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trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Babylon, New York
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trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Hi everyone -

Now you didn't think I was going to take you along for my trip without describing teh valleys as well as the peaks, did you? So here's the only set of speed bumps - - all on day 5.....

Day 5

OK – every trip needs at least one solid speed bump to let a person know how grateful they must be for all the other incredible blessings that come along the way, and I’ve always believed that you can only recognize the peaks by walking through the valleys. The morning of day 5 was most definitely our valley, but still with highlights along the way......like how many things you get to learn (see all the tips below!)

We arrived in Antalya bleary eyed, with me feeing that internal shaky speediness that always comes to me with the cocktail of lack of sleep mixed with the need to function in high alert (and arriving in the Antalya bus station for the first time was confusing enough to merit high alert!).

- Lesson #1: find out in advance from the forums where busses come in and what bus to transfer to and where it can be found (get a mental visual – or better yet ask someone to make a hand drawn map, scan it in and send to you!!!!).

Thinking – ah, nothing to fear, I’ll just call Carrie I took out my shiny new internationally enabled cell phone (had re-upped contract just for the purpose of getting it, and made sure everything was enabled and good to go) - - and found it would not get service – as it didn’t ANYWHERE in Turkey – even though Sprint had assured me it did......

- Lesson #2: make sure your cell phone company doesn’t just dabble in international calls (later found Sprint was known for problems overseas) - - or rent a phone in Turkey when you get there.....cheaper than per minute coasts and more reliable!

So, in my usual intrepid manner (the unsinkable Molly Brown has nothing on me!) I went searching for someone with a phone who would let me call our rental car company to let them know we’d be late to our meeting point – and found NO ONE who spoke English, German or French, so through gestures and pointing at my reservation paper, and by drawing picture os cars and question marks, a snack bar owner let me use his phone (bet that wouldn’t work in New York City - thanks be for the seemingly overall humor and kindness of the Turks!).....and THEN – the rental car company phone was perpetually busy, so I couldn’t get through......and we had to be in the okd part of Antalya and it was getting late and I was afraid I’d miss the meet-up at the Argos hotel (in the Kalieci area) to get our car and things were getting pretty anxious and.........

- Tip that’s never failed me in times like these: When in doubt and totally lost, take a taxi - - might be expensive but at least you get to where you need to go!

And so we did – but the car wasn’t there for our 8:30 meet up (and we were to meet Carrie at Mini-City at 9:00), but at least we were able to call Carrie from the front desk to tell her we’d be late......so good to hear a friendly unstressed voice!

But then the car still wasn’t there at 9:30 and I was getting very worried.....and once again we were rescued by a total stranger, who noticed me trying to communicate the need to use the phone to call the car company to a very young man at the front desk. This man was in from England (Turkish, but he had moved away some years before) to buy a vacation apartment on the Antalyan coast, and offered us the use of his computer to find the car rental company, his cell phone to straighten things out, and his hospitality to join him for breakfast. After his speaking briefly to the front desk manager, he took us to his table on the patio and I watched my very overstresses and tired husband and son relax into going with the flow (instead of being horribly grumpy) as they finally got to eat breakfast.

Meanwhile I called Carrie, she made a phone call to the no-show car rental company and in a half hour they got there making many excuses - - a million thanks to her for bailing us out of a tough situation!!!!! Meanwhile (making lemonade out of lemons) – the Argos hotel in Kalieci looked very nice, and once everything was resolved we enjoyed our time in the courtyard patio there, eating our usual delicious Turkish breakfast

- Lesson #3: I will probably not work through www.economycarrentals again, as they are only a booking agent and cannot control their partners. The original company they had placed me with (Thrify) apparent went out of business in early April and they rebooked me at a higher rate ($88 more) through Budget and emailed me the new voucher - - I was stuck as I’d already given a deposit. It was just lucky that I happened to be up early to check my e-mail while at the Kelebeck hotel in Goreme, or I wouldn’t have even known! Now they’re not answering my calls (only have a message machine on) to resolve the monetary difference.....

Next time I’ll reserve through Carrie’s connections or through Fatma (the tour guide

I’ll tell you about in the Ephesus installment)

So we finally got to Mini City at 11:00 – how great to meet her after all our time talking on the form! Though she wouldn’t admit it, she was a delightful tour guide for our time there, and it was a sweet stop to learn about (and get hungry for) all the places we wouldn’t get to visit this time. I would recommend it for anyone with children tired by all the ‘big people’ stuff and eager to stretch their legs amidst attractions their own size....After a delightful lunch along the water together, we were finally off to Cirali....sorry that Carrie and the kids had to stay in Antalya instead of coming with us but glad we had had the time to spend...

- Lesson #4: The main reason NOT to over-plan is that when the unexpected happens that cost a few hours, it’s no big deal. For us the hours lost waiting for our car meant there was something we would have to miss along our way.....for anyone out there planning as frenetically as I did - - remember nothing EVER goes completely as planned, and it is much less stressful to roll with the punches when you have time to stop and smell the flowers

Next installments Cirali/Pammukkale/Ephesus – stay tuned for more lovely times....:>)

Bonnie

Perrysburg, Ohio
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1. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Up early again I see! :) You're so right...every trip has a few speed bumps. What's important is how one deals with them, and I definitely think you have the right idea! It's disheartening sometimes to read a report from someone that contains NOTHING but negatives about a trip because of a few unexpected mix-ups...I'm glad you're not one of those folks!

You certainly discovered the kind and helpful nature of the Turks on Day 5 of your trip...they're one of the main reasons so many of us keep returning to Turkey time and time again. As before, another well written and informative installment, Bonnie. Keep 'em coming...we're all waiting!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Yikes, posted at 5:30 AM; sorry about the continuing jetlag.

