antalya | day one
september 27, 2011 (travel day)
The day started off crazy early, after a bit of a rough night. We went to bed around 11pm but something I ate (likely the yummy but greasy kofte ki-something) did not sit well and I was up feeling sick the whole night. But I survived without incident and we had to get up to be ready for a 4:30am pickup. The guy didn’t show up until closer to 5 and then got lost several times on the way to the airport! But we made it. They made us check our carry-on bags which was a bummer but it was fine. First flight was fine, nothing special. Second flight, Jose ended up next to this guy who smelled seriously bad. It was horrible. We actually had to breathe through a scarf. I think the guy realized how bad he smelled though because he moved to a place nobody was sitting (even though his family was right next to us) and put on his jacket!
Anyhow, we got through the flights and hopped on an airport shuttle that was hopefully going to get us somewhere near where our pension was. We pointed at the map and the driver assured us he would let us know when to get off, which he did. But when we got out we were hopelessly lost! There were absolutely no street signs and we had no idea where we were and also no full map of antalya – only the pseudo-map of the little area we were staying in called Kaleçi. Anyway after wandering around asking multiple people “nerede Kaleçi” and having them point generally in one direction but nothing further, we finally found a friendly somewhat English-speaking guy who gave us pretty clear directions to Kaleçi. We finally got there, to the old town, and it was so cool. Except that the streets were like a maze and we realized how woefully inept our little lonely planet map was! But we just kept trying to wander down and to the right because we knew the place was in that general direction. We finally found it and went in to speak with reception. Bad news for us – they were putting us up in a neighboring hotel because they were so busy! Annoying to say the least. The place we are staying now, the Mert Hotel, leaves much to be desired. But it’s basically clean and functional so we’re okay for the most part. Really the one big issue is that they blare music videos on the tv at top volume into the night, Apparently the proprietor runs a bar out of the same place but has no speakers so plays music from the lobby next door – very loudly. And unfortunately our room is right there. little worried about sleep tonight. Tomorrow morning we will try to convince the original place to let us stay there our last night. It’s frustrating because we booked months in advance. Oh well!
Anyway we got into our room and almost promptly fell asleep and didn’t wake up until dinnertime. At that point we headed out to grab food and found a really nice place just around the corner. I was able to try manti, which is Turkish style ravioli. It is little tiny pasta pockets of minced meat in a creamy yogurt sauce. Yum! After that, back to the hotel and off to bed. Okay off to bed but up for at least an hour or two with the crazy loud music. After we couldn’t take it anymore Jose went down to complain and they at least turned it down a bit enough for us to sleep.