Nine Days in Southern Turkey

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:

IMG_7145Antalya 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.

IMG_7249The 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 hamamTo 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…

IMG_7486Come 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!

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