Right now, Saturday August 13, I’m in Side, in the province of Antalya. I came here from Alanya yesterday, having spent 3 days there just enjoying swimming in the ocean and seeing the Cleopatra beach area. My only tourist venture was a visit to the local archeology museum; of course interesting, but nothing to compare with Antalya’s.
I wanted to see what Antalya is like in the height of summer, as many people have said it’s just too hot, and that even the ocean is too hot. Had to come judge for myself!
It has been just in the upper 80s since I got to Antalya on August 4. But with humidity a minimum of 50% and reaching even into 90%, the perceived temperature hangs around 99 F, as is reported at the moment: 88 F, feels like 99, humidity 72%.
I wasn’t discouraged from walking miles in town in Antalya, was less active in Alanya, and now in Side am waiting till past midday to make my way to the historic sites on the peninsula here that I’m very much looking forward to seeing. My arrival yesterday was a bit tough, with a transfer from bus to dolmus (minivan) in Manavgat and then arrival in Side without a hotel yet. I got help from a taxi dispatcher who phoned the hotel I was considering, confirmed the terms, and sent me off in a taxi. 100 TL for a local taxi – a price that would get me across Istanbul (well, the areas I was roaming in, where usually a fare was just 40 to 50 TL). He said 6 euros or 100 TL is the minimum fare here. Then, once checked in, I needed to go find an ATM to get cash to pay the hotel. And that walk was a bit of a killer, in full sun of nearly midday, having had nothing but a little water in the morning. I really wished I’d taken water with me when I started out. With a bit of misdirection from Danish tourists I encountered, my route was more than doubled. So I ended up ready to drop, and all I did in the afternoon was swim in the sea. It was certainly a day when a hamam held no temptation, as I felt I’d been living in a steam bath for the first two hours in the area.
And that sea temp? I’m a wimp about cold waters, so it feels good to me to be able to walk right into the sea and start swimming. I do not find it too warm to be refreshing – as I found Hilton Head’s sea to be in the summer. But here in Side, the sea stays shallow quite a way, and the waters are the warmest I’ve found this season.
Internet has ranged from appalling to nonexistent, so I am using my phone as a hotspot to post this little update. On Monday, I fly to London, to arrive at lodgings well past midnight. I hope to post a lot more material once I’m in the U.K.