We arrived in Antalya mostly because it was a straight shot over from Goreme and we figured we could crawl our way up the coast. No expectations.
We met a French-Canadian pair of sisters who were lovely and we ended up having breakfast with them and then dinner and then breakfast again.
They are off to Beirut to visit family and I wanted to join them so badly. It sounded like such a great adventure. Like always with travel, if you leave room for chance and are ready to strike up a conversation with anyone, you are rewarded many times over. Today was a case in point. After having an amazing dinner with the soeurs Senay where we talked about everything from journalism to movie making to politics to family, we all retired to our hotel and then met again this morning for breakfast. They were taking off for Istanbul before Beirut and we said goodbye to them with a twinge of regret - such great people and now we are on our own again in the Blue Sea Garden. This morning, we decided to take a walk to find a decent cup of coffee and ended up looking over the sea with a castle in our foreground and 2 rambunctious dogs
that had adopted to us literally nipping at our heels and hands. The dogs continued to play and we had our coffee till the flies drove us away. We wandered through the back sreets of Kaleici and at every intersection we would turn to each other and say, "right? left?" "you decide" "Ok, left". This led us down to the water front where we were talked into a 1 hour boat ride which quickly turned into a 2 hour boat ride.
The price dropped from 80 Euros for the two of us to 60 YTL for the 2 of us or about $40.00. We went back to the room to get some stuff and a bathing suit and then came back to our boat. On the way, Hugo remarked to me, "Well, this wasn't really in our plans but hey...." We got back to the boat, had a little discussion with another boat guy about religion (he was sad that I am an atheist, I told him not to worry). We got on our boat and waited. No one else came. We waited. Then our host came running up and said, "How about 4 hours with lunch - you go out, see the waterfalls, have some chicken, maybe spaghetti and then come back. 5 euros extra each."
We said sure. We paid him 20 more YTL and then started quickly toward the other boat which was leaving. As we approached, the boat had already pulled out so we did a U-turn to catch the boat at the gas station before it took off for open water. We quick-stepped it over to the petrol station and hopped on board a boat that was already full-up with a group - coudn't tell who they were or what language they were speaking - they had already all claimed the front end of the vessel and had their shirts off and their swimming gear on. We went towards the back where there was an older couple sitting serenely, in rakish hats, by themselves.
We took up residence with them. I offered a cookie and some nuts. After a bit, they reciprocated with Dutch sweets and we were off. What happened over the next 4 hours was one of those magical chance encounters.
We became more relaxed. We chatted more. Jan's english was not very good so Anna translated for us between Dutch and English. They run a furniture store in the Netherlands and Jan is also a healer. Later, when Hugo and I had climbed up on the mid-deck to sun ourselves, Anna joined us and started talkiing about her childhood and her mother, about Jan's practice, about the car accident they had both been in that had changed their attitudes about life. The boat achored. Hugo and I and two of the Lithuanians swam in the sea for a bit.
We had lunch. The aforementioned chicken and pasta. We pulled anchor and sailed up to see the lovely water falls.
We anchored there and had fruit. I fell asleep. Hugo sat by Jan and at one point Jan had leant back against Hugo and had closed his eyes.
Anna and I both just watched and smiled. Anna had a magical bag.
She pulled out a towel to give to us becaue we hadn't brought one. Later, she brought out more bread and rolls and then packets of mescafe and then at oine point hard-boiled eggs. By this time, we were all helpless with laughter because she kept reaching her hadn into this bag and bringing things out. The boat sailed back in....we lingered for a bit, then hugged and said goodbye.
We walked back from the harbor and deicded to take a different way home. We passed a sign that said, filter coffee. Then we noticed that it said rooms, 25 YTL. We went in. There was woman in the kitchen doing dishes. We asked to see the rooms. Her name was Honny - also Dutch. We passed through a cozy, eclectic dining room to a lovely, cozy and comfy looking bedroom. She said it was 25 YTL per person. I joked that it was sooo much. She darkened and walked out. I told her I was joking. She relented and said, "Be careful when you make jokes about things being too expensive - I'm here a long time and I'm used to the Turks trying to cheat foreigners" We made up and paid her for the room for the night after this.
And so Hugo and I have deicded to stay in Antalya, a city we had never heard of before this trip, for another night.