August 9, 2014

First Impressions of Finike

Our apartment in Finike

Alan and I arrived in Finike, Turkey late last night, around 9:15 PM. The town’s name, Finike (Fee-nee-kay), sounds an awful lot like finicky, the appropriateness of which is not lost on a girl with a certain pickiness. 

Our accommodation here in Finike is a fully furnished apartment, found by Alan on, a fantastic site if you’ve never used it. Lured by warnings of too-touristy areas on the opposite side of Antalya, and a nightly rate less than a third of what we’ve been paying, Alan couldn’t resist. I needed some coaxing, as well as a total falling through of my plan for the touristy area in order to be convinced. Travel karma works this way though, and this place is, well, groovy to say the least.

It seems that stepping over the threshold into apartment number nine also stepped us into a wormhole to 1973. That certain charm of the 70s, Turkey in the 70s no less, pervades the space from the harvest gold (yes parents, the same color as the original shag carpet and dishwasher at our Briarhurst house) sofas to the funky ball lamp above the rose-petal patterned sheets. Dear reader, don’t misconstrue my observations as criticism, as I am thrilled to be in a place with such character! Note also that Alan and I have been living together in a tiny studio and micro-sized hotel for the past month, so this two bedroom apartment feels enormous. Grandma and Grandpa, if you’re reading, you definitely would have loved this place during the first year of your marriage—I know you had it pretty rough in your Stuttgart room above the animals.

So the apartment. 70s vibe aside, it sits literally just across the highway from a public beach. We can see the water from our spacious balcony (yes, we ARE living the dream) and it looks great. 

As we just arrived last night, we haven’t explored the town yet. However, we did have an entertaining, and we think VERY Turkish experience at the grocery store just down the street last night.

Filling our grocery baskets with necessities at 10 PM, Alan and I seemed to cause a lot of excitement among the employees of the store. We were the only customers at the time, and the man who I assume was the manager not only helped me with selecting some olives, but also made sure we didn’t forget bread (Ekmek is a staple of any meal here), or forget to weigh our tomatoes at check out. While checking out, everyone got in on the action practicing their English and cheering on our attempts at Turkish. An adolescent boy from Iraq was the most curious, and he got a lot of help from older Turkish men to ask us questions about where we were from what we did, etc.

As we were walking out of the store, bags of groceries and 10 liter water in hand, the manager insisted on carrying nearly all of it to our apartment for us. This is the part that I think is very Turkish, though how can I be sure? On the short walk, we used Turkish and English to make small talk with this very pleasant guy. The area was largely deserted, and our apartment is not exactly what I would call well lit. I was hoping he would bid us adieu in the apartment parking lot, but he insisted. I’ll admit that I felt pretty uncomfortable with him coming all the way to our apartment door up several flights of dimly lit stairs. I wondered if this was his trick to rob us, or even to try to sell us something. The anxious traveller syndrome can be a lifesaver or a fun-sucker depending. Alan later confessed that he had sized the guys up and determined that in shorts and a thin t-shirt there would be no place to hide a weapon. Reflecting back now, after hauling what was easily 50 pounds up several flights of stairs, he would have probably been too exhausted anyway.

In any case, nothing bad happened, and in fact he was very, very nice. He bid us a pleasant evening and hoped to see us back at the store soon. We heard from friends that this type of door service happens in Turkey, so I guess it really does!