February 27, 2009

Moved to Mersin
Mersin, Turkey

Thanks to the pair of CouchSurfing hosts I had lined up for Antalya that decided to bail on me by ignoring my e-mails to them, I ended up staying in Kemer for much longer than expected. But for each and every one of the 19 nights that I was hosted by Hasan, he had me sleeping in a comfortable, private room in his pension, and eating amazing meals out of the restaurant. I was completely spoiled by the experience, and just couldn't say 'thank you' enough.

Hasan was without a doubt one of the most (if not the most) charismatic, fun loving, and hospitable men I've met in Turkey. There's charming, easygoing and generous people in this world, and then there's Hasan—a fellow who really took those attributes to new levels.

From Kemer to Mersin

To get to Mersin I'd really wanted to find a daylight hours bus for the 12-hour trip (since it'd be nice to actually see Turkey as passed through it), but the only bus company doing as much passed far to the north, to Konya, then back down (adding hours and hours to the trip).

The uneventful bus trip cost about US$26, whereas I could've picked up a flight from the airline SunExpress for somewhere around $50 for a one-way flight. (but the hassle of getting to the airport and dealing with checked luggage for my liquids and prohibited carry-on gear just wasn't worth the effort)

My new host, Vedat, was kind enough to come fetch me at the bus depot just after sunrise. From what I saw of the city (and the coastline) coming into town this morning, Mersin looks like a moderately slender, unending stretch of anonymous apartment buildings.

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