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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 16 Apr 2009

Location: Antalya

MapDay 16 April 16
No kms on the bike.
All of the treats on this tour have been organized by Ferris Wheels, and I must say that Mike has done very well to capture much of the essence of this country. Today we are treated to a morning cruise on a wooden motor cruiser that took us to the Lower Duden Falls, about 10kms north of the city, Perhaps not a huge waterfall, as waterfalls go, but the volume of water entering the Mediterranean from this small river is quite spectacular. We drop anchor a couple hundred meters from the waterfall, and while the captain cooks lunch in the galley, some of us dive in for a swim. I expected the water to be cold due to the melting snow coming over the waterfall, but it was quite warm and a delight to swim in. The water was crystal-clear and we could see the sandy bottom in 8 meters of water. The coastline is all cliffs with hotels perched above them, each with their own private stairs down to water-level. Baris tells us that the main industry in Antalya is tourism. By the number of hotels, restaurants and street merchants weíve seen, he is clearly right.
The cruiser departed from an ancient Roman marina dating from 2nd century BC, which is quite central to the old part of the city. Our hotel is 5 minutes walk from here, and is an old Ottoman style building. Just up the cobblestone laneway is Hadianís Gate, built in 1st Century AD by Roman emperor Hadrian as the main gate to the old city. The gate is part of a wall that surrounds the old city, and many hotels have been built into the wall and ramparts to keep the historical value (somewhat). Itís fascinating to see the wall still there, still standing, after 2,000 years. Over the expanse of water we see the mountains that we skirted yesterday to get here, and the highest peaks still have snow on them. The scene reminds us of Vancouver.