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Theres not that much to do in Antalya. I had found myself a bed near the sea in Kaleici, the old city, and took a wander round admiring the few 13th century towers still left standing from the original city walls. They were still entered through the impressive Hadrian's Gate, a classic triumphal arch-like structure built as a memorial to when the boy came here long ago. There were also somewhat hazy views across the bay to the spectacularly abrupt Bey Mountains and you could see the very small but pretty harbour tucked away in a corner. Ramadan, or Ramazan as it is known in Turkish, was normally the most pious of months but Antalya did it differently and celebrated with a funfair along the clifftop promenade. The night was permeated with the smell of fresh popcorn and candy floss and people flocked to thrill rides and traditional shadow puppet shows. Though some headscarves were in evidence there were many more without, and the schoolgirls here even wore vaguely tartan miniskirts as their uniform, no bad thing. The commercial centre outside the walls was a picture of modernity with even an ultra modern tramline in operation. I met English spoken Claire, a paramedic from Aberdeen at the pension, who had just completed her walk of the Lycian Way (at 500Ks through the mountains no mean feat). This girl talked as much as she walked and so sleep came late after comparing her endless world adventures. I had been nowhere in comparison.

10th October

The next day was one of those functional ones where I left myself with nothing specific to do except settle into Turkey, but there was no real culture shock coming from carbon copy Northern Cyprus and despite its sprawl of suburban tower blocks, Antalya was manageable in the city centre. I invested a straight 5 hours in the internet and then came back to the pension to meet new arrival Lena, an atypical freckly redhead Russian girl who I had taken to be German and indeed who lived there. After grabbing a take-away kebab and a tin of beer each, we wandered down to the harbour and had a nice evening on the waterfront contemplating life, love and linguistics. It was a shame she would be flying home the next morning, it was almost romantic.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Turkey

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