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Day 24 ~ Ermenck to Karaman

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 9:52 am on Sunday, February 28, 2010

I was starting to feel a bit of pressure to get to Cappadocia before heading for Syria. Had I not paid $131 for the Syrian visa I would put all my energy into Turkey.  As it is I am not going to get to Egypt.

I got up that morning looking for a way out while snapping pics. I had located a satellite photo of Ermenck with the Otogar labeled online. I had a descent view of town but was not sure if what I was looking at was the bus station. The map also mentioned a stadium I could not locate.

I went back to the hotel thinking I would pack, come back down and ask the guy in the shop next door. All I needed him to understand was Dolmus (minibus) Mut.

In the end I was charmed once again, when I walked out of the ally the hotel was in with my pack a bus pulled up. I asked “Mut?”. He looked confused, I then said “Otogar?”  He pointed down the street, then to the bus. I started to to walk down the street when both he and the lady who had stepped off  the bus started to laugh. Ok, where did I go wrong, they both pointed to the bus steps.  Right, I will get on the bus.

Then I found out what the giggling was about, not only was the otogar some distance it was also almost straight down the hill. I could have done it but hell, the bus guy kind enough to offer me a ride.

When I got off the bus guy pointed at me for the ticket man and said “Mut”. I saw the sign on a bus for Karaman, and told him I wanted to go there, on that big bus ( i thought I had to switch buses in Mut, it was the only reason I was going back.)

They took me to the correct ticket counter…no one spoke English,  again one breaks out their trusty notebook. I wrote down  where I was going,  in case I was saying it wrong,  and they wrote down how much. Ya gotta love the fact that numbers are numbers the world over.

Ok, pics of Ermenck..

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They live on a mountain against a rock wall with the valley lake and river below.

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I finally figured out why so many are milling about outside the bus…smoking..have I mentioned about every man in this land smokes.

Pics of  the space between Ermenck and Karaman…

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Mountain trying to show his self.

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The square in Karaman. It was great fun to plop down on a bench, munch on a orange and watch the world go by. I walked about town a bit as well….it’s a very tidy place. Bit tough to navigate, no brown signs telling you were the interesting things are, no maps, hell I could not even find a postcard to help me out.

I stayed in a very nice room, something your granny would have put together with matching rose dust ruffle, bedspread and pillow case. The bathroom was sparkling. I think there was a school behind cause..whew the noise til about 4am. No matter I have ear plugs.


Day 23 ~ Anamur to Ermenck

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 7:49 am on Sunday, February 28, 2010

Three buses and a minivan with four connections…whew!

I had a chat with a couple of gals from Oregon that morning. They had been out for just under three months and were coming from Morocco on their way to Istanbul, down to the last 11 days of their trip. I jotted down a few notes about the bits of space near the Syria border they had a visit to.  Nice gals, they were off to see the castle that morning.

I had a lovely chat with several ladies while waiting for the bus to leave. We were the only four people in the bus, I am sure this is the reason they spoke to me. The only other time a woman has said anything to me was in Istanbul, there was not another soul around and the lady pointed the direction of the train platform. One of the ladies on the bus spoke a small amount of English, one of them took little bananas out of her bag and offered me one, when I ate it I was given two more.

The coast road between Anamur and Silifke is a Dramamine route but the color of  the water alone makes it all worth while.

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There was some weirdness this day. If you look hard you can see a motor bike in front of the thing hanging from the rear view mirror. He came speeding along pulled in front of the bus and we stopped dead in the middle of the road. The attendant guy hopped off, I figured he was going to load bags, the people would load through the back door and we would be off… not so much. The driver could see through the side mirrors what we could not… he yelled out the door a few times, then he hopped off the bus too. The old lady sitting next to me started to giggle and shake her head, so I laughed a bit with her.

The driver came back with a very stern face, the attendant was laughing, the driver decided to join him. Tis very interesting…these people don’t get mad easy, they just soon smile as  bother to be angry.

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Orange stand in Orange country, Banana stand in banana country.

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Do you even believe that razor backed thing. Whew!

Right after I snapped this pic the old lady next to next touched my shoulder, then said something while closing her fingers together with her palm up and moving her hand up and down. I think this could mean several things, all of them positive. In this instance I understood beautiful.

By the by ~ all the white-ish shinny stuff you see is green house.

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I was going to delete this until I saw the driver in the corner on a cell phone. At one point he had a cigarette  in one hand, the cell in the other and was driving with his elbows. Ya just get used to it.

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The seat behind the driver is One, I was in Two..the people on the other side of the isle are  in seats three and four (the window) didn’t notice the camera until I snapped this shot. I try to be discreet but LOOK at that water!  They laughed at me. I smiled and said “Tourist”. It’s a word everyone understands.

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Snake like road with cliff to the sea on the right.

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There are bits which resemble the California coast but  the water is a different color blue.

