Monday, April 29, 2013

Turkey 2013


Hadrian's Gate built for the Emperor's visit in 130 A.D.

Driving in from the south, we could see Antalya from miles away. As we approached the city we could see one of the mega cruise liners in port. As we weaved through the streets, it wasn’t easy finding and getting access into the old walled city where our hotel was awaiting our arrival. But with some skillful navigation and with the help of a couple of friendly locals we managed to get in and find our hotel.

The Atelya Art Hotel is an old refurbished Ottoman house built out of wood, straw and clay. Inside, the rooms have high ceilings and dark wood floors all decorated with antiques and many colorful carpets and kilims (a thinner, woven carpet, that resembles the Mexican serape).

Atelya Art Hotel

One of the things Diane and Jill wanted to experience was a Turkish massage in one of the old Turkish bath houses. I too was up for it, but Rich opted to enjoy some peace and relaxation along with some Efis beers. So the three of us headed for a six hundred year old Turkish bath house that was near to our hotel.

Upon entering, it was very apparent that the bath house was historical. Diane and I were assigned to an old, wooden changing room, while Jill was in another one next to us. We disrobed and were given a cotton piece of cloth to cover our bodies. We were then taken to one of the hot marble sauna rooms. It was steamy, to be sure. And within ten minutes we all were breaking a good sweat.

The next process was the scrub down. A masseuse came and got me and took me to another room. There he set about to scrub me down with a rough mitt-like cloth with soap after which he used a towel with warm water in it, to roll over my body. The process was finished with a massage, also using soap. Very relaxing. (Apparently, the ladies got the same treatment.)

The last step was a massage with oil. By the end of the process one definitely feels relaxed. All this for about thirty dollars.

Men socializing just outside the walled city.

Backgammon is popular.

Jill and Rich were ending their Turkey trip in Antalya and dropping the car off at the airport. So the following day, after we said our good-byes Diane and I were then on going to depend on public transportation.

The following day, after our traveling partners left, Diane and I managed a thorough walk through the old walled city and had an Efes beer in the lovely harbor setting. We also got talked into stopping in at a couple of carpet stores, in which endless numbers of carpets were paraded in front of us while we sipped hot apple juice. We did buy one runner that we could not resist.

On Sunday morning, after packing, we said good-bye to Atelya Hotel and took a taxi to the main bus station. Soon we were on a bus to Kesova.  

The harbor in the walled city

Diane enjoying a yummy ekmek

Carpets galore

Spices are displayed  in various artistic ways.

Turkish sweets look very enticing.

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