In ‘My Favourite Alanya’ we talk with known and unknown residents of Alanya about their life in Alanya. After that they show us their favourite places in and around the city. This month we meet up with Norwegian Inger-Lise Ødegård, owner of Be Fit Sportcenter in Alanya. She tells us about how she decided to cime and live in Alanya and her passions, among which her successful fitnessclub Be Fit.
“My husband and I were together for twenty years before he died from cancer in 2008. During the great years we spend together, we were inseparable. After his dead it was a big challenge for me to build a life of my own. I had to find out who I was without my partner. I attended and completed a four year study and qualified as an alternative therapist. From this experience, I learned to listen carefully to my inner voice. I now think with my heart and brain together.”
Holiday in Alanya
“In 2013, my friend and I decided to go on holiday to the sun. She could only go within a certain period and as we could only get something suitable in Turkey, we ended up in Alanya. I wasn’t happy with this option at all because I had a lot of prejudices about Turkey. However, my friend kind of pushed me. We arrived late at night, it was dark and I didn’t really get a chance to see anything. The next morning – and I remember this very clearly – I walked into the street…….I stopped…….and I felt a very special sensation. It was as if I had been here before. You have to imagine that I was somewhere in the middle of a street, looking at some buildings but nothing really attractive. But it just felt right.”
“My heart had decided on Turkey and two weeks after I returned home, I went back to Alanya. I had decided that I wanted to live here. From then everything happened so fast, my friends in Norway friends wondered whether I knew what I was doing. But I had thought it through – I just knew this was the right thing to do. I have a 28 year old son, Morten, who agreed with me that I had to follow my inner voice and take the big step.”
What to do?
“The next question was; what will I do in Alanya? Sitting in the sun all day is not my style. I met a Turkish man who suggested opening a gym and I liked the sound of that……
In June 2013 we opened Be-Fit in Oba. There were a lot of things going on for me at that time: a new culture, a new language, a business premises that had to be transformed into a Fitness Club…I had to learn a lot in a short period of time. Later on our partnership was dissolved and now I am the sole owner of the gym. Being a female, foreign boss is also a great challenge in a country where normally a man would be in charge – so I’ve noticed. Over the course of time, I have had some setbacks but I will not be defeated by them. I love my job and I love Alanya. Turkish people are fantastic. They live very much in the moment. They don’t worry too much about tomorrow and don’t care to much about what happened yesterday.”
“Many of my favourite places in Alanya are restaurants. I love food and I love good food. My late husband was a chef and he prepared dinner every day. I was only allowed to make pizza and a fish gratin dish. But through his passion I learned a lot about flavours. For me, good food in a nice atmosphere is very important. Besides that, I chose the mountains, my Rotary Club and my gym as my favourite places, because they all form a big part of my new life”.
“I live above my fitness centre and the best start to the day is to go downstairs and say hello to my members. Be-Fit is -at least I hope – not a place people only want to go to when they are already fit. I want everybody to feel comfortable here. It doesn’t matter if you are fat or thin, old or young, strong or weak, I want everybody to feel at home. When I have the opportunity, I tell my members that sport is not only good for your physical but also your mental well-being. It is not important how many kilos you lose or how muscular you are. You have to ensure that your body, mind and soul are in harmony with each other. Sports are an important part of that”.
A Different Taste
“This restaurant has been in Alanya for many years but I only know it since last spring when the new owner, Stefanie, took over. She has become a good friend of mine in the meantime. I love the food at Taste because it is always fresh. It is very different from other restaurants because, at Taste, there is no menu. Every day, Stefanie creates a menu – incorporating what is in season – and writes it on the board. Guests can choose from a limited number of starters, main courses and desserts that vary all the time.”
“This is a gourmet restaurant. The main reason why Mutlu, the owner and award-winning Chef of Seasons cooks is because it’s his passion. He would genuinely feel bad if guests would leave his restaurant unsatisfied. Luckily this doesn’t happen because Mutlu is really an amazing cook! What I also love is that: he enters competitions, attends workshops and continues to develop himself as a chef. My favourite dish at Seasons is a dessert: the chocolate fondant. The best I have ever tasted”.
Özgür Bey Spa Hotel
“Özgür lives in the same building as me and one day after he gave me his business card, I went to his hotel with a friend to eat something. It immediately became one of my favourite places. On the top terrace level, it is lovely to sit with a glass of wine and enjoy the sun and the delicious dishes. Özgür is only 25 and his father gave him the hotel. This hotel has its own unique style. It is not all-inclusive, the interior and menu are totally different. I often go there if I want some privacy or undisturbed time with friends”.
“In many countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway of course, I made long mountain hikes. In Norway, I sometimes went on guided walks for ten or eleven hours through the mountains. Here in Alanya, I regularly go for a drive into the mountains, in search of beautiful places like this. I can spend hours sitting on this rock, enjoying the view. I even moved my bed so that I could look out onto the mountains. The mountains give me peace. I can live without sea and beach, but not without mountains”.
Vintage Wine House
“Vintage is another restaurant with that perfect combination of great food and a warm atmosphere. The owners of Vintage, Kemal and Merve, have become good friends of mine. What I like most is that they have land – somewhere outside of Alanya – where they grow their own vegetables and potatoes. So the food they prepare in the restaurant is clean and organic. Furthermore, Kemal is a sommelier and he can tell great stories about wine. I come often in Vıntage, not only in the evening to have dinner, but also during the day for a chat and a cup of good coffee.”
This article was published in Hello Alanya Magazine April 2015 and updated on February 28th 2017.
Important information: We do our best to keep our content updated, however, over time, changes can occur. Therefore we strongly advise before visiting any of the above mentioned places, to check current availability and/or opening hours.