I came to Turkey a few days ago to participate in the a2 International Education Fairs in Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. My first stop is Antalya, and I arrived the day before yesterday.
No wonder that Turks are so proud of their heritage. Before coming to Turkey, all I knew of this country were the things that my students have shown me: beautiful people, a melodic language, soothing music, and, of course, Turkish Delight! (Speaking of which, I have got to get my hands on some before I return to the States.)
Now, I have only been in Antalya for a couple of days and I haven’t seen much, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.
This city is absolutely beautiful, and quite pristine. They keep it very clean, as though everyone takes real pride in their surroundings.
It is an old city and has several historic areas. Last night, after the fair, my colleague and I visited Hadrian’s Gate. It is pretty old, and therefore has sections that are starting to crumble, but the people seem to be doing what they can to preserve it. They have added some metal support structures and fenced it off, which, hopefully, will provide some protection for years to come.
That area boasts many boutiques and restaurants. We picked up a few gifts for home, bargaining with the store owners who were absolutely charming. I got a discount of 5 Lira by giving the store owner a kiss on the cheek! LOL It was a hilarious experience, and I am sure that those gentlemen make a very good living by being so friendly and charming.
After that, we walked around for a bit, enjoying the gorgeous coastal views of Antalya. Then we went to a restaurant and had some terrific Turkish food. We shared a “kebab” plate of a variety of meats with flatbread and tzatziki sauce, which was amazing. We also had a terrific lentil soup. We finished it off with a typical dessert (I can’t remember the name, but it is like a shredded pastry that is compacted together–very good and egg-free!). Overall, we ate very well and enjoyed the attentive service and nice conversation of the gentlemen who work in the restaurant.
Overall, I like Antalya and hope to come here again to enjoy its beautiful views, amazing foods, and charming people!