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Driving to Gazipasa from Antalya

by Leelu (8/11/2008)

Driving in Türkiye

Apparently when I was in the heat of the moment and booking everything I did not stop to think about actually "driving" in Turkkiye, I mean c´mon how hard could it really be .. right? At least they drive on the same side of the road as we do here in America, but are the road rules really the same? Are the traffic lights the same? What about the road signs? Yes these are some of the questions I was asking myself as I slowly put the car in gear and started pulling out from the gas station, luckily I was on the road I needed to be on to travel to Gazipasa, so how hard could it really be? I look left, look right see nothing coming so I am good to pull out and start the last part of what has been an amazing trip so far albeit an exhausting one. I get to the light and see that yes red is on top, yellow is in the middle and green is on the bottom ..

yeaaaaaaaaaaaa I holler in my head I can figure out the traffic lights!!! But wait a minute why is the yellow/amber coming on before the green? Why are people honking their horns at me? the light has not changed to green yet I think while I put the car into first and get ready for the car in front of me to move.  Seems the turkish people are in just as big a hurry in cars as they are to get onto a plane!! I turn right and start heading east towards Gazipasa thinking this can´t be too bad after all. I drive along the 4 lane highway that leads away from Antalya to where my temporary home is to be for the next 16 days. I try to pay attention to the road signs and catch a little bit of the scenary while I´m driving and it is still daylight.  I have the mountains to my left and the Mediteranean to my right, it really can´t get much better than this I think to myself.

I find that when I come to traffic lights in ALL the little towns (and let me tell you there are pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenty of them!!) on my way I get honked at when the light turns orange/amber.  What is wrong with these people? they are acting like new yorkers!! and they are definitely NOT SHY about their horn usage!! sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh .. I think to myself. I find as I am travelling and looking that it is NOT unusual to see little street stands selling fruit, flowers just about anything it appears.  As it is getting late and I do not want to lose the sun I push onwards to Gazipasa. The whole time the little voice in my  head keeps saying .. "you did it, you really flew 7400 miles to an unknown country and now you are really driving in Turkiye!!" I watch the scenary as I´m driving along, always making sure to keep to the right lane - after all I don´t want to get run over by everyone that seems to be speeding along doing way more than the posted 80km, 50km in the towns.  I pass through Ocurkalar, Konakli, Tasmur all the while completely awed by how beautiful everything is. There are beautiful hotels all lined up with fantastic views of the Mediteranean and I must admit that pictures I have seen do not do it justice.  Growing up as a small girl on the North Sea in NW England - I realize as I´m driving how much I have missed the sea and he serenity that comes from just sitting watching and listening.  I reach Alanya and am amazed at how big it is.  I find that it is a beautiful city well placed on the shores of the Mediteranean with every convenience that tourists could want or ask for.  As I drive by hotel after hotel I realize how much tourism plays in this place.  The sun is starting to set as I´m getting through what seems to be the 500th traffic light!! Can this city have any more of them spaced so close together I think.  As I see how beautiful the sunset is going to be I cannot help but stop at a little place that has a pulloff with access to the beach and the Mediteranean.  I get out of the car and stretch and just listen.

There is a feeling of coming home I realize as I lean on the hood of the car listening to the waves wash ashore, it is that lulling sound that you just find yourself getting lost into.  I realize that I should get back on the road as it is getting late and I still have to get to Gazipasa and to the condo.  I climb back in the car not wanting to leave the water and the beauty of the sunset, but I know I must press on. I start driving again, and realize that I am getting used to the horn honking, the making of 5 lanes with only 3 lanes painted on the road and the little mopeds that zig zag their way through the cars stopped at the lights. I also realize that you DO NOT want to be in the left lane at this point either .. haha .. cars speed past me as I make my way east - not too far now I think to myself even if it does feel like I have been on the road forever. I turn the inside light on and again refresh myself with where I am to call the property manager from when I get to Gazipasa. It is now dark and I realize that I miss being able to see the Mediteranean and all it holds.  I drive through several more towns each and realize that I have finally reached Gazipasa. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa I think to myself I am on the last leg of my journey. I start looking for the roundabout with the mermaid - this is where I am to pull over and call the property manager. I drive into town and realize I picked the right place to call home for the next few weeks, its not too large but not too small .. it is just right for my tastes.

As I sit waiting for the property manager I take a moment to watch and listen - it  appears to be a quiet place and every where I look I see people riding around on little mopeds that are I come to realize a favourite mode of transportation. How strange it is to see 2 or 3 people piled onto these little motorized bikes, how do they manage to do that without having a wreck I think to myself. I get out of the car and wait realizing that I feel safer in this country than I do in my own!! How messed up is that I think, here is a country that is very close to the wars that are going on.  An suv pulls up beside me and I realize it is Adnan the property manager, he stops, asks how I am doing and that it is good to finally meet me after emailing back and forth for the past few weeks while I made my plans. He tells me that we are not far from the condo and if I will follow him he will lead the way.  I follow him and realize that we are heading into what could be considered the outskirts of town, we pass many green houses filled with what I have no idea as it is dark. I notice that we are now on a dirt road and are winding our way to my final destination.  I notice that we are very close to the Mediteranean - one of the things that sold me on renting this particular property, I just hope the pictures did not lie I think to myself.  That would really be a downer to what is starting to turn into my trip to paradise.  As we climb the hill passing more green houses on our way up I notice the condo buildings to my left - woooooooooow .. look at these places, they look so beautiful and as we are very close to the sea I know the view is going to be fantastic.  We pull over and Adnan tells me to drive around to the rear of the buildings he will meet me there.  I pull around noticing the individual parking garages thinking .. wooooooooow .. this building is absolutely beautiful. Its clean, well maintained and definitely what the pictures showed me.  I am shown to my condo and am absolutely amazed. WOW this place is waaaaaaaaay bigger than a hotel room and at a third of the cost. I am now feeling very pleased with myself for renting this 2 bedroom condo for my stay - I believe this is the best $300 I have spent in a long time.  Adnan helps  me with my bags, shows me how to work the appliances and leaves me with the keys and a very warm enjoy your stay if there is anything I can do to help it be more enjoyable give me a call - I once again think to myself how courteous everyone has been to me so far and how accomodating the Turkish people are.  WOW I think - can this be real, am I standing here in my condo looking out at the pool with the mediteranean just down those steps. 

I realize that I am now very tired and basically worn out from the travelling of the previous 2 days. I look at the jacuzzi tub and think .. oooooooooooh yea what better way to end a journey of this magnitude.

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