Old Jun 14, 08, 3:02 pm
  #12  
Flying Buccaneer
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: TPA
Programs: DL Plat, AA Plat 2MM, HH Diamond, WoH Explorist, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,199
Today was my second full day in Antalya, and even though I awoke a little before 9:00 a.m., I was unable to drag myself out of the room until a little after noon. I caught the tram into Kaleici. My plan was to have lunch, look around for a few minutes, and take the tram back to the Muze stop (the one closest to the Sheraton), where I would spend the afternoon at the Antalya Museum.

It almost worked without a hitch.

I exited the tram at Kale Kapisi and crossed the tracks and headed north onto Kazim Ozlap Caddesi. I forgot to mention yesterday that this is a pedestrian street that's full of small shops and kebap shops. Half a block up on the east side there's a covered alley that's a bazaar that seems to branch off in many different directions. I headed up the street, looking for a hole in the wall type restaurant. I walked aimlessly, and I found a place called Miss Simit Sarayi. The menu was similar to Can Can Pide from the night before. I was greeted by a man who offered me a table inside or under a canopy. I chose inside, and began the process of ordering. It wasn't that difficult: pizza, kebap, salat... all familiar items. I chose a pizza, my old standby Coban Salad, and a Coke Zero. The food was made to order, and delicious. The bill came to YTL 8.50 (about $7) plus tip.

I had about 15 minutes before the next tram back to Muze, so I walked along Ataturk Caddesi. I thought an ice cream cone would be a good idea. I stopped at one of the ice cream sellers on Ataturk Caddesi. The man serving the ice cream shook my hand and asked me where I was from. I told him and he said "Welcome to Turkey! You like"? I said I did, very much, and I got a vanilla topped with toasted pine nuts. He shook my hand again I was on my way back to the tram.

I still had more than 5 minutes, so I walked across the street and bought 5 postcards. I handed the elderly man out front a 1 YTL coin, and he put them in a bag. He said something I did not understand, so I shook my head. Then he said "Stamp?" I told him I did not have any, so he said "Come." So I followed him and he said "Shop has stamps." I realized I was being "invited" to a shop, so I told him I needed to catch my tram. He had the bag with the cards, so I followed him. We got to the shop, and it was filled with ceramics, magnets, postcards, and other items. The man behind the counter said hello, and the elderly man said something to him. The man behind the counter said "You need 5 stamps? Two lira each. Please take a look around my shop to see if you want anything else." I told him that I needed to catch my tram and gave him 10 YTL. He put the stamps in the bag and I left.

I missed the tram. Then I looked in the bag and saw that each stamp was 0.80 YTL. I paid 10 YTL for 4 YTL worth of stamps. I was angry that I let it happen, but more angry that it made me miss my tram. I didn't want to wait 30 minutes, so I walked. It took about 30 minutes to get to the Museum, and by the time I arrived, I didn't care about the stamp incident anymore.

I checked my backpack at the gate and walked into the museum. The air conditioning felt good, but the exhibits started off slow. At first it was mainly artifacts and pieces of artifacts from the Stone and Bronze Ages. It was interesting, but there was only so much I could process. However, a couple of rooms later, it progressed to statues of Greek gods from the first century A.D. Of course, most were missing arms or noses, and some were missing legs. But the detail was spectacular. Room after room. Many of these were excavated from nearby Perge, and some were returned to Turkey after they had been illegally exported. The most incredible exhibits were the sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?). Some were almost completely intact, some were missing quite a bit of their structure. I wandered upstairs where the the Christian icons and paintings were, and back down where Islamic artifacts, carpets, and more recent items were shown. Before walking into the park adjoining the museum, I relaxed with a tea and a bottle of water.

I made my way back to the hotel, but there was a problem. My key didn't work on the gate! Luckily, someone was behind me and he said "Your key isn't working?" Another American. Somehow, I selfishly thought I was the only one at the hotel! He let me in, and I stopped by the front desk to get re-keyed. It seems that when my first reservation ended, my keys expired. The good part about that was that there was another fruit plate with bottle of wine waiting for me. I called home, took a shower, and relaxed a bit.

At 7:30 p.m., I headed back to Kaleici. I heard a couple of Americans talking on the tram. Suddenly, we're all over the place in Antalya! One of them looked at me and said "What part of the States are you from?" I told him Florida and he said they were from California. They were to be in Turkey a month, and had been to Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, and Konya... basically all the places I would see in the next two weeks. But they were going to spend the next few weeks traveling back to Istanbul via the coast. He told me that they had seen me at Hadrian's Gate the day before, but they thought I was Danish. Usually, it's German!

We arrived at Kale Kapisi, and I told them this was my stop. I walked down to the Marina, yet again, avoiding the shops along the way. I wanted to get some pictures at dusk, and they were worth the effort. There was all sorts of activity: cruise operators trying to get passersby to book a trip for tomorrow, tourists walking leisurely, kids laughing, and excursion boats unloading. I saw a man with a tray of roasted mussels with lemons. Then another, and another.

I walked up the stairs on the south side of the Marina and was taking pictures. To my left, I heard someone say "Let's take it here" in an American accent. Two women were doing a self photo, and I said "Would you like for me to do that for you?" One of them thanked me and said "That's OK, I getting good at this." The other looked at the screen at the image she had just taken and said "Well, not this time!" so I took a picture for them.

After I left the Marina, I walked back up to Kale Kapisi and decided to find another restaurant. I wandered into one close to where I had lunch. I wish I could speak Turkish, but the people are so helpful. And the food is so good that it's difficult to go wrong.

I walked back to the hotel. The walk is pleasant at night, and it's nice to see the people of Antalya sitting on park benches, going to dinner, or just out for a stroll. It's also nice to hear the music and laughter coming from nearby and far away. But maybe the best reason to walk was the chance on the way back to buy two pieces of baklava and successfully "smuggle" them to my hotel room!

Last edited by Flying Buccaneer; Jun 14, 08 at 3:08 pm
Flying Buccaneer is offline