Weekend with Bibi in Akçay

Hello after longer break!

Today I’d like to write about the place in Turkey we’ve visited with Bibi, but it’s not well known among foreigners. It’s Akçay – the little town in the Balıkesir province located at the Aegean Sea.

How is there? 

It’s a nice, calm place. Don’t expect entertainment like in Istanbul or Antalya. However, you can count on natural beauties, friendly people, every needed shop in one place (with lower prices), some chamber cafes at Çarşı and clean sea. Good place for people who want to rest in nature, hike and cut off a bit from the chaos of bigger cities.


How to get there? 

We got there by car. They way from Istanbul through the ferry station in Yalova took us 4 hours. It’s worthy to have a car, because I actually didn’t see any buses. Traveling from abroad you can take a flight to Istanbul or Ankara and then transfer to the domestic flight to Balıkesir Edremit (14 km away). Afterwards, you can hire a shuttle or simply rent a car.

Where did we stay? 

In Akçay you can find many nice child-friendly hotels. We chose ACAR motel, because of the opinions from other travelers about the family atmosphere. It wasn’t a lie 🙂 The owners are very friendly. They like to chat with guests during breakfast, they ask if we need anything and sometimes they also bring fruits to the room. The hotel is situated close to the sea (however, the beach is stony, so I recommend to go for other ones). It’s small and cozy. They provide child facilities such as a baby bed, high chair, and outdoor toys. Typical Turkish breakfast is included in the price (before season three nights were around 400 TL per room). The only thing I can complain about was the baby bed they provided. Although our Daughter was already one year old, she got a cradle for newborns.

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Where did we go? 

DAY 1: Arrival and Zeus Altarı (Adatepe Köyü)

We unpacked our pieces of luggage, leaned Bibi for a day nap and after lunch we went to Zeus Altarı. It is believed, Zeus was watching from this place the soldiers fighting at the Troya war. The rock there has been identified by a German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann and recognized as an altar dedicated to this Greek god. Actually, I’m not surprised, Zeus has chosen this hill for observations because the panorama of the town is very well visible and the views are worth recommending. Generally, just in Akçay, you can see the several motives from Greek Mythology. For example, the sculpture of wolf which fed twin-brothers Romulus and Remus (the establishers of Rome).

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DAY 2: Hasan Boğuldu

The second day we went to the “Hasan Boğuldu” waterfall situated in the Kaz Mountain National Park. What I like there is the beautiful territory almost untouched by tourists. That’s why the water is so fresh and clean. Afterwards, we went to the restaurant nearby. The kebabs were very well prepared and we had a very nice view of the waterfall in the front of our table. However, for those facilities, you usually have to pay extra, so the final bill was obviously more expensive than in any restaurant in the city 😉

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DAY 3 and 4: Sunbath, departure and the “Hattuşa” adventure

The 3rd day was intended strictly for chill out. We went to the Orjan Bay, cause it’s one of the sandy beaches with inexpensive seats to rent and also there’s a hotel with a restaurant nearby. How was the relax there? Normal, nothing special 🙂 But in the end of our stay one mysterious man came to us and gave the invitation for the open days at Hattuşa Thermal Club. He made a reservation for us for the next day (which was the day of our departure). Our visit involved the presentation of Hattuşa, lunch and using thermal swimming pools. We were led by two friendly animators – Şüle and Beytullah. They showed us the huge complex of various swimming pools, sport facilities, exemplary rooms, shops and… olive trees growing there already hundreds of years.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania hattuşa logo

In the beginning, they made a questionnaire, in my opinion, not related to the hotel. The exemplary question was: Which countries would you like to visit? Then we had a presentation of the thermal club. There was much space to walk and have fun. Hungry guests have a choice between several restaurants. Rooms were clean and in a very good standard. Each of them had a bathroom and a TV. Babies can count on a free baby bed if requested. What took my attention there was a bathtub. One tap was pouring out normal water and the other one thermal water. The other facilities of Hattuşa (for parents and children as well) are described on their official webpage (LINK). After the presentation, we went for lunch which took place in the canteen for employees. The meal (schnitzel in sauce and attachments) was quite ok and we got full 🙂 In the end, we could spend one hour at the wellness and use thermal or standard swimming pools (there’s child pool as well), gym and enjoy the view of Kaz Mountain. We had to pay extra 5TL for each swim cap which was obligatory at the pool. Before exit, I made myself mud mask (the source of mud was in the garden before pools) and then Şüle and Beytullah showed us the offers of  “Hattuşa” with prices.

