|We are the luckiest people ever. Not sure why we keep arriving in large cities at night which is an incredibly stupid thing to do. However people keep looking after us! After driving for 7 hours yesterday we landed in Antalya a city on the southern coast of Turkey. We had planned to find a campground but could not. The absence of highway numbers and no street names continues to frustrate us but we somehow end up with amazing experiences and the Turks always bail us out!
After driving in circles through Antalya we finally stopped at a fast food place to get directions on how to get into the old city (it appeared to only have pedestrian access) and look for a cheap hotel/pension. When an employee could not make us understand he jumped on his motorbike and told us to follow him. He took us right into the old city and we found a great pension (small guesthouse) for 40 dollars a night - great room with a charming courtyard and rooftop terrace covered with couches and pillows. We had a nap up there this afternoon. The scent of jasmine from the bushes that surround the courtyard is intoxicating.
This morning we travelled to the nearby ancient city of Perge. The ruins were amazing! After a rest we visited the archaelogical museum in Antalya which contained an unbelievable amount of sculptures and architectural elements many of which had come from Perge (where we had been in the morning). Absolutely fascinating. The ROM is just not going to cut it anymore! We had decided to take public transit to the museum but the manager at the pension told us a cab would be a better idea. He took us to a nearby shop and got the shop employee to call a cab. He could not reach one so he ran up the street and brought one back for us. The hospitality here is mind-boggling. When we got to the museum we realized we only had enough cash for one ticket which cost 15 lira (about 11 dollars) and they did not take Visa. Nor was there a bank machine nearby. The guy manning the ticket booth looked at the cash we had which was 25 lira and he took 15 lira from us and waved us in. We cannot believe how people keep making allowances for our stupidity!!!
We took a tram (streetcar) back from the museum and when a truck driver tried to cut off the tram the tram driver backed up the tram and screamed out the window at the truck driver. It was hilarious. I did not know that streetcars could move in reverse.
The weather is gorgeous now - about 26 celcius and sunny. Tomorrow we hope to travel further west along the coast to take in some time at the beach.
We love Turkey - can you tell? The food and people are amazing!!! Rick wants to buy a pension and live here. I think that the novelty might quickly wear off once he had to unclog his first toilet (which the manager had to do for us this morning).
Thanks for keeping in touch.