Time for a beer
Antalya Travel Blog› entry 514 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Mehmet, Cenk and Itunc (Turkey)
Antalya looked a vibrant City at first sight, with colourful modern apartment blocks lining the streets, which were in turn bustling with activity. I was pleased to find that this initial impression of the place, which was observed from the dolmush window whilst racing down the road, would prove to be a pretty accurate assessment. A cosmopolitan City of three quarters of a million, it receives a whopping 9,000,000 tourists a year, with 75% of those coming from Russia. After spending any time in the City you can see that the Russians have clearly gotten onto something that the rest of us are missing out on - well, comparatively speaking.
I said my goodbyes to Donald at the bus station, who i had spent an enjoyable few days with, and fell straight into the hands of couchsurfers Mehmet and Cenk.
With Dinner out of the way we headed back to Mehmet's house, where i would be spending the next few days. Sitting in the living room we began to chat about life, travel, Turkey, the EU and anything else that sprang into our minds.
I slept until 09.30 on Tuesday, snuggled up under my duvet and two extra blankets, which were hard to part with. I had a slow start to the morning, taking the chance to listen to some music and relax, enjoying a little time on my own before i went out sightseeing. I decided to walk down to the centre, which was only 20 minutes away by foot and i was soon regretting having brought my jumper and coat, as the weather was magnificent.
Reaching the sea i sat atop some cliffs admiring the views, which really were fantastic, with the sun shimmering off the water and snow capped mountains looming high above the bay. I made my way around to the marina with the intention of just taking a nosy, so politely declined all of the offers of boat tours that were been thrust down my neck. The Lousy Planet had said that one hour tours normally cost 40YTL ($26), so the 10YTL ($7) price that was initially quoted did seem quite appealing, but i was still rather keen to check out the old town, so walked away nevertheless.
The trip was rather nice to be honest, sat on the deck and soaking up the sun, whilst admiring the stunning coastal scenery. We passed a waterfall, mosque, the old City walls and some modern high rise buildings and it was worth every cent, although if you paid 40YTL for this, i personally think you have been badly ripped off, it wasn't that good!
Disembarking from the boat i carried on around the marina before heading into the old town, which housed some wonderful Ottoman houses.
In the evening i had arranged to meet up with Mehmet and he brought along one of Cenk's friends called Itunc. We met in front of some fountains and the Ataturk Statue, located near the marina and went to a nearby restaurant which seemed to specialise in grilled chicken. Unfortunately i had recently eaten a couple of lahmacuns, so the prospect of half a chicken seemed a little daunting, so i opted to just take a bit of Itunc's to sample, along with a glass of Ayran.
After Dinner we went for a walk around the old town, which had some of its buildings nicely illuminated and the area was almost deserted. I'm sure its a different story in summer. To end the night we went to a nice little bar to drink a couple of beers, and the establishment seemed to be a popular place for the youth of Antalya to hang out. Cenk joined us a little later on having finishing his English class and this relieved me a little, as the guys had talked Turkish to each other for most of the night, which had left me feeling a touch isolated. We returned to Mehmet's around 23.00 and called it a night, as we both had early starts planned for the following morning.