On Sunday I caught the 8:00 pm bus from İstanbul and arrived in Antalya twelve hours later. Overnight we had driven out of winter and into early summer. The weather and the scenery were stunning - snowcapped mountains form a distant ring around the city, which is on the Mediterranean coast. The warm sun was dazzling as it reflected off the turquoise waves. It was a seven kilometre walk from the bus terminal to the cluster of hostels and shops and restaurants in the Old City, and I took my time.
When I arrived and logged on to the WiFi network, I was stunned to learn that a man I had known at seminary had died in a snowy car crash Sunday evening on the way home from church. Fr. Matthew Baker had only been ordained in January 2014, and his oh-so-early demise has left his widow Kate to care for their six children, ranging in age from 2 to 12. That was very sad news indeed, and instead of visiting some of the museums and other sights in Antalya, I found myself walking along the pedestrian path atop the cliffs overlooking the harbour.
Tuesday I was up early and began my walk to Serik, some 40 kms away. It was overcast all morning, but the sun broke through at about the same time that I spotted a Starbucks. It's been a very long time since I've had a cup of non-Nescafe coffee, and I lingered on the sunny patio far longer than I should have. It was dark when I arrived in Serik, and if I'd known just a bit more Turkish, I'd have been in a room two hours before I actually started unpacking.
Wednesday morning the skies are cloudless and my weather app is calling for a high of 21. The next stop along the way is about 35 kms away, so once I find some breakfast, I'll be on my way.