a fair wind we can do it all again in October.