After a break of a couple of months the Sunday Reflections link up is back 🙂 This week’s instalment is picture heavy, such is the nature of a travel posts. Although it seems like a long time ago now, I’ve finally got around to organising my photos of a day trip exploring Antalya. We were staying at a hotel on Lara Beach, which isn’t far from Antalya. But rather than go it alone, we decided to take a group trip with a guide.
Our first stop was the Lower Duden waterfall, which we saw again on a boat trip later in the week. We definitely chose the right day for sightseeing as it was too cool and overcast for the beach that day. There’s a little park area here with climbing frames and other equipment for children, which Isobel was very happy about. It’s also a nice area to have a picnic when the weather is good.
The second stop (and the one that concerned Pete the most!) was a visit to a jewellery centre. Now while there were many beautiful sparkly things to coo over, the hard sell is rather annoying. As soon as you arrive they try their utmost to sell you items of jewellery that cost thousands of pounds. I’m not sure they realise that most people who go on holiday to Turkey on a package holiday typically don’t have that kind of spare cash to spend on a whim. I wouldn’t call myself a fine jewellery expert, but I do know that the prices at this retailer are hugely inflated. Plenty of other people who’ve left reviews on Tripadvisor are in agreement.
Nevertheless, we stuck to our guns and I asked to see the silver jewellery (which is in a different part of the building). I don’t think they want people to know about that because obviously there’s a huge difference in price. Also, they do expect you to haggle, which I’m not a fan of. Eventually I bought a ring with a Zultanite stone, which they made smaller for me while we waited. I could probably have got it cheaper if I’d driven a harder bargain and had more time. As it was, the rest of the group had to wait for us because there was duty free paperwork to complete.
Despite the hard sell and duty free bureaucracy, I’m very pleased with my holiday souvenir. (Someone was waiting for us at the airport to sign more forms!) Zultanite is a stone unique to Turkey and changes colour depending on the light. I have done a bit of research about it and apparently some unreputable jewellers sell treated glass and pass it off as Zultanite. However, I’m fairly sure that this is the real deal going by photos I’ve seen online of what colour it should be in certain lights. Outdoors the shade varies from rose pink to violet, while under artificial light it can be green, a smoky quartz hue, or both at the same time! Pretty amazing, don’t you think?
After running the gauntlet of pushy jewellery sales women, we were whisked away to see the Upper Duden waterfalls and have lunch in this very tranquil setting.
The final leg of the trip was a couple of hours exploring Kaleiçi, the old part of Antalya. We strolled around the harbour and stopped at a charming cliffside restaurant for a drink, where I had my first Turkish coffee – perfect for seeing off that afternoon slump!
Wandering the cobbled streets lined with shops selling spices and handicrafts is a must for visitors. There are plenty of leather goods and ceramics, as well as the usual tourist tat. Unfortunately, in this part of the world fake designer goods are sold openly – everything from cheap-looking T-shirts to boutiques selling replica Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags. I would never buy a fake, but then I wouldn’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on the real thing either. It’s just not my bag 😉
Sadly, these wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!
My favourite part of the trip has to be the cat village! I think it was Isobel’s too 🙂 The Turkish really seem to love cats as they’re pretty much everywhere. Our hotel had quite a big cat population, and apart from the odd spat, they lived in harmony with each other, as well as hotel staff and guests.
I did see a few with visible injuries – both at the hotel and at the cat village in Kaleiçi. But at least these street cats have little huts to shelter in, food and plenty of passersby to fuss them. I took photos of one cat at our hotel that had a particularly nasty wound and showed them to the duty manager before we left, as nobody seemed to be doing anything about it. I can’t help interfering when it concerns animals!
This cute little kitty climbed onto my lap as soon as I stooped down to stroke her. She even snuggled under my poncho…I was very tempted to put her in my handbag! If you’re a cat lover like me then I’m sure you’d love Antalya 🙂 We loved it and would definitely go back…next time I’ll pack a few packets of cat treats!