Tag Archives: Antalya

Antalya to….

1/7 – the weather has gotten very cold all of a sudden! It’s time to move on, but, unfortunately for us, our next adventure is north of here, in the mountains, where it is bound to be even colder. Glad I got my winter jacket! Today we planned to take a six hour bus ride north to Konya, leaving at 11am. We arrived at the travel agent to catch the shuttle to the bus terminal at 9:45, but were told that the usual 6 buses to Konya had been reduced to 2 because of snow in the mountains. The bus we were supposed to be on had been canceled. The only morning bus would leave at 10, and the terminal was 30 minutes away. I wondered why only 4 of the buses were canceled. The snow mustn’t be too bad if some buses were still moving through.

When we expressed dismay (the travel agent had no English, and our Turkish really sucks, so all communication takes place by facial expressions, waving our hands about, pointing at clocks, and Google Translate) she indicated that we could take a taxi to a place on the outskirts of town where we could flag down the bus as it drove by at 10:15. Deal!

She sprinted with us to the taxi stand and hurriedly explained the situation to the driver. He jumped behind the wheel and peeled out into traffic, beeping his horn at every intersection to make the other cars go faster. He got us to the designated place and showed us where to stand. Jim tried to tip him for his outstanding service, but he refused extra money.

We flagged down the next bus that came by, which was not our bus. This caused a young man to emerge from the cafe and ask what we were trying to do. He waited with us until the right bus came by, and flagged it down. Now, that’s THREE Nice People of Turkey in 30 minutes – a new record!

We were happy to be out of the cold on a nice warm bus, and congratulated ourselves on our success. We were happier still when the bus assistant brought us hot coffee and a selection of snacks. We were on our way!

It was hard to believe that buses had been canceled due to snow on such a bright sunny day. Here’s what we saw out our window:



After 3 hours, the bus pulled in at a gas station / restaurant. This was an expected rest stop, where we could grab a snack and use the rest room. Usually, the driver announces how long the bus will be stopped – 10 or 15 minutes. This driver did not. As we got off the bus, we asked ‘how long?’ He just shrugged and replied, “Traffic problem”. Uh oh.

The temp had been dropping, and now registered at 0 / 32 degrees. As we trotted back to the WC, I slipped and recovered on the marble walkway covered with invisible ice. “Be careful…” I started to say, but too late. Down Jim went, smashing his knee. He limped back to the bus. Most of the passengers remained in their seats, so we sat back down too.

When the driver hadn’t returned in 20 minutes, we went into the restaurant and found him drinking tea and checking his cellphone. How long? we asked again. Another shrug. We sat inside for a while (the restaurant food did not look appetizing), bought some peanuts and a chocolate bar, and got back on the bus. I read for a while, then took a nap. After 2 and a half hours, the driver climbed back into the bus and started it up. The assistant gave everyone a cup of tea. Back in business!


After an hour’s ride, I began to get a sinking feeling. The thermometer display in the bus indicated that it was getting warmer, and things were starting to look familiar. Before too long, my suspicions were confirmed. There just could not be two identical roadside buildings called HOUSE OF LAMP. We were no longer heading north. The bus was returning to Antalya!

It was 6:30pm and pitch dark when we pulled into the otogar. Jim and I had discussed our options for the last hour, and decided to try returning to the same hotel we had checked out of this morning, even though that would entail another expensive taxi ride. We asked the bus assistant about getting a voucher or a refund on our tickets, and he said we could just use the ticket over again on another day. This didn’t sound right, but what could we do?

So, here we are back in our little room, exhausted after a long day of doing very little and getting nowhere. Our hotel proprietor said he thought we’d be returning, as he followed the weather report on the news. He was happy to see us. Although we had a non-refundable reservation in Konya, he called the Konya hotel and had them change the date on our reservation so there won’t be a penalty. Ah, the tribulations of travel! We’ll have to try again tomorrow.

1/8 – It turns out that the ongoing blizzard up north has stopped all traffic and canceled school in practically all of northern Turkey. All buses have been canceled, and even the trains got stuck on the tracks. It’s down in the 30s here in Antalya – extremely unusual. Most of the restaurants have only outdoor seating, and can’t be doing much business in this weather. The ice cream store was closed today.

We walked back to the travel agent to confirm that our tickets would still be usable. The buses are scheduled (right now) to run tomorrow, so we will try again.

On our way home we saw a display of winter hats outside a shop:image I hope well-meaning Turkish parents don’t buy these hats for their children! (We’ve seen many tee shirts sporting English words that make no sense – evidently the cachet of a foreign word is enough to sell the items, no matter the meaning!)

We understand that it’s cold back home too – bundle up and stay warm!

Antalya – the Museum and the Beach

1/5 – more errands to run today. We went back to the hikers shop to check out the boots that were special ordered for Jim. No luck – they were not wide enough, and hurt his feet. Plan B – Jim will try ordering boots online in the U.S. and ask son Peter to ship them to our next address here in Turkey.

We walked another mile downtown to a street that showed several audiologist offices, according to Google Maps. Jim’s hearing aids haven’t worked in a while, and this is a good opportunity to get them fixed. This task was a resounding success, and in twenty minutes, Jim’s ears were back in business.

Now we were close to the Antalya Muze, and walked over to check it out. Unfortunately, it is closed on Monday, but the security guard let us walk through to the outdoor displays in the garden. Another Nice Person of Turkey!

