Wednesday 13 October 2010

Totally Terrific Turkey

Over the years I have entered the Sunday Times Where Was I? competition almost every week. I used to rush out to the post to make sure my card  arrived by Wednesday, then moved on to entering by email (hands up all those who can  still remember the email address off  by heart? Just me? Oh dear, maybe I'm sadder than I thought I was) and  eventually moved on to entering on the web site.  Although the Times website is  now subscriber-only, the page with the Where Was I? competition on it is still free to access.

The holidays always look as if they are the best of their kind, and for years I have dreamed  of winning one of them. Early this  year the prize was a trip to the Bordubet Hotel in Turkey, given  in conjunction with the travel company Exclusive Escapes. I was  trying to win a holiday to go on  with a friend who has been living overseas for some years and was about to return to the UK, so that we could have a break together to catch up on each other's news, and this looked perfect. So I was absolutely delighted to receive a phone call one Friday afternoon telling me that I had won and my name would be in that Sunday's paper!

We took the holiday last week, a perfect time of year  as the summer sun can get far too hot for me - in August it got up to 45 degrees Centigrade. Last week it was a much pleasanter 28 degrees during the daytime, although the evenings and early mornings were a little chilly.

The hotel info said it was "isolated" - what an understatement! It's a good thing neither of us ran out of  sun cream because the nearest shop was about 25 km away, mostly along an un-made-up road. Popping out to  the corner shop was NOT an option. This meant there was practically no passing traffic, adding to the calm, peace and tranquility of this beautiful relaxing  hotel.

This was the view from our  balcony: ducks, swans, fish and turtles basked lazily in the river outside our room and one duck had a clutch of eggs in the reeds just below the balcony. 

We soon slipped into the glorious laziness of the place, where the  most strenuous activity of the day was deciding whether to relax by the pool or take a boat trip (or even  WALK!!!) to the hotel's beach club, about 2.5  km away on a private peninsula.

Or  simply to wander around the beautiful grounds.

The  food was delicious, and the staff - both hotel staff and Exclusive Escapes reps- were excellent.

The only time we left the hotel  was for  an  outing to an essential oils factory and a Turkish carpet collective,which was followed by a wonderful lunch in a harbour side restaurant and a boat trip back along the coast. A brilliant day out which was all  part of the prize.

Thank you to the Sunday Times and Exclusive Escapes for a wonderful prize  and for introducing me to Bordubet - I'll be back!

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