I left Adana by plane for Antalya. Outside the Arrivals Hall I asked a gentleman if he spoke English. He didn’t but another one with a very busy 4-year old in tow, overhearing me, asked if I needed help. The city was a considerable distance from the airport. “Do the Red buses leave everyone off at the same place in the city?” Yes, he said, but my friend can give us a ride into town. Oh my, I thought! Ever since I arrived the Turks have been friendly and generous everywhere! He even gave me a Turkish pastry to eat on the way!
I am staying in the Kaleiçi (KAH-leh-ee-chee) a castle ruins at the center of the sprawling modern city which was a Roman town, then the Byzantine, then the Seljuk Turkish, and finally the Ottoman town. There are oodles of shops, boutique hotels, guesthouses and restaurants along the narrow winding walking streets. I am staying at the Sabah Pansiyon…with breakfast…very friendly and helpful staff. And wifi in my room! It’s a short distance to both the city center and the many coffee houses that line the beaches. So the easy walking has been a pleasure.
I had to laugh today at an outdoor cafe with a view of the Taurus Mountains. About 40 German guys took nearly all the tables and chairs and ordered beer. The first one took a taste and made a face! lol. Turkish beer not so good?! ha! Then a Turkish guy tried to sell them all cologne and perfume. They had great fun with that!
I’ve been corresponding with a woman in Germany. When she read my blog and saw that Antalya was full of Germans she said:
The place where you are staying sounds very romantic. I know I would enjoy it there. The pension inside the ruin makes it even more romantic. I wish I could join you, but I don´t think I would like meeting so many Germans. I hope they behave and respect the country and the customs. There are reasonable ‘packages’ for a vacation in Turkey, so that must be the reason, why so many Germans are there now. We had a very tough and long winter . The sun has been out for the last two or three days, but next week, winter will be back again.
I assured her the Germans here were very well-behaved and gracious. lol I told her I felt sorry for these Germans. Cold in Germany and it’s been damn cold here!
I have never seen so many stray cats in a country. The people put food outside their doorways to feed them. Dogs too. The surprising thing is they are so mild and gentle and approachable. Never seen an approachable cat before! I think this says a lot about the people here. They treat animals with love and care and it is a joy to watch.
I called another couchsurfer and a food writer, Tijen, whom I had had lunch with in Bangkok a couple of years ago. I was delighted to find that she lived only about a 10 minute walk to my pensyon in the Castle. She cooked a lovely vegetarian lunch for me…steamed artichoke hearts with oil and lemon and a lentil salad. Says she:
“Green lentils with dried eggplants, wild leeks and dried tomatoes (I just soaked green lentils in water for few hours, then add all of them in the pot with some water and cooked it down. Of course there is salt, pepper, cumin seeds and olive oil. You can use normal leeks or onions, doesn’t matter. Buon appetite!”
The next day we had a breakfast of Borek, a wonderful Turkish pastry made by an old Borek Master in his tiny three-table restaurant. He learned it from his older brother and his uncle, Tijen said. Watch the video below showing how Borak is made:
Well, Tijen surprised me this morning and came by my pensyon to see if I needed anything. So I walked her back to her apartment and on the way we stopped and bought a bus ticket for tomorrow at noon to Bodrum. Thank God! I would have gone to the bus station not knowing there was only one bus a day and might have missed it! I told her she was my angel! She is leaving in the morning for Morocco. She is lucky she can travel all over the world for her work…writing food articles.
This morning in the breakfast room I talked again with a tall blond Danish guy…about 50. A former journalist, he is enraged by the lack of transparency and the corruption in Denmark! And the stupidity of the EU. Of all places! That should tell you a lot about all the other countries! When he described his Prime Minister I told him she sounded like our Sarah Palin. “Worse!” he said! She’s never worked…just always been a politician/bureaucrat. He actually said a lot of other things too I won’t repeat here.
I’ve always said that people running for government office should be required to have some time in the workplace first. He’s been aggravating government officials with letters and questions he doesn’t get answers to. He is afraid they will find a way to nail him and shut him up. So he is writing a book. He’s supposed to be here resting from all the controversy but it’s so cold he has been miserable…and we’ve both gotten chest colds…we think from the unclean air con/heating units in the rooms. I told him I was sorry to get him revved up again but he said no, it’s all just going round and round in his head anyway and that it was good to talk. I hope so.
I caved in this afternoon and had my first Burger King in 5 months!