I guess it probably gets some peoples backs up when I moan about going on holiday; Or when I whinge about seemingly minor things. But believe me, a Saint would have got pissed off yesterday – The day we set off.

It all started going wrong about 1am on Tuesday morning. I woke up with a kick arse fever and was really ill. By the morning I had a serious headache and could barely swallow. A trip to the doc’s confirmed I had tonsillitis caused by the flu virus; A bit of a double whammy if you like. I grizzed it out and by Thursday afternoon when I walked down to the bus stop I had eaten in two days just half of a muffin and a yoghurt. It was the worst possible way to start such a trip – Or so I thought.

The bus was late, obviously. In fact I rarely catch buses in England, but for me they might as well simply do away with timetables and just turn up as and when, it’s pretty much what they do these days anyway.

Eventually got to the train station and then got kicked off in Manchester Piccadilly citing ‘problems on the line’ eventually we got put on another train and it wasn’t long until we were brought to a halt by yet more problems. Finally we pulled into Manchester airport and went to check in. I know what the travel savvy are thinking ‘check in…at the airport’ it’s almost a foreign concept these days I know. Unless of course you are flying with one of the most backward airlines in the UK – Thomas Cook Airlines. Sat at gate 26 T1 I looked around and felt like I was in a juvenile detention centre. Scouser girls wearing pink tracksuits with huge Argos gold necklaces around their skinny necks and 3 inch thick foundation on their faces. The ‘in colour’ for hair right now is bleach blonde and so of course they all have that too. The guys were no different, basically it was chav central and we were at the heart of it.

Boarding was about to commence at 1805 until a call came over the tannoy “there is a technical fault with the aircraft, we’ll keep you updated” In true Jeremy Kyle style people took the fact the plane had a fault as a personal insult devised just to piss them off.

By about 1930 an announcement was made “you can now board but you will be flying via London Gatwick to get a part for the plane” Of course, this was just something else orchestrated by the management to wind people up. There couldn’t actually be a fault! I’m being serious, some of these idiots were so backward they were going mad. Anyway, eventually we got to London and were soon on our way to Dalaman on the South West coast of Turkey. The flight was a pain in the arse, I expected Jeremy Kyle to come out from the toilet any minute and tell everyone he was doing a Jeremy Kyle special on knob heads. They were loud, not just boisterous, but overtly loud. Swearing, arguing, drunkenness – It was a free for all. We moved to the back of the plane and I laid across 4 seats and got my head down. Eventually I fell asleep, until I feel someone tapping my leg. I look up and some young lass on a mission to take the piss said “You’ve been there an hour now, don’t you think you should give someone else an opportunity to get some sleep” You could not make it up. Every bit of turbulence and there were choruses of “ooooooooooooooohhhhhh” and when we finally landed in Dalaman the whole plane erupted into a cringe-worthy applause. We arrived at about 4am local time and as we left the plane we saw two familiar looking faces waving at us – The kids grandma Sammy and Grandad. They probably don’t know it, but they really perked the kids up.

We needed to get to Icemeler which is about 70km from Dalaman and since we had not pre-booked transfers and refused to pay over a hundred quid for a taxi it meant a lengthy wait for the first public bus. We made our way through the darkness and across the airport to the domestic terminal expecting more to be happening. We were wrong and so found a cafe at the Havas stop. We laid down went to sleep and were it not for the friendly mosquito that bit me just to let me know it was in charge round these parts we’d have slept past the first bus which was actually at 0730.

I’d just like to point out though, and I know I’m not alone in thinking this, but Turkish men are dodgy – Seemingly. That’s the impression we are given in the UK, but do you know what, I’ve seen nothing at all to back that up since arriving here. For example we got dropped off at the Otogar in Marmaris and went to buy a ticket to Ephesus tomorrow. We paid local price (27 lira) and when I asked where the bus to Icemeler was the guy sent us to a company minibus and we were taken right to the door of our hotel, no charge. We got to our hotel at 10am. I asked if we could leave our bags and was told that although our room wasn’t available right now, we could use all the facilities of the hotel. I’ll hold judgement for now, but it does so far seem that any negativity blanketed over the Turkish is nothing more than a misconception.

Anyway, isn’t it amazing how much a pool can perk up two very tired kids 🙂


Just a dad trying to live the dream with my kids.

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