Today I left Istanbul and when I boarded the plane immediately ran into Tom and Judy Hancy from Australia…I thought I had a long flight on Monday/Tuesday…they went from Australia to Singapore (where they were delayed overnight) and then to Istanbul, 8 and 10 hour flights respectively. Judy plays in the 70s, but both were quite chipper and relaxed, veteran travelers that they were.
I got to Ali Bey in time to meet up with Brenda Carter, after a quick lunch (I kept getting lost trying to find the restaurant…finally figured out that the maps don’t face the same direction as the buildings, it’s sort of like looking at a map sideways.
Brenda and I had a quick hit (it was her third of the day…she’s only 68) and walked to the store for some water and drinks. I ran into a Russian friend, Elena Polykova and she asked if I wanted to hit some. She was here for a Grade 4 ITF tournament that was going on here this week, but was out of the tournament. She’d won it last year and came back since the prize was a stay at Ali Bey for free during the following year’s tournament. Russia isn’t too far from Antalya either. Anyway, I ended up playing a set of mixed with Elena, a Russian Vladimir and a German, Richard. There was a lot of crosscourt rallying..I didn’t hit a ball till four points into the second game! It was fun and great to be out hitting balls. The weather has been quite good, it was in the 80s and a bit humid, San Diego like.
we ran into Sherri Bronson and Tina Karwasky. This is how Sherri’s bag was delivered, duck taped together as it was shredded by the airline along the way.
There are always changes going on..the big one was that there’s a huge monolithic hotel where the Beach Courts used to be and looks like another one going in next to it, so the view of the beach from the courts is blocked and the courts feel more hemmed in. There’s a lot of construction going on and villas replacing old shops, and an olive orchard (on drip) which replaced old hothouses near Ali Bey. Turkey is popular with tourists, especially the Mediterranean coast.
I caught up with Brenda, Tom Smith and Debbie, Ellen and Tony Dawson for dinner and ran into some other players.