Friday 24th August (Antalya)
The bus left promptly at 11pm. Again a very comfortable 6 hour trip with a stop half way. On board there was complimentary ice cream, tea, coffee and soft drinks.
This is a different bus company, but I notice that the stewards on both of them wore white shirts and red bow ties. Is this a coincidence, or is it a standard uniform?
I arrived at the bus station in Antalya at 5am, but could not see anybody waiting for me. I gave it 30 minutes before ringing Cenk of Fezbus in Istanbul. I felt bad phoning him at that time of the morning, but after all said and done, I've paid a fair amount so things can be sorted if they go wrong. To Cenk's credit, it was sorted in minutes. My pick-up had been waiting in the car park for me to turn up. As if I'd know where the car park was!
This guy does not know that his car has gears. Everything is done in third, from pulling away at traffic lights to cruising down the dual carriageway.
Got to the hotel at 6.45, with a planned pick up at 8am. So once again, one hour sleep before setting off on my exploration. I managed to fit in a quick breakfast of bread and honey. I still can't get used to this idea of a selection of cold meats and cheese for breakfast.
I'm due to visit another couple of ancient sites today, Perge and Aspendos. Perge was founded in the 12th Century BC, and has been excavated since 1947.
Aspendos supposedly was founded by the Argosy colonists on their way back from Troy, and was captured by Alexander the Great in 335BC. The Roman amphitheatre is still used for concerts.
|A Street Trader at Perge|
|Renovations Continue at Perge|
Both of these sites were interesting, as have all the others I have visited on my trip. However what they all have in common is the guide explaining how Roman baths work, the difference between a basilica and a church, an explanation of Roman toilets (usually including a joke about getting hold of the wrong end of the stick) etc. etc.. To that extent I feel I am beginning to duplicate my visits. That said, all of the tours have been worth doing.
Lunch was in the relaxed atmosphere of the Tabiat national park with its series of waterfalls.
Towards the end of the day we went to the coastal village of Side. This village is popular with tourists, and has a small, pretty harbour. There are a large number of jewellers here, and I called in to one as I was having a problem with my wedding ring. I had had a trip in Istanbul (my own fault for not looking where I was going!), and I had cut my ring finger, which had swollen and my ring was putting a bit of pressure on it. (Strange thing about rings and trousers. They both seem to shrink as they get older!). The jeweller cut it off and then repaired and resized it. I must admit to a strange feeling when he took it off. That ring has been on my finger for the last 35 years, and has never been removed till today.
|Side Main Street|
Back to my hotel in Antalya for the night. This visit is one I would have done differently if I was to redo the trip. The places visited have all been some distance from the city. I left Side at 5.15, and didn't get back to my hotel till 7.30. As I am away at 10am, I feel that I have not actually visited Antalya. Next time I will keep closer to the city.