See what I did there? Until ya – Antalya
Antalya is a beautiful city on the southwest coast of Turkey. The views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Taurus Mountains made the landscape picture-perfect! We checked into our hotel and we were very pleased with our room’s view overlooking the sea.
Instead of signing up for an optional tour, Rob and I decided to do our own thing while in Antalya and I am so happy that we did! We spent the whole day exploring Kaleiçi, the oldest part of the city. The name Kaleiçi means “inner fortress” which is a very fitting name since the old city is completely walled and lies along the cliffs of the harbor.
Inside the city walls are beautiful cobbled streets lined with shops, hotels and restaurants. We enjoyed wandering the winding streets and browsing through the shops as we went. It ended up being a fabulous place to shop. The shop owners were all very friendly and the experience was much calmer and more enjoyable than shopping at the Grand Bazaar.
The ceramic shops were fabulous! Beautiful colors and intricate designs made these pieces very special. We even happened upon a shop-owner hand-painting a new piece (and she was gracious enough to let me take her picture). We didn’t end up buying any of her pieces though. Instead, we ended up back at the very first ceramic shop we saw and dealt with a very nice shop-owner named Mehmet.
In addition to the beautiful ceramics, Turkey is famous for its carpets. I think our tour guide mentioned something to this effect, “Turkey is home to 1,000 mosques, and 1,000,000 (wait, or was it 100,000???) carpet shops!” He added that these figures were no longer accurate because Turkey has about 1,700 mosques now, but he probably wasn’t exaggerating about the carpet shop figures. Our good friend Mehmet (from the ceramic shop) told us there were over 30 carpet shops in the small old walled city of Kaleiçi alone. Even though we weren’t in the market to buy a Turkish carpet, somehow we found ourselves in the Kervan carpet shop. The owner offered us tea and then began educating us on the quality of Turkish carpets. The carpets truly were magnificent, but they were very expensive and not within our budget. But Rob was really getting into the idea of buying not just 1, but 3 carpets!!! He had really worked on his bargaining skills since our Grand Bazaar experience, and he had negotiated an amazing deal on 3 carpets. However, despite this amazing deal, we still couldn’t justify spending that kind of money. It was at that point that I started to worry Rob might have been debating trading his lovely wife in exchange for the 3 lovely carpets….