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This is hard to see cause of the refection. I had been trying for days to get a shot of the stone terraces, these have green houses on them. Mind you this hill goes UP from the road and seems to be all rock.  I can’t even imagine the amount of effort this takes.

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At time it feels like the whole world is working on their road system.

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The sorta creamy cocoa bits of water are where the sea is taking sand off the beach. Foster once told me “Some times the sea gives sand, sometimes takes it away.”

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Arighty, the is the last pic of  the 1st leg.

I was sorta feeling pressed for time,  I was only in  Silifke to wait for the next bus to Mut. I had to have something to eat and hit the bathroom.

The pics below were taken on the way from Silifke to Mut.

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Bit of a rock wall back there.

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and a castle -ish. Maybe fortress is a better word.

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Found the upper end of the canyon.

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This is just outside of Mut, I think.

I had thought about switching direction, instead of going to Ermenck I could continue on to Karaman. When I got off the bus in Mut, the minivan guy for Ermanck was saying calling out where he was going, I was concerned he had been waiting for me, so off the big comfy bus and on to a minibus.

Mut to Ermenck as the sun was setting..

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See the road?

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I know, crappy photo but talk about living on the edge.

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Found another valley.

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With water.

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Turned out to be a fairly nice sunset.

By the time we stopped in Ermenck, it was dark. The place the guy in Anamur had given me the name of a hotel which looked to be about  double what I had been paying..the lobby was nice but there was no way I was going to pay that kind of cash. I didn’t know it at the time but there is only one other hotel in town. The price was much better, the room was tiny and the bath room was gross. I cleaned the toilet seat with the hand sanitizer I carry, didn’t walk on the floor barefoot and did not take a shower than night.

Jumping Ahead

Filed under: Interlude,Turkey — she_travels at 2:58 pm on Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quicklly, I will get you pics and stories soon from Eremenk, Karaman and the road between.

Today I landed in Goreme…this place is amazing, I have a pic to prove it..

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I promise to get better pics tomorrow, the sun was going down and it was threatening to rain. People once upon a time lived inside these rock things. I am going on a tour with a guide tomorrow, will get the low down then.

Day 23 ~ Anamur

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 2:36 pm on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Indeed my day was as promised, interesting.

The road noise last night in the pension was deafening and my computer didn’t work so I switched today to a hotel I had seen from the otogar. I figured the price would be higher but I didn’t really care if I could have the balcony door open without a headache from the road noise. Bonus, my computer works here, not in the room but there is plenty of space downstairs.

I packed my bag, found a bank, found a man to fix my sunglasses (by the by~ very few people here wear shades, only the occasional bus driver, wacky huh?), found the post office, paid the pension man, had a shower, shifted to the new accommodation and posted a quick note to the blog all before 12. I was feeling pretty good about the world. Not to mention the sun was out..woohoo, it was wet and yucky most of yesterday though not cold.

My feet landed in the otogar door at 12:05, it’s a holiday I can be late if I want. The man behind the counter where I had met the guys last night waved to me, he was not one of them though. I do not remember what he said..I replied “There was a gentleman here last night…” That was all I got out before he looked to the three people behind him saying “Hensin?” A kid came in the door, the guy said “Hensin?” The kid waved me to him going back outside…ahh there is the man from last night. Hensin is his name. Silly me!

Hensin asked me if I wanted to take a taxi, I shook my head “to much money.“ “Dolmus?” I nodded. We walked out to the main road, my guess was the minibuses run up and down it. He musta seen someone he knew coming from behind us cause I saw him waving as I have seen people who want ride wave. Sure enough the little white pinto looking thing stopped just past us. Hensin looked at me and started trotting toward the car, I went with him.

Dude doesn’t say much to just me but when ya get him around his county men he is a chatter box. I was not listening, instead I was looking about like a tourist. When we came to a wall that looked like I castle I said “Oh, you really meant castle.” They both laughed, I doubt they understood the words but my tone was clear “Wow, Castle.”

Hensin and I hopped out of the car and the driver left going the same direction. I was looking at the castle moat when I realized there may be a charge for seeing the inside but Hensin was in and out of the little booth before I knew what he was doing..for that matter I still do not know if there is a charge, if he talked them out of it or if he just went to say Hi to someone.

From Wikipedia : Mamure, the old Crusader castle, well-preserved, about 7 km (4 mi) south east of Anamur, Turkey. Originally built by the Romans in the third or fourth century AD, it was enlarged by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusaders. After the Seljuk Turkish Sultan Aladdin Kayqubad captured the castle in 1221, he had it rebuilt in its present form. It consists of three courtyards with 39 towers, surrounded by a moat. In one courtyard there is an ancient mosque with a minaret – built by Mehmet Bey of Karamanogullari (Karamanlis) in 1300-1308 – which is still open for prayer. There are the ruins of a bathhouse on the opposite side. The castle is in two sections with two lines of ramparts between them, a walkway along the ramparts links the two sides.

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View inland from the top of  the castle. It was a very fine day!

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View south from the top of the castle.

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The top of which I speak.

