Friday, August 31, 2012

Unsatisfied temptations

There has not been a post on this blog since the last one month. I thought no one would give a damn and frankly speaking who would care if there is a post on an anonymous blog or not. But I received a couple of comments on my last post checking up on my status. It felt nice. It felt being acknowledged. I thank them for giving me some motivation to continue with this blog.

Actually, life suddenly has changed gears in the last couple of months. Life is going at a pace like never before. It has been quite overwhelming for me and to some extent exhausting. I feel like taking a break from life and cut myself from it for at least a week. But since that seems like a distant dream right now, I tried to get some comfort in browsing through some of my travel pics. It also gave me the idea to write a post on my travel to Antalya in Turkey.

I happened to travel to Antalya in around mid of October, 2010. It was an interesting trip from a different perspective. Antalya is one of the biggest tourist places in Turkey. It has a rich history behind its name since it has seen many different kind of rulers. The Roman Empire, then the Byzantine Empire and then the Seljuk Turks, all have taken pride to rule Antalya. It is in fact a beautiful city along the Mediterranean cost of south Turkey. But as luck would have it, I was there to attend a 4 day business meeting and not for vacation.

I would have liked to visit this place for a holiday but accepting the facts of day long meetings at beach resorts was like teasing me to the core. It was like giving lolly to a kid and then asking him to just keep holding it in his hands. Anyways, I accepted the facts and tried to console myself that at least the meeting is scheduled in a nice city. My work place also complimented us by booking us a nice Resort for the stay. My work place has never ever booked such a fancy place of stay ever. Even I was a bit taken aback when I arrived there. Here are a couple of pics from the Resort. 

The morning view from the lobby with the sea in the background. Fancy, eh ?

Below is the view from the pool side to the balcony of my room. I was quite looking forward to use all the facilities at the hotel.

But that was a myth since in reality, all I used at the Resort was their Restaurant for the breakfast and dinner. The day meetings were so long that it used to get dark by the time we came back to the Resort.

I used to be left only with enough energy after the day, that I could have my dinner and pull myself to the balcony of my room and then enjoy these views and envy the people who came to this place for vacations.

So by the end of the trip, number of facilities used at the Resort - Zero. Number of times going to the beach - One. Amount of time spent at the beach - 2 mins. Days spent at the Resort - 4. It was really a tease.

Anyways, not giving up on my hopes, I tried to wrap up the meeting on the final day quite quickly and then tried to utilize that time for some sight seeing since our flight back to Germany was in the evening. I even managed to ask some Turkish colleagues from the meeting to come with us since they were also not locals but from Istanbul. We thought it would be handy to keep local people with us for guidance and sight seeing. It turned out otherwise.

So, after receiving high recommendations to visit the Manavgat Waterfalls from our local hosts, we decided to go there. It was around 70 kms from our Resort. Personally speaking, I was quite excited about the idea and was thinking something along the lines of Niagara Falls. It took some time for us to reach that place in our rental car driving through the country side. Finally, on arriving at the Falls, there was no limit to my disappointment. The reason can be easily chalked out by the picture of the Falls below.

I tried to calm myself by have the local chai at the Restaurant beside the Falls. The fresh cool breeze and the tea brew helped me get back to my senses and get excited for our next destination of the day.

Expecting our next destination to be more exciting than the waterfalls, we headed to a place called Aspendos. This was actually a local heritage site from the time of the Romans. Our local hosts advertised this place as a Roman Amphitheater built on a large scale perfectly preserved till date. I dont know why but again the combination of Roman and Amphitheater built a picture of Colosseum in my mind before even visiting that place. It actually turned out a bit smaller in proportion to my expectations.

But it was still not bad. It was impressive. A lot was truly intact but to some extent, not very well restored or maintained. Still the view from the top gave me a satisfying view and convinced me that it was worth coming here.

Below is the close up picture of the wall on the right side of the picture above. It always fascinated me how large the Roman Empire was over the years and then eventually fell apart. Later, these places taken over by Empires of different culture and religions but many of them still surviving the wrath of time.

As per the guide book we received at the entry gate, there were many other related sites of history around the Amphitheater. We decided to check it out but it turned out a big disappointment. There was not much to see to say the least. The picture below is of the stadium of those times. Now, a lot of imaginative effort had to be put to work to actually see stadium there.

The picture below is of the Basilica which was again a total ruin. There was no ceiling and even the walls were hardly standing.

My favorite of them all was the picture below of the Market Place as mentioned in the Tour Guide. Me and my colleague had a good laugh trying to figure out the real market scene incorporating the structures with the Roman time. Our imaginations went quite wild after some time so we decided to check out the last exhibit.

This last exhibit was a ruin of the famous aqueducts which the Romans were quite fond of building. I think that the aqueducts were quite and essential and remarkable feature of the Roman architecture. Not much was left of it but still one could make out a lot from the picture below.

After all the efforts and time put into visiting this place, it was worth to take home a souvenir from this place as in the picture below.

So, the trip was a success from the work point of view but a disaster from a sight seeing point of view. There are so many good places to see there but due to lack of time and bad judgement ended up missing them completely. But, there is always a next time. 

I was planning to skip this travel post on this blog since it was not one of the best ones but still it might remind me of my first visit to Antalya years later when I read this post again. Also, this post will serve as a reminder to me to fulfill the temptations left unsatisfied in a future visit. Antalya, I will come again. This time with my own money and time.


Neha Writes said...

Lovely to see a post from you :) Turkey has always been on my list of places to visit. The confluence of the history of east and west is amazing to say the least. I have a dream of floating away on the Bosphorus (on a boat), touching both east and west! said...

Thanks Neha .. I guess Turkey is always on the list of places to visit for a true traveler. It was and will always remain the link between the east and west :)

shooting star said...

wow trip it looks to me :) said...

thanks ! :)