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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Antalya: Old Town Kaleici, Turkish Ice Cream & Ancient Perge

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Because we didn’t crawl into bed the night before until almost 1 a.m. local time, we ended up sleeping in until almost 11-11:30 a.m. the next morning.

September 8, 2018

We kept it a relatively low key day as we had some pretty crazy travel schedules the previous few days. After brunch we headed to Konyaalti Beach, which was a 10-minute walk from our hotel, The Suites. We picked up some beach toys along the way- cheaper to buy than to bring some of our own from home - and set out for the beach. It was hot in the sun - it was around 33 C for a high - but the water was wonderful! It was some of the warmest ocean water we had ever been in! After you were in it for a while it almost felt like bath water! The kids didn’t mind swimming in the water one bit!

After an hour or so, I think the sun and the lack of sleep got to them and they both wanted to head back. We had an outdoor pool at the hotel, which they really wanted to swim in, so we went from beach swimming to pool swimming. They really had fun playing around in the pool and would switch back and forth from the teeter totter and swing in the dry area back to the pool and so forth. After the beach and pool time we went back up for some quiet time and short nap for Connor before heading out for dinner.

For our first official Turkish meal we walked to a kebab place and ate there. Almost all the restaurants have outside seating - and even though it is hot during the day the evening is nice in the shade. We had our first Turkish kebab meat and it was delicious - the kids seemed to really like it as well. We had a spot right next to the main road so we also got some good dinner entertainment - including parades of honking cars following the wedding vehicle.

On our way back, we stopped at a little park which had an ice cream store in the middle of it. They had some interesting selections of flavours, including ‘water buffalo.’ The attendant know much English so I didn’t get a chance to ask what was in that one. However, we erroed on the safe side and picked some flavours we were more familiar with. :-) One of the best parts was that the ice cream cone was only $1.50 Turkish Lira (TL) which converts to $.31 Canadian!! The kids (and Mom & Dad) enjoyed our ice cream and then played in the playground right next to the ice cream store. Almost all the playgrounds in Turkey have teeter totters, where back home it is really hard to find one in a park. This was a new and novel to our kids and they absolutely had a blast with it - so many bumps and laughs! It is handy that our almost 23 month old son weighs almost as much as his 4 year-old sister just for this!

Our second day in Antalya, we headed to the Old Town - Kaleici. There was an Old Bazaar there, and the kids each got to pick out one toy - something for them to play with when we stay at the different places. Our daughter picked out an unicorn and our son picked out a Turkish ambulance, which he then didn’t let out of his sight or hands for that day and a majority of the rest of the trip!

The Kaleici was quite beautiful - with all the old architecture feels and even some horse drawn carriages and an old trolley car. We had lunch in the area and ordered a donair for Alex and I and a chicken sandwich for the kids to split. However, it was WAY too much food! We could have easily just done fine with the 2 donairs. We also stopped for our first Turkish Ice Cream experience. The kids weren’t quite sure what to think when he kept offering them the ice cream and then taking it away with his variety of tricks - however, they overall enjoyed it and were happy to get ice cream in the end! However, Turkish ice cream man wasn’t as cheap as our ice cream the night before - instead it was 12 TL - I guess for the ‘performance.’ :-)

There are lots of stray cats and dogs in Turkey - therefore, there isn’t much time that passes that we don’t hear Connor say ‘Duog Duog’ or ‘Kitty’.

We finished our visit in the Old Town and decided to check out Duden Falls, which is a waterfall that comes off a large cliff into the ocean. It was nice to see, but definitely the ideal view would have been from a boat on the ocean below. However, we found more teeter totters in the park as we strolled!

We then headed out to Perge, which was about a 20 minute drive away from the waterfalls. Perge was a Roman town that is one of the best preserved Roman Ruins that has maintained the city structure. I have been to Rome before, but this site was much larger than anything I had seen before. The earliest archaeological finds have been dated back to the end of the fifth millennium BC. It was located along the trade route and I discovered that St. Paul also came to visit here a couple of times, which would have been recorded in the books of Acts. As we explored the ruins, it amazed me how much our daughter understood. Although I don’t think she has a complete understanding of how long ago it was; as she often referred to things in relation to her grandparents lifetime. ;-) The city was developed in different sections and we ran out of time to go visit the stadium as the kids were getting tired and cranky. [Clara woke up the previous night and couldn’t back to sleep for 4 hours due to jetlag and Connor didn’t get a nap]. However, overall I thought it was really interesting - and it was hard to think that people way back when would have been walking the same streets! There were even some wheel marks still in the road stones!


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