Something that contributes to breaking the exciting, but often a little gray and monotonous everyday life is, when there sometimes comes unusual inquiries or questions about different things.
No doubt I love getting questions from you readers (just give me some more – I’ll be happy to answer …). It’s so great, if I can answer and maybe help with some of your questions, come up with a good advice, elaborate one of the articles a bit or whatever it may be 🙂
But sometimes there are also questions from the media. Sometimes, it may be a single article, that I’m asked to write as a guestblogger. In the spring, Israeli television also asked for an interview (unfortunately, I could not come to Turkey on the date of filming so I ended up having to refuse). It was probably a bad decision (and I’m still a bit sad about it actually).
Sometimes I’m lucky enough to wo write on both Sanne and Tea’s blogs (the two Danish bloggers I was touring with last spring) and vice versa. Occasionally we can help each other with an article, some pictures, an interview, etc. It is quite nice this arrangement. You can read our trip to Termessos here and here. It was both an exciting and lovely trip.
But suddenly a little while ago, I got a new inquiry. I was asked by “Tyrkias Tidende” translated to “Turkey’s Journal”, a Norwegian news site, if I wanted to be interviewed. And I would really like that 🙂 I’m always happy to write (and talk) about Turkey, food and Antalya, so it’s just lovely, that there’s someone who wants to ask for why and how it all started, ask for good tips to travel in the country etc.
I have never really written an “about me” page, as most blogs have. It’s a page that most often explains who you are, what you are doing and why you had the idea to start your blog. Actually pretty smart so your readers can get to know you a little.
But such a page I have not – yet (because it’s on the “two do list” along with so much else). I trust, that those who faithfully read ths blog, will soon have a good picture of me 😉 But if you should have skipped a couple of my articles or 3, then I will translate the interview with the Turkish Journal. Here at least I answer some of the questions about why I started loveantalya.com etc..
Turkey Journal: When and how did you discover Antalya? Do you often travel there?
Camilla Vennegaard: I started coming to Antalya almost 20 years ago. I visited the city 1st time my boyfriend – current husband Dennis and we have visited Turkey 1-4 times a year ever since. The last 12 years together with our children Sofia age 12 and Rasmus age 11. We always travel to Antalya, as my husband’s father lives there, but we drive quite a lot and often in many other larger or smaller cities. We fall in love with most of the cities we come to – especially on the west coast, but Antalya always wins because of the climate and the many possibilities.
T.J .: Why Antalya? What do you think is the best thing about the city?
C.V .: It’s hard to say, what’s best in Antalya, because in my world it’s it all. But I really like, that there are so many options and possibilities. On one day you can go to one of Turkey’s largest archaeological museums, the next in a water park with the wildest slides, climb a mountain, take a walk in the cave, sail on the sea, see ancient ruins, enjoy the atmosphere in the old town, swim at one of the many delicious beaches or shop in one of the many major shopping malls. So the possibilities are countless. I also like that it is a huge city, but you can still live very privately or just drive 20 minutes from the city center, and then everything has changed and you can be completely alone. The climate also plays a big role. The weather is constant and especially in the summer months it’s only hot. Do not worry about rain and wind like in Denmark.
T.J: What other places have you visited in Turkey? What kind of impression did you get?
C.V.: We mostly travel to Antalya, but have also been a lot in Izmir and Cesme, for example, visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Konya and several other small towns in the area. Especially the west coast of Izmir, Cesme and Alacati, I think is amazing, as there is a completely different mentality here (more western-oriented) and the area is much characterized by the fact, that it used to be under Greek rule. My dear father-in-law lives in a small village called Duaci just outside Antalya. So we are lucky to see, feel and experience more aspects of Turkish everyday life. It is really nice to experience the contrast between living in a large city with about 1.8 million inhabitants and just make a 20 minutes drive from the center and then you can enjoy the rural life, the silence, the sheeps and the nature. We alternate a little between staying with father-in-law in the village and in an apartment in Antalya city.
T.J.: How are your experiences with and your impression of Turkey in general?
C.V .: I am constantly amazed at how much nature, landscape and life change, depending on where in the country and in which cities you live in. I love the huge contrast and diversity, that is in Turkey. It’s a huge country (keep in mind that I live in little tiny Denmark) and everything changes dramatically from place to place. One thing, however, is true everywhere – the great hospitality and interest you meet from the Turks wherever you go. And if you can say just a few words in Turkish, then .. yes, you are almost family and are invited to dinner, weddings, etc.
T.J .: You are behind the page loveantalya.com. How did the idea come up for this page?
C.V .: I started the blog in summer 2015 because I wanted to share all my recipes and my passion for Antalya. I was so sad, that almost everyone I met told more or less excited about Alanya and about their many visits to the city, but hardly anyone had been to Antalya. Howcome nobody visit this beautiful metropolis that has the perfect balance between big city and seaside resort? And why, once again, travel to a – in my view – as touristy area like Alanya, Bodrum, Marmeris and Kusadasi, when you can get more authenticity and more unique, genuine experiences in a city like Antalya?
T.J .: How do you get inspiration for your writing? Is there a lot of work behind such a page?
C.V .: I have previously had a blog about decor, so I’ve been trying to blog a little earlier a few years ago. But having a blog like http://www.loveantalya.com is a big job. I can not write as often as I would like to – approx. 1-3 times a week. But I have much more on my mind. It takes a lot to get the blog running, cook, take pictures, edit, etc, when you have family and work too. The inspiration comes happily by itself. I always say in a fin spirit, that I have a popcorn brain – that constantly picks up something new. I have a pretty thick book, where I write down all my ideas and just wait for me to write and investigate. Because I often do a lot of research behind my articles.
T.J: What can readers find on loveantalya.com? Do you gather news from other places, or do you mostly write based on your own experiences?
CV: It’s a personal blog about Antalya and the surrounding area, places I’ve been to in Turkey, good places to eat, exciting places to see, what to experience, history, lovely places to stay and not least lovely original recipes for delicious Turkish food . Often I write about my experiences of traveling in Turkey and about traveling with children. So I describe a bit of each. But I often follow Turkish news, newspapers and on different sites to get a wider picture.
T.J .: How popular do you think Turkey will be as a destination for tourists from Scandinavia and tourists in general in the years to come?
C.V .: For a couple of years, tourist numbers have fallen a lot in Turkey due to political turmoil, terror, etc. But fortunately it seems that it is on its way up again. I really wish tourists return as before, because Turkey has so much different to offer. And the hospitality and interest of people from other countries is huge. I find it hard to relate to people being afraid of traveling down there. I really can not see why. I’ve never experienced anything down there, which left me the least scared. And after all, there has been a lot in my years in Turkey- also during both coup d’état, terrorist attacks and the PKK era.
So I believe in a future for Turkish tourism. I know that there are always new initiatives to attract tourists, the infrastructure is being repaired, new destinations are being developed, the hotels are being renewed and optimized, the experiences are expanded with trips out of the city, information etc, etc. All to make it as comfortable as possible for the tourists.
T.J .: Do you have any good tips for those going to Turkey?
C.V: I can only advise, that when you travel to Turkey, try searching outside the usual places and cities, experience the real Turkey, the beautiful scenery, the beautiful beaches, the delicious food and the great hospitality. Get away from places with many tourists. Only there you will experience the authentic Turkey and get the biggest experiences.
I give lots of tips and advice to it on the blog http://www.loveantalya.com.
We thank Camilla Vennegaard for taking the time for the interview and looking forward to reading more from her blog. And I thank them for having time and wanting to listen to me 🙂