A follow up to my recent motorcycle ride in Turkey (click text to read) with a few extra photos and info that may not be motorcycle related. (as suggested I do more often by readers)
In Antalya the old town is by far the nicest area. It is restricted car access mostly narrow alleys that cannot accommodate anything except pedestrians and makes for a nice place to explore and also the best place to eat. This is one of the original gates from ancient times that you walk through to access the old town.
Yes I know just pasta – but I felt like pasta – at a restaurant called Vanilla which I recommend. Exceptional service and a meal with quality wine and mineral water about $20 Aus. Here is something odd – I ate here when I arrived and was seated next to some Australians. 2 weeks later I returned for my final dinner in the country and the same Australians come in and are seated across from me.
A nice idea is the tracks for the tram in places have had astro turf laid. Makes a green zone even if half of it is plastic. Scooters buzz along the tracks too, mostly without a helmet.
I never saw one shop selling Turkish coffee. I always had read to try this but everyone everywhere drinks tea in these small glasses. It is offered free at many places. Wish I could have broken the sugar cubes into smaller size as too sweet for me.
This is my favourite beer of the ride. I only saw this in the region north east from Antalya. Once I moved to the west there were mostly generic European brand beers being served and I chose wine instead.
Some rural areas had people living very simple lives in what looked like half abandoned houses and some made of simple stones. I saw camps set up too with all the huts made from white sheet plastic, the type used for farming. I wondered if they were people from Syria as over 1 million refugees have crossed into Turkey. I missed having my usual Sony cam that I use to take photos while riding.
Saw these for sale in every shopping mall food court. A huge baked potato and you pick a number of toppings to add called Kumpir. Plus there is a yogurt type drink similar in taste to lassi but less sweet.
These old Fiats are a cult. They are everywhere, they all seem to be converted to LPG and in good condition, not always customised mostly just in incredibly good condition for their age. Perhaps that explains why they are cult car.
Away from tourist areas things are very affordable. This is a toasted kebab sandwich with free unlimited pickled chillies, $2 Aus. The carbonated apple juice drink, 0.50 cents.
Just as Australia has WW1 war memorials in many towns so does Turkey. This one in front of my hotel in Manisa dedicated to the fallen at Gallipoli.
I took my Canon G1XM3 camera on this trip but everywhere I shot photos with the iPhone Xr and Canon side by side the computational photos from the phone easy beat the traditional camera which really surprised me. The Canon seems to underexpose everything by a wide margin and I’m already setting the exposure compensation dial a few stops higher to no avail. I’m sure it’s down to my lack of skill however I never saw anything like this with my Lumix cameras.
There are many cafes that serve this sort of meal – like I mean the entire menu consists of just slightly different variations served on long plates like this. Too many carbs for me and no diet drinks. Actually in two cafes I went to the only cold drink option was regular cola which I usually don’t drink.
I never mentioned it in the ride report but there were very few motorcycles on the main roads. In rural small villages farmers had those 150cc Chinese bikes that they used to get around their land and would ride into the village, none were registered and no helmets worn. But on the main roads I could go all day and not see any regular big bikes.
In hotels and petrol stations they will have 2 or 3 different EFTPOS machines which use different banks. One of the networks would always reject my card, so if you have this happen ask them to use other machine. But of course you always have to carry enough cash just in case.
I have already decided I will return to see the East which everyone suggested is even more interesting riding – although how can that be possible! I had ideas to try ride a couple of other places in western Asia or middle East but given how much I enjoyed Turkey and how much harder those countries would be it seems the choice is obvious.
Ideally I would like to ride a better bike than the Yamaha XT660R (click text for my review) but there are not many options and other places are very expensive. If achieving that is going to cost 60 euros/100 dollars aud a day more then that would be stupid and Antalya was such a good base so I certainly could see myself going there again also. I’m curious if you could buy a bike and store it in Turkey given how affordable things are it might make a superb base but not able to find anyone that has done this.
I stopped over in Doha on return for one night. If you have a long layover Qatar airlines will pay for a 4 star hotel for you to rest up in. Its a fantastic deal even though you still need to get a taxi there and back yourself but I always choose to break long haul flying down to smaller legs when possible and will pick flights that do not connect to give me a stopover. Fantastic airline and destination.
Low light the Canon struggles, and I have post edited these to boost the shadows, any more and the rest of photo gets blown out. This is where the Lumix cameras I had with brighter lens and good HDR mode were far better.
Yes I know the food is out of focus, I wanted to capture the lavish interior to this restaurant I had dinner in. The food apart from this watermelon salad was average and the meal expensive but amazing Persian inspired interior.
That’s all for this mostly non motorcycle talk addition to the Turkey tour. You can find the ride report in the Asia section and a bit about the Yamaha in the reviews section or follow the links in this post.