Saturday 15th September 2018
The alarm went off at 3:30am.
Never a welcome sound, but it at least signalled the beginning of the trip and an early morning drive to Heathrow.
I'd moved to Hertfordshire a couple of weeks previously, and the prospect of a quick whizz around the deserted M25 was much more palatable than a two hour slog driving from my previous home in Gloucestershire.
A lot of ECC members were on the same flight from London, and we all met up at Terminal 2 at 5am ready for a day of travelling.
We'd be flying on Turkish Airlines, first to Istanbul and then on to Antalya on Turkey's south coast.
Turkish Airlines' plane food was actually pretty good.
We landed at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport, which is due to be closed next year when the city's new airport will be finished.
The age of the airport showed, but they were still serving some fantastic cakes!
Baggage reclaim at Antalya Airport was chaotic, but after a long wait for our luggage we managed to meet up with the rest of the group who had made their own way to Turkey.
We boarded our two coaches, and set off from the airport.
Turkish law makes it compulsory for all organised foreign tour groups to be accompanied by an official Turkish tour guide.
Ours was called Faruk, a wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable guy, who was slightly bemused to be coming along on one of the most unusual tours of his career!
The coaches pulled in to our first destination at around 7:30pm local time.
Aktur Park is an amusement park which sits on the outskirts of Antalya.
The locals seemed quite amused at the sight of two coach loads of coaster enthusiasts waiting outside, all taking photos of the entrance!
When we got in, the group headed for Aktur Park's spinning wild mouse, Twister Coaster. It might have been the first rollercoaster of the trip, but it certainly wouldn't be the last spinning mouse.
Some people were so excited to get their first Turkey Tour credit they went all blurry.
Next up was Elma Kurdu, the first kiddie coaster of the trip.
Queuing for the kiddie cred.
Coaster enthusiasts doing what coaster enthusiasts do.
Aktur Park's third and final coaster was Shark Trip.
The park's dark ride, Korku Tüneli (Horror Tunnel), would turn out to be one of the better dark rides we'd experience during the trip
Despite appearances, this was not actually a scene from inside the Horror Tunnel
Even though they didn't speak much English, the park's staff were very friendly which made it fairly simple to buy some dinner using the international language of pointing and smiling!
With a small number of credits left we decided to queue up and make a ride on Dönme Dolap, the park's ferris wheel, the last ride of the night
There was a nice view from the top, over the park and inland into the city.
After a couple of hours in the park, we headed back to the coaches and on to our hotel for the night, the Holiday Inn Antalya Lara.