Eastern Mediterranean Coast Trip with Kids: Mersin

Middle of April we took a 5 day trip down to the Mediterranean Sea to see some of the ruins and historic sites that it’s too hot to see in the summer. (Yes, it is now September and I am just now getting to writing about it. Between R&R in the US and my in-laws visiting, I had to wait til kids were in school). It is crazy how many ruins there are all over the country-you can’t possibly see them all! We picked this part of the country as the Eastern portion of the Med Sea is less populated and crowded and lacks the large resorts that are currently popular with foreign tourists. We want to explore, but not increase our risk to Covid by that much!

Day 1 was mostly driving down to Mersin. We didn’t take the toll road, so we’d be able to stop and explore as we desired. We found a nice place to do some rock scrambling, which the kids really enjoyed. They love climbing rocks and being explorers and it’s great to be able to pull off the road and get some exercise in! I was excited about all the beautiful flowers that were blooming. When we left Ankara, it had recently snowed and was still pretty cold! The Med Sea region was consistently 60s, so was already spring.

We also stopped for lunch at a road-side spot that was really pretty. It was on a small river and had a lovely view of a stone bridge. It had no menu and was all grilled meat with an option of salad on the side. We got chicken (thighs I believe) and it was delicious. The bread was amazing! Restaurant is called Sekerpinarli, and had a large parking lot and was connected to a little shop and had bathrooms–cost was 1 tl and there was a Western toilet option. Phew! I’m fine squatting, but DD prefers not to! 3 chicken plates with bread, 2 salads, a pitcher of water, and 2 chai was 117 tl or about $14!

In Mersin, we stayed at the Ramada. Rooms were cheap, and we got connecting rooms–one with a queen bed and one with a king bed. A/C was not turned on yet (GRRRR) and we didn’t discover until the next morning that we could have gotten a window open. So it was a hot night! That is my big complaint with hotels in Turkey. The A/C window is much shorter than I’d like! Especially with no ceiling fans or other airflow options. We ate dinner at the Ramada (we were the only ones!) and had 2 grilled chicken with French fries, 2 steak tantuni wraps (a local speciality), 2 arugula salads, 1 shared hummus, large bottled water, and bread for 172 tl ($20). Not bad for 4 people!

Next morning we got up promptly and had breakfast at the hotel. It was a Turkish buffet, which we definitely prefer over plated options for the kids. DD was thrilled by the hard boiled eggs. DS is not a fan of Turkish breakfast, so I always bring breakfast options for him and to supplement DD. I’d made nutrient-dense muffins to bring, as well as homemade PB oat bars, applesauce cups, and mandarin orange cups. Turkish breakfast does not include fruit most of the time (though it does do cucumber and tomato). My kids definitely want fruit at breakfast, so we bring it.

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