FOOTPRINTS IN THESE SANDS
” Nestled snugly below the ancient city of Kaleiçi , the historical heart of modern Antalya , the tiny beach of Mermerli Plaj is where I go to relax , swim ,soak up the sun , and explore the rich history exuding from those huge , honey-coloured walls.
When I walk by the sea , I think about the people who made footprints in these sands before me : King Attalos of Pergamon , who founded the city ; Paul the Apostle , the early Christian missionary ; the Roman emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina ; and later still , the great Arab explorer Ibn Battuta , who wrote glowingly about the beauty of Antalya in the 14th century.
After a spot of daydreaming , I’ll dip into the crystal clear waters and look for crabs and tiny shrimps hiding in the masonry of the stone jetty.If I’m feeling energetic I’ıı swim out to the rocky islands in the direction of Konyaalti Beach and the distant Beydagi Mountainns.If I’m feeling lazy , I’II visit the smal kioks selling Turkish coffee and grab lunch at the Mermerli Restuarant.
From here I’ll walk to the old harbour to sit in the shade by the smallest mosque in Antalya , İskele Mescidi.Here you’ll find fishermen who , for a small fee , will take you on their boats to view waterfalls and caves further down the coast.My walk continues with a wander higher up the Kaleici ,taking photographs of such gems as the Karatay Medresseh , an important religious school built in 1250, and the landmark Yivli Minaret and Alaeddin Mosque.I love to drink tea in the small park by Hadrian’s Gate , a triple marble arch where ancient cart tracks can be seen when walking over a specially constructed glass bridge.
When I tired of walking the narrow streets of the old town , I treat myself to an olive pastry from the wonderful Zamora Cafe , or a lemonade by the pool at the Alp Pasa hotel. “