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Trip Report Fabulous Family Fearlesly Meet Lykians (reprint of 2010 trip)

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It is 10:15PM in this part of the globe. I keep on trying to move various flying insects which appear on the screen with my mouse until i discover again and again that they are not multiple manifestations of the cursor.

I am sitting on the veranda of Telemen's House B&B at Ucagiz, just at the entrance to the town. I can see three street lights and a light on top of the mast of one largish yacht at the marina. It is as quiet as can be. Eser and Ceylan, younger daughter fresh from Chicago for a two week vacation on Monday, before she starts to work, are in the largish room checking the huge society news magazine, Alem, where Ceylan expects some familiar faces from her highschool days. She will soon come out to expropriate the laptop so that she can play Heroes of Might and Magic III.

Two cats visited me so far. The tiny black kitten is still around. The black emaciated dog fortunately did not climb the stairs and attempt to climb on my lap like the kitten.
Half an hour ago we got the owner to change the 40W bulb to a 100W one that we bought from the market in town. The night is about 26 degrees, the A/C works fine inside.

We arrived here just after sunset, having taken off at 8:30AM from Iznik (Nicea) where we have a tiny summer place in a compound on the lake. The roads were faster than we expected having been transformed to divided highways since last we drove this way which now carry a 110kilometer speed limit (120 with the 10% allowance). We checked the new Hilton Garden Inn at Kutahya which used to cry for a decent hotel, ate at Ikbal near Afyon and fueled, drove through Burdur, Korkuteli (from Kizilkaya) and Elmali, and before coming down to Finike, visited Arycanda, one of the major Lykian cities.

I had a chance to try our new red Pentax and decided that i would be doing a very good deed if i stopped half way up the ruins to talk to the caretaker, who has been working there for the last 28 years. The ladies pushed up. i stayed to marvel at such large numbers of Roman baths in town and their proximity to the Necropolis, feeling filthy and old.

Near the very narow but short dirt road leading up to Arycanda, there was a waterfall and lots of stands where enterprising people had set up an exchange station: the second quality fruit and corn on the cob to be exchanged with our top notch money. This is where we bought a strange fruit, possibly eaten by wild goats when they cannot find anything better, lots of different colored pomegranates and some very early green tangerines. The man said the yellowish pomegranates are much sweeter than the very red ones. he knows we will not pass that way again.

We had a one kilo lagos for 70TL after a great deal of bargaining at Kordon Restaurant. The asking price was 70TL. He gave the white Angora, which is better than a red Angora for only 25TL, and the meze was good. Altogether only 135 plus 15 tip including the wood grilled fish.

If i see any enthusiasm, i will continue tomorrow after our whole day boat trip, swimming over the Kekova ruins and other nice spots and possibly visit some more sights by boat. The owner of the B&B says he will harpoon a fish and cook it for us. i think we should take some bread or something with us in case he is not successful. We also passed some blue crab restaurants about 25 kilometers before Ucagiz, and may ask him to take us to one.

Ceylan is here for HOMM3. Good night.

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    T'is morning. rather cloudy. Telemen says will be fine for boat trip at 250TL, including harpooned fish. The feminine leg which has been mauled by razor blades learns to crave further torture thus delaying breakfast and boat.

    Took photos from veranda which we will post on webshots or flicker and give link.

    Angora is a popular cheaper Turkish wine. I try not to link it to goats when i drink.

    Lagos is, grouper, in English. the one we had must have been a baby. They usually come at above two kilos.

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    17:10 back on the veranda, after stressful (for me) boat trip.
    I actually swam all of 20 minutes or so. a record worthy of my collected posts. Rest of the time I sat on a hard bench (about 5 hours or so) with the net-like inner lining of my bathing suit leaving permanent patterns on my oh so delicate skin, feeding Lassy the black dog who kept on stretching one of her paws to rest it on my also delicate knees.

    What happened is, after the first hour or less of slowly cruising on and next to the sunken ruins, Telemen tied the boat to some rocks, donned a wet suit, took his harpoon and disappeared. the ladies frolicked in the water, i joined the festivities and came up to the boat about 12:15. there was no sign of Telemen.

    The ladies swam more, I searched for any sign of flippers or a nozzle sticking out of the water on the shores and the possible sunken wall not too far away. there was nothing. the dog wanted more of our fried meatballs which i had brought just in case Telemen could not spear any fish. Our friendship with lassy increased. the female contingent went to the front of the boat to stretch on smelly sponge mats which had no cover.

    This is when a small expeditionary force of black flies settled on the boat and greedily started to bite us. Burning, momentary (note the word used correctly)bites. i knew this meant rain, especially after the first few drops. the ladies came, rain stayed a just a few drops. but the flies had called the main force to join the looting. Telemen was nowhere. 14:00 hours, and Lassy started getting skittish. 14:15, he moved to one side of the boat looking intently and going to eser to make short sad noises. I knew then and there, that we had seen the last of Telemen and that the dog being so sensitive had felt his master's demise.

