Last time I found myself writing, I was curled up on a hostel bed in Antalya, Turkey. I’ve been extremely busy since that last blogging session, so here’s my attempt to recap my life in the last month:
Antalya is a beautiful city located 400 miles south of Istanbul along the Aegean Sea. I arrived by plane on March 13 and met up with a group of Duke University students I met through mutual friends in Istanbul. Within minutes of greeting each other, we were ordering fresh swordfish at a terrace restaurant overlooking the bay. Looking out from our table, I spied a small waterfall, a dozen pirate-like ships docked in the marina and a backdrop of mountains as far as I could see. The 75 degree weather was just a cherry on top of a beautiful setting.
The next five days were spent aboard pirate ships, riding quads in the sand, shopping in the town square, watching lightning illuminate the sky and rejuvenating my body at a 700-year-old hamam. To top it all off, I stayed at a hostel with a turtle farm and then moved next door to a hostel with two ducklings for guests’ entertainment. During my time there, I concluded that Antalya is a vacation destination for retired folks because I didn’t come across anyone my age! Regardless, those five days did my mind and body well in preparation for the following weekend…
Come Friday, I was rested and ready for the three-day music festival with thousands of university students from Istanbul. The festival was located at an all-inclusive five-star resort an hour from Antalya. I went with a group of Turkish friends, none of whom speak English as their first language. Music echoed through the large resort area from about 1 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following day. We spent each day laying at the beach, lounging by the lagoon-style pool and attending electronic music shows at various stages around the resort. Each night, a headliner graced the stage and brought the crowd to life.
One of my Turkish friends works closely with the management group that hosts the festival so we had a chance to go backstage and meet with some of the deejays. On the second evening, we were asked to greet world-renowned deejay Deniz Koyu and escort him to his hotel room. At the last minute, the festival manager asked me to interview him for Virgin Radio Turkey, so I stepped in and conducted a three-minute interview following his performance. I still have yet to see the interview, but I’m crossing my fingers I didn’t make a total fool of myself.
That sums up my nine days in southern Turkey…check out the next post for my Paris adventure!