We arrived in Antalya, Turkey not really knowing what to expect. I had heard many good things about Turkey and knew that I loved Turkish food but not alot else other than tales of Gallipoli. Kaelici, the old town in Antalya where we stayed is one of my favourite destinations I have been to date. With its cute cobbled streets, preserved stone ‘pansyions’ and ‘otels’, magnificent views of the water, and the mountains, friendly restaurantiers, and flower baskets everywhere, Kaelici oozed a quaint charm.
We stayed at the Mango Pension Hostel for 10 euros a night each. This was the best bargain find – the room was clean, had a fridge, air con, and very helpful staff. Really a place we can highly recommend. Our first day started with an unexpected breakfast on the waterfront – and by unexpected I mean we sat down and ordered coffees and then voila a large plate of boiled foods and condiments of sorts had been laid out in front of us before we could even ask for a menu. Turns out there weren’t no menus, but just cheesey pick-up type lines this guy used to rope us in, gesturing towards Jase “ohh you big strong man!”
He seemingly took on more than he could handle coaxing in what appeared to be a bus load worth of Asian tourists who all wanted the freshly squeezed orange juice he had been peddling. Nek minute – he was running around like a chook with its head cut off trying to make buckets of juice and deliver the one breakfast option he had to the rest of his unaware customers. Although he did have time to stop and do a quick photobomb! The rest of the day was largely spent doing backpacker admin (BPA) on our laptops, and ended with a nice dinner on the waterfront.
On our second day we reunited with Rik, Mark and Luke and had a group dinner in a restaurant off one of the cobbled streets. To me it felt like the restaurant had been set up in the owner’s backyard – he told us ‘to make ourselves at home’ and that we could go swimming in the pool if we wanted to. Above our table were grapes hanging from the tree, and baby cats were running amuck under nearby tables.
On the third day we explored the old town a bit more and went to a brunch on the waterfront. It was quite an exquisite view for a restaurant!
We then spent the afternoon at Mark and Luke’s fancy 5 star hotel. So far one of the best afternoons of our trip. The boys had paid for an all inclusive deal where drinks and food were included. Jase, Rik and I gave the BPD’s a rest, and let the free drinks and the good times roll in! In between free drinks on the deck overlooking the water and the mountains, we swam in the ocean and jumped off the floating pontoon. We also watched the sunset, and before heading out gobbled a free dinner piled so high we just about couldn’t get anymore on the plate without it toppling over! A win for the BPD’s. We went home to change and tried our luck at going out that night, but it was a Turkish holiday nearing the end of Ramadan so we ended the night fairly soon after what had been an awesome day!
Our third day was spent at Lara Beach in a white tent on the beach that we were advised was only for VIP’s – basically anyone willing to pay for shelter from the 60 degree heat (okay an exaggeration but it was damn hot on the sand for our tootsies!) Below are some snaps of our day which included the rocking floating banana, the boys playing “keepy uppies” (a technically difficult game requiring ostensible skill to keep the ball in the air at all times), and an impressive nearby waterfall that cascaded into the ocean.
Upon our return to Kaelici Rik, Jase and I got dinner again by being suckered into a restaurant. Although this time the food was cheap and enjoyable, and the waiter danced for us on numerous occasions in between waiting for meals. On our way out we continued to be treated like kings, being sprayed with cologne (no discriminating here, cologne for Rikki and I too) and and being given refresher towelettes. And just to make us feel that little bit more special, they asked if we wanted to party with them later – we politely declined and said we’d hope to be patrons again soon.
My last favourite memory from Antalya was the “Ice-cream Troll.” Basically the guy trollled Rik, taunting her by giving her ice cream and then whisking it away at the last moment (repeatedly), shoving ice-cream in my face leaving my face looking like a melted snow man, and whacking Jase in the crown jewels with the end of his ice cream torment stick. While it sounds like a weird form of Turkish torture, it was actually pretty hilarious and we laughed too hard to think about taking a video – however Jase took one in Istanbul of another poor unsuspecting lady which he’ll post soon!
Stay tuned for more, D x