Gwen's Dream Trip 2013...Ireland, Europe and Turkey travel blog

Market at ancient Perge

Duden waterfalls,near Antalya

Our lovely guide Esra

Riverside cafes at waterfalls

Duden waterfalls

Turkish shoeshine in the shopping mall

Antalya marina

Antalya marina

South of Pamukkale, we pass through a craggy mountain range, with pine plantations, then a wide green valley with many orchards, vegetable crops, and strawberry greenhouses. We stop at a road-side stall and buy the most delicious apricots, peaches and cheap local prices.

We visit the ruins of the ancient city of Perge, established in 3,000 BC, but evidence has been found of habitation from 5,000 BC. Alexander the Great ruled and died there in the 3rd century BC. There is a wonderful square market place, surrounded by marble pillars, where you can clearly see the lay-out of the shops around the sides; and a marble butcher shop sign of a carved knife and hook...most couldn't read.The arena is very different to most; it is an oval shape completely surrounded by seating tiers, which shows chariot and other races were held there.

Then down to the large city of Antalya, population 4 million, a major coastal holiday and tourist city. Our hotel for the next two nights is in the city centre, so I went for a stroll along the pedestrian mall, browsing in the myriad of shops. There is also an old bazaar which is quite interesting, and I finally bought something in Turkey! Just some rather pretty cushion covers.

Next day, the other couple aren't well, so it's a tour for some very beautiful waterfalls nearby. There are about 30 falls in all, with a huge volume of water rushing and cascading down through a leafy green park. It is very popular with locals and there are picnic spots and restaurants all along the terraced areas on either side of the stream. There is a cave in the cliffs behind the highest falls with steps and paths, so you can walk up and through, looking at the falls from behind through the occasional hole.

There's an outdoor cafe with freshly made Gozlemes, a sort of pancake with savoury fillings; the ladies are sitting at low tables rolling out the pastry with long dowels. I have one for a delicious lunch, with a fresh yoghurt drink.

After returning to the hotel, I explore the area and find the picturesque marina, set between steep cliffs, one with a waterfall plunging over the edge into the Meditteranian, and boats of all sizes coming and going. The bigger boats are taking tourists on cruises; some boats look like pirate ships. I sit in a cliff-top bar and have a Turkish Efes beer...far nicer than the British beer I tried...and enjoy the sea views and just watching the boats for a while.

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