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25, photography lover, messy writer, philologist, passionate cook, avid traveller.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Around Antalya.

It's happened again...

A whooole month-ish has passed since I last wrote on my blog.


It didn't slip out of my mind, though. Every time I was randomly walking on the streets, discovering one and other new thing (for me, at least...), writing about it was the first thing I tought of. Sadly for me, it all quite used to end up there. In my head.

(Pretty much like eeeverything else I write.)

So, back to the start... A month has passed since I last wrote something, and three months had passed since I came to Turkey. Woah. Where did time go? I still remember pretty well that emptiness on the stomach the minute I left Lyon, not knowing exactly what adventures the future would bring. I still remember that first lokum I had on the plane (and last, since I didn't like it...), and how blue the sky looked when landing in Istanbul. Looking back at all of those things, it's hard to realize it all happened three months ago. I suppose having a busy lifestyle and dedicating weekends to wander around and getting lost is quite fun and entertaining.

Last month, I had a few visitors over, which helped me air my head a bit and spend some of my evenings and free time doing something else apart from preparing lessons and... preparing lessons. A friend from Lyon came to visit for a week and my uncle and aunt flew all the way from rainy England to stay with me for another week. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time off work, but I did spend the weekends with them, visiting the city, hiding from the rain at cosy coffee shops, dealing with Turkish merchants and driving around some of the historical places in the region. We therefore had plenty of time to visit Antalya, its city centre (which I hadn't properly seen before, so it was a first for me too!), and a few of the surroundings. 

 (One of our pit stops for Cappuccino with Chocolate & Cherry cake)
The first stop was Markantalya, a huge, new shopping centre in the Tahılpazarı neighbour. When taking what might be one of the busiest pedestrian streets in town, we can go all the way down to the clock tower, where a big square is surrounded by typical döner restaurants and several hidden entrances to several hidden bazaar shops, and where the tramway makes one of its multiple stops. Once there, all the signs lead to Kaleiçi and the old harbour, so the choice resides in going down the stoned, still pedestrian streets or taking the seaside walk, arriving to a vaste Tophane Parkı, where, needless to say, the view is gigantic. The sky, along with the sea – calm, ready to pose, both offer a very picturesque portrait; and the copper-coloured house roofs with their palm trees simply make the perfect snapshot.


(My eye was also caught by all of the Çay Bahçesi (or Tea Garden) spots along the sea view, where passers-by, families and visitors can stop for a cup of tea and a snack). 

When going down to the harbour (Yat Limanı), the streets are slightly steep and the houses still have their old, colonial appearance. Which, once again, reminded me of La Candelaria, the old part of Bogotá. I shouldn't compare, really. Kaleiçi's streets are home to several spices, jewellery, handcrafted purses and scarves’ local merchants (and that’s not all of it). So, after a 5-minute walk, we are finally down, admiring the seaport where dozens of pirate ships (literally) are quietly parked, being photographed by another dozen (and more) of tourists. The harbour is also surrounded by Tea Gardens, fish restaurants, old houses and friendly cats running all over the place. Five minutes are more than necessary to just stand there and observe the whole thing.

Antalya's city centre has, according to me, a great contrast between the old part of town with its antique passageways, and its crowded commercial streets, with sıcak simit sellers and families doing their shopping. There can be as many shopping centres as you’d like (and, coming from a city where there were only a couple – one of them being built only a couple of years ago, this can come in handy), but it can also have lots of peaceful spots, where nature is so present that it makes you forget about life and its hustle for a while.  

Having said this, I will, from now on, try and force myself to write at least an article a week. Or every two weeks, depending on the amount of stories I’ll have to write about (ha…). And, before ending this, here's a last picture: spot the cats :)

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