Sandcastles, cedars, and sushi

From reading this blog, you might be led to believe that every excursion from Antalya is super.  Well, I have had a couple busts lately.

The first was a case of unfulfilled expectations.  Over a year ago in Antalya I first heard about the annual International Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival held on the beach in Lara.  Their advertising makes it look like quite the event.  I was sorry I didn’t get a chance to go last year so I made more of an effort to go this year.  Actually I think all it took was a friend suggesting and me agreeing.  Not a huge effort.

Well, “festival” makes it sound like you might see people making sand sculptures.  Ha, they put them together in the spring, spray them with something to protect from wind and rain, and leave them there for eight months collecting money for unsuspecting tourists.  The entire area is quite small — you have to make a bit of an effort to spend more than 30 minutes.

Feeling like a couple high school students we snuck in a bottle of wine and got our 30 minutes worth.  The highlight, I suppose, was afterward: sitting on the beach next to the water with a bit of a breeze finishing said bottle of wine.

Olmec sculpture by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7545 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7547 by bryandkeith on flickr

The second bust was a walking trip with TODOSK to the Cedar Research Forest (Sedir Araştırma Ormanı).  The reason this was a bust was simply because we went to the Cedar Research Forest.  The plan was to go to Çığlıkara Kocakatran.  It was farther than I really wanted to go for a day trip, but I had heard great things about the area.  Unfortunately the Forest Service folks wouldn’t give permission for such a big group to visit even though it was a trip that TODOSK had done in the past.  I didn’t learn about this change until we were already on the road.

We still had a long drive, and the Cedar Research Forest is also nice, but it’s an area I had been to before.  Oh well, it was still a fun (though short) walk, I met some good people (including Ömer who I ended up going to Ahmetler Canyon with), and we had a little time at the end to wander around the center of Elmalı which is worth a look if you happen to be passing through the area.

DSCN7513 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7511 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7519 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN7525 by bryandkeith on flickr

In order to not end this blog on a poor note, I’ll show a couple photos from a sushi dinner that Nataly put together.  Oooohh, she did a super job.

Dorota, a sushi virgin, and Nataly, the sushi expert by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN8174 by bryandkeith on flickr

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