When you are thinking of all-inclusive resort destinations – you may think of the Caribbean if you are from the USA, perhaps somewhere like Jamaica or the Bahamas, or perhaps even Aruba – but I bet you’ll never think of Turkey as a destination for vacation. Why are we all so different when it comes to our ideas of vacations (or holidays as we like to call our time off in the UK and other parts of Europe)? Turkey is such a popular place with the Brits, and with people from all around Europe, but I hardly saw one American there at the Delphin Imperial Resort, in Antalya, while there last summer. Is it because we don’t think Turkey is a place capable of providing world-class resorts and relaxation? Well, I have news for all of you in the USA – Turkey is a fabulous place to have your vacation at. Americans will have to catch on sometime soon, and I might as well be the one to provide you with the information.
When we first got to the Delphin Imperial Resort, we were awestruck at how majestic it looked – like a palace! Both inside and outside – it was fabulous to look at!
Upon entering, food and refreshments were already within arms reach of the entrance
That’s me above with some Turkish Delight, oh, how I loved it. Also, you will see a picture of a sign that shows all the A La Carte Restaurants available.
The next morning, I took pictures looking out from my hotel window – this is Turkey! I’ve been before to Istanbul and Izmir while on a cruise, but have never been to Antalya before, and now I actually am staying overnight – in fact – seven nights! The Delphin Imperial is part of a large group of hotels, which include the Delphin Palace, and the Delphin Diva. They are all very close to one another, but I believe the Delphin Imperial might just be one of the best.
As you can see from the pictures above, the interior is akin to that of what you can imagine a palace to look like. I included some pictures of the main restaurant, which is where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner most of the time. In fact, since it’s an all-inclusive, many times we had to skip lunch as we were so full from breakfast! You wouldn’t believe this place, there was a coffee shop that had chocolates and pastries that you could order as much as you wanted to at no extra cost. I can give you an example of some all-inclusives that aren’t all truly-inclusive like when you are on a cruise ship – such as their specialty shops or restaurants. However, at the Delphin Imperial – it was all included, except for things from the gift shop, or services such as the hairdressers or beauty salon. There were even smoothies, which is a big thing for kids – which kid doesn’t like smoothies?
There were also kebabs available by the pool at lunch-time that were so delicious,and pizza that you could have made to order. You could have an entire pizza made and carry it to your seat by the pool. Let’s just say, there was no shortage of food. As far as drinks, you could order alcohol, including cocktails or cappuccino as well as Turkish coffee for no extra price too.
If you want a glimpse at the pools, here are some pictures:
Well, that’s it from Antalya at the moment. I will share more pictures soon. Don’t forget, if you are thinking of all-inclusive, consider the Delphin Imperial in Antalya. It’s a world class resort.
The Delphin Imperial is too nice to put off any longer. I can only show you a few pictures of this resort in this post though. Of course, I have many more to share and will probably do quite a few posts on my trip to Antalya, Turkey which is where the Delphin Imperial is located. If you want an all-inclusive resort, and want to try something in this part of Europe, do give this resort a try.
Here’s a few pictures until next time, and all I can say is:
Ooh, the building!
Ooh, the outside, and the pools!
Ooh, the lobby!
Ooh, the Turkish Delight!
Ooh, the rooms!
Ooh, the desserts in the cafe!
Ooh, the landscape!
Did I tell you that this is a first class resort, that can cost you up to $4,600 for a family of four if you go in July or August, and sometimes even more. Of course, if you go during off-peak times, it might be less expensive. Well, until next time!
The London Eye
You can’t escape it
Every which way you go when you are in Central London
It’s before your very eye
(Two examples below: you can see it from Big Ben, you can see it from Buckingham Palace at the Queen Victoria Memorial, and you can see it from Trafalgar Square)
The London Eye
Why would you want to give it a miss
When riding it can give you bliss?
The London Eye
Will take you to the sky
Or so it will seem
As you circle the earth
You’ll think you are in a dream
The London Eye
Don’t even think of not going
Rain, shine or snow
You must go
To the London Eye
I hope you liked my attempt at a poem! I tried.
The following pictures were taken on our approach to the London Eye.
Want to know how much it costs – that will be £20.95, please for an adult.
