Sometimes during our travels, we end up having unexpected things happen that can leave us scratching our heads saying "Tha was unexpected". Our second night in Antalya, Turkey was one of those times and we still laugh about it.
After arriving at our hotel we decided to go out and explore the town and head down to the old Roman harbor. It is still a place to go to and have drinks or tea and catch up with friends or take an evening cruise in one of the many pirate ships and pleasure boats that clog up the harbour. Just a few doors from our hotel we were looking at a home from the Ottoman period when a guy that looked like some drunken character from Harry Potter came up to us and started telling us about the building and that it was being refurbished for a hotel. Then he asked us if we would like to see another one. We said sure and followed along. After arriving at another home that was also being worked on for a hotel he asked us what our plans were for the evening and if we wanted him to give us a small tour of the area. We knew that this man was looking to make a little bit of money from us as we've seen this before in our travels.
We decided, what the heck, this will be entertaining at the very least. So we said ok. Filled with self-importance, our new friend started the impromptu “tour” of the old city. The first place he took us to was a very eclectic Cafe Bar where the walls of the courtyard were covered with all kinds of memorabilia of old Turkish singers. The plaster had at some point, either given up on trying to cling to the walls or been removed a long time ago exposing the old skeletal timber structure that was used to hold it in place. Looking at the building, our new friend proceeded to tell us that this was the best place to enjoy the best music in town and that we must come back when it opens. He told of the times all the famous Turkish artists would be seen here and how many of them had performed on many occasions and even went as far as singing a couple of lines from some of his favorite artists. Judging by the excitement in his voice he probably frequented this old haunt when he was a younger man.
As we continued our unorthodox tour of Antalya’s old center, our new friend showed us ruined house after ruined house claiming that this person owned this house in the Ottoman Empire or this person stayed here for three nights. He finally took us to a ruined site that was supposedly where the grand house of one of the great sultans from the Ottoman Empire used to be. He claimed that it was being excavated and if we looked through the slats we could see the foundation. We saw the foundation alright, of the new apartment building they were constructing. Trying not to explode with laughter I decided that I needed to take a photo of a building I all of a sudden found interesting.
We finally decided we had had enough and said thank you to our friend. Shannon and I were discussing what to tip the guy when he told us what he wanted to “charge” for his expertise which was more than we were paying for our hotel stay. After the shock wore off we started laughing and Shannon turn to the guy and said “You have got to be kidding me!” And gave the guy what we had decided was appropriate for our “tour”. He took what was offered and left us behind while probably saying some not nice things to us in Turkish.
On our way down to the harbor, we passed several ruined places and couldn’t stop laughing as we asked each other what sultan owned that house or what celebrity stayed there for three nights. We never know what is going to happen next in our travels but we are always game to go along with whatever comes up. So always be opened to new adventures!