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They built this bad boy right on the rock.

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Beach on  the north side of the castle.

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Every castle needs a moat.

I was having a grand time snapping pics following Hensin were he lead. On occasion he would toss an arm over my shoulder or take my hand, stroke my hair but that was pretty much all there was, he only did it when there were no other people about…it was a small price to pay for a local guide. He never once went any farther, he didn’t get me up on some secluded hill and demand a kiss. He was very nice if a bit touchy feely.

Hensin snagged a mini bus on the way back. We hopped out of the minibus when he decided it was time, I paid the 4 lira.

This is where things get a little confusing, he said he was sorry no Anamurium today. I was not sure if he was trying to tell me it was closed, if he had changed his mind about going, if he couldn’t find a way to get there or what the deal was. Not knowing exactly why “No, Anamurium.” I said “No problem.” He understood these two words together. He then said Pension, telling me that is where we were going next. I told him I had moved but he was not listening to me..I think he saw someone he knew standing in a shop doorway, he looked back at me saying “Tea?” Yeah, sure, “Yes I will have tea.”

Holy Hannah, I walked in the place behind him and knew right off, chicks do not enter. It was full of men sitting about drinking tea with sounds coming from the back room of drink and poker. Oh yeah, this was going to be interesting.

Hensin offered me a chair, I opted for the one against the wall. Old gun slingers habit, always put your back against the wall and watch the door, this way ya don’t have to worry about what is behind you.

One of the well dressed men two tables over refused to take his eyes off me. I could not tell what he was thinking, I don’t think it was obscene nor was I seeing anger, he just was looking.

Some one brought me tea, Hensin was chatting away with two of the men when some bits of English were spoken. They wanted to know where I was going. I pulled out my little notebook, truly this bit of paper and pen has saved me more than once this trip.

I wrote down the name of the place I was considering next. Ermenck…I was offered several shaking heads. Hensin said “Mersin?” I told them not if I don’t have to..then someone said Silifke then Ermenck. Ahh ha! Nothing direct but if I go to Silifke 1st. I clapped my hands with glee like a silly school girl to let them know I was pleased as punch they found a way.

Some where along the line Hensin mimed typing at me..he wanted my computer, what for thinks me. Ok, but it’s not going to work. An older man sat down next to me, I gave him the computer. He looked at me confused..oops turn it on silly lady. I got it up and running but told them again it was not going to work..no www without a connection. They insisted…it was fairly funny, Other than my back against the wall I was now surrounded by 7 Turkish guys trying to get me to a specific web site with no internet connection. I was laughing more than I wasn’t.

Finally a very nice looking man next to me said “Internet” Everyone agreed “Internet” was repeat by several of them. I said “No internet, No connection, I need the code, the pass word to get in.” All of them sighed “No internet” they gave up. I tried to tell them the computer works fine if they could get me the code. Ahh well, fun was over.

The well dressed man had moved next to Hensin, when he heard I was going to Ermenck he told Hensin the name of a hotel and his name. He said it was very good and if I use his name all will be well. Ok, he didn’t say that but it is what he meant with the looks, gestures and pointing. He is a intense sorta quiet guy. I will use the bit of paper when I get to Ermenck.

Alrighty the fun was over so Hensin said it was time to go. While I was packing up the computer he was talking to someone. He sat back down and said “Tea?” “Sure, ok Tea”.

Something yellow was placed in front of me, Henson had normal Turkish tea, I had yellow with a bit of green plant in it. I had no idea what it was but you can bet I was not going to refuse. Hensin tried to tell me, he took the green plant out of the yellow liquid and let it drip into his tea, then placed it on is saucer. Guess ya don’t drink with the plant in the tea.

Once it was cooled enough I tasted it….yummy, still have no idea what it was but yummy. I told Hensin “Very good, thank you.”

The poker game in the back had broken up, most of the men were either gone or outside chatting. Hensin waved at someone outside who came in, then he said to me “Time to go” Ok, where? I just followed him.

Some where along the line he had found a ride to the Anamurium place. Whew,  this guy was Mario Andrei reincarnated…dude drove FAST! I think he was just trying to get a rise out of me, it didn’t work.

I saw the sign to where we were going before Mario turned, he was speeding along the road til he came to a stopped car, there was a booth with a sign in the window “Ticket” in three languages and a lady standing next to the stopped car with what looked like a book of tickets in her hand.

I wondered how much it was going to cost for the three of us and a car, I understood after the minibus trip all expenses were up to me. I should say, the tea had been free. I moved to take my little purse out of my pocket when Hensin put up a hand to say stop. Ok. No worries. Maybe cause they are Turkish it is free, the car in front said rental on it..so I waited.

The car head moves forward, Mario pulled up saying something to the lady at the same time he nodded his head in my direction, she looked at me then nodded to him. That was it. Ok, no fee for us today, but why? This answer I was not going to get, one just accepts and moves on.

