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.