I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to my blog writing, what started as a two week break to enjoy my holiday , turned into five weeks of a holiday, my 21st birthday and moving back to University to start my new course. But I’m now the official owner of my brand new domain, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
So… Marmaris! This is a really beautiful and very lively city. I really enjoyed my time here, and the shopping was a real must!
My trip began on August 11th with a flight with Thomas Cook, which despite the lack of legroom and being lumbered with the middle seat, was fairly pain free. We landed at Dalaman airport and took a two hour bus journey to Marmaris. (This was literally the closest airport…thank God for the very mild air conditioning on the bus that stopped me from melting!) Our hotel was the Cosmopolitan Resort Hotel, and thankfully the first of the drop offs.
I spent the first couple of days relaxing by the pool, and making the most of the all inclusive drinks (mostly non-alcoholic…I’ll explain why later). We then met with the Thomas Cook rep to book a couple of excursions. We decided to book a shopping trip, and as I was desperate to try my hand at scuba diving…that too.
So…Shoppers Delight. We were advised to book the Sunday evening trip as opposed to the Wednesday daytime as there would be more people around and it was also cooler, and therefore a little easier to walk around. The excursion cost £5 per person, and started first at the Marmaris Gold Centre, which was beautiful, but unfortunately way out of my price range. I did discover the wonders of Apple Tea here though so it wasn’t all a waste. You spent about 45 minutes here, but if you wished you could stay longer, and join the group later on via a free taxi.
We were then taken to a Leather Outlet, again we were given a talk about the products and their quality and then taken to the show room, where there were coats made of both real leather and real fur. Once again, these things I had no desire to buy and they were way out of my price range.
The next, and penultimate stop was at a lovely little Turkish Delight shop. All the Turkish delight was home made and upon entry we were given a small sample box, which allowed us to taste the confectionary they had on offer. I actually fell in love with candy coated chickpeas, which look like little brains but taste delicious! I also love the sesame seed coated peanuts, and so of course I left with a box of each! I was also hoping to pick up some fresh, homemade baklava, but unfortunately they had sold out for the day.
Finally, the tip took us to the Bazaar! This was like a giant market and home to the best “Genuine Fakes” you may find. As a lover of designer clothing, my brother refused to participate in buying anything considered a fake, and so just followed me and my mum around. I really enjoyed the Bazaar, and while I wouldn’t pass off anything I bought as genuine, I did buy two handbags, that I certainly could if I wanted too.
Whilst the evening was certainly cooler for shopping, I did feel a little bit uncomfortable shopping in the dark. Shop owners tended to be very full on, and often offended if you were just browsing. Plus at the later time, more of the locals went shopping and so tourists stood out a mile, meaning we were sort of preyed on. Plus, having never been there before, it was very difficult to navigate in the dark, and was at times a little bit scary.
The following week, my mum and I took a trip back to the Grand Bazaar during the day and instantly felt so much more comfortable. We felt we were able to explore as it was much easier to navigate. We also found that as there were more people around, we were hassled less, and so we were able to enjoy the experience, and relax a lot more.
Next up was my scuba diving trip! This excursion was hosted by Paradise Diving Centre, and honestly I cannot fault them. Prior to my dive I was given a thorough talk about hand signals, and communication underwater, and also what to expect during the dive. For two 30 minute dives, the cost was £45. For my mum and brother who chose not to dive, the trip cost £18, and included full use of the boat and also included a meal. Drinks and snacks were available. on the boat for an additional cost (about 8TL for a can of Diet Coke, and 6TL for a bag of crisps).
The dive itself was a fantastic experience, and I would highly recommend that if you get the chance, definitely take it!! The first dive was with an instructor, with roughly a 2:1 ratio. You were taught on how to move, and given a small piece of bread to attract fish for photo and video opportunities (again at an additional cost of roughly 70TL).
Between dives, we were given lunch and we moved to a different place on the bay, here we were given the opportunity (for an additional cost) to gain a PADI 12 metre diving qualification. I took this opportunity, as did one other person from our trip. This enabled us to dive under instruction, but individually, meaning we weren’t holding hands and being guided to or destinations. We had to show we could communicate properly, empty our masks, and clear our breathing equipment, and also find it should we lose it, as well as demonstrate that we could move easily and use the floatation devices in order to pass and gain the qualification. I’m sure if you follow me on social media you’ll know how I did!
