December is the low season, and Alanya is no longer packed with people from all over the world. Street salesmen, charter boat owners and restaurant staff are desperately trying to compel the few remaining visitors to spend some money. Counterfeit bags are not attracting enough buyers anymore.
The city is unusually quiet.
Charter boats lie at anchror, unchartered.
Virtually no one is climbing up to the old castle to enjoy the magnificent view and drink some horrible instant coffee.
Life goes on. Stern looking Turkish men dress mannequins (being a salesman is still largely a male privilege).
I’ve never seen so many people wearing “quality clothes” with misspelled brand names and incorrect type faces (not sure about this one though).
The amount of odd merchandise on sale is staggering:
Far right: Scary kid mannequin promoting hookahs and random perfume.
Right: I wonder if this was done deliberately, to avoid showing a woman’s hair (which isn’t always OK in Islam).
Below: dead babies.
A lot of men are seen hanging around drinking coffee and smoking outside. Women are way less visible.
It’s winter and people can finally get some vacation days and move to a warmer place. Winter here means around 18-25 degrees C on daytime, so people wear jackets and sometimes hats. I got some weird looks, strolling around in shorts and a T-shirt.
Cows are walking the streets
Alanya Castle used to be a pirate stronghold, undefeated for a long time until the Romans got seriously pissed off and sent a huge fleet to take over the mountain. Climbing these rocks with loads of heavy equipment must have been a very ungrateful task.
Today, people still live here, happily building houses supported by the medieval walls.
Mosques are an integral part of the landscape. Life stops several times a day when it’s time to pray. It’s almost impossible to avoid hearing the plaintive prayer calls coming from the loudspeakers – I heard them even when sitting in my hotel room with headphones, listening to Metallica.
Islamic movement tags:
Road signs are amazingly diverse. Some of them look like badly mangled ClipArt:
Traffic here is pretty scary, both in cities and at the countryside. Things like driving on the wrong side of the road seem common, and the roads are not in a very good condition. However, intercity buses are pretty nice and clean, with bus conductors distributing coffee, drinks and smelly disinfection spray. Disinfectants are widely used everywhere, people are generally terrified of germs.
“I love you Mariana but you don’t understand” – similar messages can be seen on house walls and sidewalks all over the world.
Dim caves are really beautiful, but the decision to climb all the way up on a rented bicycle wasn’t a very wise one. Thoughtlessly, I satisfied the local coffee shop owner’s curiosity about bicycle rental prices down in the valley. He gave a whistle and headed to the bar counter where he started to vigorously discuss the matter with the rest of his staff (probably his children from the looks of them). I had the feeling that the coffee price went up by a considerable amount after our little chat.
Every house has a set of water barrels on the roof, heated up by the sun, providing free hot water. Even the high rise buildings have them, which apparently works pretty well.
Orange tree used as a utility pole:
Another scary “don’t touch the wires” sign
Bananas are grown in large plastic bags:
Everywhere I look I see
dead people postcards: