Let me tell you about the good things in Alanya, a balmy, alarmingly touristy city of 250,000 on the southern coast of Turkey and a city in which Dawner and I spent one afternoon, one evening, and one morning, in that order.
One of the good things that Dawna and I did was climb to Alanya Castle. It took us an hour or two each way, a bag of Doritos, and a big loaf of bread but afforded us beautiful views of the city and Mediterranean below. The castle itself wasn’t huge or particularly breath-taking, but I felt it was worth the hike. The most important part of the castle was the point from which prisoners were thrown to their deaths onto the rocks below said point. Apparently, the condemned often felt a glimmer of hope as they departed from the peak, because it was said that if they could jump far enough to avoid a fatal spill on the rocks, they could perhaps also survive the violent splash in the water and swim away to freedom.
Another of the good things that Dawna and I experienced in Alanya was a boat ride through its city harbor and definitive cliffy peninsula. After boarding our vessel of choice – “The Ghengis Khan” – at 9:20, we finally cast off at 10:50 and set off on a one-hour voyage through the Mediterranean waters we’d gazed at on our hike the night before. The waves were blue, the peaks were sky-scraping, and the Germans on the boat with us were dressed for warmer weather.
One last thing that Dawna and I thought was good was the restaurant Bir Tat, at which we ate our lone dinner. We had some different kinds of pide. It was delicious, but the reason that Bir Tat was good was because it was a normal Turkish restaurant with normal prices and normal service. And normal tomato-rose centerpieces on the salad.
This was good because every other restaurant in Alanya – at least around the city center – was grossly patronizing to tourists. That seemed to be the game plan for most of the city’s center: expensive prices, shopping galore, not even remotely authentic stuff. In our crappy guide book, Alanya was depicted was a getaway spot for retired Germans, refined Russians, and other tourists seeking an easy, laid-back vacation, which isn’t really what Dawner and I are into, but we did what we came to do – which included getting shockingly confused searching for our hotel, soliciting stray cats, and sitting on various sandy beaches gazing absently at the sea – and then left.
No need for a return a trip: we saw it all…the good, and the meh. So long, Alanya. Bis später. I mean, I mean...sorry...görüşürüz! Onward to the last leg of the journey.