Lots of cool old stuff stored here.

Where did the heads of these statues go?

The museum was across the street from Antalya’s famous long, sandy beach, which is packed during the summer months, and almost deserted today. We’ve actually seen several swimmers in the water here in January – cold is a relative concept!image



image I love to see the mountains and the ocean at the same time.

We went back to the tailor shop to get a rip in my backpack repaired, which gave us a second opportunity to eat lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall family eatery with excellent eggplant casserole. The owner was so happy to see us again, he embraced Jim with the head-bump of respect and kissed him on both cheeks! Because it was cold today, he encouraged us to also try some of his wife’s delicious yogurt and rice soup with lemon. Hit the spot – we wish we could get recipes for all these dishes!

I’ll take this opportunity to share how much I admire the work ethic of the people of Turkey. The shops and businesses stay open from early until 10 or 11 at night. Next door to our hotel is a barbershop with one barber and one chair. He is working first thing in the morning, and still on his feet when we return from supper at 9pm. I know the country is poor, which drives the long hours, but the people are so NICE! They remember you and call you by name. They go out of their way to be pleasant, and always try to give you more than you asked for. We haven’t encountered any of the surliness here that we found in parts of Europe (I’m taking about you, Spain and especially you, Rome). Here’s to you, Türkiye! We love you!

Antalya – the Kaleiçi and the Harbor

1/3 – Today we walked around the Old Town, known as the Kaleiçi, (the letter ç is pronounced ch) with buildings dating from the second century BCE.  

Our hotel is right near the old Clock Tower, where horse-drawn carriages are waiting for tourists.

The old men of the town congregate here.image

A gate in honor of Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Antalya in the year 130 was reconstructed here.image

There’s an old Roman temple that became a Greek Orthodox church and then a mosque, which was destroyed and not rebuilt. It’s known as the mosque with a broken minaret.

Lots of statues on the streets – some serious, some quirky.

Lots of shops with men sincerely encouraging us to buy their stuff. The default tourist language here is German. There is an old bazaar, a tiny version of the one in Istanbul.image

We ended up down by the gulf, watching the ships and the turquoise water.

1/4 – We took a harbor tour on a boat that paid homage to the Johnny Depp pirate movies.

We were promised a waterfall, and a pirate cave.

A nice chance to contemplate the mountains, although the sky grew overcast as we left the shore.

A beautiful harbor and a beautiful day.

Olympos to Antalya

1/1 – Happy New Year to all! The pansyion really filled up last night, with people out to celebrate. Met a nice couple from Ireland. We were invited to a party on the Olympos beach for NY Eve, but the rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing, not to mention we would have to wade across the inlet in the dark to get there, so we opted to stay relatively dry in our little cabin, with the electricity going on and off. We were fast asleep at midnight, when the loud firecrackers and cherry bombs woke us, then were eclipsed by even louder thunder, magnificent lightning and hailstones.

When we got up in the morning, many oranges had blown out of the trees, and a car formerly parked on dry land was under water. The inlet we had crossed at knee depth was now waist depth or more. Time to move on!



We thanked Meral for her hospitality and set out to catch the dolmus back to the highway.


After walking past all the other tree houses with no sign of the dolmus, we stopped in at the last pansiyon to ask for help. The proprietor said the dolmus had left without us, and there wouldn’t be another for two hours. He said we could take a taxi, for three times the rate of the bus. After a brief deliberation, we asked him to call the taxi. He went inside and came back with his car keys. He was the taxi!

After an exciting ride inching over flooded streets, we were back on the main road, waiting for the next bus, which arrived in ten minutes. On to Antalya!

In two hours we arrived at our new home, the Hotel Twenty. Antalya is a big, modern city, and we plan to get some things done while we are here, starting with getting some new boots.

Our hotel is a block from the water, and we have a view of the Mediterranean. The mountains are stunning. We are right next to the mosque, so we will not miss one note of the calls to prayer throughout each day.


We weren’t sure what would be open on New Year’s Day, an official holiday here, but we took a walk around our end of town to get our bearings. It’s a beautiful sunny day, in the 60s. We see several New Year displays that have co-opted what we would consider Christmasy things – presents, tinsel and wreaths.

Google Maps showed a hikers supply store, Tibet Outdoor, a mile down the main street, so we headed toward it. The windows were dark, but when we tried the door, it opened! The proprietor had just stopped in to check on something, and was happy to talk to us. Of course he doesn’t carry boots in Jim’s size 13, but he will order them for us. He carries Keen, my favorite brand. Things are looking good! We will come back tomorrow, when the store is open.

Antalya has its share of sleeping dogs, and hungry cats.


It also has an Umbrella Street, full of restaurants, reminiscent of the one we encountered in Portugal. We will eat supper here tonight.image

1/2 – Our hotel cooked us a lovely breakfast, and, fortified, we walked back to the Tibet Outdoor hiker shop. I am now the owner of new boots, black instead of green, and Jim has a pair on order that we hope will fit him. We also looked at cold weather jackets, as we head north next week, and a new raincoat for Jim. Next we visited a tailor, who replaced the broken zipper on Jim’s fleece, and a pharmacy to stock up on meds (which don’t require prescriptions here). Stopped at a camera store to replace my camera batteries that no longer hold a charge. Hmmmmm, what else can we take care of while we’re in town?

Enough errands for one day. How about a sunset?image