Another turn in the road and Hansin said “OK” I looked up the hill the direction he was and saw ruins…this must be the spot. Mario gave me a nod, I said “thank you very much” and he was off. By the by ~ I have asked many many times what thank you very much is in Turkish, it is something like Teasugaryourdream but not.. Damn thing is complex. They have another word Sow, like a momma pig but it’s not proper and I just don’t like the sound of it. So.. “Thank you very much” with a warm smile.

Hensin was leading the way UP the hill, no worries I am at sea level I can do this, never mind I have been hauling my pack about for how many weeks. I am far stronger here, now than I was three weeks ago. In the end we had to weave up the hill through rock, sticker bushes, the tomb things, all manner of flora. It was great fun trying to find a way up and snapping pics at the same time.

From Wikipedia :

The Byzantine ghost town of Anamurium, 5 km (3 miles) west of the town center, is an eerie place of semi-ruined stone buildings–churches, public baths, shops, a theater, a stadium, a necropolis (cemetery).

Anamurium was founded by the Phoenicians, flourished under the Romans, but was sacked by the Arabs in the 600s and never recovered. Its very forlorn-ness preserved it: no one wanted to live here, which is why it has been preserved.

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He insisted, it was not my idea.  Once I decided I had had enough pics from above I said to Hensin, “Down?” pointing down the hill. He was on top of it down we weaved. We had a stroll though the old stadium and out to the sea.

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Yet another for the lone boat series.

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See Bessie out there?

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Tile left over from ages ago.

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At some point I thought I understood Hensin was going to walk back to town by way of the sea…we did walk the edges for a spell but he musta changed his mind cause he headed back to the road and a building. He waved to the road “Centrum, OK?” I said “No problem” I thought he had said we are going to walk back to the center of town by way of the road but dude was not dressed in comfy shoes…how the hell was he going to pull that off. Did I mention town was 5 kilometers? It was flat I could do it no worries, hell, I would enjoy it.

When he got closer to the building he saw some men drinking, he said something to them and then I was asked to follow him. Sure why not, I have all day, though it’s getting on about 3 pm now.

The men musta offered Hensin tea cause he looked at me “Tea?” “Yes, I will have tea.” Tis the way of the country, they offer you accept, then you sit and chat. We sat and chatted, the older guy knew just enough English to tell me I was loco for traveling alone, the land I was looking at across the water was Cyrpus and that if I walked more I would weight less. At the last Hensin gave me a look..don’t pay any attention.

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Cyrpus

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Believe me I tried to get out of this but those guys were not having any of it. I had zero choice in the matter. Hensin is in red, the old coot is next to me and  the guy behind was serving tea. The guy snapping the pic I later realized had a German accent.

About 20 minutes later the other shoe dropped, the old coot was going to drive us back in to town. Just out side of town he stopped for gas, one of the other guys had as well. He turned to me in the back seat “Excuse me madam, 20 lira please“ HUH? I looked at Hensin, he was staring out the window. I am not sure if he didn’t understand what was asked, if he was in on it or if he just had no idea what to do. I got mad, there was not a chance in hell I was giving this old coot anything much less 20 lira. Damn! I said “I had no idea you would want money, I will walk. I am not going to give you any money.” I got out of the car and started walking. Man! Was I mad, rotten son of a so and so.

I have no idea if there were any words between the old coot and Hensin, I didn’t care I was bound a determined to get as far away from both of them as I could. It didn’t occurred to me immediately, what are the rules in this country, shit had I just made a prison worthy mistake. Crap!

I heard Hensin call something, he must be out of the car…I didn’t care what he wanted..I was done. Damn, I have to find a way to thank him for the delightful afternoon. Ok., fine..I took a breath and slowed my walk a bit. He caught up repeating several times “I am sorry, I am sorry” I waved him off.

I never did stop walking, he said “Otogar?” “Yes, for a ticket to Silifke tomorrow at 10.” “OK”

We got to the otogar, I paid for my ticket. I thanked him very much for a pleasant afternoon, told him I would see him tomorrow at 10 if he was around. He shook my hand and gave me a half hug.

What a sad end to an other wise pleasant day. No matter, look at the photos I have! Woohoo!

Day 21 ~ Alanya

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 1:15 pm on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ya know I am not sure where this first pic is from but I wanted to post it.  I think it is outside Antalya but I don’t know how it ended up in this folder…whew I was tired at the time.

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See all the rock they built the houses around?

Were did I get up this morning…oh yes Side.

About the time I started to wonder if there was anyone manning the bus station a minibus flew past going the other direction…on the nose was printer “Otogar“. I knew from a postcard I had seen the day before the direction he was going was a loop, he would be back.

When I heard one coming behind me I whipped out the bit of paper I had written my next destination on (Alanya). The driver stopped I hoped in and showed him the paper…he shook his head and pointed to the door saying something I didn’t understand, then he switched languages “Next bus”. Just as he was pulling away he honked his horn as the bus behind him rounded the bend “That bus lady”. the horn said.

