Birthday adventures abroad

Loved the cruise.  Lots to do, lots to see, lots to eat (oy).   Not much sleep – parents and teenagers work on totally different clocks, and there’s something about this mothering thing that doesn’t let me sleep while the kidlets are out partying with kids they just met.  All part of the fun.  *sigh*

Had a birthday cocktail in the main lounge during the evening show.  They put sparklers in the lemon slice.  Very nice.

birthday cocktail

We were very impressed with Alanya.  New, clean, friendly people, beautiful – a marina and beaches that are out of this world.  We took a half-day tour that even the kids thought was interesting.

We went for lunch at a place called DimÇayi – alongside a river.  A long row of restaurants – not by the river, but on the river.  The tables were traditionally Turkish, very low, surrounded by cushions to sit on.  And each table was on a floating raft, tied to a narrow dock from the shore.  The waiters navigated the walkways through the rafts.  In between restaurants there were bridges, fountains in the river, water slides for the kids, crafts for sale.  Quite an experience! 

       DimÇayi

DimCayi

DimÇayi table

Spent the evening at the huge Bazaar (open market).  Streets and streets of goods and shopkeepers to bargain with.  Didn’t find any yarn, unfortunately, but I did find lovely tea – bought samples of about 20 teas.  Crowded pubs, including one place where the entire staff was dancing on the bar to entertain the customers.  They tried to get some of the customers to join in – I gladly would have, but I don’t think that would bring them any business!  (And my daughter would never have spoken to me again…)

  Dancing on the bar

Everyone was tired around midnight, so instead of walking back, we snagged a horse-drawn buggy / taxi and rode in open-air style back to the ship.  Other tourists were snapping our pictures like crazy – the girls were half delighted / half mortified.  Pictures of us will be in photo albums around the world!

taxi

Had breakfast the next day at a lovely café.  It wasn’t crowded, maybe it was too early – things fill up like crazy in the evenings.  All of the bars and pubs around were closed.  Suddenly I noticed a bar next to the café with a huge rainbow flag!  I ran over to take a look, while the café proprietor proudly told me this was a Gay Bar.  Dagnabbit, why didn’t we find it while it was open?!   Wait.  A gay bar? In Turkey???  Really ??????

Alanya bar

We sailed home tired but happy.  Coming home party started at midnight and went on through the night.  E. and I left the girls dancing with the other teens and strolled the decks for a while before settling back in the cabin. 

And the toe?  First morning out I tried to do my exercise walk around the deck.  Damn toe was swollen, red and painful for the rest of the day.  Couldn’t dance either.  Had to sit out the salsa lesson.  Spent lots of time with my foot up, knitting in the sea air.  Which, when one thinks of it,  is an absolutely lovely way to spend the time.

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