As Escapee layovers go, our Istanbul — or is it Constantinople — layover was a short one. Not short enough to cause panic but we were still able to buy new sims, pick up some pocket lira and kick back for a few minutes. After our business class windfall we weren’t looking forward to back-of-the bus seating to Antalya even though the flight is only an hour duration.
Feet on the ground, bags by our side in Antalya, Türkiye (same fine country, creative new spelling) we began to fully appreciate how utterly profound the difference is between Turkish and English. We haven’t a clue. Not one word is recognizable.
Showing true Escapee chutzpah we left the terminal dragging our two wheelie duffels into the usual taxis driver scrum knowing that the favorite Turkish taxi trick is to settle on a fare only to raise the price on arrival. Our guy gave it go. We weren’t having it.
Apparently our hotel has a part time doorman who held the door while I wrestled the bags into the lobby. Let that sink in a minute, Escapees. We are staying in a hotel with a doorman. During the day Yusuf cleans rooms, but the elevator is very real and whisked us up to our 5th floor room with a gorgeous sunny Mediterranean view.
There must be some kind of screwup. I mean, have I died and gone to heaven? Marce has pulled off another miracle on such a miserly budget.
Turns out that Antalya Harbor is a block away and about 200 feet down at the bottom of a cliff. A glass elevator is gratefully provided to whisk the savvy thrill seeker up or down to the harbor esplanade where vendors of all stripes can be found hawking their wares.
Tour boats with bizarre cartoon like, large plastic “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed sculptures stuck on the stern, were arrayed around the harbor in a huge horseshoe shape.
But the truly amazing thing is the massive defensive walls, some built by the Romans. With Marce fighting the traveler’s lurgy I decided to reconnoiter Old Town.
This town is really cat crazy and everyone puts out water and cat food. It’s actually hard to get a photograph without a cat in it.
Five roads crossing blended perfectly.
Any yachtsman worth his grog knows who Sir Francis Beaufort is but few know that in addition to creating the Beaufort windscale, he explored and charted southern Anatolia, locating many classical ruins including the ancient Hadrian’s Gate which apparently was encased within the heavy walls of the city.
This ancient gate with its deep worn chariot tracks has perked our curiosity especially with the ancient city of Perge ten miles away. A rare Escapee museum visit sounds like a plan.