Antalya,Turkey: In the Shadow of the Mountains

Turkey:  A 2000-Mile Road Trip, Part 4

In the Shadow of the Mountains

Our guide described Antalya as an international resort city that has become a prime destination in Turkey. It offers fantastic beaches and world-class shopping and ruins in the surrounding area. It was founded by King Attalos of Pergamum as “Heaven on Earth." It is a favorite destination for the Europeans, especially the Brits so that the Euro is the more common form of payment than the Turkish Lira. And for the first time, the topic of the day changed from religious to secular; our guide talked about his experience as a tour guide to a nudist group.

The drive to Antalya was one of the most beautiful in Turkey. Approaching Antalya, the previously tree-covered hills turned to alternating green and bare bedrock mountains, the razor-backed ridges screened in the mist of blue that it arrived like a landscape waiting for my camera. It was sprinkling on and off when we arrived, but the following day, sunlight shot across the mountains, rapidly erasing the shadows from the landscape. It was a gorgeous morning for a walk, so I walked the coastal trail (14km) and decided to hang out at the beach all daysunlight on and off. When traveling through such a beautiful place it tends to make me feel like I belong in that place. I could not help but wax poetic.

Antalya, I have to forego your world-class shopping and ruins
I'm beginning to see why King Attalos of Pergamum
found you as “Heaven on Earth”

The vast blueness of the Mediterranean Sea
Sparkling madly with the stars of reflected sunshine
Inviting me to swim in melted sapphire

As I sit in contemplative silence
Gazing wistfully into the sea
The velvety pebbles massage my feet

The sea understands my mood
Whispers like the call of the muezzin
It barely moves.

 The mountains rise right from where I sit
Understand my silence speaks volume of emotions
Cast a shadow, my warm blanket

As the day begins to fade
Silky air blows my sun shade covered face
Inviting me to see the orange glow
that dances on the Mediterranean water

Silhouetting the pine-covered trail
Casting a spell on the fronds
Replacing the greens with a burnt shade of ochre
For the last time
I gaze out across the bay
The city skyline winks from across the water

The mountains all muted
Letting the blistering sun
Get closer to night


All photos by the author



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