Why is car rental often the messed up part of one's trip? Either not the right sized-car, or not the automatic I need, or already dented up to a fair-thee-well and looking very unreliable?

Anyway, still enjoying your prose, especially your intro to this post. Cannot wait to hear your reactions to Ephesus, the one place I visited in Turkey so far outside of Istanbul: my first-ever private tour and it was fabulous!

Columbus, Ohio
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3. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

wow your reports are fantastic! I too had booked through Economy and had a problem with getting my car on time. It was delivered about 2hours later than promised. The company was Decar in this case. I think part of the issue is that the Turkish idea of promptness is not like it is here in America. But that was a minor bump in the trip and didn't detract from the wonderful time I had.

London, United...
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4. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Nice attitudes ladies to these "speedbumps" - shame when people let these minor irritations (even if major at the time!) take over! Always have a plan B is my motto!

Re car hire in Turkey - we have always used local companies - I reckon their prices are as competitive if not better, I prefer to think the money is helping the local economy rather than international, and I feel confident that they are there - in the country, on the spot - or else with contacts on the spot - should anything go wrong - plus with a local reputation to maintain.

Grand Falls...
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5. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Bonniemichelle. Your experiences are so well written I feel as if I'm actually there. And you're so right ... there will always be valleys that help make the peaks more enjoyable. I can especially relate to 'the cocktail of lack of sleep with the need to function in high alert.' ... not looking forward to that part. We'll be doing a similar route except we've decided to take the bus to Cirali and rent a car later... must check my notes to see if I have instructions for which bus to take. Are there places in the bus station that serve breakfast? Thanks for this ... I'm looking forward to the next part too!

Babylon, New York
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6. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

I really think you will be ok if you don't take Kent busses - - have heard that others have had much more pleasant experiences with Metro Turism and Nevsehir (spelling?).......there was food to be bought in one of the two buildings (saw sign for 'cafeteria', but didn't go there).....

I think if I had to do it again, I would pick up a cab at the bus station and have made arrangements to either have the local agency meet me close to the bus station or arrange to pick up at the airport - that is always a most dependable place.

I'm sure you'll have a great time! If you haven't yet made your car reservations, would advise you to message canmom who knows the locals well, as she lives in Antalya for most of the year.

I'm sure you'll have a great time!

Bonnie

Cirali / Antalya
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for Antalya, Cirali
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7. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

First of all another wonderful report and so vivid..like I was there..hey I was there !! It was not only my pleasure to meet you but to also try and fix the speed bumps along the way ..lol

It was too bad that had this unfortunate loss of 2 hours in your trip and sometimes you just have to go with the flow of things..I was very happy to call on your behalf to the car rental company and it only took a matter or minutes..

Thank you again for lunch and it really was a good day..I was proud to be your temporary tour guide around the mini-city..

And another ide for future travellers is that if you are renting a car in Antalya have them come to you at the bus station for example..or the airport..Bonnie, I was surprized that you pick up your car in the center of town..and I should have asked you this before..but it never occured to me..as not only did you lose time waiting for the car but also making an un-necessary trip into the old city center..even for me as a local I can even get lost inside of the old city walls. To many one ways and narrow streets and trying to manuver a car there is a pain..

If I go into the old town part I usually park my car away and walk into it at the Hadrian’s gate entrance.

Actually the arrival of the Cappadocia buses and the departures of the Antalya to Cirali buses does usually go quite smooth..

For the long bus ride from Cappadocia to Antalya..try to have a small pillow if possible.

Once you get off the Metro, Suha or Nevsehir Tur ( Nevtur ) buses..look for either the counter of Antalya tur, Bati antalya, Kumluca seyehat or Çıçek tur..

Yes there is a restaurant in the antalya bus station so you should be able to have some breakfast..and Bonnie that was really nice that the lovely turkish man offered you the use of his computor and cell phone..

For Bus Service to Cirali - From Antalya you can take "Antalya tur", "Cicek tour" or " Kumluca Seyhat" FROM THE BUS STATION ( otogar ) Cost is about 8 to 10 TL ( turkish liras ) per person and run from 6am until 8pm about every 1/2 hour. Make sure you tell the driver to drop you off at the Cirali ( CHIR-ALI ) junction. Once you are at the Cirali junction there should be no problem to get the mini-bus service to the village center about 7 kms. Cost of mini-bus is around 5 TL per person. You may have to wait a little bit for more passengers to arrive to take this mini-bus ( dolmus ). They will not go into the village unless there are at least 4 or more passengers..

Another note about the mini-buses in Cirali..they will charge a private service for those you do not wish to wait ..so for 1-3 passengers they charge about 20-25 liras for the trip..for a single traveller this can be quite expensive..

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Bonniemichelle

What can you tell me about the overnight bus from Kaysari to Antalya?

I can't find anything on the web about it. Did you get any sleep?

Babylon, New York
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9. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

Hi

If you read the original post, you'll see we had a miserable experience - virtually no sleep - - but I think theat may be because we had to use Kent Bus.

I would suggest you post a new topic on the Cappodocia and Antalya foruns titles 'Sleep on overnight busses - which company is best?' and see if you can get reports of people who had better experiences than we did and can recommend a better company.

Even with the bad experience though - I was glad we didn't waste our precious time flying or driving during the day! We got over our sleepiness pretty quickly in the excitement of a new place to explore.

(and son and husband got a 3 hour nap at our beautiful Hotel canada)

Bonnie

Bonnie

Cirali / Antalya
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10. Re: trip report, Ch. 3 -Arriving Antalya - speed bumps!

bumping up about questions regarding buses from Antalya to Goreme...