Day 3 4 and 5 (written 30th October), Turkey. Antalya
Arriving at the Otogar "bus station of Antalya was just the beginning of the adventure. It took nearly as long as the intercity journey to get to my hosts house through a city of gigantic geographical expanse which resembled, for the most part, an Eastern block metropolis with hundreds of towerblocks, one after the other..
When I eventually arrived I was greeted by my host, Murat, who took me to his house and introduced me to his mother and puppy. Within minutes, food had arrived and what a sight it was! Over dinner it became evident that my time with Murat was going to be great. His mother was a kindly - faced lady who provided wonderful hospitality, terrific food and a persistence that my stay would be as comfortable as was humanly possible that was without limit. The puppy - who's name I cannot remember but meant "cinnamon" in English - had boundless energy and an enthusiasm and curiosity that is only seen in dogs with such a limited life experience - 2 and half months!
Pilot from who's name Fetiye is taken
Sadly, the evening turned into a sporting tragedy with Hull City loosing to Chelsea and Arsenal throwing away a 4-2 lead to end the game against Tottenham 4-4. A deep and much needed sleep followed.
Thursday began with a leisurely stroll to Antalya's finest beach where I swam in 20 degree waters before relaxing in the sun. In the afternoon I visited Hadrian's Gate - an entrance to the old town that was built in honour of the great emperor's visit a couple of millennia ago. Through the gate was a meandering collection of streets with shops selling all manner of goods. Eventually the streets gave way to a cliff top view over an attractive roman harbour. I was stunned by the beauty of this little old town surrounded by such uninspiring "cold war chic" of the rest of the town.
The evening was spent at Murat's house. Following a seemingly never ending supply of meatballs, chips, salad and rice, we relaxed in front of a basketball game.
We had decided the previous night to book me a flight to Adana rather than to take the 11 hour bus via Konya. So this morning I got up
Statue in Fetiye
for a quick sunning on the beach before making my way to the airport from where I write this blog.
Saying goodbye to Murat and his mother was quite sad as my time there was very special and they made me feel so at home. It really is wonderful that modern technology has made such encounters possible. I was even invited to Murat's wedding next June and I have every intention of returning for that!!
Today I will try and get from Adana to Antakya, near the Syrian border, before night fall to stay in a hotel which will give me a good chance of making the bus over the border tomorrow at 12 noon.
The following day I have arranged to stay with a host in Allepo (Also known as Haleb) before finally making my way to Damascus.
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