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Konyaalti Calling

28 °C
View Eurotrip '22 on allisonbrianne's travel map.

Day 2
Another self-directed day on the Mediterranean coast. Without the burden of work or household responsibilities, what would a sane person do? She'd go to the beach, that's what.

Today I was determined to figure out the (admittedly very easy to figure out) public transportation system in Antalya. The trusty internet suggested taking the tram, which only costs a few Turkish Lira and is managed by loading funds onto a card. You tap the card when boarding the tram, and it auto-debits as well as showing your remaining balance. Maybe this is how all modern-day public transport now works, but it has been a few years since I've taken a bus back at home. When I asked my lovely hosts where to buy an "AntalyaKart" card, they produced one from behind the desk that had apparently belonged to a previous traveler. And obtaining the card was supposed to be the hardest part! As my good luck would have it, the online balance inquiry revealed 58 lira still loaded to the card (a small fortune in tram fares). For those wondering, 58 lira is just over $4 Canadian. When I consider prices, I try to remember 130 lira is roughly the equivalent of $10 CAD. Tram fare, at 4 lira, is exceedingly reasonable (about $0.30). You can pay for most things in lira, euro, or sometimes US dollars, and everyone can do a spot conversion for you. I also use the XE app a few times a day to make sure I'm not overspending or being overly cheap, either. It's easy to slip into new normal and forget what an excellent value it is to travel in Turkey.

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It was a short trek of about ten minutes to the tram station. On the way, I tracked down the post office (which is also the bank?) and sent off some postcards. The tram runs every thirty minutes or so, and I stood in the shade of a tree until it arrived. The temperature was around 27C but it felt hotter in the sun. When the tram arrived, scanning my card was easy. The tram was cherry red with wooden seats and looked a bit retro. I was at the final stop, Muze (where the Museum is) in about 15 minutes. The tram line runs along the coast, and views were great. Taking the tram was a fun experience and once I disembarked it was only a ten minute walk down to Konyaalti Beach.

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Konyaalti is a white pebble beach (no sand). It is long and fairly immaculate, having some kind of water quality designation. I rented a lounger with an umbrella as all I brought in the towel department was a Turkish towel that might have felt a bit lumpy on the rocks. The lounger rental was 50 lira, or about $4. I got there around 12:30pm and the beach was fairly empty...at perhaps 25% capacity. There was a lot less swimming going on than I think I expected. Over the next few hours I "people watched" as the beach slowly filled up (but not all the way up - it was a Tuesday, after all). A man circulated, selling fresh mussels. I was tempted but only watched as my lounge neighbours (local Turks) indulged. Maybe next time I'll be braver. The ocean was cool but not cold, and almost crystal clear. It was perfectly refreshing.

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On the beach I started reading a book on the history of Turkey to put things into a different context while I continue to travel. There is a lot to know, of course and the first chapter was set in about 661 AD, so I've got a lot more reading to do. Luckily there are always opportunities for reading when you're travelling solo.

I wrapped things up at the beach once I was completely dry and decided to walk the 3km or so back to my hotel instead of waiting 30 minutes for the tram again. On the way, I stopped for a margarita with a view, because why not?

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Back in Kaleici, I set out on a familiar quest to find a picturesque dinner spot with Wi-Fi for my tablet. I had initially worried dinners would be lonely on my solo trip. It is a time of day where you might find yourself surrounded by celebration or romance, and no one to share it with. Happily though, the blog provides a satisfying sense of purpose and the tablet is a tiny bit of company at my table. Also providing company: the many local cats who politely slink around hoping for a squid tentacle or prawn to find its way to the floor.

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At dinner I tried a local white wine varietal called the Sultana, or "sultaniye uzum" (missing needed punctuation, my apologies to any Turkish readers). It was excellent! The restaurant called Korykos overlooked the marina and was part of an upscale hotel. My server invited me to go through a passageway around and above the hotel so I could see the night views on my way out. The tunnel takes you to the roof, behind an incredible Roman wall overlooking the whole harbourfront. No one was around. It was stunning and had an atmosphere of significance, like something for which an admission should be charged.

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I ended the indulgent day with a cappuccino and wandered back to my Patio Hotel feeling very full, and happy.

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Posted by allisonbrianne 19:14 Archived in Turkey Tagged animals food beach skyline tram

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