Antalya Anxieties

Why is it that heading to a new country always makes me so nervous? Getting on the plane I always feel anxious and worried that perhaps I won’t like this new country. That I won’t be able to understand the culture. Or be able to make myself understood. Or that the men would be similarly creepy-friendly like the experience I had in Morocco.

Antalya is a city on the south-west coast of Turkey. I had picked it as a random starting point based on the rough location and flight prices. Although as I later found out, travel is cheap and easy in Turkey.

I had mixed feelings about Antalya. Arriving late-ish at night in the airport, I took the local bus into the centre. But then didn’t get off at the correct stop by accident. It was big enough and busy enough there even late at night to make me feel a little intimated so I ended up taking a taxi the rest of the way to my accommodation in the old town part. I slept badly that night still feeling anxious about being alone in a new strange country.

The next day the sun was out and I felt a little better as I wandered the streets.


Quite clean streets in the old town


Great views from the waterfront


Some Turkish flora


Lots of tourist boats in the harbour

The beach I hung out on for a bit

But I also realised on the way to the beach that I had dressed inappropriately for the culture. I was wearing short shorts but from the number of looks and leers I got along the way, I got the impression Turkish people aren’t used to a lot of skin. Especially the younger teenage boys who were quite immature. I’d walked too far by the time I realised to head back and change so I just kept going. And made a mental note to myself to not wear my shorts or singlets again in Turkey.

Lying on the beach was great though. Especially when a man came by selling corn-on-the-cob from a bucket. So cheap and tasty. Meant I didn’t even have to move from my towel.

I didn’t achieve anything else that day other than a great tan. I’d decided to use Antalya as a lazy rest stop and not do any touristy things. It was a good mental break so that I could recharge my batteries. And have plenty of time to research the next stop or two.

Somehow the next day I managed to navigate my way to the bus station and then with the help of kind Turkish strangers even got on the correct bus to make my way to the next stop – Pamukkale.


Where I stayed: Sabah Pansiyon (in the Old Town)
Price: 
About 70 turkish lira for a private room (about $36 nzd) per night
Overall: An okay place to stay. Clean and tidy. It wasn’t busy and I didn’t feel like it gave off an atmosphere that encouraged guest interaction. I stayed in my room most of the time that I was there and enjoyed the solitude for a change.

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Roundup of Month 3

 

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UK and Ireland

After my last roundup, I had a three month break from travelling and spent it working in Brighton in the UK. It was a good break where I recharged and built up my funds again. I did do a couple of weekend trips away (to Switzerland and Birmingham) but kept it simple. Recommencing my travelling, month 3 was fantastic. So many memories will remain with me forever from this part of the trip.

  • Countries visited: Greece, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Number of places visited: 22 places in 33 days
  • Favourite country verdict: Ireland
  • Favourite stop: The Lake District, UK
  • Best hostel: Hostel Meteora in Trikala, Greece
  • Best moment: While going through Chatsworth House in the Peak District, there was a grand piano in one of the rooms that members of the public could play on. I managed to convince Shelley to play for me. The song she preformed was very moving and she played beautifully. Within no time there was a large crowd listening to her play. I felt very proud to be one of her best friends, and now am inspired to learn an instrument of my own.
  • Worst moment: On the first day of my travelling on Mykonos when I realised how much I had to splash out for accommodation to avoid sleeping on the beach like a homeless person. Although it was awfully nice sitting alone in my peaceful €90 hotel room that night. But still, trying to be budget conscious, and I blew it on the first day!
  • Favourite photo:


A cheeky monastery kitten in Meteora, Greece

Budget spent overall: nz$3158 / £1541 / €1958

  • Flights – nz$406 / £199 / €252
    • flights x2 – London to Mykonos £120, and Athens to London – £79
  • Transport – nz$936 / £457 / €580
    • Really roughly done from memory and using Rome2rio.com to remember costs, but this includes all my buses, ferries and share of petrol.
  • Accommodation – nz$618 / £302 / €384
    • I only needed for pay for accommodation for 22 nights out of the 33. But that works out to an average of nz$28 / €17 a night in hostels, Airbnb, campsites and one hotel.
  • The rest on fun stuff, food and miscellaneous – nz$1194 / £583 / €740
    • Including fun things like my Santorini volcanco day tour (€20), quad bike hire (€30), Chatsworth House (£20), a lot of delicious food… etc

 


My budget overall was a lot better compared to the previous month where I spent 38% more and definitely felt the pain of an empty bank account. I think I’m finding as I travel more and more, I make less ‘expensive’ mistakes and generally make more travel-savvy decisions. For example the only budget fail was that first night in Mykonos this month. But even that didn’t affect the overall average per-night accommodation cost. In fact it was just higher by €2 a night. Staying in surprisingly super cheap Santorini accommodation priced at a mere €6 a night helped balance that out.

Travelling with another person for over half of the month reduced costs significantly too. It is very nice sharing petrol and accommodation costs. In fact just using a car to get around was a pleasant experience. So convenient although some planning was required. Adding me on the car insurance wasn’t free. I ended up spending roughly the same amount in each county with Greece being the most expensive with a total budget of nz$1310 / £637 for 13 nights.

But.. when trying to think of ‘fun stuff’ expenses, I realised that I actually couldn’t think of many. I should have splurged more especially realising how little I spent this month. In Santorini I considered doing some scuba diving, but decided to balance out Mykonos and save money by not doing it. Especially being the start of a three month trip I thought that I needed to save money for rest of my travelling. I really regret that now as the scuba diving sounds really cool there! Dive sites are based around the volcanic island in the centre. And there is an old sunken tourist boat wreck only 11m deep which is perfect for an open water diver like myself. I also had the chance to dive while in Athens but it was cancelled due to bad weather.

I had 19 ‘travel’ days in total. Which means I had a good 14 days of relaxing and not wearing my backpack. Plenty of beach time with some very enjoyable hikes in there. My favourite hike being in Greece visiting isolated monasteries on top of tall rock pinnacles in Meteora. There also wasn’t anywhere I regretted visiting. Although I wished I’d planned longer in Ireland as I only got to see a tiny fraction of it. And that fraction was incredibly beautiful.


A friendly Irish cow. Made spooky in honour of Halloween today ;)

If you’re interested in my other round up budgets during my travelling, or just nosy, you can find them here month 1 (Spain, Morocco and Portugal) and month 2 (Italy, Croatia and Hungary)