After our flight to Antalya, a taxi takes us to the old city.
Down a few alleys, around a few shops and cafes that seem to be doing all of
their business in the street, and we’ve arrived at the Doğan Hotel – a rambling
complex of houses built around a garden and swimming pool. (At least the brochure called it a pool. In the United States, we’d fill it with
warm water and call it a hot tub.)
Antalya stands on cliffs
that are broken briefly by the old port, a tiny inlet made nearly circular by
two breakwaters. The cliff walls here
are heightened by ancient Byzantine (and older) stone fortifications. One can easily imagine the great ships of
vanished empires rowing up to the docks between the high stone walls. Now, the walls echo with the thrum of
outboard and inboard motors, as wooden tour boats and fishing vessels putter in
and out of the harbor.
the harbor, across a large bay, I catch a first glimpse of our destination –
the high mountains of Lycia. In the dusty evening light, they rise one
behind the other like paper cutouts.
However two dimensional they look, though, one of the dimensions is
definitely up. The coastal mountains
seem to soar straight out of the sea, and the range behind them is just as
steep and twice as high. For the first
time, I realize how tough the next few days will be.