Here’s another picture taken from within the London Eye
Here are some pictures of the view from the London Eye
So, I’m sure you’ll want to know if I recommend it? Of course, I do! When I used to live in London, the London Eye was not a part of London. Then when I started returning to visit London, I used to pass it and not really consider going on it, because I used to think it was a waste of money – for a ride that was very costly. However, now that I have been on it – I think it’s not just a ride, it’s an experience. Try it and you’ll love it!
Continuing with Day Three of my trip to London in July. Wow, has it already been nearly two months since I came back? How time flies?
Okay, fast rewind back to that day. We went for a walk all the way from our hotel – The Trafalgar – to the South Bank. It was a lovely walk, it drizzled just a tiny bit at one time, and other than that it was nice and warm – perfect weather for a walk. Do you know that London is a fabulous place to take a walk? Oh, the parks, the sightseeing, and the architecture! This is some of what we saw as we got closer.
The London Eye – isn’t it lovely?
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – aren’t they just magnificent?
London, isn’t it wonderful?
Okay, I won’t ask you any more questions, I’ll just let you take a look at the pictures.
I don’t know what the name of the castle or palace type building is so I’ll just call it “Beautiful Palace”
Fancy a ride, you could go on this carousel or the London Eye which you might see if you look closely at the picture.
Fancy a walk? London is a terrific place for taking walks. Oh, how I would love to be taking a walk there right now!
That’s my 17 year old daughter’s beautiful hair – it looks even more spectacular with the sun shining down on it!
Time for bubbles!
Have you ever seen such a big bubble or seen one as beautiful?
Wow! Now, it’s really massive! This man is good, and I think he’s magical!
I will always remember the Bubble Blower of the South Bank
So, we left the bubbles to get closer to our ultimate destination – the London Eye.
Now, we are getting closer to the London Eye
Here we are really close, in fact – we are at the entrance of the London Eye!
So, you’ve seen pictures of the entire wheel, you may have seen what it looks like up close – if not, this is what it’s like
and just for you, another picture…..at a slightly different angle.
Well, until next time…..and here’s a sneak peak at my latest video of the South Bank, the Bubble Blower and the London Eye. Let’s just say I love London, and I hope you like the pictures, and the video.
Day Three in London on July 25, 2014 started off in the Trafalgar Square area. I already showed you some pictures in my previous post Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church, however, I didn’t want to bore you with too many pictures along the way to Westminster, so now I can bore you in this post…..excuse my dry humor!
So let’s continue the journey! This is very close to our hotel in Trafalgar Square, and is on the corner of Whitehall and Charing Cross
Just a bit of London for you, with some Londoner’s of course!
Looking back at the Trafalgar Square area
55 Whitehall – Sherlock stood atop here in the “Empty Hearse”, so did James Bond 007 in “Skyfall”. This building now houses the Department for Energy and Climate Change
Talking of Sherlock, here’s a pub named after him and that is close by to Great Scotland Yard.
It is on the junction of Whitehall and Great Scotland Yard, which is pictured below
Some of my pictures are quite self-explanatory, so I won’t write the same info above them as the info is captioned on the picture. This building is right next to 55 Whitehall – it is the Ministry of Defence
And this picture will show you both 55 Whitehall and the Ministry of Defence in the same shot, as well The Clarence (restaurant)
Want to see the Duke of Cambridge (not the present one mind you) up closer?
I bet you didn’t know Whitehall was such an interesting place. It’s the area that houses a lot of the government departments and ministries, and of course the terrific Horse Guards Parade, which is a parade ground used for royal parades and ceremonies.
Please beware – the horses may kick or bite you!
This is the Old Admiralty Building at Horse Guards Parade
Wow, now they are all taking a picture of what I took a picture of before – the Ministry of Defence Building (sorry, I am spelling it the British way, Word Press wants me to put an “s” instead of a “c” in “Defence”, but right now I want to stick to the way I used to spell it while growing up in the UK).
I meant to share more pictures of Big Ben, St. Margaret’s Church, and Westminster Abbey, but I will have to share them with you the post after the next one.
Can you believe it is now Day Three? I can’t. I am already feeling sad just writing this as if I was still there. My trip to London is half way over (almost). I need to get out of this pessimistic mood and make the most of it! So what to do, just go out there and see it and soak it in!