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Reservation page: https://hattusavacationclubkazdaglari.book-onlinenow.net (there’s an option to choose between various languages and also you can reserve the SPA package)

Two things you must pay attention to before reservation: 
1) If you get to “Hattuşa” by invitation, you’ll be surely given the most common offer – signing a ten-year agreement for the specific period when the room or studio is reserved only for you. Comparing the prices it seems to be profitable, but in the end, I found it as a trap. Honestly, most people don’t like to be tied up to one place for such a long period. And it’s very difficult to cancel this agreement. Of course, you can reserve a single visit, but it will be a bit more expensive.

2) According to offer breakfast and dinner are provided. But it only concerns the main restaurant where employees use to eat as well. Other restaurants aren’t involved in the price (like many extra facilities such as massages).

 

To sum up: Do I recommend Akçay and Edremit to go with a baby or a small child?

Yes, if (1) you have your own car and (2) you buy a good baby carrier before. Akçay doesn’t have well-developed public transportation. Edremit is situated near Kaz Mountain and many places are simply unable to reach by a stroller. However, contact with nature and breathing much fresher air than in Istanbul or Ankara will be surely beneficial for your child. Furthermore, as I’ve said before, many hotels in the region are child-friendly. The two mentioned ones are just an example.

 

In the next article, I’ll do something that Poles are known about – complain 😉

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Shopping in Turkey – parenting dictionary

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and elder Siblings 🙂 Everyone who is going with a little one to Turkey.

Last time you had an opportunity to read a long (but needed) article baby shopping in Turkish stores. As you could see, in some cases we’d be surpised – it was the same with me, when I came to Istanbul with my Baby the first time 🙂 Another surprise was (but it’s not only the domain of Turkey), that even in cosmopolitan Istanbul many people don’t speak English. That’s why I’m presenting you a parental dictionary. You won’t need to waste your time for searching needed words in phrasebooks 😉

Why am I doing this? Well, if I already know a bit of this language, why not to share this knowledge with you? 😉

Let’s start with the pronounciation of the letters 😉

I’ll answer the question some people still ask me till today: No, Dears. Turks don’t speak Arabic and they don’t write Arabic letters. Turkish letters are written in a Latin style, but they have also some national characters 🙂 Because I’m not native English, I’ll refer this guide to you (LINK). You can also listen to them in one of the children’s songs on You Tube (LINK).


I just need to pay attention on the letter !!!Ğğ!!!so-called „yumuşak g” (soft „g”). I’m calling it as „deaf g”, cause this mysterious letter is almost imperceptible. It’s kind of transition between vowels or an extension of the last vowel (if there’s consonant after ğ). For example, the Turkish president Erdoğan – we pronounce his surname as Erdo-an (in case of Turkish back vowels, ie. a,ı,o,u we can hear barely noticeable „h”). Another example – Eğitim (traineeship). We read it as Eyyeeteem. Did you notice, in case of Turkish front vowels (e,i,ö,ü), the sound “y” will be slightly appearing in the place of “Ğ”?

 

Did you learn all the letters? So, let’s start! 😉

1) Numbers:

1-90

Now let’s stop at the number „10” and see what will happen. In Turkey there’s the same rule for “ten” like for 20,30,40, 80… So there’s no accurate translation of the ending „-teen”, but we write and say like we wanted to say „ten one”, „ten two”, „ten three”, so on… Just look!

10

And now I’m presenting you the Turkish translation of the numbers 20-90. Here the case is more simple, because the numbers like 22 or 84 we make according to the same rules, as Turkish 11, 12… So twenty two will be translated as yirmi iki and eighty four as seksen dört“.

20-90

And we came to 100. It’s rather easy case. „One hundred” will be translated into Turkish as „yüz” (there’s no need to add „bir” before „yüz”). If we want to say two hundred or five hundred, we just add the digit according to the number before „yüz”. Just like in the picture attached:

100-900

Same rule with thousand (tr. bin), million (tr. milyon), czy billion (tr. milyar).

