Edit Blog Post
Published: April 8th 2018
We’re all a little subdued after minimal sleep on board the boat. We have a three and a half hour drive to Antalya on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. We are moving from the area known as Lycia to Pamphylia. The name is from a race of people who were happier to go along with the invading shinanigans of Alexander the Great and ended up sharing much of the wealth and prosperity he brought to the area. Unlike the proud Lysian guys who, if you remember, killed their women and children and then fought themselves to extinction rather than be ruled over.
Nowadays Antalya is a large city of around 2 million people, this number increasing by about 500,000 a year due to a massive influx of tourists. They are attracted by the picturesque bay with a backdrop of distant mountains and the pretty, pedestrianised old part of town with its shops, restaurants and hotels.
Our bus drops us just outside this area at the Kesik Minare otherwise known as the 'broken minaret’ which becomes our way of marking our bearings as it can pretty much be seen from anywhere in the city. It is all that remains
of a 13th century mosque that was trashed by a lightening strike in 1851. Soon after this they discovered lightening conductors. We have a lovely little hotel in the old part of town with rooms with a veranda style balcony to sit on. I’m joined by a cute tabby and white female cat who sits on my lap or my books, whichever gets her more attention.
We are taken on an 'orientation tour’ of Antalya by our guide to show us where things are. We have our first experience with the cheeky guys who sell delicious home-made style ice-cream. As they hand you your cone you realise they've double coned it leaving you with an empty cone and them with your ice-cream which they then pretend to drop, offer it to you but snatch it away at the last minute then almost stick it in your face. It's very silly and funny to watch but great when they finally hand you your ice-cream for real.
We are high up looking down on the bay far below and can see pirate ships heading in and out (a gimmicky tourist boat trip), a harbour wall with a few hardy souls
swimming and loads of restaurants overlooking the bay on various levels.
On one street there is, oh my god, a cat sanctuary with loads of little colourful houses lined up for the stray cats to live in. Yay! One of the volunteers hands us a tin of food to feed them with and loads of gorgeous kitty cats come running over. They love being stroked too. Cat heaven. I give them a donation and receive a few trinkets in return. I have to hurry to catch up the group for the rest of our walk and we all have lunch together. We walk back to our hotel through the white marble, tripled arched Hadrien's Gate named after Emperor Hadrien who entered 'Attaleia' on his trips along the main Roman road from Side, Aspendos and Perge.
We have a free afternoon so I go back to the ice-cream guys for another cherry, melon and vanilla combo before making my down the hill via a couple of garden view points of the bay and eventually down to the bay itself. There are so many of the wooden pirate boats moored up, each will some silly addition to the back -
skulls, mermaids, Jack Sparrows etc. Pretty tacky, but fun.
I find there is a lift that takes me straight up to the top of the cliff so head over to the rescue cats again and spend quite a bit of time there. One of the cats is blind so I have to make sure to keep talking so she knows I'm still there. One cat has some tiny kittens which are adorable. I'm there so long the volunteer guy comes over and offers me some apple tea!
Eventually I’ve had my cat fix and go to one of the cafés overlooking the bay enjoy a pomegranate juice and a piece of cheesecake. Mmmm. Then there's just enough time to find a good spot to watch the sun go down behind the mountains.
Time for an early night as we're off to see a load of historic sights tomorrow.
Tot: 1.747s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 13; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0377s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb