After a delay in arriving in Gocek (go-chek), west of Fethiye, due to the unavailability of a slip, we were met by a driver who announced that he was taking us to Antalya. The beautiful Mercedes van was ready for us and off we went. By the way, all the transportation has been in luxurious Mercedes vans. This one even had USB ports to charge our devices.
The three-hour drive took us through mountains that are dead ringers for those in Colorado. Jim and I could pinpoint where these mountains looked identical to locations we knew over our many years traversing I-70 going west of Denver. Once over a couple of passes, the landscape changed to one reminiscent of the area in New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Taos, filled with scrub pine on beige rolling hills.
Our driver sped along, getting us to our hotel near the old city of Antalya, a Best Western, with a gorgeous roof-top pool, cabanas, and a happy hour menu that looked inviting. Taking a dip in the afternoon looked promising but we opted instead to wander around the area near the hotel and have a bite at a local restaurant.
There were many clothing and shoe shops, stores displaying the most elegant (and somewhat revealing) wedding gowns, every designer knock-off clothing, bags and shoes, maternity shops, and even a store that carried nothing but hangers! With shoes being my weakness, I did find a pair of sandals that somehow got into my suitcase for the trip home. I could have found half a dozen more but taking the next two domestic flights until we reach Istanbul again is more limiting in the weight allowed. It looks like I will have to do my last-minute shopping upon returning to Istanbul when the weight restrictions on the international flight home are more forgiving.
We stopped at an outdoor local restaurant and had some local fare. Jim opted for a pide again, the boat-shaped pizza-like dish with meat and cheese, while I had a chicken wrap. Both were delicious. The best part was that they had traditional milkshakes on the menu, made with ice cream with whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Boy, was that a treat. I could go for another one right now!
In the room, I did a little laundry and Jim got our cords connected to keep us charged. With only one outlet available, it is challenging to get everything attached. We did have a power block with four USB ports that had the European two-prong plug. However, Jim plugged it into a receptacle at a previous hotel that shorted it out immediately. They are wonderful to have and it converts the current as needed from 220v to 110v for our devices. We will order another one from our friend, Amazon when we get close to needing it again.
As I write this, I can hear the call to prayer to the mosque. While we were on the boat, there were no such calls. The sing-song chanting we are hearing now happens five times a day. However, we didn’t see anyone running to pray when the call went out. I wonder who fills the thousands of mosques we see all over the country.
Back to our room and time to collapse…