Antalya

12/9/15 -14/9/15


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A feel little like a fraud writing a post on Antalya, we barely spent two days there before heading onto Cappadocia. I wanted to combine this post with the write up on Olympos, but when I started looking over the photos I was surprised that we actually got some really interesting pics, especially when we impulsively took the camera out with us on our way to dinner one night.

The old Hadrian Gate. A former entrance to the city.
The old Hadrian Gate. A former entrance to the city.

Antalya is definitely the biggest Turkish city we’ve visited so far, and is the definition of a concrete jungle. We stayed in the old town though, which felt like a near oasis compared to the activity happening on the other side of the old walls. Camel Pension was our temporary home and it was perfectly adequate, just a few rooms in this B&B style place (although no brekkie was included, so it was really just ‘B’) run by a friendly family. Our room was clean, a good size and most importantly, had an air conditioner.

Here are some moments we caught while wandering around the old town and also wider city during one of our nights in Antalya.

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Patriotism that never ends.

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One of many carpet sellers in the old town.

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Making Turkish ice cream.
Kebab, what else?
Kebab, what else?
A local skateboarder.
A local skateboarder.

This street looks pretty, but try to avoid eating anywhere here.
This street looks pretty, but try to avoid eating anywhere here.
Pretty lights.
Pretty lights.

So Antalya was an interesting place to take your camera and go for a wander -big cities mean a lot of people -especially in Turkey.

The old town Mosque.
The old town Mosque.

Something weird did happen to us in our short stay though, and not when an ice cream stand tried to charge me five times the price for the same ice-cream-honey-melon delight I’d had in Olympos (although that was a real low point). We’d wandered down to the harbour and were having a walk around, we eventually ended up sitting down on a rocky walkway, admiring the city, pristine waters and mountains in the background. All of a sudden, just below us, were a group of young Turkish men, probably in their late twenties, casually taking selfies together (MAJOR turn off anyway), and then… started throwing their empty plastic water bottles into. the. ocean. The first time I saw it, I hoped I imagined it. The second time, I was stunned, and started to get angry. Daniel is telling me to calm down, he can see I’m getting majorly pissed. Third one does it. “HEY, DON’T THROW YOUR PLASTIC INTO THE WATER YOU FUCK WIT. “ I couldn’t help it. I’m the sort of person that would only send food back at a restaurant maybe if there was a finger nail in it, and even then would probably end up apologising myself. I don’t like confrontation. But something about seeing a group of young guys acting so rudely towards their beautiful surroundings, and being so smug about it just got to me. Turkey is famous for it’s stunning waters, and the wonderful creatures who inhabit it, like the Caretta Caretta Turtles, yet here these idiots were, throwing plastic bottles into the water which can take more than 400 years to decompose. Of course, these guys thought me yelling at them was amusing, but when I kept pushing the point they laughed and said ‘We don’t understand English’. Be certain I was still giving them daggers and wanted to push them into the ocean with the hope they’d float there for 400 years, but alas Daniel was quick to mediate (I think he didn’t like his odds against four guys) and removed us both from the situation.

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Why would you throw rubbish into this?

We’ve eaten some amazing food in Turkey, so many grilled meats, baked veggies and more, and something which has been shown to us again and again is following; don’t ever judge a book by its cover -or, more importantly, a Turkish restaurant by it’s decor. We’ve eaten at a few ‘proper’ restaurants and have never had a bad meal, but you are always much more likely to have a more memorable experience if you seek out the small place with the very unfashionable furniture and usually with their 14-year-old son helping wait tables too. Our first night in Antalya we ate a place on the main ‘eat street’ in the city, and it was alright, but considering the ‘prettiness’ of the street (see photo above with umbrellas), the nice table we had and the over the top friendly service, we hoped for more. The following night we ate a small place (but was three stories tall) called Can Can with zebra patterned chairs, staircases that were falling apart, and staff who couldn’t speak hardly any English. Plus, the ceiling were so short that Daniel had to bend over slightly to get to the table. But the food was out of this world!

Tables covered in menus? Zebra upholstery? Rickety stairs? This place is gonna be gooood.
Tables covered in menus? Zebra upholstery? Rickety stairs? This place is gonna be gooood.

So while our stop in Antalya was short and sweet (aside from the sourest pomegranate juice ever purchased from juice stand below), it was worthwhile and was good to have a breather before jumping on a 10-hour bus ride to Cappadocia. Eeep.

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