Turkey (Part 1) Sept 2005
I am typing this in Istanbul - according to my watch it is 2215 on Fri 9 Sep but I've lost track of time. The layout will be all wrong coz I don't have a web page developer kit, and I haven't time to sort it.
So far my unorganised trip has been fantastic. The only things I new for certain when I started were my arrival airport, and transfer to pension booked for 1 night. I flew from Bristol airport and arrived Antalya airport 5.30 a.m. on Sun 29 Aug? Flight booked through charterflights.co.uk £79 one way (but in fit of extravagance I paid an extra £10 at Bristol Airport for extra legroom)- which also meant I was first off plane and missed 200 people long queue for visa - which was nice.
I really started to feel like a traveller after Pamukkale (bottom of page)so ignore everything but the pictures and go straight to Turkey Part 2.
Antalya is a Med Sea resort and far too hot for me - a lot of Turks have told me they do not like it for that reason. It is very touristy and the Turks here have a good grasp of English and less women wear the veil than in London.
I've never been to one , but I guess it's similar to Spanish resorts. I stayed in Sabah Pansion which has good reports in the guidebooks. Can't say I was that impressed - water seeped up thro the shower floor, and I saw a cockroach on my first night (but none thereafter). I experienced my first Turkish Bath and massage here - the masseur(?) was very impressed with the shape I was in (no he wasn't gay, and no it wasn't Turkish flattery).
The only other thing I did of note here was to travel 2 hours from the city to spend a day scuba-diving - I have one crap picture of this which I haven't scanned so can't put on this site. I booked it for one day with the option of doing a further 2 days for the PADI Open Water certificate. The boat was full of Russians (this area is v popular with them)so the only people speaking English were the instructors. Swimming underwater with fish in the warm Med was great, but one day was enough - I might have followed it through if there had been other English speakers to talk to.
After 3 nights in Antalya I took a 2 day (1 night) package to Pamukkale but arranged to be dropped off in the town of Denizli (near P) on the way back so I could continue North and get a coach to Selcuk.
Yet to meet a native English speaker - those on the minibus tour included people from as far afield as Chile. The best English speakers were a couple from Czech Republic.
Pamukkale = "cotton mountain", a UN designated natural wonder of the world formed over 14 million years by hot springs depositing calcium on the hillside...
.. combined with the ancient Greek/Roman ruins of Necropolis and Hierapolis.
Just like Bath the springs are reputed to have health giving properties - the hotels had a feed from the spring to its 55C thermal bath. Surprise evening entertainment was the obligatory Belly Dancer. Face rather disappointing so you will have to make do with this.
The village/town at Parmukale does not seem that affected by tourism, the Bazar caters for locals e.g. cheap western clothing to traditional clothes, goods and food.