Land of the unlimited IMpossibilites...

Antalya Travel Blog

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We have decided to leave right after the daughter got out of school, so we had all morning to pack the car. Which was good. I think every inch of it was taking up with some kind of luggage. the only thing we did not pack much off was clothing. But, we took everything else, we thought could be of use in out longer vacation. Even the trampoline and the pool on top of the car. I thought it was far, far cheaper than buying everything new once we get here anyways.

we finally left around maybe 4 pm and were heading towards Budapest. Unfortunately, we got stuck on a heavy load carrier on the Autobahn and were not able to go faster than 80km/h... so, I decided to swing around him. But, in Bavaria the backroads are spread out much more than in my home area and by the time we got back onto the Autobahn.. we pulled onto it - you guessed it - right behind the carrier --- BIG BIG SIGH - we lost at least 2-3 hours on this stretch, very very very annoying.
The rest of the trip was very uneventful. A couple of stops for coffee and such and good.
We arrived in Budapest in the early morning. i anticipated to be there around 3-4am.. we did actually arrive at 5am - by the time we found the hotel it was almost 6am.
The hotel looked nice and I was happy to find such a cheap place that still looked good. (THE TULIP INN)..
however the person at the check-inn was not friendly. "We expected you around 4am?"  "Well, did you hold the room? You had my credit card info, no?" "Yes, but we expected you at 4am" Makes you feel right at home.. like a teenager talking to home, when coming home late. the rooms looked nice, clean and they were obviously working on renovating the place.
I did not care much, all I wanted was a bed. I had been up since the previous morning and sleep sounded just really, really good. I hit the bed and OH MY GOD ---- I FELT THE COILS OF THE MATRESS against the ribcage... arghhh - no sleep. No other rooms available. 3 hours later I looked for the kids, who were eating breakfast already, as they had the same problems. We had a (very greasy) breakfast, dealt with more very unfriendly people and decided to get going. The traffic was unbelievable and the rudeness of the drivers was only topped by the drivers in Belgrad, Serbia. Even at the gas stations, people were unfriendly. Must be an inbred general unhappiness left over from Eastblock times. Definetely a country that got scratched off my list for future vacations.
I will spare all of the difficulties of driving through all the other cities, as most of our trip was really uneventful. We had a very nice drive and as I made it a rule to keep the radio off, my kids remembered how much fun it was to sing in the car. Not once did they ask how much longer and there was no nagging. We had enough food and drink to keep driving and driving and driving and only got sodas etc when we needed to get gas. My kids learned how to read a map and all was pleasant.
The trip through Belgrad was the worst of the stretch unfortunately we arrived during rush hour.  Our next overnight stop was in NIS, Serbia, close to the Bulgaria border. As I had been warned not to stop in Bulgaria, I decided to sleep in Nis and then drive straight through Bulgaria. Supposedly the roads were fixed, a new highway etc..  but not so. Obviously, the hard winter took its toll on the road. They potholes were deep and wide and with the loaded car, I had to go very, very slow which again pulled out our drive and I had lost a lot of time. Sofia was another one of those "stay away" places with a car. 
but, finally we made it to Turkey. The wait at the border was not tooo bad, not thrilling either and I thought welcome to Turkey. As some turks WALKED up to the window, got their stamp and then took their car through the closed off lanes. Turks do not wait in line. well, at times they do, but in the 4 month I have been here, I have not figured out the pattern yet. I will get to this more detailed later....
anyways, nobody could tell me how the ferry is running and since it was 10pm already, I thought it would be okay to go through Istanbul.... big mistake!!!!  they have stupid toll things, but I have no clue how it works. At the border the change offices were closed, so I had no Lira. I ended up paying 20 Euro for a 20 Lira ticket (which OF COURSE I CAN USE THROUGHOUT TURKEY hahahaha - never seen a Toll Road since then and 20 Euro are more than 40 Lira) and I thought, great - 2 hours into country and I am already being ripped off.
The road through Istanbuls highway was hell. The are in tight competition with Serbian drivers and it is not surprising to me how many people die in accident here everyday. they are careless, reckless drivers completely overestimating their driving skills and counting on their luck and the fact that other people will watch out for them.  I guess the switch from donkey to car was just too fast... they are the nicest peoples out of their car, but behind the wheel they turn into maniacs. This makes driving a very unpleasant and in my opinion also dangerous experience. The signs on the road are obviously for tourists only, as I have not seen anybody stick to the speed limits. Of course, there is the possibility I got it all wrong and the red circle with a 70 in the middle on a cliffy road with lots of curves coming down from the mountains means... DO NOT GO SLOWER THAN 70 as you might get reared... this was my biggest problem, driving from Istanbul to Antalya many roads are under construction and having german plates, I usually stick to the speed limit, but my eyes were tearing from people flashing their lights at me constantly, as I was obviously going to slow, when you go 20 over speed limit.
By the time we reached Burdur I was pooped. I told the kids to have breakfast and I slept in the car, till I was asked to move. obviously only men may sleep in their car.. not good. But, we found a reststop were they had very nice lady and a monkey and the kids got breakfast and I laid on their couch ;)  after than it was only a couple more hours and when we came into Antalya - we brought the rain with us...
since then a lot of exciting things happened and I will try to post the more interesting stuff for people on vacation.

As my camera and I do not get along and as some of you know, my laptop broke down on me, shortly after getting here... most of the picture are taking by my neighbor Brigitte, who lives across the street for a few month at a time and I am so glad to have her here.
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photo by: moy18t