Despartly Seeking Coffee: Days Off in Antalya. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

February 26, 2014

Despartly Seeking Coffee: Days Off in Antalya.

It was a grey day, but the sun peeked through in late afternoon providing great light for this shot.
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The owner of the pension I reside at is an odd sort with odd house rules. I have to be in by midnight. No problem as I'm usually too knackered these days to go anywhere of an evening, never mind stay out after midnight. And he switches the WiFi off at midnight, only to switch it back on again at seven. Again, not a problem as I like to be in bed asleep between those times anyway. And then there were the questions in the form he filled in on my arrival, such as father and mother's names.

This morning he must have forgotten to put WiFi on, as there is no internet access when I try at eight o'clock and still no joy when I try again a little over half an hour later. But at twenty-five Liras a night, the price doesn't include breakfast. Incidentally, another rule is "We mork on a prepaid basis." Yes, word is misspelled. But returning to the subject, I go out to eat breakfast. Easy. I buy two simits for one Lira each from a street stall. Then I must find a place to sit and drink coffee and hopefully spend the morning editing for this journal. Not easy. Before on my first day in a strange city, the coffee shops have jumped out and been highly visible from the start, but not here in Antalya. I walk and walk along most of the streets around the old town, seeing none. There's no Starbucks which is a blessing as they're too expensive at almost seven Liras for an Americano, plus I can't use their WiFi, because in Turkey they use a network with a landing-page which requires a telephone number in order to proceed. I walk pass the stupendously expensive place I'd the misfortune to sit down at for coffee yesterday, with poor service and a cup of coffee costing twelve fifty; that's believe or not four euros, fifteen cent, or slightly under three fifty sterling. I've seen everywhere. There's lots of Cay drinking cafes, then I stumble upon this place where I sit and write, having only paid four ninety for the same coffee as yesterday. An outrageous price difference.

A few years ago I met an English cyclist in Southern Chile. He started in Alaska and was then a couple of weeks from finishing his end-to-end ride of America. He told me he'd steered clear of the big tourist draws in the Andean highlands, instead riding the Peruvian coastal desert and continuing south on the Pan Americana in Northern Chile. It would seen he wasn't interested in sightseeing. For him it was the bike ride which mattered. He maintained the desert landscape's featurelessness meant a lack of distraction. Where he could be at one with his thoughts. And so, I relate this to my recent visit along with Dino and Suzy to Ephesus. They are a different breed of cyclist altogether than the former mentioned, liking as much the sightseeing as the bike riding. I think I'm much in the former camp. I like to ride, ride, ride and do nothing except rest on a day off the bike.

I've enjoyed the riding in Turkey and would recommend it as a cycling holiday destination, as long as you don't mind hills and Spring, March through to May is perhaps the best time to visit; in other words avoiding Winter cold and Summer heat. I had planned on taking the ferry on to Cyprus, but today I googled ferry connections to and from the island and while there's no problem sailing from here to Cyprus, ferries to and from Greece have been suspended according to the website. There is also the matter of Greek authorities not recognizing the Turkish northern half of the island, so even if there are ferries leaving for mainland Greece, I perhaps couldn't board one having entered from Turkish Cyprus. I didn't look more into the matter; instead, I'll ride west from Antalya along the coast to the ferry port Marmaras and catch a ferry to Rhodes.

The Mosque interior.
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I wanted to avoid the ugly characterless modern cars at street level.
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I really like this.
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After dark I continued to practice with low light.
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