1000 +

Note, in case of „milion” i „billion” even, when there’s just one “million” or “billion”, we add „bir” before them, so „bir milyon” and „bir milyar”.

„More complicated” numbers, we combine like in English, eg.:

125 – yüz yirmi beş
2018 –
iki bin onsekiz
555 555 –
beş yüz elli beş bin beş yüz elli beş 😉
82 450 999 –
seksen iki milyon dört yüz elli bin dokuz yüz doksan dokuz

 

2) Necessary questions and answers:

It’s good to note the questions and answers you’ll be using while shopping with baby or those you can hear from shop assistants.

a) Hello/Bye:

Merhaba! – the most popular greeting in Turkey. It can be used between friends or in the shop.

Günaydın! – Good morning!
İyi günler! – this phrase has two functions. It can be Good afternoon! or the farewell like Have a nice day!
İyi akşamlar! – like before. You can say Good evening! or say “bye” like Have a nice evening! Depends on context 😉

Görüşürüz!/Görüşmek üzere! – See you!
İyi geceler! – Good night!
Hoşçakal! – universal way to say „Goodbye!”

You can often hear from shop-assistants or owners (and it’s not fake politeness!)
-Hoş geldin!
(Welcoming like: „I’m glad you came”)
In this case it’s good to answer:
-Hoş bulduk! (in accurate translation: “I’m glad to find you!”)

 

It’s good to say hello or goodbye (but not both of them the same time ;)) to the employee saying „Kolay gelsin!”. It means something between „Have a good work!” and “Take it easy”.


b) Phrases used in shops:

Evetyes                                Hayır – no

Çokvery, much (eg. Çok güzel – very beautiful)

Ucuz – cheap                           Pahalıexpensive

Güzel – beautiful                     Çirkin – ugly

Büyükbig                             Küçüksmall

Pardon / AffedersinizExcuse me!
Teşekkür ederim! / Teşekkürler! / Sağol!
all of them mean „Thank you!”

 

Bana yardım eder misiniz?Could you help me?
Yardımcı olabilir miyim? – Can I help you?
Yardım ister misiniz? – Do you need help?

…………………… nerede? – Where is………………… ?
(eg. Dükkan nerede? – Where is the shop?)

……………………. ne kadar? – How much is ……………………………… ?
(eg. Şu yatak ne kadar? – How much is this bed?)

 

…………………….. var mı? – Is there……………………… ?
(eg. Devam sütü var mı? – Is there modificated milk?)

You can answer:
– Evet, var. – Yes, there is.
Or:
– Hayır, yok. – No, there isn’t.
And finally (because not everyone likes to pay by cash):

Kartla ödeyebilir miyim? May I pay by card?

 

3) Colors:

It’s worthy mentioning about colors. It’s good to specify, eg. what color of t-shirt you want for your baby 😉

https://bibionboardpl.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/kolory.png?w=760

Vocabulary:

Re 4. Clothes and shoes:

Kıyafet – clothing

Ceket – jacket
Çorap(lar) – sock(s)
Eldiven(ler) – glove(s)
Elbise – dress
Etek – skirt
Gömlek – shirt
Hırka – sweater, cardigan
Pantolon – trousers
Şapka – cap
Şort – shorts
Tişört – T-shirt
Yağmurluk – raincoat
Yelek – vest

 

Clothes strictly for infants:

Body (or Çıtçıtlı Zıbın) – bodysuit
İç-dış Zıbın – side-snap tee
Kukuleta Şapka – premature cap/hat
Patilki Alt – footed pants
Ribanalı Eldiven – anti-scratching gloves

Uyku tulumu – sleep&play / sleepwear / baby pajama

 

Ayakkabılar – shoes
İlk Adım Ayakkabı – first step shoes
Sandalet – sandals
Crox Sandalet – crocs
Keten Ayakkabı – linen shoes
Spor Ayakkabı – sport shoes, trainers

Good to know: If you want to specify, whether you want to buy things for a newborn (yenidoğan), baby (bebek) or a child (çocuk), it’s good to add words from brackets before the product (usually clothing).