I showed the bit of paper to the next guy he waved me in the bus. He drove for some amount of time and not to the otogar where the peanut guy ambushed me.

He and I were the only two left on the bus when he said “Otogar” waving his hand forward. I understood, we are going to the otogar that way.

Let us pause here for a moment to have a chat about buses in this country.

I have been riding with them for several weeks, I can tell you a few things. One ~ these guys will pick you up or drop you off dang near anywhere on their route, they will pick up dang near anything though I have not as yet seen any live animals. I have seen crates of oranges, bags of something round looking like a pumpkin, I have seen packages we would have taken to the post office, I even saw a man hand a bus driver a rounded saw blade that he later dropped off where in looked like new construction. They have no standard for luggage either, if you can pick it up it goes, bags, crates, and boxes. I have, on several buses, been not only the one person with proper luggage but the only non local, much less American.

The farther away from Istanbul I am the more looks I get. I am not sure if they are looking at my breasts or if they are concerned about my being cold in a short sleeved shirt. If I hold my coat in such a way my breasts are less visible I get less attention, right up til the time I talk…then it starts all over again.. “American! Obama, Obama, American”

I have lied several times about my marriage status, only when I am feeling less than comfy with the person offering attention. Thank goodness for the jeweler in Istanbul for the silver ring, it has a tiny bit of sparkle as well.

I am still not clear on who owns the buses, they have a company logo but many have personal touches inside. I have also noticed they have to pay duty to the bus station because of this there is a chance if you are picked up or dropped off outside the station the price is less. The bus I took today I had to walk a block out of the otogar.

Some times you buy the ticket in the bus station, sometimes you don’t.

I do not see any rhyme or reason to it. I have seen the station attendant give money to the driver and I have seen the driver give money to the attendant. The next bus guy who offers me tea, who has good English, I will pick his brain a bit.

When the dude in the minibus from Side found the otogar he parked the bus and said “Lady, that way” pointing in front of the bus.

Two of the station guys came to me asking if I was going to Istanbul…Gads! Istanbul must be a ride just this side of hell from here. I shook my head and pulled out my paper, the guy read it saying “10 minutes” waving his hand in the direction of a bench. Alrighty, I will sit here til the bus going my way arrives.

If I remember correctly and this was only yesterday, I was going through Antalya to Alanya…the idea was to hop off the bus in Alanya wander about a bit then catch another bus to a destination farther south. When I saw the bus I knew I had no other choice, the last town listed was Alanya.

I saw the sign to say we were in Alanya but sometimes there is more than one otogar in any given town, because of this I didn’t know when we passed what looked like a bus station, it was the bus station, silly me. The bus driver kicked me off in the Centurm (center of town) near a bizarre of all things.

I had to weave my way through the bizarre with all the guys hawking there wares. They were speaking German..I would say “no, thank you” and they would reply, British? I would say American and they would say “Obama, Obama” It was kinda funny but three of four times of that not knowing where I was going and thinking it was about breakfast time…then one of the guys said “American? Well, if you don’t need a bag maybe I can help you. Where are you going?” I asked if there was a place near by I could use the wireless and have a cup of tea. He told me it was some distance but to take a left at the big road.

I thanked him and was on my way…this is where traveling with only a carry on sized bag comes in handy. I walked and walked and walked, I found a very cool park, (I would have a pic but I had to pee, badly) I found a castle on a hill, I found some cool art things, I found the beach and a zillion hotels but I never did see an internet café. I did see a local bus zipping up and down a road. I found a bathroom! Woohoo! In the end I bought oranges and cheese from the market and sat on a bench in a put put golf area which has seen better days.

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Are they looking at the castle in the hill or just in to the sky?

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It is a ship? It is a plane? maybe it is a time machine.

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Sea, street, hotels, shops under the hotels.

About the time I was ready to wave down a bus to see if he goes to the Otogar, someone in a shop said hello.. I turned,  I always reply to Hello, its just good travel sense, ya never know what might come next. In a German accent she asked where I was from, I said “American” With wide eyes she said “What are you doing here?” I was surprised by the question, after all she was here, then I remember someone had said Alanya had many retired Germans. I told her I came to see it, the castle, the beach. “Do they clean up the beach before “the season” starts?” “Yes, after the big storms bring trash in from the sea they clean the beach by hand, then during the summer they clean it every day.” I was very glad to hear this.

We chatted a bit more when I asked about the bus and if it would take me to the otogar. She said yes but it will drop you outside, I told her walking was no big problem. We flagged the next bus and I was off.

Low and behold there was a internet café at the bus station, shezz! I asked the guy if I could use my computer with wireless he said no so I used one of his.

I had posted a question on Trip Advisor about going from Antalya to Cappadocia and what route they suggested. I didn’t have wireless in Side so I was behind on my research. I hopped online to tell my mother I was fine then clicked over to Trip Advisor to see what the next place was… I wrote down the names of towns and the alternative route, looked at google maps and logged off.

