Cable Cars & A Castle

One of my trips in Turkey was to the city of Alanya, I fact I did actually visit a couple of times. Some info on Alanya as quoted on Wikipedia.

Alanya is a beach resort city and a component district of Antalya Province on the southern coast of Turkey, in the country’s Mediterranean Region, 138 kilometres (86 mi) east of the city of Antalya. As of Turkey’s 2010 Census, the city had a population of 98,627, while the district that includes the city and its built-up region had an area of 1,598.51 km2 and 248,286 inhabitants.

Because of its natural strategic position on a small peninsula into the Mediterranean Sea below the Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Ptolemaic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Alanya’s greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages, with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of Alaeddin Kayqubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Kızıl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle.

The Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage make Alanya a popular destination for tourism, and responsible for nine percent of Turkey’s tourism sector and thirty percent of foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey. Tourism has risen since 1958 to become the dominant industry in the city, resulting in a corresponding increase in city population. Warm-weather sporting events and cultural festivals take place annually in Alanya. In 2014 Mayor Adem Murat Yücel, of the Nationalist Movement Party unseated Hasan Sipahioğlu, of the Justice and Development Party, who had previously led the city since 1999.

The whole trip to Alanya was an experience. We used public transport to get there, it was about 30km away from where we were staying. Getting the dolmus to Alanya itself was a scary yet interesting experience. The dolmus is what you call a shared taxi, it’s a minibus and when I say you pack on like sardines, I mean you pack in double the amount of sardines. Once you flag a dolmus down, you are crammed into the minibus, I was last on this day so my spot was on the bottom step with the door closed against my legs. Seb was sitting on the dashboard of the dolmus and Toni at one point was sitting on the back of the drivers seat. If that wasn’t scary enough the driver kept checking his messages on his phone as he drove along. The fare was only 5 Turkish Lira, very cheap, in UK money that’s barely 60-70pence, there’s no way you’d ever get cheap travel like that back home. Coming back from Alanya was pretty much the same crammed on thing too. As we toured about we saw lots of these ‘buses’ all the same, people crammed in with their faces squashed up against the windows like they were in cages at the zoo, I would say zoo cages are less restricting. Apparently this is very normal and it’s something that would not be permitted where I live, on public transport it is not even allowed that you stand forward of a certain point on the bus and only if there are no seats left, and only so many can stand. If the bus is too crowded at home they get you another bus, yet in Turkey the next dolmus and the following dolmus was crammed the same, you had no choice but just to get on and pray.

In Alanya itself we initially took an open sided tour bus trip around the town so we could get the lay of the land. The streets were filled with tourist ships, rows and rows of shops selling clothes and shoes, swimwear, sweets, electronics, you name it they had it. Everything is cheap, but don’t be deceived the majority of the clothing and electronics are fake. The Adidas tee shirts that you can buy for 15-20 Turkish Lira are fake, they are very good fakes may I add, but still fake. The factories are often the same factories, by day the Adidas (or whatever brand) is made and by night the fake tee shirts are made. The shoes are amazing, Yeezy shoes for 100lira, they look so good yet we know that they are counterfeit. We didnt buy any for the record (I’m not into things like that), but many people do just arrive with an empty suitcase and just fill up with ‘designer gear’. We saw a McDonalds which tickled the children.

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Later in the day we took the cable cars up the mountain side to Alanya castle. The cable cars were again extremely cheap to travel on for a round trip, 18 Turkish Lira which is under £3 UK money. You could never have walked up to the castle, would have just been the end of your productive life to manage all the steps and steep climbs. Even taking the cable cars there was still a hike to the top. The views were rewarding and the walk around the castle walls was well worth the climb.

During the trip we came across a little craft village of outside stalls. The fabrics and wares were beautiful, in particular tapestry type wall hangings. I also saw lots of glass lanterns, and pretty ornamental things.

In the museum which showed a typical old Alanya home the living area was upstairs. It was demonstrated that they had a cold part of house and hot part of the house for summer and winter. As you can imagine summer time is very very hot in parts of Turkey, particularly where we stayed on the south coast, most days the temperatures were around 38C (100F). After September the temperatures drop rapidly, but still compared to where I live in Northern Ireland it is very very hot.

We visited several mosques during our trip. Being Christian this was new to us, I suspect plenty of you who follow me see a mosque as an every day thing. I found it interesting to learn about the Muslim beliefs. Incidentally my apartment was opposite a mosque and every morning at 5:25am the call to prayer was put out, and we were awake!

This is a larger mosque with a separate area for ladies to worship in upstairs. The upstairs area is shielded from view of the men who pray downstairs. This is usual, but sadly not all the mosques have functional areas for ladies, at least from our outlook. The Turkish people will probably find this method of worship very normal.

Muhammad the Messenger of Allah said

You will not enter the paradise until you believe.

You will not believe Until you love one another.

⬆️⬆️True words no matter what your beliefs are. ⬆️⬆️

8 thoughts on “Cable Cars & A Castle

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  1. The dolmus reminds me of just about any public transport in Korea. Back in 1986-92, the seats were all taken by men, with the girls & women (even pregnant women) expected to stand. I gave up my seat to any woman who came along, to the consternation of my male students, who said it was a man’s “privilege” to sit.

    Liked by 1 person

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