Well, hopefully, you remember that this is close-by to my hotel in Trafalgar Square, so you may have seen Admiralty Arch pictures that I have taken and posted before, but since I walked past this area quite a number of times during my stay, it is befitting to add some of what I saw on the way today to Westminster. We are headed in the same direction as yesterday, as there is nothing wrong with repeating what you just saw yesterday. Today is another day, and you always get a new perspective on the location on different days.
Admiralty Arch again.
Look what’s in the neighborhood of Trafalgar Square, here is a pub named after the great English detective!
Look at this great street – this was the location – well, the rear entrance of the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London. It’s within walking distance of Trafalgar Square.
Now, we are in the Big Ben area – what a stunning looking clock and housed in such a magnificent building!
Wow, what beautiful architecture!
My daughter in front of Westminster Abbey
Of course, I had to take a picture away from my current focus of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and St. Margaret’s Church – but this is London, and why not get a London bus?
Here is a lovely church – St. Margaret’s Church – right next to Westminster Abbey
Do you like the name Houses of Parliament of Palace of Westminster? This building is known by both names, but I think most commonly…..Houses of Parliament. I once went in here and loved seeing Members of Parliament debating with each other – quite entertaining!
Such sisterly love from my two daughters.
This building was right in the vicinity.
I love Dean’s Yard – I find it so picturesque!
Well, I really must stop now. Do you know I will probably have another post with more pictures of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church featured in it again? Either you will dread it or look forward to it, I hope it will be the latter. Well, until next time!
London calls, and I’d love to come running, but sadness befalls me now as I can’t obey. Too bad. Well, I’ll just have to write about the rest of my day – Day Two in London which was July 24, 2014 – just over a month ago – and really my first full day. London has a power over me, I just went there, but I would like to be back there already….oh, well. Guess I’ll just have to be content looking back at my pictures.
Here is a picture taken at Trafalgar Square close by to our hotel
This man seems to fit right in this picture, I don’t think he was the one who vandalized the phone booth with graffiti though, I hope not!
Just a recap, we headed for Buckingham Palace through Green Park (pictures show in my post Enchanting London) and this is before we did that
Why would I not want to see the Ritz?
That night we ate in Chinatown, which is close to Leicester Square. Normally, I would have opted for Indian food as it is really great in England – where they are not afraid to add the spice, or for English food which is also superb, but my sister who we met up with this evening wanted to try Chinese food, and I’m so glad that we went to this restaurant – the Hong Kong Buffet – I will always remember how delicious the food was.
Do you know the food was extremely delicious at the Hong Kong Buffet? It was a good price too – only £9.95 per person, compared to what I paid one of the days in a restaurant in Covent Garden.
That’s my sister going into the restaurant with Chandi – my little girl.
Sorry about the half eaten food, I forgot to take a picture of it before it got to this stage, but better to show you something rather than nothing!
This picture is a little blurry, but I think it shows the atmosphere of Chinatown really well.
This is where we ate on our first night in London (yesterday evening) – I did not want to eat pizza, I can get Pizza Hut in the USA, but my kids wanted it, so I had to give in. Tonight, we walked right by it after our meal in Chinatown.
Right next to Pizza Hut in Leicester Square is Burger King – gladly, we did not go there on this trip, but I’m guilty of taking them there on a previous trip.
Okay, so this picture belonged higher up, but I wanted to put it next to the night-time picture of the same place – the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. We walked past it many times during our five days there, both morning and night.
My computer is acting really weird right now, and going ever so slow, I guess I have overworked it with all of my pictures in I-Photo and I think I’m running low on memory. Anyway, time to go now and enjoy life here in San Diego! Have a great weekend!
I think I left a part of my heart in London, and perhaps writing about it or posting some pictures might help my heart-ache and might help me get over London, but I don’t think so. I have been ever so busy since I got back from the UK about three weeks ago, and have been meaning to carry on with writing about my trip and sharing pictures, but it’s been hard to do so. I just about got over my jet-lag – that took me over a week to recover from!
