Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Follow the marble brick road: Antalya, Turkey 10-7 to 10-10

The bus ride was only about 3.5 hours, seemed longer though. To get here we just asked the hotel shuttle service or you can take a taxi or a mini bus to the otogar/bus station. From there ask any bus company the price/departure time to the city you want to go to. The bus does usually stop several times for bathroom breaks and the price to use the bathroom is 1 lira/50 cents. Our bus fare was 20 lira pp, using Pamukkale bus company service.

This is one of the main streets by our hotel in the new part of town. Everything was in easy walking distance shops, restaurants even a nearby park. If you wanted to venture farther out there were plenty of taxis or buses at your disposal as well.You will pay less money for everything the farther away from the main street you go.

One stop designer shopping in new Antalya. It's always fun to look and people watch. There was even an ATM machine right next door. I prefer to use the ATM and pay the one time fee instead of the point of service fee my bank charges for using my visa card and some small shops don't take credit cards.

Easy not to get lost, just followed the marble brick road back to old town and our hotel. We found our room using, a no fee website.

Shopping in old town Antalya, you can find some good deals especially since the season was over and they wanted to sell their stock. Don't forget to haggle and usually you can get an even better price if you buy more than one item.                                                                                                       

There was even a small spice market with an interesting pyramid display of spices. I got some saffron for 3 lira a gram. They also made up a special tea concoction that was delicious combination of hibiscus and apple tea.
Antalya a large city by the sea and we were staying in "old town", the hotels were actually small family run guest houses. Old Town was in easy walking distance to the main rd, which had many shops and restaurants, even a park. We found many smaller shops and quaint, cozy places in old town itself which we also enjoyed. Definitely bring rain gear especially if its later in the season. The do sell umbrellas but I prefer a rain poncho and they didn't have those. From the hotel you can book a day excursion they have a variety of activities from white water rafting to a turkish bath.

We were supposed to fly back to Istanbul on 10/9 but the flights were all delayed due to inclement weather/severe thunderstorms. I had never been stuck at the airport before and thought "your not a real traveler until you get stuck at the airport". This mentality quickly wore off and after 8 hours there and 4 trips to the unfriendly counter person they finally re-ticketed us for the next day. We were lucky to find a room at the same hotel for the night. The next day we were watching the news and saw that another airline at the airport that night actually over ran the run way and skidded into some rocks. We were able to fly out as planned on 10/10 to Istanbul, but since we unfortunately didn't have travel insurance and the connecting flight that we missed was not affiliated with atlas jet we were unsure how much they were going to charge us to get another flight. I did call the airline but they gave us a price of 300 euro for 2 ppl, so we decided to go directly to the airport and maybe they would give us a better price. The airline thankfully gave us a price of 200 usd to change the ticket, this is about half of the quote given to us on the phone.

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