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Team Turkey’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 21 Aug 2008

Location: Kaş (pronounced Kash), Turkey

MapHi everyone!

We have just spent 2 wonderful nights at Antalya.
To get there we left Silifke at 11.30am and had the best/worst bus ride ever!! That may sound crazy...but its true! We travelled in a big luxury coach with a good driver and the view was so amazing it is difficult to describe. We saw 400 kilometres of magnificent coastline. The water all along the coast is turquoise: a beautiful sparkling aqua blue. (Bradley, our wonderful tour guide (!), informed us that the word 'turquoise' comes from the colour of the water on this very coast! Turkey:turquoise. Wow!! And here we are lucky enough to see it!).

Anyway, the 400 kilometres of road twisted back and forth and hugged the side of massive cliffs that sloped down into the Mediterranean. At times the road was more than 1000 metres above the sea. There were a few token barricades but mostly only a couple of metres of ground between us and a massive drop. We were grateful that we were travelling west and consequently the bus was on the side of the road closest to the cliff...and not the drop!! At times I was scared enough (because I was next to the window on the 'drop' side!) that I leaned across Bradley, who was sitting next to me, to get as far away from the window as I could!! Although Brad had told us the road would be pretty windy, I knew something was up when the bus conductor (on every bus in Turkey) handed out 'sick bags' not long after we left on the first curve! The bus wound its way around and up and down the cliffs for 9 hours and sure enough about halfway through the journey a little kid threw up right near us. The mother caught the child's vomit in her hands so Ron held open a plastic 'sick bag' for her to empty her hands. Yuk! For the rest of the trip the whole bus reeked of 'chuck'!! Anyway...I'm sure you get the picture! It was a bus ride we won't forget in a hurry!!

Silifke was the first place we visited on the Mediterranean. The 'beach scene' is nothing like at home. Firstly, the sea is completely flat, a beautiful torquoise, clear and warm; he sand is very fine and brownish in colour. Everywhere you go there are blue umbrellas and white sun beds ($10 a day to hire) and crowds of people both in the water and laying on the beach. While most of the women are in swimmers, with bikinis being very popular, many are completely covered with headscarves! The men are dressed mainly in boardshorts. Because it is summer holidays here, all the beaches are very crowded.

We decided to go on a boatride to see a castle built on a small island a thousand years ago, about 400 metres off shore. After exploring the castle, we all jumped off some rocks into the Mediterranean. At last! It was so hot and humid that it was a great relief to finally be cool. Wonderful! Bradley decided to swim back to shore!

Antalya was a really nice city of about 3 million people. There were many ruins around the old city that were 2nd century AD. We only had one full day to explore so we decided to visit a spectacular waterfall, called Duden Falls. I've seen a lot of waterfalls in my time but this one beat them all! It was fantastic with caves and tunnels, a massive volume of water, several small falls and one huge one that you could actually stand behind inside the rocks. We relaxed at a cafe beside the water, had a cold beer, fish and salad.

That night we went to a fantastic dance show called 'The Fire of Anatolia'.İt was an hour away by bus and cost $70 each. It was a 2 hour visual spectacular with about 50 dancers that we shared with more than 2 thousand tourists.

So after almost 5 hours on another windy bus ride with more breathtaking coastal scenery, we arrived at the small village of Kaş (a couple of thousand people with a few hundred tourists). It is really hot here with about 95% humidity. After a much needed swim to cool off (the water isn't refreshing like the Pacific Ocean!), we had dinner then went for a walk into the village. I couldn't believe the activity...and it was 11.30pm! There were hundreds of people eating, drinking, relaxing in the cool and shopping! The shops stay open every night until 1am! Bradley explaned that this is very typical of the coastal Mediterranean lifestyle because of the heat. Everyone sleeps in, lazes around during the day and then get really active well into the night.

We are resting all day today...and joining the 'natives'! Tomorrow we are going on an all day cruise...I know...it must be hard not to be jealous!!