The all night bus journey from....purgatory

Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
1
8
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Trip End Nov 25, 2008


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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Mediterranean Coast,
Thursday, November 13, 2008

It will only be a 9 hour journey by bus. The seats, they are comfortable. Recline seats.  You sleep. Arrive rested and ready for tour of the Roman ruins.  Riigghhht.  These things never work out the way they are supposed to.  Hugo and I keep referencing "The Amazing Race" which we are taping by the way even as I type this.  I'll turn to him and say, "what place are we in now???" as yet another bus or shuttle fails to show up.  But, as I also have said on countless occasions during this trip - it's the mistakes that make this memorable.  So last night, while enduring the blaring Turkish music, the contraband stop by the side of the road outside Goreme (what are they loading from the back that car into the bottom of our bus??), the passport check by the 5 scary looking military guys at 3:14 a.m., the rain, the time the bus skidded coming around the corner - all these things make the trip memorable and become the fabric of the trip - "Turkey".
I am sitting now in the patio area of the



Blue Sea Garden Hotel which is very basic but in the most amazing location in Kiresci - the old Ottoman section of Antalya.  I had never heard of Antalya before we came here - but just to let you know - it's part of the Turquoise Riviera - east of Bodrum and Marmaris - east even of Fethiye - (which we may hit next) and Kas.  It's not too far from Syria which I am soooo tempted to visit. Alas, we can't get visas.  
Hugo here...
Our hotel is charming.  Inexpensive as always, basic to the bone in terms of fittings and accommodations but clean and in the heart of the Old City.  It is the Low Season in Antalya so the streets a quite quiet and the shopkeeper are almost too fatigued to work too hard for a sale. The Old City is closed to cars so it is almost Disneyesque in charm and beauty: narrow maze-like pedestrian streets lined with Ottoman style buildings each housing some sort of to-the-tourist-trade retail punctuated with ancient Roman ruins.  Best of all the temperature has climbed to the high 70's  with Mediterranean blue skies and wispy clouds.  
After a short nap this morning to counteract  our nightmarish bus trip, we headed out through the winding lanes of the Old City into the sprawling city of Antalya.  Antalya  feels a lot like



Nice with hundreds of cafes and restaurants and streets lined with palms. Pods of Germans co-mingle with what seems to be mostly Turkish tourists.  I think Antalya, so far to the south and now one of Turkey's fastest growing resort towns is as big a draw for Turks and it is for the sun chasers that crowd the beaches during the summers. 




Whether out of necessity to the booming tourist trade or cultural heritage, the Turkish people have been incredibly warm and welcoming.   Of there are exceptions like the folks at the Post Office where Denis had to mail off some postcards and some soft- pitched begging. So far today we have only had to fend off one drunk Kurd named Has'an who wanted to be our friend as long as we parted with 20 Lira or bought him a drink.  We successfully left him behind to cultivate other benefactors and headed up to a beautiful cafe high above the city for drinks overlooking the yacht marina and sea just before sunset.  
It must 6ish, The muzzeins are starting to compete for the airwaves all about so it must be time for dinner. More later.
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed

Comments

speechie
speechie on

Hey Bros
Ok - first being the Speech Pathologist that I am, I need pronunciation cues for all of the cities you are visiting. My memory, as bad as it is, is BETTER if I can at least say the words!! Sounds like you are having the adventure you always seem to experience. We all enjoy traveling with you!!! Safe travels!! My love, PAM

hugoanddenis
hugoanddenis on

Re: Hey Bros
I posted some pronunciation stuff for you but it's pretty crazy..I'll send you a Turkish dictionary - it's amzing.

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