Antalya, Turkey

Originally uploaded by Pat and Amy’s pics

Amy and I flew from Turkey back to Ireland Sunday, and this may have been the first trip where, when it was ending, we thought, “Wouldn’t a few more days here be nice?” It’s not that the other trips were bad (they were great), but we knew we’d be back to some places (such as London, which we’re returning to in a month, and Spain, where we decided to live for 10 weeks this coming fall), and in other cases the flight out was so late and the final day was just so long we really felt the need to come home (such as from Prague or Cairo). We plan to go back to Turkey, but we’d have loved to have spent another week in Antalya.

We arrived in Antalya Monday last, checked into our pension in the Kaleici, a protected area of old Ottoman houses (so it’s touristy but gorgeous), and wandered down to see the nearby marina, or old Roman harbour. Looking out across the sea to the mountains in the distance, it was hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a city. We had mentioned in our first Turkish posting that Turkey didn’t have the “wow factor” that Egypt had (it’s hard to beat a pyramid for really stunning scenery). Istanbul is comfortable and very nice, the Blue Mosque is beautiful, and the villages we visited are wonderful. It was only when we came to Antalya, though, that we were almost stunned by the beauty of the scenery. Each time we’d walk down the street toward the bay and get the first glimpse of the water ringed by the city, with the mountains behind it all, we’d begin exclaiming, “Incredible,” or “Wow!” In Antalya, we finally got the “wow factor” on the trip.

The weather wasn’t as good as we’d hoped (Antalya normally has some of the best weather in Turkey, but it was somewhat chilly and we experienced two thunderstorms), and I managed to get sick about 36 hours after arriving. You’d think with all that going against it I’d have had enough of the city, but as I said, we’re already planning to return on our future journeys.