Sunday, September 18, 2011

Antalya, Turkey: Clear, Blue Sea and Majestic Mountains

We recently took advantage of a three day weekend and booked a couple of plane tickets for Antalya, Turkey.  As you can see on the map below, Antalya is in the western part of Turkey and sits right on the beautiful Mediterranean coast.  Turkey's western region is more Western and "European feeling" than the central region that we call home.  We love central Turkey for its interesting culture, amazing ruins, and incredible Biblical sites, but it's always fun to experience something new in other regions of this diverse country.  Many Europeans visit Antalya's beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountains for vacation. 

Our airplane left the Adana airport bright and early on Friday morning.  Peter has recently taken interest in airplanes, so he was bubbling over with excitement at the airport.  He couldn't wait to board the plane!  Peter was a great little traveler on our short one hour flight to Antalya.  I love short, easy flights!  We landed in Antalya and hopped into our rental car to begin our day.  (Every time we rent a car in Turkey, we are given a Hyundai Getz.  We've become endeared to this compact, zippy car with great gas mileage.  I've decided that if I were a young, single Turkish gal, I'd definitely own a sky blue Getz of my own.  : )) 

We soaked in the bright Turkish sunshine, the clean, fresh air and the magnificent mountains as we drove down the highway to our hotel.  Our hotel was in the historic district of Antalya.    It was a perfectly quaint and adorable little region just a short stroll from the beach.  We wandered aimlessly taking in the natural beauty of the region alongside the charming buildings and narrow European looking cobble roads.  We found a little spot for lunch, refueled on lamb doner kabobs and salad, and then headed to our hotel to relax.  We cooled off in the hotel's pool, then walked to the beach for some more swimming!  (It was a sweltering summer day so the cool, refreshing water was the only place to be!)

Our Hyundai Getz parked in fromt of our charming hotel

Relaxing at our lunch spot

We went to a small, private  beach with smooth pebbles under crystal clear water.  I have never seen water this blue before in my life!  We dove in and floated happily as we admired the majestic mountains in the background.  Peter soon discovered that tossing pebbles into the sea from the shore was even more fun than swimming, so we enjoyed watching Peter play while the waves splashed up on our toes and legs. 

The little beach cove where we swam!  It was so clean and so blue! 
There were a few other European tourists with us, but it was not overcrowded at all. 


Relaxing on the shore
SO blue!

After a refreshing swim, we had dinner at an incredible restaurant overlooking the sea and mountains.  Normally, we try to eat as much of the local cuisine as we can when visiting a new spot.  But when we saw Italian pasta dishes on the menu, we couldn't resist!  In our region of Turkey, there are many delicious Turkish restaurants, but there is no variety.  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to find Mexican, Italian, or Chinese restaurants.  We gobbled up our pasta and swore it was the best we'd ever had.  We finished our meal with the best baklavah we'd ever had, watched the warm red sun set behind the purple mountains, and walked back to the hotel for an early night's sleep.  After all, we needed to rest and rejuvenate because the following day we were headed to Saint Nicholas' hometown! 

The wonderful restaurant overlooking the sea


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