I was stopped by a guy outside the café saying “Where are you going.” I pulled out my bit of paper, he looked puzzled. He called in the shop to someone, who came out, he also looked puzzled. I wanted to go Ermenck, Mut then north.

On the other side of the paper I had written the coastal route but I was about tired of the coast… in the end there were four guys looking at my paper, finally one said Anamur on the coast and waved me to the correct ticket guy. I asked them about the Ermenck, Mut route and both of them shook their heads. They didn’t say why…the Coast it is.

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This big bus and all those people are going to Istanbul…yuk that would be no fun from here.

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There was a fair amount of  this kind of thing just outside Alanya. Later I started seeing what looked like all inclusive resorts…thay had to be cause they were fenced and little else around.

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Bananas, the white shinny stuff is covers on the fruit stalk.

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It was a bit wet out that day.

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The bus stopped for a potty break.

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Lady selling  the funny pants I see all the older ladies wearing.

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The bus got a bath.

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Finally someone wearing a bit of color.

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Bananas and green houses on a wet foggy day.

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I didn’t get here (Anamur)  til 6.30 last night, I was a little concerned about arriving in the dark but I have found if you get yourself to the otogar those guys can pretty much fix all your problems.

The bus stopped outside the otogar, across the street. Just before I stepped off the attendant pointed to the otogar so I walked that way.

I asked the 1st guy behind the counter where the Centrum was he said “800 meters and pointed” ( I really should know what a meter is, hell I should know what a yard is but sadly…) I didn’t take four steps when a voice said in English, “Maybe I can help you.” “Indeed, maybe you can, I am looking for someplace to sleep tonight.” As often happens he said with a smile “You can sleep with…you are looking for a pension?” “Yes thanks” “Tea first so I can practice my English” “Sure, tea first.”

We chatted about this and that, mind you he was working as well so it was interrupted conversation. At one point there seemed to be a problem with three men, there was a lot of talk, tickets being handed back and forth. When he was done I asked if they had changed the time they were leaving or their destination. He said “Our bus is broken on the mountain, I had to switch them to another company.” Broken on the mountain, that can’t be good.

Once the tea was done I told me his cousin would take me to a pension he knew of. I thanked him for the tea and turned to the cousin.

He and I walked, he said something about the three things people come to see in this area and then pointed to me and then to him. I understood he wanted to take me to see the three things people visit. The only one I remember now is a castle. He handed me his card asking if I wanted to go with him by Dolmus (minibus) I said “no money tomorrow” He said “no no money“. Sure why not,  he and the other guy at the bus station seemed harmless enough. The plan is to meet him at the bus station at 12. His English is not great but it may be an interesting afternoon.

Day 20 ~ Side

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 12:34 pm on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Side

Was another long day….this bus travel thing was cool when the buses where on time but dang! I waited 90 minutes for the bus down the hill to Olympos yesterday..I was told the bus going back up the next morning was leaving at 9.30…at 11.17 it finally showed up. Phooey, I could have done something other than wait at the bus stop for 2 hours.

I waited at the top of the hill about 30 minutes for the Antayla bus going south. I didn’t know it but I had just enough time to hit the loo, asked where the bus to Side was and we were gone again. I thought about staying in Antayla cause Side is a summer destination and I was a bit concerned it would be all but rolled up like Dalyan. I decided, while the bus was going through Antayla to the bus station it was not my kind of place.

Side it is then, I got kicked off the big south going bus at what was once a gas station, the old man in the minibus turned out to be a bit dirty, even with the language barrier I knew he wanted to take me out to get drunk. I wanted out of that bus as fast as possible, he finally stopped at a make shift bus station, I paid him and bailed…didn’t really care where I was going just started walking.

There was a mass of people walking behind the ticket counter so I followed them, it seems a wanna be bizarre kinda deal. While I was trying to decide to go in to what looked like roman ruins or to turn right I heard English spoken but I no longer remember what he said. I turned..ya know I don’t remember what happened in the middle but there was talk of his friend, who was standing next to him, taking me to a pension another friend owned. Once all that was settled he asked me what (did I mention he was a nut seller?) his nuts were called in English. I didn’t even see it coming, he had four kinds, mostly peanuts with various kinds of coating, I told him which one I preferred…dang did I get blind sided, four lira worth of mixed nuts later. How did that happen exactly? Dude was smooth! I never saw it coming.

The friend took my bigger bag and set off through the ruins, taking time to explains what I was seeing at various points. He said his English was not that great but his Dutch was perfect.

The pension was nice enough, I was a bit proud of myself for bargaining him down to 30 from a starting point of 50. I was happy to go someplace else and told him so with my magic little note book, I listed the places I had been and what I paid. I asked if my computer would work, he said yes but in the end it did not.

I dropped my bag and set off to see the town. The town is literally built in, on and around ruins of an ancient city. Its is very cool indeed!

The sun was going down for some of these pics….

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Ahh this musta been on the road to Antayla…looks like any divided highway in American.. first bill boards I remember seeing.

