Monthly Archives: May 2022

2022 – A bit of exploring – Antalya and the Countryside

We like to try and visit some places during the winter we wouldn’t necessarily get to during the sailing season.  There are lots of hotels outside of Antalya.  We visited one at Lara Beach in November with my cousin Sue and her hubby Rik, and a couple of their friends and had a great time.  Unfortunately, the photos I took were lost on my corrupted hard drive!  This time we went to Antalya’s old quarter, Kaleiçi.  We found a very nice hotel but it must be the smallest room we’ve ever stayed in but hey ho.  We took the bus from Finike and then the tram.  A cheap and easy way to travel.

The old town is narrow, winding streets inside the ancient city walls.  Antalya is the eighth most populated city in Turkey.  The city was occupied by Italy for three years following the first World War but was recaptured during the Turkish War of Independence.  On our first evening it was very cold.  We found a bar for a pre dinner beer which had a log burning fire in the middle of the room which fortunately had a untaken table right next to it.  There was a couple of guys playing some music so we ended up staying longer than we anticipated.  We wandered about, as you do, looking for a restaurant we fancied and the one with some music playing caught our eye.  Later the traditional belly dancer did a few turns and twirls.

We’ve discovered there are various houses dotted around Turkey that are identified as Ataturk’s House. In fact, some are actually places he stayed when he visited.  Ataturk visited Antalya on three occasions and the house was allocated to him for his visits.  It was converted into a museum in his memory in 1986 and some of his personal belongings are exhibited there.

The only entrance gate in the city walls that remains is Hadrian’s which was built in honour of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, he who built Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian visited Antalya in the year 130.

The Kaleici Museum, which we stumbled upon, wandering around the narrow streets, is a traditional Antalya house built in the 19th century.  The sets are made up of authentic garments, covers, furniture, rugs and kilims collected from the Antalya region. 

Outside of the old quarter are lots of shops, bars and restaurants.  Very different to the old town.  We succumbed to a Burger King here, as you don’t often get the opportunity for Western junk food. 

Let’s go walking – Clare on Tula arranged a couple of walks with a guide for a group of us.  Well, when I say walk there was a fair bit of hiking up and down hills.  The first was along part of the Lycian Way which is over 300 miles long and the direction of the path is marked with a white stripe above a red stripeWe were picked up by mini bus and then dumped, I mean dropped off, about 40 minutes from Finike near to Demre.  The weather had not been that great so far, it had been quite cold, it was the worst winter in 30 years.  It was like an English day, unpredictable and with lots of variations.  We started off with lovely warm sunshine, followed by rain, then snow and finally large hailstones.  The path often looked just like a pile of rocks which it often was.  The path could easily be lost so the guide on a few occasions went ahead to look for the white and red marker. 

Where we were dropped off there were a number of street dogs.  There are a lot of them in Turkey and the majority are very friendly.  One decided to join us on our walk which was nearly 8 miles long.  We stopped for lunch and she never bothered anyone while they were eating.  At the end of the walk our mini bus was waiting to take us back to the marina.  We all felt we couldn’t leave this lady so far away from where we started.  We coaxed her very gently into the mini bus, there was no resistance and so we dropped her back to her friends in the boat yard by the beach where we started. 

When the hail stones rained down on us we took shelter under a tree on some farmers land where there was a shed for the goats who were sensibly all inside.  We did laugh as there was a gap in the tarpaulin and there were a number of heads bobbing up and down to get a better view of us silly sods outside. 

“Look at those silly humans in the rain” said the old goats!

The second walk we did was split into two parts either side of the road.  We walked/climbed up and the views were quite amazing.  Then down again and across the road.  Looking at what was in front of us I thought we can’t possibly be going down there, yes of course we were.  It was thankfully all down hill but it was a long way and quite rugged in places.  At the end we walked across some farmers land and to the ancient city of Sura.  The monumental tomb, is the largest sarcophagus in Lycia.  This was a long day we left the marina at 10am and arrived back about 6.30pm when it was dark and my feet and hips certainly reminded me I’d walked a long way. 

Clare and I decided to have a day out in Kas, which is 90 minutes on the bus.  We had a wander around the shops, a bit of lunch and then back again.  As I mentioned there are a lot of street animals and on turning the corner in the Waikiki store there lying asleep on the floor was this little fella, bothering no one and no one bothered him.

Let sleeping dogs lie!

May 2022

Myra – Off to visit Father Christmas, amongst other things!

We had a group trip out with 18 of us from the Marina organised by Maggie.  Our first stop was the Ancient City of Myra.  There are Lycian Tombs carved into the hillside from the 4th century BC and were for VIP’s.  On the outside walls of the tombs there are carvings, some of which are funeral scenes and others showing the daily life of the deceased. 

The Greco -Roman Amphitheatre is the largest theatre in Lycia  It has 38 rows of seats and its facade was richly decorated with theatrical masks and mythological scenes.

Turkey is a Muslim country and doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  However, we didn’t realise that St Nicholas was born in Myra.  Although at the time of his birth Myra, now known as Demre, was part of Greece not Turkey. 


The next segment is about Father Christmas, so if you don’t want your illusions burst then don’t read the next bit!! ……

St Nicholas, AKA Father Christmas and in Turkey he is known as Noel Baba, was born in Patara, and died on 6th December 343, contrary to popular belief he isn’t in the North Pole.  He was the Bishop of Myra and is patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and unmarried people.  Legend says amongst many other things he stopped a violent storm to save doomed sailors and donated money to a father who was forced to sell his daughters into prostitution.  His tomb is in St Nicholas Church, Demre, however, some say that a group of sailors came to Demre from Bari in 1087, opened his tomb and took his bones to Bari in Italy for protection.  The bone fragments, which were believed to belong to St. Nicholas that were not taken to Bari, are exhibited in the Antalya Museum.

We visited St Nicholas Church on the anniversary of St Nicholas’ death on 6th December.  This day is a big occasion and a service is held in commemoration. A priest from either the Greek or the Russian Orthodox Church visits and conducts the service.  Pilgrims travel here every year on the anniversary and there was quite a crowd.  They all took holy communion and then kissed the cross the priest was holding which was quite a surprise considering we were in a pandemic!

SAFE TO START READING AGAIN – the story about St Nicholas, AKA Father Christmas, is over.

After a spot of lunch, we headed the Lycian Civilisation Museum which has only been open for a couple of years.  There are various ruins and displays of artefacts that have been found in Lycian cities.  The museum sits on the port of Andriake and was used until the 7th Century AD.  It is now a swamp and access to the sea has been cut off.    

Finike Community

Finike has quite a big marina community and there are the usual Friday night Happy Hours and Sunday BBQ’s.  We also had regular training sessions where Sarah took us through our paces and bridge twice a week, this does sound very middle aged!

We also had some musicians amongst us and the week before Christmas they put on a concert for us where songs were played and some sea shanties were sung.

May 2022