Re 5 & 6. Food:

Bebek maması – baby meal
Kavanoz – jar

Bal – honey
Bebek bisküvisi – baby biscuits
Peynir – cheese
Pirinç lapası – baby porridge (rice one)
Sütlaç – rice pudding
Yumurta – egg

Erişte – noodles (we call pasta as „makarna”)
Patates – potato
Pirinç – rice
Tahıl – grain, cereal

İÇECEKLER – DRINKS
Ayran – slightly salty yoghurt drink (not necessarily for children, but it’s worth mentioning)
Çay – tea
Devam sütü – modificated milk
Malt içeceği – drink for breastfeeding women
Su – water
Süt – milk
Yoğurt – yoghurt

ET – MEAT
Tavuk – chicken (the only meat in Turkish baby jars)
Hindi – turkey
Domuz eti – pork (hard to find 😉 )
Dana eti – beef
Balık – fish
Somon – salmon
Tavşan – rabbit
Koyun eti – lamb

And now let’s learn fruit and vegetables. I don’t want to prolong this entry unnecessarily, so will limit my vocabulary to the products frequently given to children or those you can find in jars.

MEYVELER – OWOCE:
Ananas – pineapple
Armut – pear
Çilek – strawberry
Elma – apple
Erik – plum
Frambuaz – raspberry
Kayısı – apricot
Karpuz – watermelon
Kiraz – sweet cherry
Limon – lemon
Mandalina – mandarin/tangerin
Muz – banana

Portakal – orange
Şeftali – peach
Üzüm – grape
Yaban mersini – blueberry

SEBZELER – VEGETABLES:
Balkabağı – pumpkin
Bezelye – green pea
Biber – paprica
Brokoli – broccoli
Domates – tomato
Fasulye – bean
Havuç – carrot
Kabak – zucchini
Karnıbaharcauliflower
Maydanoz – parsley
Pancar – beet
Pırasa – leek
Salatalık – cucumber
Soğan – onion
Taze soğan – chive

IMPORTANT: If you care about products without sugar, note, if there’s written „şekersiz” (sugarless) or „(ilave) şeker içermez” (doesn’t contain sugar).


Re 8. Hygienic products and first aid kit:

HYGIENE:
Bebek bezi – diaper
Kullanımlık Bezleri – reusable nappies
Mayo/Yüzme bezi – diapers for swimming
Bebek Eğitim Pantolonu – training pants
Islak mendil – wet/moisturing wipes
Bebek bakım örtüsü – changing pad

Pişik kremi – diaper rash cream
Yağ – olive
Göğüs pedleri – nursery pads
Havlu – towel
Önlük – bib
Sabun – soap
Duş jeli – shower gel
Şampuan – shampoo
Güneş kremi – sun cream

Tırnak makasınail clipper
Diş fırçası – toothbrush
Diş macunu – toothpaste

ECZANE – PHARMACY:
A/B/C/D vitamin – vitamin A/B/C/D
Burun Spreyi – nasal spray
Diş jeli – teething gel
Folik asit – folic acid 🙂
Hamile testı – pregnancy test
İlaç – medicine
Omega 3 yağ asiti – Omega−3 fatty acid
Sinek Kovucu Sprey – mosquito repellent (or spray)
Yara bandı – adhesive plaster

 

And finally… Equipment and accessories (just in case):


Karyola – baby bed/cot
Beşik – cradle
Nevresim takımı – linens set
Yastık – pillow
Puset lub Bebek arabası – stroller
Oto koltuğu – car seat
Mama sandalyesi – highchair
Bebek bezi değiştirme masası – changing table
Lazımlık – potty

Oyuncak(lar) – toy(s)
Diş kaşıyıcı – teether
Çıngırak – rattle
Top – ball
Kitap(lar) – book(s)

Göğüs pompası – breast pump
Biberon – feeding bottle
Emzik – pacifier
Alıştırma bardağı – non-spill cup

 

It’s worth remembering one more place:

Bebek bakım odası – nursery room

 

Turkish vocabulary has been mentioned also in the article  “Active Istanbul Mom… And Baby” 🙂 I’m recommending you to have a look at it, if you like to spend time actively with your toddler on holiday as well 😉

 

If you have any questions about the Turkish vocabulary, feel free to comment! In the next article I’ll write about our weekend in Akçay 🙂

Polski