Backgammon is played everywhere in Turkey
Sidar greeted the captain with his best Pirate handshake
As we left the harbor, the Turkish flag waved in the breeze while "Nights in White Satin" rung through the air ... hmmm, ... it didn't really "fit," but I enjoyed hearing a classic American song!
My mom and Donna taking the plunge!
The clear blue water of the Mediterranean is breathtaking
What a day! Day 9 of our tour felt like a slice of paradise. After a lesiurely breakfast in a beautiful courtyard, we walked down to the warm, crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea to board our boat for a day of relaxation.
Breakfast in the courtyard of Otel Ninova
The good life!
Our boat approaches
The Best of Turkey - A Rick Steves' Tour
When we stopped for lunch, we got to explore a cave
. As we walked through it, we kept wondering when it was going to end ... as it was incredibly deep.
The Andersons, Rochelle, and Louise enjoy lunch!
Is that you, Jan?
Kebabs for lunch
As usually, our lunch was delicious.
After visiting the Mevlana Museum, we boarded the bus and drove toward the Mediterranean Sea ... to get there we had to drive through the Taurus Mountains
. Once again, as the topography changed, I was amazed by Turkey's diverse beauty. And as we drove through this part of the country, I thought about how much Craig, my husband, would love it here.
A picture does not do justice to how gorgeous the mountains are!
Exploring a cave in the Taurus Mountains
After settling into the inn, Sidar led us on a walking tour of Old Antalya. As we approached the water, the ocean air was refreshing. We ended the tour near the harbor where we would board our cruise the next day and several of us decided to dine at a nearby restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Sidar takes the wheel!
Rafet to the rescue!
Will we make it to our next destination alive?
When Sidar says "the bus rolls at 2:00," he means it ... whether or not there's a qualified busdriver aboard! (ha, ha) He drove us about 50 meters down the driveway, making Rafet chase after his own bus! We all breathed a sigh of relief as Rafet boarded the bus.
I watched Rafet and Sidar play backgammon for the first time and was impressed by how fast they play.
... and the accordian
Sidar plays the saz
A relaxing dinner overlooking the Mediterranean ...
... with great company
We arrived in Antalya
in the late afternoon. Our inn, Otel Ninova, was in the center of Old Town Antalya (Kaleici). From where Rafet dropped us off, we walked a few blocks through a maze of narrow streets to find our new home. (I love places like this where pedestrians rule the road.)
Our first view of the Mediterranean
The bus was too big for the little streets of Old Antalya
Over the course of the past week, we had learned of Sidar's love for music ... after dinner, we stumbled upon a antique store with musical instruments, so some of us got the pleasure of hearing him play the saz and accordian.
Chef of our fabulous lunch
Harrison and Susan P.
Becky and Megan jump
Susan P., my mom, Ed, and me
The water was so warm that I could have stayed in it all day.
We were all took advantage of having some time to relax and recover from such a full week. Having so much fun can be tiring!
But we also had to play, too!
The sisters - Mika, Donna, and Becky
Louise, Robert, Reva, and Stephanie
Miranda, Debbie, Rochelle, and Ann
To make a perfect day even better, we had a delicious lunch on the boat.
My mom, Susan P., and I ended our day with a Turkish Bath
. This was a luxurious experience. I won't go into the details and, of course, we didn't take any photos during the bath, but you can check out the above link to read about what a Turkish Bath is. And if you ever go to Turkey, you should try it!
Susan P., my mom and I with the women from the Turkish Bath
The Turkish Bath
Unfortunately, the cruise eventually came to an end. On the way back to Antalya, some of the "cousins" stopped to take a look at Antalya Museum
. I returned to Old Town Antalya to wander around.
Bonnie - one hot mama!