    Well, five minutes later Telemen appeared with 14 fish incuding two small roset, a baby grouper, four dark colored spiny ugly fish and some others. It took him all of half an hour to build a beautiful charcoal fire on the rocks, a nice shepherds salad, grill four eggplant and all the fish. he also had brought lots of very fresh bread. I was glad that Telemen had survived.

    The whole bay, full of small islands now, was actually a fertile plain and home to a hard working Lykian population.
    Apparently, the first big earthquake separated the large chunk which is Kekova island and a second one flooded most of the rest of the plain, and caused all the people to move possibly to our neighborhood in istanbul around 4-500AD and thence to Greece with the exchange of populations in 1936 or thereabouts.

    Town of kale is not on kekova island but on a rugged promontary and can only be reached by boat. Two very wealthy Turks have mansions on it. Some B&B owners are trying to imitate them possibly by probably overcharging tourists. Boats ply ice-cream and Gozleme pastry around the bay to boat people who do not have a telemen to fish for them.

    We almost stepped on land at Kale, but then decided that we could take better photos from a distance and that the walk up o the fortress would be too hazardous because of the greedy natives.

    we decided not to visit the antique site, Myra and the church of saint Nicholas that day as it was getting late.

    18:40 Telemen brough some local apples and grapes and said he will also brew tea for us. Eser said out of his earshot that she would have preferred a cold beer.

    The stress was almost gone.

    Must admit it has been one lazy, restful day albeit the stress. The evening view is terrific. Time to rest some more.

    Tomorrow, first to find a Shell Gas station for fuel, then Myra, then kas, patara, Xanthos, Letoon, Pinara. Will not be the end of the world if we do not do all. Will have to find another pleasant place to stay the night.

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    It is 22:35, a mosquito took a healthy taste from my right middle finger. The food was a reasonably good open buffet at the restaurant of Onur Pension at the marina, an adana kebap and a new wine discovery, a very light, excellent rose by Lykia Wines (45TL for wine 100TL for food and tip)
    Before that telemen told us his interesting life story. They have guests now with the women watching soaps in the huge kitchen they have downstairs and the men talking outside.

    There is also music coming from somewhere in town. I am hoping that the sound of the rather quiet A/C will cover all the noises. the ladies are taking over immediately at the laptops. Goodnight.

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    It just occurred to me that maybe I should also include the posts and remarks by the readers to the original trip report that is posted on the lounge.

    If there are any readers here including those who read and remarked on the original report, please give me a sign if you wish to see those posts also. Please?

    I will wait for a day or two to continue.

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    Mathieu on Oct 7, 10 at 6:24pm

    I am enjoying this report, otherchelebi.
    Your desciptions of family, food and nature intermingled with each other reminds me of reading any of Gerald Durrell's wonderful books about his youth in Corfu.
    Looking forward to more.

    PS Turkey is one of my most favourite travel destinations. I had such a great time interacting with the country and the people when I was last there. I will definitely return.

    otherchelebi on Oct 7, 10 at 6:36pm

    Jahoulih, Janisj, Bokhara2, mathieu, thank you very much for the encouragement. I really appreciate it.

    Was one of Durrell's works called, "My Family and Other animals"? If so, i think i read it also many many many years ago.

    Mathieu on Oct 7, 10 at 10:03pm

    Yes, "My Family and Other Animals", "Birds, Beasts and Relatives" and many others, some also written by his brother Lawrence (Larry). They were a favourite of mine between the ages of 14 and 18, and I have copies of them in my library collection now. I still occasionally pull one out and read a few paragraphs when I need to be by the sea on a greek island, or simply need a good laugh.

    otherchelebi on Oct 7, 10 at 10:42pm

    I remember that the Alexandria Quartet was very popular in the mid-late sixties as was henry miller. i do not remember if i read all four but have a foggy recollection of Justine.

    annhig on Oct 7, 10 at 11:37pm

    I remember that the Alexandria Quartet was very popular in the mid-late sixties as was henry miller. i do not remember if i read all four but have a foggy recollection of Justine.>>

    LOL - Larry's style was VERY different from Gerald's which personally i prefer - Larry seemed to me to take himself far too seriously.

    your trip report is lovely - i love the description of what your swimming costume was doing to you! and I thought that I was the only one who felt like that about boat trips.
    please keep it coming - even if your audience is restricted, we're very appreciative.

    Bokhara2 on Oct 8, 10 at 12:01am

    Well spotted, Mathieu - Otherchelebi's report is like dipping into, "My Family & Other Animals". I grew up with my nose in Gerald Durrell's books & your comment sent me scuttling to my bookshelf to pull it out.

