The main purpose of this blog is to share photographs taken during the Soulclipse festival in Antalya (Turkey) at the end March 2006, which coincided with a fabulous total solar eclipse. Please add comments - I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Getting there

The only headache, as far as we were concerned, was getting to the festival site. I had reserved a place on the coach to pick us up from Cumhuriyet Square in central Antalya at 2pm on the Sunday. It never came. So we got a taxi to the airport to try and hook up with the official coaches that were supposedly leaving 24 hours a day, every two hours, from there. 25 YTL later we got to the airport with all our bags, only to encounter utter chaos. First of all I headed to a dreadlock of crusties and sat down with them - they were under the impression that the coach was leaving from there. After an hour or so I decided to stretch the legs and go for a walk, where I discovered behind another building a thousand or so more crusties who were also waiting. It soon transpired that the original group was probably just one or two crusties sitting down to make a roll-up, and eventually a crowd formed around them thinking this was the coach departure point. Not that anything was happening at the real point. Some people had waited for up to five hours and whenever a coach would turn up it would be swamped with people scrambling to get aboard, only to be told that it was going somewhere else entirely. In the end, I did what many others reluctantly did: paid for a taxi, after being given a quote for €60 Euro.

We shared a cab with Goran, an Israeli guy who was late for his shift at the Chai stall at the festival, and whose mates were still waiting at the airport for their luggage which had not arrived from Tel Aviv. Halfway through the journey, the taxi driver told us that it was actually €70 (almost everyone tries to rip you off in Turkey, unfortunately) but we fortunately got away with paying €60 plus 10 YTL, which wasn't too bad. Only that where the taxi dropped us off - the ticket collection point - was a considerably long way still from the festival site.

Hats off though to the guys who ran the ticket collection. I had two e-Tickets and the well-managed queue moved quickly along (see photo). Ticket numbers were checked against our passports on laptops, and soon we were wearing our yellow wristbands. Time to scramble onto another coach. Eventually, after nonsensically having to scramble onto a third coach halfway there, we finally got to the festival site.


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