Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

As much as I like the view of an ocean or walking along the beach in the morning or late in the afternoons, I prefer the charm of an old town, so I settled at the historical part of the city – the Kaleici.

On my way to Olympos I stayed a couple of nights in Antalya, it’s unavoidable because I happen to get hold of the cheapest airfare (TL57) landing Antalya’s airport.

Antalya isn’t as touristy as I expected it to be, it digress from how I picture the place on my mind, at least not as teeming as the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, or probably because it isn’t the tourist season yet, or maybe because I stayed mostly around the old district and I did not really wandered around the beach area of Lara or Konyaalti.

I enjoyed my holiday break in Kaleici although upon my arrival, I was greeted by a complete electricity blackout that lasted from the time I climbed the pitch-black stairway of the hotel up until I was handed my room key.  The reception guy even kidded me that I may have brought good luck.  Sure I did.




It was still early in the evening and I wandered through the maze-like narrow streets, the shadows of people at the end of the streets and the tiny sounds of footsteps creates an atmosphere that is quite enigmatic if somewhat eerie amidst the cold breeze of the night.  

Occasionally, I would meet a couple romantically strolling along, gazing up and down some interesting old houses, or a group of youths most likely looking for bars to pass the evening.  But in most times I’m drifting alone dragging my shadow starkly fashioned by the golden fluorescence from the lamp posts above every corner.  I like the old district at night, it has a soft tone to it.


Kaleici is Antalya, at least prior to the construction of the tall and ugly modern buildings which took place after the world war II.  Structures within the walled city can be traced back as far as the Roman era with the remnant of the arched gateway dedicated to Emperor Hadrian.  Then the arrival of the Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottoman further augmented the historical diversity of the old town.

The quaint harbor, now the yacht marina, was the sustenance of the city then where goods flow in and out of Antalya.  The old historic mansions started around the harbor and sprawled up almost overshadowing each other and creating labyrinth of winding lovely cobblestoned streets in between. 


 Kaleici is a protected area and construction of modern edifices is prohibited.  There are several boutique hotels and pension houses - including where I stayed - amongst the old mansions, quaint restaurants and street caf├ęs with tables and chairs set-up along the cobbled streets or small piazzas, a dining experience in the middle of a charming old-world atmosphere.


Walking tour which can be done on your own (DIY) around the Kaleici is one of the highlights of the city that any visitor should not miss.  

0 comments:

Post a Comment