Hello everyone. I returned home from Turkey one month ago today. Time goes by so, so fast these days. It's been awhile since I shared anything about my time in Turkey so I thought I'd take you to one of my favorite places. The Kale (castle) in Alanya, in the Antalya province of Turkey.
This is the Red Tower on the castle hill. It dates from 1221 and is still standing, watching over the port after all these years. It's a popular place for not only tourists but for Turkish people too. I loved walked along the wall and thinking about those who passed this way hundreds of years ago.
The Turkish people are very proud of their Ottoman history and this shows in the architecture today and even in their food. This is the entrance to a boutique hotel which is situated on the castle hill.
We didn't venture to drive our car up this small, narrow street so we parked it at the entrance to this area. I loved walking the cobblestone streets. It's so quiet and beautiful with the tree lining the streets and walkways.
We had dinner at our new favorite restaurant overlooking the harbor. Although the menu is in both Turkish and English, we had a few questions for our server. Luckily, our dear friend Irina was there to translate for us as Irina's first language is Russian and the server, who was from Georgia (the country), spoke fluent Russian. So, it was easy for us to order the items we wanted. The second time we came for dinner, the resident cat had had kittens and they were so adorable curled up on the sofa and chairs. Turkish people love their cats and they are very well cared for. Along the streets, you will see water bowls and food bowls that people put out for these little creatures.
Walking back down to our car, we discovered this amazing Ottoman style home that was restored by the original occupant's family.
Sorry for the bad photo but here is the history of this home.
And, another view of the perfectly restored residence. Just across from this area, we toured a "new" Ottoman style villa that overlooks the sea. It was four floors and probably 6,000 sq. ft. A large home by any means. I think the price was close to $900K.
Above is a photo of an Ottoman style home that is not restored. I'm not sure I would feel safe going up there with these old timbers. But, just imagine the history attached to this place.
I loved seeing these benches made in the form of a boat.
And, how I wanted to go up to these people's yard and pick a ruby red pomegranate from their tree!
There are two sides to the castle area. I think this side is my favorite. You have to drive through windy, narrow lanes before you arrive at the beginning of this area. And, what a view you will enjoy.
Speaking of views, this area is very popular with wedding parties for photos. Here's a photo of a bride and groom on their wedding day. I loved seeing the dress; isn't it beautiful?
It was time to go back to our home after a wonderful time at the castle. When I looked at the photo above that I have in my living room, I was amazed to see how little the area had changed since this photo was taken. It's a reprint of an old sepia print, probably from late 1800's.
The time we spent in Turkey was so magical. I think we finally have some sense of community there. We have made friends with two wonderful Turkish families whom we shared dinners and outings with. The one family are our neighbors and the other family is in charge of our complex. It was so kind of them to invite us into their home and share such hospitality. It was very special to us as we feel if we "live" somewhere, we need to be a part of the community and somehow assimilate. Hopefully, one of these days, we will stay long enough so that one of us can attend language school so that we can be better versed to truly be a part of this amazing culture.
On a side note, politics is a messy business. America suspended visas to all Turkish and hence Turkey reciprocated. I'm hoping that things get settled soon. From what I understand, if you are American and want to enter Turkey directly from coming from the US, you are out of luck. If you wish to enter Turkey from another country, there is a good chance you will get the visa to enter. I hope that it gets worked out soon. We never felt unsafe, harassed or uneasy wherever we went on this trip. The Turkish people were always very gracious to us.
I will close with this very poor photo of me today. My dear daughter took me to a wonderful lunch today to celebrate my birthday. It was one of those "farm to table" restaurants where the food was amazing as was the ambience. I've had such a great day with lovely gifts from my dear family and good wishes from my friends.
I hope that you too have a wonderful weekend where ever you may be.
With my best wishes,