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Monday, May 26, 2014

Katrina - Ankara - Week 3

Sunburn and sea views

Merhaba! Week three in Turkey went by in a little bit of a blur, we only had work on Tuesday and Wednesday because Monday was the national holiday for the youth (established by Atatürk) and Thursday there were no classes because there was a conference at TOBB University. Prime Minister Tayyıp Erdoğan gave a speech, but unfortunately we were unable to attend because we didn't have tickets.

Ezgi, Tuğçe, and I at the pub
Wednesday night our friends took us out to one of their favorite pubs. It was a nice place, but it wasn't that crowded because it was only Wednesday. The girls said on Friday and Saturday nights you can barely find a place to sit down. The pub was near Kizilay, one of the busiest parts of Ankara. 
Late Wednesday night we bought bus tickets for the next morning to Antalya. We arrived Thursday afternoon after driving through mountains that seemed to go on forever.     

 Antalya is a city on the southern coast of Turkey, on the Mediterranean. The bus ride was about 9 hours (lots of stops, where Lilly and I found the smallest kitten I've ever seen).
Our pansyon (tiny hotel) was in Kaleici, the old town by the marina. The town is up above the water so the beaches are to the west and the east of the town. The marina was gorgeous at night, with lots of pirate ships that take tourists out on the Mediterranean. Our
hotel was in a maze of winding, unlabeled streets that  also contained bars, shops, restaurants, more hotels, and Turkish baths. The maze opens up to a more urban area with lots of cafes, touristy and clothing shops, salons (kuaför), restaurants, bakeries, banks, and so on. The streets appear uniform but I never figured out how to get back to the big statue of Atatürk without retracing my steps. There are two trams that run through the town, making everything really confusing if you don't pay attention.
Friday we went to the beach early, at a pebble beach about 20 minutes west of Kaleici. To our left was a cliff topped with the Turkish flag (obviously) and to our right were beautiful mountains that stretched into the water. Every time I looked at them at first I thought they were the lower outline of clouds. The water was clear as day, the waves mellow.

 More Turkish breakfast (always) to give us energy for a long day at the beach. Saturday Lilly and I got up and took the bus to Lara Beach, a sandy beach about an hour east of Kaleici. The water was less clear here but the waves were better. I got pretty sunburned here (oops) but the sun, the sand, the corn on the cob, reading my book, the swimming, and being at the beach Memorial Day weekend, even if I was halfway across the world from my family doing the same thing, were all worth it.
 Lara Beach

 some of the views of the mountains from our bus

 typical Turkish hospitality on the bus, always tea and something sweet

possibly the most annoying kid, he laughed for the first hour and a half of the bus ride back to Ankara loudly and awkwardly, I might add yet another beautiful presentation of Turkish coffee, this time at a cafe between the pebble beach and Kaleici. I'm slowly becoming addicted to these sugary caffeine shots. 

1 comment:

  1. Katrina,

    Your writing is so impressive. I love the way your describe everything- it helps me visualize and "feel" what you are explaining. Yay for short work weeks! I am happy that you were able to enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. It really struck me that you drew the similarity between your experience to what your friends/family were doing at home this weekend. You're so far away, but you're so close at the same time.

    The pictures you took are stunning. The mountains, the water, the rocks.. everything looks beautiful. I've been reading a lot about food (believe me), but the Turkish breakfast seems to be the favorite. It looks delicious. The picture of the kid on the bus is hilarious! He looks so peaceful, but you know otherwise! Have you ever seen the Bill Cosby skit about the kid on the airplane? You should look it up!

    Thanks for posting the title like you did- Name, Location, Week #. It's really helpful!