Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Antalya - While our hotel was only 13 kilometers from the airport, it took us more than an hour to reach it.

You see, the historic center of Antalya, known as Kaleiçi (the old city), is full of twists and turns, and a maze of extremely narrow, one-way cobblestone streets. A certain popular map site had given us the wrong directions - yet again.
The narrow streets also are filled with Turkish shops like this one,
where we bought a beautiful table lamp.
I got out of the car to ask for directions in my Turkish-English lingo. We found our hotel, Tütav Adalya Otel, a few turns away, but couldn’t drive down that street because it was blocked off. I went in the hotel to ask for directions and was told we’d have to basically drive all the way around to access the hotel off the main street of Cumhuriyet Caddesi near Tophane Parkı.

Well, once we drove back around by the park, we heard a strange noise and realized we had a flat tire! Just a few more blocks until we reached the hotel’s otopark. One of the rear tires had a large puncture in it. Who knows what we hit!

Tired and somewhat hungry, we decided to settle into the hotel and find a nearby restaurant for a late dinner and a glass of wine to unwind.

Saturday morning, we woke up early, and Jason attempted to change the flat tire with the spare tire. No luck! The tires’ lugnuts didn’t budge. We called Avis and a repairman arrived in 40 minutes.

In my broken Turkish, I asked, “O lastik, tamir etmek mi?” (That tire, can you repair it?) Somehow in that stressful moment, I recalled the words for tire and to repair from my Turkish classes. Mind you, I didn’t think I’d ever need to know those words either!

Yok. Yeni lastik,” he told me. (No. New tire.)

With the spare tire put on, we followed the repairman out to a Ford dealership so we could obtain a new tire. Annoyingly, we found out that we’d have to pay for the tire (as stated in our Avis rental agreement). 200 TL!

We asked how long the repair would take because we had plans to drive out to Manavgat and Side to explore for the day.

Üç saat.” (3 hours)

Genellikle America'da, yeni lastik, çok kolay. Neden?” I rattled off as I was getting fired up. (Generally, in America, a new tire is very easy. Why 3 hours?) This was not the way I envisioned spending my birthday in Antalya.

Well, it was procedure that the Avis office in Istanbul had to approve the repairs, which remember, we had to pay for. Blah, blah, blah.

About 10 minutes later, the repair was approved, and then we were told maybe 30 minutes. Whew! That was better.

Since we had time to kill, Jason and I decided to walk around the area - albeit a strange area with an industrial park, a large department store, furniture shop, a convenience store and tons of greenhouses.
Snails seemed to be quite at home at this greenhouse that was growing melons.
In the distance, we even could see grazing dairy cows and sheep. We even passed a grove of lemon trees.
So there we were, two yabancı (foreigneers), wearing shorts and t-shirts, strolling down a gravel road, and I was taking photos. I’m sure the few Turks that passed us in cars thought we were crazy. Oh well. I found some pretty wildflowers alongside the road.
This flower looked like a type of hollyhock that my mother grows in her garden in the U.S.

Almost like a giant dandelion.
So a little over 2 hours after the repairman arrived at the hotel, finally, Jason and I were ready to hit the open road. The situation could have been worse.

As the saying goes, we turned our lemons into lemonade.

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Julia said...

No, not a great start to your birthday. It's hard enough trying to negotiate your way around Kaleiçi without getting a flat tire. Pretty flowers, though. :)

Unknown said...

Yes, it really could have been worse but I can imagine how frustrated you were!

Joy said...

We still had fun! As I've learned, I sometimes have to have a more open mind here b/c things don't always go the way you want them too! :)