Oh, I forgot to show you this picture last time of St. Martin-In-The-Fields
Where did I leave off? I think I was only on Day Two of my five days in London. Did you know that I then traveled up north, and spent a few more days in the UK before heading over to Turkey? We went to an all-inclusive resort in Antalya, and I’ll be writing about that sometime soon. Here are some more pictures of London.
Walking back from Buckingham Palace, we weren’t really sure how to get to Big Ben, and we kind of just stumbled in that direction. On our way, we saw the HM Treasury.
near the HM Treasury
I just take pictures of anything, so I decided to do it some more
Oh, look what I see!
So, the bus moved out of the way, and the picture is a little different
Funny how the sky seems to change
Of course, I have to have one of my kids pose in front of Big Ben!
Oh, how I could keep taking pictures, and did!
Oh, and why wouldn’t you get all your kids to pose together in front of Big Ben? Of course, you would!
Well, I have to leave off here, and I’m still not done with Day Two! It’s not that the day was too long, it’s just that there are quite a few pictures to go with the day. We came back to this same spot the very next day, and got more pictures, including quite a few of Westminster Abbey, not shown in this post – that’s why you have to go back to the same place more than once at times. Also, don’t worry about the part of my heart left in London, it’s been left there before too. Well, until next time!
Day 2 in London started off with a nice view from the hotel:
We explored the lobby area
Breakfast was included, and we were allowed one item from the menu as well as the continental breakfast. The menu offerings were English Breakfast, pancakes, waffles, Eggs Benedict and a few other items. Since this was our first full day, we just had to have English Breakfast, which consisted of baked beans, egg, bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, and black pudding (which I did not eat as this makes me feel a bit uneasy).
Here’s a view of our table, and then a view of the restaurant
Now to the outside which beckoned me with all its might.
We headed to Charing Cross Station and bought our travel passes – I was told it was best to buy Oyster Cards, that are basically tube and bus passes that you swipe for unlimited travel during a certain period of days. 2 adult Oyster 3 day passes were £60, that contained a £5 refundable deposit per pass – so the net cost was £50, plus £3.60 per day for my son’s travel pass. London certainly is not cheap for getting around or eating out, but it is well worth it. These passes can be used unlimited amounts per day and after you have used £8.60 or so up in a day, it won’t take any more from the balance off your card, so you can keep on taking more rides after you have maxed that amount out, and you won’t pay anything further – the key is to at least use it up to the value of £8.60 in that day. However, I think a single ride is about £2.70 or £3.30 or so, so it makes sense to get the Oyster Pass and you can use it on the red double decker buses (just not the Big Bus sightseeing buses).
Oh, the train is here!
So where to today? I thought we’d just wander around and might as well start off with Buckingham Palace. This involved taking the train to Green Park and then walking through the park to the Palace. We could have walked to Buckingham Palace from our hotel in Trafalgar Square, it would only have been a 12 minute walk or so.
Once we had come out of Green Park station, this is some of what we saw
I had always fancied going into the Ritz Hotel, this is a favorite hotel of the well-off, including celebrities and royalty. Therefore, my curiosity peaked and I could not resist going in.
I can just imagine Princess Diana being welcomed by this employee of the Ritz and then entering the hotel.
Here are some pictures taken in the hotel
Here I am at the Ritz
Last one of the Ritz
Better stay on track and get to Buckingham Palace – so we headed through Green Park. English parks are so beautiful, just how parks are supposed to be – with lakes, ducks, and lots of greenery. The parks in London are some of the best I’ve ever seen. People in London really make use of the parks, and frequent them often.
Here’s my little girl enjoying Green Park
Just a nice building I saw in Green Park
Here is that building again
Here’s an English Bobby (another word for police man) in Green Park
We have arrived at Buckingham Palace, every time I see this place – it feels like the first time, and that is how I feel about most of the places in London, they are special to me time and time again.
There’s me and Chandi with the blooming flowers of the Palace behind us
This memorial just opposite Buckingham Palace is another must-see and very popular with tourists
and yet one more of the Queen Victoria Memorial
Now, I will show you one last photo of Buckingham Palace
As we left Buckingham Palace and walked by one London’s many parks – St. James’s Park – so central, just like Green Park, and Hyde Park. We saw this memorial on the ground – I had to take a picture – I absolutely adored Princess Diana.
