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From East to West Antalya

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#1 Admin


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Posted 21 March 2005 - 22:23

You’ve seen them in magazines, the little trains that pass an arena where gladiators are waging life-or-death struggles with lions and then pull into a Wild West cowboy town. I’m talking about the trains that take people around the big film production studios. You know, the trains that allow us to greet a spaceship captain just two minutes after waving good-bye to the town sheriff. Now we are going to embark on an all-too-brief excursion not on one of those mini-trains but on a tram, and not around a film studio but in Antalya. With one difference, of course. The scenes we’ll pass this time won’t be film sets but real-life places. An excursion of only five km and 20 minutes from history’s earliest periods right up to the present-time. Won’t that be nice? Let us begin...

Our point of departure is the quarter of Zerdalilik in east Antalya. The bell sounds and “We’re off!” as our tram begins its journey.

As we proceed to the first stop, we are distracted by a sensational view on our left. The Bay of Antalya is spread out before us in all its splendour. As we watch the sparkling waves break against the cliffs, we realise that we have turned into Işıklar Avenue and come to a stop. Around us the town is bustling with life.
We take on new passengers and continue on our way. Department stores, bookshops, pastry shops to our right and left...
Leaving the city stadium behind us, we stop for a second break: Belediye Duragı, the Munipality stop. A short walk and we can see, first, the historic municipality building and then Karaalioglu Park, which begins in front of it. Who knows how many lovers since the 1940s have kept trysts here in this park which covers 70 thousand square meters? But let us get back to the tram and leave for later the business of surveying the Beydagları mountains, the Konyaaltı Beach and the vast Mediterranean from the park’s three broad terraces jutting out over the water. Hey, wait a minute, Mr Conductor. The street opposite us is just one of countless

streets leading into the Kaleiçi or old city. We don’t have time to tour the whole area, but let’s at least see the Hıdırlık Kulesi. This tower, located at the southernmost starting point of the city walls that surrounded ancient Antalya, dates from Antiquity. The view and the ambience of its garden at night are particularly spectacular. A JOURNEY IN TIME
Not to keep the other passengers waiting any longer, we depart. On our left, the land boundary of the Kaleiçi, or old city. Since the fortress walls have been demolished, we can see the old houses that are still standing. On our right, the new city. More shops, restaurants... As we head west on the tram, we make a journey in time in a single glance from left to right. Now we’re approaching the Üçkapılar Duragı, Three Gates stop. While we are here, let us mention briefly Hadrian’s Gate. This portal, built in A.D. 130 for the Emperor Hadrian to allow people to enter and leave the city, in time became unusable when its outer section was cut off by the city walls. Hadrian’s Gate, which is built entirely of marble except for its columns, is regarded as the most beautiful in all Pamphylia. Passing through it, we enter the old city. But our tram is waiting.

We are heading now into the heart of Antalya: Kalekapısı Duragı, Fortress Gate stop. For centuries the hub of Antalya’s commercial and social life, it is the city’s most populous area. Breathtaking at first glance, it leaves you wondering where to look first. Streets starting from between the Clock Tower and the surviving section of the fortress gate wind down amidst silversmiths, carpet dealers and leather shops to the sea and the yacht harbour. The Fluted Minaret behind the clock tower is known to be Antalya’s oldest Islamic structure. From a distance it seems to burst from the sea. What is really interesting is the history of this monument. The original construction of the mosque next to the minaret coincided with the Byzantine period. Later, in 774, it was rebuilt by the Seljuks. Conspicuous use was made in the restoration of some stones from the original structure. And these re-used stones constitute proof that the first construction took place in the 3rd century. But let’s keep on going and leave that to the historians. The narrow streets and old Turkish mansions attract our

attention as we wind down to the Kaleiçi. These narrow lanes kept trade from coming here, and the houses and mansions that thus preserved their existence unchanged for centuries constitute unique examples of Ottoman civil architecture in Anatolia that have survived unspoiled to our day. To do it justice would take several days. But let us bid farewell to Kaleiçi and resume our journey.
If we would like to stop for a glass of tea opposite the sea in one of the tea gardens that we will see right after passing Republic Square, we need to walk back a short distance from Selekler stop. But it’s worth it, believe me. This area, known as Tophane, heads the list of Antalya’s most scenic landscapes. The view of the sea and yacht harbour by night is incredible.
You will never tire of looking at it. First we cross the
little bridge between Tophane and the stop.
The local people call the gorge below this bridge the “Woman’s Cliff”. It is said that in the old days when a woman committed an unforgivable offense, she was tossed over this precipice.

#2 bou



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Posted 11 January 2008 - 13:30


In 1999 a friend and me each on a Motorbike have crossed Turkey. We are both Dutch but live in Spain.
I have experienced Turkey as a beautiful, interesting and above all a country with very nice people :) .

Now I want to go to Turkey with my wife. She is a geologist and wants to look for fossils. We also like to camp in the wild. We made several journeys through the Sahara in South Morocco. These two hobbies and also the off road driving makes Turkey very interesting to visit.

Maybe you can give me some info about were on the internet I can get:
- high detail geological maps of Turkey (The best would be to look using the Turkish language but that I do not manage)
- Know fossil areas.
- Is wild camping (Bush camping) allowed?

Thank you for your time,

Bou & Michele

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 22:45

I will look arround information for you...


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