There's so much to say about the last four days spent here in Antalya. It's actually felt like I was on vacation here. I was
very comfortable and had very little stress and anxiety here. These days were a break in the labour pains.
Sunday night I started looking online about flying to Istanbul and then homeward. But when I saw the opportunity with the same airline to fly to Antalya, nearly in the opposite direction, I clearly knew God was calling me there and I knew that my journey was about to get longer. The next morning I was at the airport early, purchsed a ticket to Antalya, and was fortunate enough to see the crew from Oklahoma and Texas again since they were flying out to Istanbul. The flight was about an hour and 15 minutes and I arrived in the Kaleiçi (Old Antalya) by around noon. I was soon settled in a pansion owned by a kind Dutch woman. After getting quite naseous from the first room I was in, I was able to switch into a big room with a king-sized bed and my own bathroom (the first room had a shared bathroom).
I didn't waste much time in getting out and seeing some of the old town. It was great to be in a place that I had been before. I joined a lovely British family on a boat tour of the harbour and had a great visit at the front of the boat with the grandmother. I ate supper at a beautiful restaurant that overlooked the harbour.
On Tuesday, I headed to the Antalya Museum which boasts a number of Roman statues from the nearby site of Perge and a lot of artifacts from other sites in the Antalya region. I thought the museum was fantastic, and I ended up taking a lot of photos of statues and the many lithics they had on display. So once I get pictures up, just skip through those ones if you aren't interested. In the the afternoon I headed to Paul's Place, a coffee shop of sorts, also located in the Kaleiçi. I had a great visit there with two of the workers, in particular Missy from New Mexico who was serving there for a few weeks. That evening, after eating at the same restaurant as the day before, I then went for a swim in the Mediterranean at a private beach. So within two days, I had swum in the Black Sea and the Mediterraneam Sea. Now when I swim in the Aegean Sea, I will have swum in every sea Turkey touches. The awkward part of this day was the waiter at that lovely restaurant who took an interest in me, and nervously asked me if we could tale a walk around the harbour together the next evening. The worst bit though was that he was at least double my age. That was the last night I went to that restaurant.
On Wednesday, I decided to head out to the site of Olympos, both to enjoy the ruins and go for another swim in the Med. It was an exciting trip out of Antalya and into the mountains. The highlight was definitely sitting next to a young french woman who was also an archaeologist! We then spent the entire hour and a half journey talking about archaeology, sites to visit and about her master's work. The site itself was packed with a steady stream of people paying the 3 Lyra site entrance fee to utilize the beach for swimming. Once I had explored the site as much as my energy permited, I had trouble finding a spot to leave my stuff on the beach. The most exciting part of the swim was getting entangled in a kids fishing line. Yes, as busy as the beach was, there was a group right smack in the middle fishing. In total, I spent 35 Lyra, rode 6 different buses and spent 6 hours on buses. But it was worth it, just to have run into another archaeologist and have a great archaeology based conversation.
After Wednesday, I decided to extend my stay in Antalya another day. Thursday I stuck close to the Kaleiçi and did a bit of gift shopping. I got a Germany Podolski football jersey and a long sleeve cotton shirt for myself and the rest of the purchases were for family and friends.
Today, I'm sitting on a bus (using their free wifi) on the way to Marmaris. It's been a beautiful drive and it was particularly exciting the few times it's rained during the trip. Also offsets the current 35 degrees.
While I'm on the topic of heat, I would like to point out how very hot it is here (now it's 36 degrees). I've been dressing somewhat conservatively, not showing shoulders or a ton of skin because I don't want to offend any Turks (some care, some not so much). Unfortunately that adds to how hot I get. It's quite regularly 34 degrees, and about 37 degrees with humidity. At temperatures like this (which I'm sure some of you can relate too) you are constantly sweating when you're not in an air conditioned room. Without the air conditioning, if you freshen up your face by washing it, within a minute you are covered with a sheen of sweat again. When you are out in the heat, you are covered with sweat and you can't really do anything about it. Honestly, there hasn't been a whole lot of times where I have actual drips of sweat running down my face, but here, it's very common. But the thing is, you get used to it, and you venture out into the heat anyways. Just have plenty of water.
Okay, I'm sorry if this is full of mistakes, but I can't bear to edit this post on my iPhone.