We continued on our walk until we got to a tube station that would take us to Westminster, and this is what we saw:
I take way too many pictures, and just think that each picture is unique in it’s own way. I don’t want to tire you with all my pictures of Buckingham Palace, and the Parks, but believe me….I have many more! However, I feel that you can get an insight into life in London – at least with the park pictures, as there are mostly local Londoner’s in the pictures who are on their lunch breaks, and just enjoying the beauty of what is around them. Next post, I will show you some more of what we saw today on Day 2 (which was our first full day in London).
My favorite place in the world is London – it is one of the places I can go to again and again, and never be bored. I just love London! Me and my family flew to London on July 22nd, 2014 and arrived in London on July 23rd at Heathrow Airport at around 3:15 pm. We were to have 5 days in London…..I wish I could have stayed longer! In this post, I will just show you what we saw on Day One in London. Since we were going to stay in Trafalgar Square, that is the picture I will show you first.
I could have got a taxi into London, but no….that would not make sense – the traffic is crazy there, and it would have been ever so expensive. I could have got the Express Train from Heathrow, but that was £42 for all four of us (Chandi – my 5 year old would have been free). I thought, no…I have spent so much money already on this trip that I need to economize a little where I can – so what did I do? I was daring and did just as I have done many times before – I took the underground from Heathrow into Central London. Besides, you can’t beat taking the underground for speed – yes, the Express would have been faster – 15 minutes instead of 40 minutes or so, but after an 11 hour direct flight from San Diego, I think 40 minutes was not too bad.
Why do I say that I am daring? Well, you have to be daring to take the underground when you are traveling with three kids, 3 big suitcases, one smaller rolling carry on bag and about three or four more bags. After all, you get just a few seconds at times when those tube doors open and it is quite a process to get all the suitcases, myself and 3 kids out of the door on time! We changed lines at Piccadilly Circus where we got the Bakerloo Line (the brown line) and got off at Charing Cross – just one stop away. After getting out at Piccadilly Circus, and lugging our suitcases up a big flight of stairs (there are escalators, but sometimes you are faced with plain old stairs too and no elevators), I was tempted to just exit and walk about 12 minutes to Trafalgar Square, but decided to plough on and change lines – which meant for the sake of one stop – having to go through all that again…getting out of the tube doors on time, and going up more stairs. Understandably, it was daunting, and we were already quite exhausted.
So you might want to know how much it was on the tube? The tube is another name for underground – but you already probably know that. I had to get two adult one-way tickets since my daughter is 17 years old, and a child’s ticket for my 12 year old son who just turned 13 during this trip, and that cost a total of £14.20 – my 5 year old was free.
We stayed at the Hilton Trafalgar right on Trafalgar Square, you might be able to see it on this picture.
I think I’ll pass on telling you how much it was for my hotel for 5 nights and for our flights to London from San Diego….I’ll be paying it off for quite some time! Anyhow, we checked in and were really happy with our hotel. Additionally, it was heavenly to notice that there was milk for tea in the room, instead of cream or powdered cream….how I hate having to put cream in tea – I always call down to the reception to ask for milk. Similarly, I must have cream for my coffee, and not milk – let’s just say I’m spoilt when it comes to my hot beverages!
I had bought a new Nikon P600 and initially put a setting on it to print the date and time, however, I don’t think I changed the time to local time in England – so it probably reflects an incorrect time of at least 8 hours behind (USA time is 8 hours behind that of England). I subsequently decided to take off the setting a day or so later, as I was trying to decide whether it was kind of cheesy having the date on my prints. Some of the pictures were taken with my Canon G10 and some with my Note 3. I think you have to have a number of devices with you when you travel, as your batteries will get exhausted and what better than to reach into your bag for another fully charged camera!
Well, that is enough talking right now, and let’s get to some pictures.
We walked over to Leicester Square later that evening, it is only a 5 minute walk.
I craved fish and chips, but we ended up going to Pizza Hut in Leicester Square on our first night, that’s what the kids wanted.
This hotel looks ever so nice at night time – it’s right in the heart of Leicester Square
Well, that was Day One in London. I already am having the time of my life, and want the next four days to go ever so slowly. Next time, I will let you know about Day Two, and/or the remainder of my visit in London.