Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 161 - Antalya Beach

It was another sunny day in this Mediterranean city and I went to check out the beaches that they offered. I had originally assumed that the last time I would be at a beach was in Fethiye or Kas, and I wanted to get the last remnants of a sunny, crispy day before the winter came, but here I am with another opportunity. This would probably be the final time, as my next destination will be Cappadocia, which is higher in altitude and a lot colder, with temperatures below zero sometimes during the nighttime.

The beaches here were similar to the ones in Oludeniz, with pebbly coasts, and easy access to the water. Even with pebbles and polished stones, it was not uncomfortable to lie down. If anything, it might have been more comfortable than sand, which can easily creep into your shorts and cause all sorts of irritation.

For breakfast, I had a fruit platter which included the best persimmons I have ever tasted! I never actually crave persimmons, and only eat them when my parents cut them for me, but after having a couple slices as part of the fruit platter, I craved them more and more. They were soft, ripe, perfectly sweet and with the consistency of a mango. I'll definitely be in search of these fruits in the near future.

There was a lot of patriotism during my visit to Turkey, with numerous people hanging Turkish flags off their balconies. It reminded me of the months after the September 11 attacks when everyone hung U.S. Flags outside their homes and outside their car windows. There was a dual purpose for this, one, to celebrate Turkey and honor Ataturk, and two, to protest the terrorist attacks that had occurred in the East of Turkey in the recent past. At night, I witnessed a march through the town, with thousands of locals participating. I wasn't sure if it was a celebration or a protest though...

At the end of the night, I planned my next week. I knew my time in Turkey was coming to a close, and I wanted to still visit Gaziantep for its famous Turkish cuisine and baklava and Mardin, known more for its Middle Eastern culture. I ended up deciding on visiting Mardin after seeing magnificent pictures of the old town, and skipping Gaziantep for next time. I booked a flight from Diyarbikar back to Istanbul since a bus ride from East Turkey to Istanbul would have taken way too long. I was already going to Goreme tonight by bus, which would take the entire night. I didn't need another ultra-long bus ride...

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