Sun 12 Nov 06
So it's cold here now. A week or so ago it was snowing in both Ankara and Istanbul, and the mountains that we've seen on our bus rides are covered in snow. Even the sides of the roads still have snow in many places.
Regardless we've seen some amazing places. I'll only give a few highlights, as there would be way too much to write about. First of all, we went to see Santa Claus. I'm sure most of you didn't know that he was Turkish, but he is. St Nicholas lived most of his life in Demre, and we got to see 'hood (church). Not to mention the tacky Santa Claus statue that's near it, and all the tacky souvenirs stores around that.
Then it was off to the ancient Lykian city of Olympos. The hostels there are super cool, as they have treehouses that you can stay in. However, because of the coldness factor, we opted for a nice heated bungalow instead. Nevertheless, the ancient city was awesome. It's still a very wild place, not too developped, and therefore you can just wander around the forest until you stumble upon a magnificent ruin or another.
Around there was another really cool sight. The natural eternal flame of Chimeara is a natural gas leak in the mountain, that has been on fire since the ancient times. They thought it was the breath of a monter underground, but I just thought it was really cool. I even made some grilled cheese on a stick. Mmmmmmm...... I then had a headache from inhaling the fumes. Fun fun.
The next stop was the beautiful city of Antalya, our last stop on the coast. Here we decided to do the whole hospitality club dealy again, so we got to stay with a local family. They were GREAT. Although only the daughters spoke english (and one was too shy to talk), they were all so friendly. We enjoyed delicious breakfasts, learned how to make Turkish coffee (even got our fortune told from the grinds, mine even ended up being true... well part of it anyways) and just generally had a good time. It's a great city too, some nice parks and cafes to smoke nargileh (hookah, shishah, hubbly bubbly or whatever you want to call it).
We've also stopped in the city of Konya. It's a very very muslim city, which is quite interesting to experience (as long as you don't mind being stared at). I even splurged out and bought myself a kilim (traditional carpet).