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Monday, 12 September 2011

Ugur Kebab House, Side

The beach a minute from my door....
My first day in Side and boy, it's a pretty wee town. Built over ruins going back thousands of years, it's like walking into a film set. When I arrived late last night they were floodlit and looked amazing. Was secretly a bit smug when I got dropped in the old town before everyone else went off to their all inclusive hellholes. I was booked with the Begonville Pension, No. 1 B&B on Tripadvisor and got at a great price from Travelrepublic not four weeks ago.

Of course I forgot; first rule of female travelling alone is that you'll be put to the bottom of the heap on everything. So when I checked in I was told the hotel was full and I'd have to stay in another one. Was too tired to care last night but this morning I woke to an unusable shower, dodgy electrics, unpleasant decor and the unmistakable scent of cat piss. Not what i come on my holliers for. I spend bloody months shortlisting and spreadsheeting options for hotels - for someone who is usually very relaxed this is the one area where I acknowledge I stray into OCD territory. So off to the Begonville for breakfast and a spot of negotiation.

The Turkish defence (sighing and staring very hard at the reservations book in the vain hope I would go away) was left in tatters when a German couple tried to check in, leaving the manager with no choice but to acknowledge that there was indeed space and after a bit of dramatic spluttering I got my room.

My lovely front door!
To celebrate I did a walking tour of the town and finished off with lunch at the Ugur, which does perfect sis kebap - lovely lean, tender, perfectly spiced lamb with slightly charred lavash bread, served with a long green pepper and big juicy tomato roasted on the grill, plus my favourite rice and orzo pilaf - this with a raki, two glasses of wine and an apple tea came to about £8. The best kind of first holiday lunch - long, a wee bit too boozy but all kinds of tasty and a great reminder of all that's good about Turkish hospitality.

Also managed to get hold of my husband on Skype who was able to tell me that Sheba is officially on full heat now and has spent the last 24 hours asking her brother to do really quite unbrotherly things to her (thank god he's 10. And neutered). I kinda had a feeling it would be like this and I'm feeling very guilty at how relieved I am not to be there right now. At least this is the last one she'll have (straight to the vet in eight weeks and snipsnipsnip!).

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