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The Campingplatzfuhrer of Edirne PDF Printable Version E-mail


The Campingplatzfűhrer of Grand Ömür Camping in Edirne, Turkey

Ed McKinney, Barry & Margaret Williamson and Anthea & Gerry Owens
July 2011

Ed McKinney, writing from Singapore in July 2011, gives the following updates on two key Turkish campsites (Edirne and Dalyan). The situation at Edirne is appalling and Ed loudly echoes the comments of other travellers, including ourselves.

Ed stayed on these two sites as he passed through Turkey en route to Cape Town from south-east England. He and Bon were travelling with their 4-year-old son James in a 16-year-old Land Rover with a tent on the roof. The full story of their great journey can be found at: http://www.getjealous.com/BonEdandJames

Ed writes:

“Just a note to say thanks for your information on Turkey campsites. We spent a month camping (Landrover with roof-tent) in Turkey last summer en route from London to Cape Town and made a lot of use of your list, so thanks. I thought I'd just add a few comments on one of these sites to possibly assist any others like us making use of this useful list.

Edirne - We stayed there and found the owner amazingly rude and unpleasant, as you had. It was quite comical if she wasn't quite so scary. She yelled at my 4 year old son and myself for walking across the pool area to get to the bar without paying the pool fee and terrified my son. An English guy who turned up the same evening paid her some money to use the pool but the next morning, when he went in the water, she came running out swearing at him, calling him a pig and exclaiming that she was 'the Fuehrer'.

James still talks about 'Grumpy woman of Edirne' and mentions her every time there's an evil meany in one of his story books – he wants to know if the wicked troll is as nasty as her!! Little things like that make trips more memorable even if it's not quite for the right reasons.”

Ed also writes about the noise from a next-door 'dance-club' at Dalyan Camping. See: http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/671/30/

We (Margaret & Barry) wrote the following account of our visit to Grand Ömür Camping in Edirne on 25 and 26 June 2008. See http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/786/80/. This should not be read by the faint-hearted!

“On previous visits to Edirne we stayed at Camping Fifi, which has now closed. Grand Ömür (unfortunately) is the only alternative. We were greeted (that's not the right word) by a German-speaking warden (Kampingplatzführer), her insane ankle-snapping dog and a large sign picturing some of the things that are 'Verboten' (we were to discover more!). It was 7 pm and 100°F, as we settled in a corner of the unkempt field to cool down and try to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Margaret had looked forward to a swim but the pool was grimy and uninviting (and cost an extra €5 per person per dip).

We soon learnt that anything we might do around the campsite was 'Verboten'. Margaret was reprimanded for crossing the concreted area around the pool and bar wearing soft flat light sandals – the warden (wearing heavier shoes herself) pointed to a picture forbidding stiletto heels! This was our shortest route to the shower block, the alternative being through prickly grass, and the concrete was too hot to tread barefoot!

Complaining about the mosquitoes which infested the showers, we were told that we had chosen to camp by the hedge where they lived!! The campsite dog ran wild, jumping and snapping at anyone it spotted, exempt from the rule about loose dogs. Our dog-dazer had no effect on the thing (perhaps it was deaf), so we resorted to throwing stones when it came near, while its owner watched in amusement from her upper window.

Keeping away from this lunatic (in sole charge of the asylum), we busied ourselves with inside and outside jobs: cleaning, laundry, fixing the door lock which had begun to stick and putting new bulbs in a couple of outside lights. Washing the van was, of course, 'Verboten'. We only tolerated this nonsense in order to spend a day in Edirne (pop 120,000) - a beautiful historic town on the Tunca River.”

The following day was spent in Edirne and we took a taxi back to the campsite.

The driver:

“ . . . looked at Barry's sketch and took us from one supplier to the next until we found everything, then drove us on to the campsite, dropping us and our bags by our motorhome. What a wonderful day we'd had – until the Mad Woman running Grand Ömür appeared at our door.

Shouting in German, she demanded to know whether we had asked the taxi driver to come into the campsite or whether he had driven in of his own accord. Bewildered, we asked why it mattered, what was the problem? She complained about campsite security and her own safety (this was at tea-time, in broad daylight, with 2 other campervans nearby on the site). Refusing to answer her absurd interrogation, we closed the door and put the kettle on.

Then the distraught taxi driver came back on foot – the Campsite Warden from Hell had prevented him from driving out of the gates! Margaret (our German-speaker) walked back with him to the taxi, where she-who-must-be-obeyed began to deliver a lecture about Turkish law forbidding taxis from entering, threatening a fine, protesting that he should know this, etc, etc! Extremely angry by now, all patience exhausted, M told her that if she didn't let the very kind and courteous taxi driver get about his lawful business at once, we would ring the police. Only then was he allowed to go, with our profuse apologies for the waste of his time.

Barry successfully wired and fitted a relay switch to the radiator – tomorrow we leave, with the only last couple of days of our 3-month visa unused.

The following morning . . .  

The Mistress of Grand Ömür Camping had not finished with us yet. Finding that the electricity supply had failed during the night, we checked our hook-up trip switch. Then we checked whether the lights in the shower block worked and whether the neighbouring campervans had power (from a different socket that we couldn't reach). They were all OK. We had breakfast, using the gas kettle, before Margaret went to Reception (locked, no doorbell). She knocked on the door of the warden's house (no answer). She walked round the site looking for the woman and was about to give up when the warden flung open an upper window and shouted down to ask what we wanted, obviously angry at being woken (this was 8.30 am).

When told that our power was off, she snapped 'Why, what have you done to it?' Refusing to believe it had gone off during the night, she complained at being disturbed with something that was 'not her problem', suggested we were accusing her of deliberately turning it off, then said we must have exceeded 6 amps (which we hadn't – and it was the first we'd heard of this latest new rule). 'What do you expect me to know about electricity?' she asked, before shutting the window, while her crazy dog ran circles round an increasingly fed up Margaret.

Barry moved the motorhome into the gateway, to prevent any further games, while Margaret went in to pay. Reaching for a campsite address card on the counter, she was told 'You don't need one of those, all details are on the receipt.' This proved untrue, so M grabbed a card and jumped into the motorhome. It was a strange and disturbing end to what had been a wonderful 3-month tour of Turkey. Had they called at Grand Ömür Camping on their way into the country for the first time, others might have turned straight back!”

The Owens' experience in November 2009 can be found at: http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/894/30/

Edirne Camping is still run on strict military lines: she directed us to a spot, indicated the angle for our van to go, watched us park, level up and hook up, and only then told us we had to turn the van through 90 degrees to accommodate a large group which was about to arrive.”