Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Antalya is the biggest Turkish city on the Mediterranean, and it has an old city section, around the harbor. It's much bigger than we thought -- 1.2 million people -- but we're sticking with the old city and its no-car, walled-in charms. Here, though, the shopkeepers and restaurant people are much more aggressive in trying to capture us, and it borders on a feeling of being assaulted. I don't like that one little bit. One evening Marc went to the hotel to get something and I sat on a bench to wait for him; the shoeshine guy who was sitting on the other side of a parked car between us kept trying very hard to get me to come sit on the bench next to him. I mean, very hard he was trying. After several rounds of discussion, it seemed to end; suddenly, though, there was another guy sitting on the bench by the shoeshine guy, who commented on the prayer beads I wear around my wrist. He started asking me to come sit next to him, and again there were several rounds of increasingly-hard discussion. He said he just wanted to tell me about the American Sufi community in Richmond, Virginia, and said that when my husband returned, we should see him so he could tell us about them. Marc came back, and as I stood up, the guy was waiting on the corner. I should say that he was frightening-looking -- he looked like a snake, coiled at the corner, with hard red eyes. Marc had to be aggressive to get him to leave us alone, and it took a couple of different encounters before he finally let us be as we passed his corner. Every time we passed, though, he was there, stopping female tourists who were walking alone. It was kind of upsetting, and creepy, and I was so glad to have Marc between me and that guy.

The food here was mediocre, as TripAdvisor suggested it would be, but our adorable little hotel, the Deja Vu Boutique Hotel, was absolutely charming, with the warmest and friendliest staff. I smile when I remember the man we dealt with. We were just here one full day, which was plenty.

But the scenery really was beautiful:

Antalyan fishermen, on the rocky Mediterranean coast
the ancient Roman harbor, now filled with cruise boats
also, regular old fishing boats
the harbor at night -- with the old Roman wall
I'm on the Mediterranean!! My first time.
the view from our room -- one side, anyway. the other side is a view of the Mediterranean
our sweet little hotel -- we were welcomed to "our house" and told to feel as if we were in our own home.
We stopped at this little bar and cafe for a mid-afternoon Efes (the local beer) and a listen to live music. This was a 3-piece group (guitar player off to the right) and they were WONDERFUL. This was the best part of the day for me.
Here's the standard Turkish breakfast: olives and cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers, a boiled egg, some bread with sour cherry jam, and cups of tea. Really good, I loved it.

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