TURKEY!! Hooray! We are finally back!
Ok, I know that we arrived in Turkey 24 days ago, but I began this post but never finished it – got too busy posting about new places we were visiting – so I’m finally getting back to this one. Right now we are Datça and will soon be going to Bodrum!
Ever since we left Turkey in early June, I had been counting down the days until September 1st – our return date! We had such a fantastic time during our 10 days in early summer, but this time we get to explore this AMAZING country for 2 whole months!!! First stop – four days in Antalya.
After almost a month in the UK, visiting busy and cool London and Edinburgh, the 90+ degree weather in Antalya and the calm atmosphere was a bit of a shock! But after a few more days in the warm sun and the relaxed, friendly ambiance, we were back into the swing of Turkey!
Antalya is a great town if you want to get a real Turkish experience: it’s very local, has incredible Turkish food, and is a true city, over others that are just based on tourism. Our hotel was right in the heart of the old town called Kaleici, and after a few days, we began to feel like locals.
Antalya is on a high cliff, and the beaches nearby have stones instead of sand. Our hotel was only 5 minutes away from the beach and we could almost see the water and the cool ancient castle from our room. We spent our days exploring the town, swimming in the sea, finishing homework, and the best part – visiting the Antalya Museum – which has one of the most amazing archaeological collections I have ever seen!
We jumped in a taxi and were off zooming though the crowded streets of Antalya to get to the museum. Most taxi drivers here in Turkey drive like maniacs and thankfully, for once, our driver was actually very kind and let people cross the street when they were waiting.
The museum doesn’t look like much on the outside, just a little white building surrounded by palm trees off the main road on the side of the cliff. But once you get inside and hide from the intense heat, it is absolutely gorgeous – with big, beautiful rooms and displays.
My favorite room was the hall of all the Roman statues found in Perge, an ancient town near Antalya. The statues were much larger than a standard human size and very well preserved for their age!
In the museum I even made a new friend, Mr. Peacock. There were two peacocks in the museum gardens that were just hanging out. We kept following them and after a while they were annoyed and tried to escape. We just wouldn’t let them be…it was pretty funny.
During our stay in Antalya, we discovered a traditional dish that is absolutely to die for! It’s called GOZLEME. It’s like a handmade tortilla/pancake filled with meat, cheese, potato or any topping you like, put on a special gozleme wood-burning stove and lathered in butter. The cute little Turkish ladies usually knead the dough, roll them out, and cook them right in front of you! YUM!! We found a restaurant that had them right in front of our hotel. W just kept going back for lunch and dinner for 2 nights straight.
So the Turkish have a special ice cream that is super stringy and creamy! They make it by taking the whole clump of ice cream and throwing it in the air while screaming “ice cream!!” . When you order one it may take a while to actually get it since they first play a bunch of funny tricks on you!! It is definitely worth the 5 lira.
We took a video of the ice cream guy playing tricks on Trevor, but our internet connection is too slow to upload it, so I’ll be posting it later…..stay tuned!
Although it wasn’t as exciting as some of the other sites here in Turkey, Antalya was a great way to start off our two-month journey – it’s authentic, traditional and we got to see many treasures found in sites we would soon see – like Perge, Letoon, Xanthos, Aspendos, and Side.