Hi, it’s Mel here sending an update on Friendship Travel singles holidays from sunny Turkey. I know it’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me – and that’s because I’ve been SO busy, which is a good thing, right? We now have four hotels for single travellers in Turkey, two of which are in Olu Deniz, where I am based, so there’s lots going on here right through to the end of September.
While the different hotels have different change-over days, we do take the opportunity to meet up for various nights out, or gorgeous day excursions, which is even more fun.
On Tuesday night we held the ‘Nightshift’ for Era Hotel guests – the Nightshift being Friendship Travel’s term for a grand night out! We kicked off the evening in Alfresco’s cocktail bar. It didn’t take more than a couple of cocktails before some of our guests joined me for a little boogie on the dance floor. As we worked our way along the main street of Hisaronu, we had to make a few pit stops, some guests getting side-tracked by popcorn, some held up by a demonstration of a clever little toy that looked like a flying dart when it’s catapulted into the air…. it looked easy when the seller was doing it – not sure we could manage quite as well. However the night continued with more dancing, cocktails and a couple more bars to try out.
Wednesday morning I was up early (there are no hangovers in Turkey!), with my little suitcase packed, ready to take the hydrofoil and cross over to the lovely island of Rhodes. I always feel excited when we come into harbour: it’s the most perfect approach to this medieval walled town. Did you know that Rhodes Town is the oldest inhabited town in the whole of Europe? There’s a fascinating fact for you! Though I’ve made the approach before, I couldn’t resist adding to my collection with a couple more photos, before I headed off to ‘our’ Rhodes resort of Lindos.
I arrived at Caesars Gardens just before home-bound guests left for the airport, so there was just time for a quick chat to hear about their holiday, and wish them a good journey. Then a quick bacon sandwich for lunch (bacon, and pork not featuring on Turkish menus of course) before getting down to some Greek paperwork… (groan).
A few hours later and it was great to meet the new week’s guests together in the bar for our get-to-know-everyone drink and introductions, before we all sat down for a good dinner, washed down with some local wine. Julie and Andrea are great hosts at Caesars Gardens, and are particularly good at ensuring guests’ glasses are kept topped up!
Lindos is such a pretty town, although no matter how many times I visit, I always seem to get lost in the maze of tiny cobbled streets that wind around the hill – but to be fair, the streets are so interesting, with umpteen lovely shops, and interesting bars or roof-top restaurants that I don’t worry about it.
After a fairly lively evening out on Thursday, most guests chillaxed (as David Cameron would say), on Friday, reading books by the pool… there was much talk about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, and I’ve decided I have to see for myself what all the fuss is about. Somebody pointed out to me that if you have a Kindle, you can read it in public without blushing!
I tried to head back to Turkey in the afternoon, but the Fethiye hydrofoil was cancelled so I got re-routed to Marmaris. However, since I was upgraded to the VIP lounge, I didn’t mind the extra time: it was a chance to catch up on some sleep during the longer crossing.
Saturday saw me back in the office (the view is nowhere near as good as it is on Rhodes, but never mind), and that evening I joined both Friendship Travel groups – those staying at the Era, and guests from the Forever Hotel – for a lovely dinner at Restaurant Megri in Fethiye’s Old Town.
This is a long-standing favourite because they serve excellent food in generous portions, with a great atmosphere due in part to the lovely setting, in a cobbled courtyard. We were stuffed by the end of the meal, so half the group enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the bazaar, with a little light bartering, while the rest went in search of a ‘digestif’ in a bar.
Everyone – apart from me – was returning by bus to Olu Deniz, so I had quite a bit of rounding up to do to ensure everyone caught the last one home! Of course, it was the men who were reluctant to leave the bar – but at last I got everyone on board and waved them off!