Are you kidding me?

“Are you kidding me?”

Those were the words that Alex and I kept repeating to ourselves over the course of yesterday and today as we walked around in shock—in shock at the view from our apartments’ living rooms, in shock at the almost never-ending stretch of beaches, in shock at how beautiful this city truly is.

We spent yesterday and today walking around the city, trying to orientate ourselves as much as possible to where things are and where we should go. (Yet sometimes, we managed to get lost almost every time we tried to get back to the residence.)

View from our apartment balcony at sunset.

View from our apartment balcony at sunset.

There are many parts of Alanya that just scream TOURISTS COME HITHER, like the continuous call of vendors to their restaurants and shops or the live camel photo op along the main stretch of Atatürk. Hordes of bikini-ed and speedo-ed bodies crowd the beaches during this time of year; at night, you can hear the throb of club music down below even from our apartment balcony on the hill.

Yet there are other parts that are truly remarkable, like the cliffs that shoot straight down into the Mediterranean Sea at Cleopatra Beach or the sunset behind the castle on the hill. I could spend all day in the wonderfully warm and salty water; at night, city lights below shimmer through our apartment windows.

I can’t wait to watch Alanya transition from summer to fall, as the tourists lug their suitcases and leathery tans home and many businesses close up shop. Of course, it’s lovely to be able to walk around in a swimsuit all day, but it will be interesting to discuss with locals how tourism has changed their picturesque town.

My classes began today with an introduction to one of the economics courses that I’ll be taking this fall, “Turkey and the European Union.” After our orientation tour of Turkey, it will be nice to finally settle into a routine of classes and reading, as mundane as that sounds.

After a wonderful afternoon spent at the beach, I’m settling in for the night and planning on getting some reading done before I go to bed. But of course, it’s not so much of a study grind when you’ve got the view from on top.

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