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The beach in Side.

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I know bad photo but do ya think Coney Island is down there?

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The place was fairly quite.

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The stone has been there for ages and the road goes through  the arch.

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Ahh from the others side.  It was raining that morning… I caught the bus right here.

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While waiting at the Manavget Otogar for the bus to Alanya.

Day 19 ~ Olympos Redux

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 12:13 pm on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympos was a bit of a let down. I am glad I went to see the famous tree houses though they are not what we would call a tree house. They are houses made of trees, some are little cabin kinda things and others are full blown two story deals. I now understand the reason they are called Tree Houses is cause most of not all other buildings in Turkey are made of cement and stucco covered brick, no wood involved.

Because there is no place to eat most accommodation (there are many options now) includes breakfast and dinner. The fish I had the night I was there was very good indeed.

The place is a pain to get to in the off season. I understand during the summer the minibuses run up and down the hill every thirty minutes. I was not nearly as lucky. Even when I was told 9.30 the morning I wanted to leave the bus didn’t come til 11.17…ish! Waiting at a bus stop for that amount of time is not fun, I could have been doing something else.

I would bet for the 20 something crowd during the summer the place is as close to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Beach as you are going to get…little to do but hang about, drink and party. Hmm,  I would bet you can hike all over the hills if you are so inclined.

From Wikipida : The former city of Olympos was founded in the Hellenistic period, presumably taking it’s name from nearby Mount Olympos (Turkish: Tahtali Dagi, Timber Mountain), one of over twenty mountains with the name Olympos in the Classical world.

The coins of the city of Olympos date back to the 2nd century BC. It was described by Cicero as an ancient city full of riches and works of art. The city became one of the six leading cities of the Lycian federation. In the 1st century BC, Olympos was invaded and settled by Cilician pirates. This ended in 78 BC, when the Roman commander Publius Servilius Isauricus, accompanied by the young Julius Caesar, took the city after a victory at sea, and added Olympos to the Roman Empire.

The ruins are on two sides of Olympos river and they stretch to the sea. There are impressive…..

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I just know if the cloud would clear…..

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told ya, though  this was the next day.

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The sun was going down by the time I arrived at the bottom of the hill but I think the pics came out ok.

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Tree Houses on the right, river on the left.

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Eating area of the one I stayed in.

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Some of the accommodation is on the beach side of  the river.

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It is a very pretty, currently quiet spot.

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Last one from the top of the hill while waiting for the bus to Antalya.

Day 19 ~ Olympos

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 12:49 am on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The road from Fethiye to the top of Olympos hill.

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Bits of this road was beyond curvy, up and down mountains or along  the coast. Thank goodness I was in the front seat.

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See the coast road we had come along?

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It’s trying to be spring here.

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Do you believe that mountain range? Holy hannah it goes on for days.

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They do not lack for mountains in this land.

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Or green houses.

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Rocks, lots and lots of rock, most of this land had some kind of crop on it but in all this rock it was just scrubby foliage of some sort.

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The weather must get fairly bad on occasion, all the boats were out of  the water.

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A very colorful minibus in Finike, a seemly fun beach town I was only passing through.

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Just so ya don’t think all the bus stations look like the one in Denizli. The was the top of Olympos hill, just next to it was a food stand and tables. My guess is many people end up waiting here.

I would if I could go on but breakfast I paid for and I still gotta pack my bag.

Day 18 ~ Dalyan Redux

Filed under: Photos,Turkey — she_travels at 3:56 am on Monday, February 22, 2010

So sorry for  the delay, no wireless available though I am getting a few “American, here?” from people.  Seems I am a bit off the path many choose.  The locals are far more accustom to Germans, more on that later.

Right then…the bus stopped in what looked like the Dalyan  town square. In view there was a street with shops, a mosque, many men sitting about chatting on park benches and what seemed to be a café. There was not visible sign saying “Tombs this way”.

I set off in the direction of the sea, thinking I needed to cross the water to see the tombs. Not far out from where I started I was against a hill with what I thought was to much flat ground, the streets were empty. While standing there a mite confused, I remembered the bus guy in Fethiya showing me a picture of the river, the sea and beach between them…ok so I am not looking for ocean, I am looking for a river. Hmm if I came from that way and that way is the sea….let’s try…. My feet choose a direction, good choice too cause I found the river.

Looking at the paved path I realized this was the way most people went and by gum when I looked back toward were the bus had come I saw the mosque. So, this path is directly behind the mosque, easy enough to stay unlost…river/mosque. I am good now.

I walked along the river away from the mosque, it didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. I was under the impression one HAD to take a boat to see the tombs…not so much…if you are on the correct part of the river all is well.

