4/30/02. Today we found a good Turkish wine and disproved our earlier feeling that you couldn’t get a bad meal in Turkey. Eating at one of the Restaurants by the marina, we found a house wine that wasn’t half bad and food that was very bland.
We signed up for two, one-day trips. We will be going to Perge, Aspendos, Side, and Mangavat Falls on Wednesday and to Myra and Kokeva on Thursday. I was a bit surprised after signing for the Perge trip to find the cost of admission to both Perge and Aspendos had doubled to 15,000,000 Turkish liras per person per site.
The beauty of Antalya. One Turkish phrase you will want to learn is "cok guzel" (pronounced choke goozel) which literally translate to "very beautiful." Supposedly King Attalos II was looking for the most beautiful spot to found a port city. His scouts came back with the location of Antalya and he named the city after himself. He was right. It is absolutely "cok guzel."
Touring around Antalya, you don’t want to miss Hadrians Gate. Hadrian was the third emperor in the Antionine Dynasty. He was famous as a world traveler spending perhaps 60% of his reign traveling around the empire outside of Rome. The gate in Antalya was designed like a Triumphant Arch with three portals. Although only one story is left, experts think the original gate was two stories tall. It was built to honor Hadrians visit to Antalya in 130 AD.
You will also notice ruts in the road of the middle arch. Roman roads were used for millenniums (even after the empire fell). The ruts in Roman roads determined the distance for axles for almost 2000 years as people built their carts to fit in these ruts (so not to break the axles). This distance was so common that when the railroads were built (1400 years after Rome had fallen), they used this standard for the distance between the rails.
When you are at Hadrian''s gate be prepared for the carpet dealers. Their technique is quite interesting. They will talk with you on the history of the gate or of their building and offer you access to the second floor, or offer to give you a tour of their historic building. This is all legitimate, but trust me, there will be ample opportunity and ample rugs shown to you as you tour the house, etc.
Today we did buy a leather coat for Jaclyn. Leather is another big items in Turkey. We had bought leather coats in Turkey when we were here five years ago. The workmanship and is excellent and the styles are stunning. You should realize the asking price is very high and you must be willing to bargain. You should pay 40-50% of the original asking price (they will discount it immediately by 30%--the next 25-30% is up to you).