The majority of the holiday I spent catching a tan, and relaxing. The way a holiday should be spent. I didn’t however get drunk, even though it was an all inclusive resort and it would have been very easy too. This is because I’m not really a beer drinker, I like Budweiser and Desperados, and occasionally a Corona. The only beer served by the hotel was Efes, and I tried it but I really wasn’t a fan. I’m also quite fussy when it comes to wine, I only really drink rosé or prosecco and again neither were offered by the hotel. I do drink spirits, and I’m certainly not one to turn down free booze (I am a student after all) but oh my god…it was so strong. The only 25ml measure used was for the mixer, the rest of the glass was certainly vodka, and it wasn’t the good stuff either. When asking for a weaker drink, I was essentially ignored, and when I thought I’d be clever and ask for both the mixer and spirit separately, I was served with a full glass of each. THANKFULLY, I discovered the wonders of the Blue Lagoon cocktail from the bar at the front of the hotel, but I’d only visit during cocktail hour as the bar manager was uncomfortable to be around.
Similarly, meal times were a nightmare. I don’t consider myself to be a fussy eater, but I really cannot stomach fish, and so some nights I did find that all I could really eat was chicken nuggets and rice or chips, or a trusty cheesy baked potato! There was also the issue of queuing! If dinner started at 7pm, you’d have to be down queuing at the doors at least 15 minutes before! You would have sworn Justin Bieber was kissing the first 20 through the door each night.
It was also a contest to actually grab food, people would just snatch tongs from your hand, and barge in at the buffet, then often take huge amounts back to their table, that they then didn’t want or need. Regardless of the order you eat in, you had to be quick to the dessert table too, because otherwise there was either nothing left, or children had played with it and you didn’t want it then anyway.
I didn’t really attend breakfast, it finished at 10am, and I don’t really eat that early into the day, although the omelette station was my favourite part of the days I did attend. It was similar with lunch, I tended not to use the restaurant, but instead the outdoor snack bar, as there was a guarantee of food I’d eat,and it was far more convenient with the pool use.
Over the course of the holiday, you are entitled to use the hotels a la carte restaurant, which was an Indian. It was beautiful! Included was a starter, main and side, and I cannot fault any of it. I wished we had tried this in our first week, as we would probably have booked in and paid for another night.
We also ate out during the holiday, shout out to the chicken nuggets from Burger King over there… they are a game changer!
We also ate at September Bar, it wasn’t very expensive, and the food was lovely! They also provided the same entertainment every night, ‘Robocop’ and ‘Michael Jackson’ but it was funny and made us giggle.
The hotel had two pools, one located at the back, which featured water slides and hosted the majority of the daytime activities, such as water polo and aqua aerobics, and one at the front, which tended to be quieter and hold the sun for just that little bit longer. I found myself at the front of the hotel almost every day as it was more relaxing, and there were less children splashing, so my book didn’t get wet!
The hotel’s entertainment team were lovely and they work so hard! There are activities every day by the pool, this could be water polo and aqua aerobics, or it could be a game around the bar. Then there would be further entertainment that night, which was usually cash bingo, a kids disco, karaoke, or an independent performer would come in. This was then followed by a bar crawl in town that lasted until 3am. I have no idea how they did it every night, but hats off to them.
There was also a Turkish night once a week, where traditional Turkish dancers and performers would do their thing. Personally, I liked it, and thought it was a good way to experience the culture of the country I was visiting, from the comfort of my hotel.
My one issue, it was again, a nightmare to find a seat, and it always seemed like a contest, there were some nights that left us with no choice but to go to our rooms, because there was no seating, and so we watched from our balcony. This did mean that we couldn’t participate, which was a real shame.
The airport on the way home was a nightmare. Firstly, our plane was delayed. Then at the airport systems had crashed, and luckily we had paper copies of all of our information, because nobody seemed to have a clue what was happening. When we asked the Thomas Cook reps where priority customers were supposed to go (we paid extra), we were taken to a separate queue, and essentially forgotten about. People in the queue we had been moved from were being seen to, and because of a system failure we were still stood waiting, and being glared at by airport staff. We were not checked in as priority which meant our luggage wasn’t either, and when it came to boarding, we were not given priority either. Whilst it’s a small inconvenience, having paid extra for the service, you’d expect to be given it.
All in all, I’d visit Marmaris again, definitely. I wouldn’t stay at the Cosmopolitan Resort Hotel again, definitely not. But I would certainly make the most of the beaches, and. Try to explore more.
Sorry this was such a long post, if you made it to the end… I salute you! Thank you for sticking around!
Have you been to Marmaris? What are your thoughts? I love hearing from you guys!
I’d love to hear you thoughts on my new website too?
See you next week,