March 31st to April 6th, 2014
(Merhaba=Hello in Turkish)
This week sees us continue to shun the ant trail and have superb times in places the guide books don’t rate highly. This was ensured by the wonderful local people we met, who touched our hearts. These places have been the kind of places we could have easily stayed longer in … even lived in. Filled, in this non-tourist season, with superb Turkish people living their everyday lives.
So many cups of çay (Turkish tea) – the life blood of Turkey…
This week we had çay with couchsurfing hosts who became friends, good samaritans who helped us, students, strangers who treated us like family, war veterans, travel agents and sailors.
We were also revisited by our friend ‘Gappy’: Reuben lost his third and fourth baby teeth! He looks so adorable with a front gap, so a visit from the Turkish tooth fairy was in order.
It is a wonderful time to be in Turkey. All is budding, fruiting or blooming. Huge clusters of wisteria drip from arbours, luminous lemons, emerald figs and the bright red of field poppies…
To Shake Her
(Teşekkür ederim = Thank you)
Denizli is the birthplace of the famous Denizli Rooster. It is a charming city and filled with wonderful things for children to enjoy – our boys played on more playgrounds than anywhere else we have been in Turkey. We adored with the much re-visited pine tree park; filled with families having barbecues, visiting the tiny zoo, playing volleyball, drinking coffee and relaxing. We all fell in love with Faruk’s dog – Baileys.
There was haircuts and mini golf.
We ate local and established a firm favourite breakfast bakery selling all things savoury and sweet.
We stood in wonder at the Travertines in Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) and the ruins of Hieropolis.
We enjoyed a few drinks and a lively Turkish folk band. Graham even had his first long conversation with a charming new Turkish friend aided by Google translate.
We bumped into Ismail, who kindly offered us a lift home. Before we knew it we were dining with his family, meeting his relatives and enjoying a private sunset tour of the Laodikya ruins!
(= May it come easy)
Near Oludeniz, we couchsurfed with our first expat-locals. Adam and Nadine plus their small clutch of charming pets, embraced us like family. Soon we were exploring the Greek ghost town of Kayakoy to find one of Adam’s many geocaches, feasting on wild boar and later playing Hero Quest and singing Karaoke till the early hours.
(= goodbye – said by the person staying)
Then in Fethiye, we met our kind host Emre who in one day, treated us to its delights. Rising to the soaring hieghts of Babadağ (1969m), paddling in in the Mediterrenean at Oludeniz beach, feasting on the sunlite Fethiye marina and ogling at the ancient Lycian tombs. These tombs were built into the sides of mountains so that ancient Lycian angels could reach the dead.
Our first taste of Fethiye…