I clicked a few pics then went looking for a bathroom. During my search I came across one of the very few shop keepers with an open store. While I was flipping through the postcards on the side walk he came out to say hi. Very nice guy, I had a postcard in my hand split in four parts , one picture was the face of the tombs, one was of turtles (the beach everyone talks about is closed during turtle hatching season) one was of the beach and the last looked to be canals. I was curious about the last. I  asked the shop keeper what he knew about the boats,  would it be possible to find someone to take me out for a price I am willing to pay. I knew from research the “season” doesn’t start until April, matter of fact the only reason this guy was in the store was setting up for the season.

The shopkeeper said he didn’t know anyone with a boat (he is not really from here but north someplace) then he thought for a minute, raised his hand, turned  and walked down the street. He came back with a very cute guy, he said he had talked the cute guy down from a higher price and found something not this guy was willing to take, cause his boat was being painted, but a friend of his could do it. He then asked  me if I wanted to follow the cutie on the bike or if I wanted the boat to come get me. I was happy to go with the cutie. I thanked the shop keeper after I bought three postcards.  I was off with the hottie on the bike, though he was walking with me. The cutie started to talk, perfect English this guy had. What the heck was all the conversation with the shop keeper in Turkish?  This place is a hoot!

Cutie  owns the bar down the street and had just arrived back after a six week holiday in Thailand. He asked where I was from and wondered if I was out alone (People need company). I told him I like to travel alone cause I meet more people. He went on to say his friend was coming to help with the boat, we walked the path back toward the mosque, just past it he stopped in front of a boat in a very long line of boats tied to the sea wall. He announced “This one is mine”  wait I thought his was being painted, oh well just go with it.

A guy came running past me jumping in the boat cutie said was his. I sat on the park bench waiting. They fiddled with the engine, talked, fiddled some more, got it to run then cutie hopped out of the boat with a plastic jug and said something to me I didn’t catch, he repeated the word then switched to British English “Petrol” and was off in his bike.

Once he was back with gas he two of them decided all was well. I was offered a hand in to the boat, can’t have the tourist falling in the sea. When I was seated, cutie hopped out to the sea wall, untied the boat and waved goodbye. Aww, this would have been fun with him.

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Oops, this is sunrise in Fethiya from my balcony…goodness what a view.

Pics from the boat..

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It may be a less expensive to go with a bunch of people, but I was happy being the lone person going.

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Sheeps

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I am just sure if  we could see behind the cloud there would be snow caps. I am not complaining cause I had a very fine day with plenty of sun.

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If you look close you can see the ruins of something, perhaps the same people who made the rock tombs.

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Imagine this place with boats full of tourists running back and forth… I am happy to pay a bit more for the quite. One should always travel in low season, sure your dealing with some things be closed or rotten weather but at least you are not dealing with heaps of people.

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Turtle beach. I think they call it something else.

From Wikipedia :

Dalyan is a town in Muila Province located between the well-known districts of Marmaris and Fethiye on the south-west coast of Turkey. The town is an independent municipality, within the administrative district of Ortaca.

Dalyan achieved international fame in 1986 when developers wanted to build a luxury hotel on the nearby Iztuzu Beach, a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle species. The incident created major international storm when David Bellamy championed the cause of the conservationists. The development project was stopped and the beach is now a protected area.

Life in Dalyan revolves around the Dalyan Çaye River which flows past the town. The boats that ply up and down the river, navigating the maze of reeds, are the preferred means of transport to all the local sites.

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I was out there wearing my fleece and these guys were playing in the water. Brrr!

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I understand these are markers for the turtle people during hatching season.

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This is such a nice photo…imagine it in high season chock a block full of boats.

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We went back the way we had come out to the beach but it all seemed new enough to me. The bird in this pic is just a bonus.

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Someone has to make all those tourist boats.

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Bits of the ride back to Fethiye. Straight takes you through a tunnel, I think the exit here if for those not allowed in the tunnel.

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More planted forest.

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I can’t figure the green house situation here…is is not warm enough to grow so they do this. Or is there to much rain, to much sun? What is the deal cause the green houses are everywhere!

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Right  then, I decided since I had taken the minibus that morning to the bus station that I would walk back. I had a fair idea of which way to go cause there was hill-ish to my left and sea some distance but sea none the less to my right…then I found the canal that would go to the open market the Scottish lady and I had a look at a few days ago. I set off following the canal, I continued to check where the hill was to my left…at one point I saw this……

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Dang silly tombs I went  to Dalyan to see are RIGHT here in Fethiya. Shezz! I would have gone looking for a better view but it was getting dark and I was still not sure how far from my sea view room I was. In the end it  was after dark when I got back, took just over an hour to walk from the bus station to my room.

Next up.. Olympos.

Interlude

Filed under: Interlude,Turkey — she_travels at 10:18 am on Friday, February 19, 2010

I just don’t have it in me tonight.

Six hours in a bus, I thought the two hour walk would help me out but dang the area where the computer works has a combination of Turkish Jazz far to loud and a TV with a Turkish TV program even louder….how to they think in this place?

My head is pounding and if the guy had not said dinner was included “Do you like fish?” I would have a showered and gone to bed. Damn its 6.15.

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