    There's an interesting observation on wikepedia about the differing views of the move to Corfu by Lawrence, who initiated it, and Gerald. Do any of your kids scribble, Otherchelebi? Might be fun to have their parallel comments with yours!

    309pbg on Oct 8, 10 at 12:09am

    I am loving your report. Please continue!

    otherchelebi on Oct 8, 10 at 8:00pm

    i am sitting at the bar of Villa Rhapsody, with a dry gin martini, near the end of Kayakoy, fortunately before the cemetary. Kayakoy is an abandonned mostly Greek village of 1920s, the location of the popular sad novel called "Birds Without Wings." It is 19:50, still some time before dinner, Atilla and Jean the owners are great fun. We have again three cats and Hurma, the dog who is 15% Rodesian something and 85% Turkish tart. Jean is a DE for Istanbul on Trip Advisor, which means that i can be a DE on Kayakoy.

    The route was rather winding, made longer by my deep-seated interest in finding shortcuts. We visited the Shell station in Demre, Myra of the fabulous antique theatre and the rock tombs which the group of Russian tourists in front of house thought were homes of the wealthy in the 5th century.

    Both at Myra and the church of Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus),
    i was prepared to be embarrassed while trying to squeeze through the turnstiles, however the Russians were at least a few steps ahead of me in all meanings of the word. Eser and ceylan acted as if they did not know me and were not interested in an introduction.

    Called to dinner, will continue.

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    IMDonehere thanks, If i survive a long time, beyond most people's memory, I am planning to own up to trip reports written by others who are not allowed on the lounge anymore and reprint them as if they were mine. I am sure you would see the benefit of this.

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    Mathieu on Oct 8, 10 at 9:03pm

    Otherchelebi, your writing is sometimes providing me with more mirth than I think you intended ! Don't get me wrong - I'm lovin' every word of it and I enjoy your style, but sometimes I have to do a double take ! :)

    When you wrote : "...with the women watching soaps in the huge kitchen..." I thought you meant 'washing soaps' (probably because of the kitchen !) and couldn't figure out what you meant until I re-read the phrase correctly a few times! My bad. :)

    Then : " We visited the Shell station in Demre, Myra of the fabulous antique theatre and the rock tombs...". I'm assuming the latter 2 are places of interest but not sure about the first one : Shell station ? POI or POP (place for petrol) ?

    Again, I'm really enjoying this report but just need a bit of clarification. Keep it up !

    Your bathing suit anecdote reminds me of yet another hilarious Durrell family moment. This time, when the clan organise a midnight picnic on a beach a short boat ride away to christen, as it were, Mother's new bathing suit. Described by young Gerald as more of a victorian contraption than a garment, it was a black outfit festooned with ruffles. These became waterlogged the moment she sat in the water, so making it impossible for her to arise from the shallows. This in turn made Roger the dog to believe that she was being engulfed by a black sea monster, which sent him barking to her rescue, attacking the ruffles, and forcing her back into the water she was trying to get out of.

    Looking forward to your post-dinner adventures.

    otherchelebi on Oct 8, 10 at 10:16pm

    It is after dinner, but i will go back some hours.

    The morning started with Cey's insect bites of the previous night which lead to a heated discussion of the size and appearance of different types of bites. Mosquitos, spiders, bedbugs, husbands, etc. In any case, the end result is that they all itch. i had to take a shower using the tiny amount of water which trickled out of the shower which was clogged up with whatever. It came cold, and then cold/hot, and hot, and not in any specific sequence, thus making it impossible to prepare for the burn or the freeze.

    We managed to load everything on the car, including the four kilos of pomegranades and the small bottle of plum sauce which we had bought at Arycanda way-station (the correct spelling this time) The dog and the cat food containers were half empty but the additional weight we all seemed to have gained in the 36 hours at Ucagiz made up for that. We needed to backtrack to Demre not only because of the ruins of Myra and the church of Saint Nicholas which may have last been repaired in the 13th century with a grant from a Russian Tsar, and then allowed to crumble until restoration was started as a museum sometime in the last 20 years or so.

    Cey, whose MSc in historic preservation would not apply to any charitable work on me, totally expropriated the flashy red Pentax camera with the suggestive zoom lens with which i was hoping to attract some attention from the younger feminine tourists.

    Both sites were truely terrific. I even made an attempt to climb the rock tombs but the former inhabitants sent me some warning sweat and i stopped after four meters of energetic climbing that had taken longer than Eser liked.

    The coastal road to Kas gave us a chance to see a very stormy sea and take some shots.

    We ate at "Mother's Kitchen" in kas. Lovely home type of cooking for only 75TL for three, walked a bit and continued to Patara, past Kalkan, supposedly in time for the ladies to swim on one of the top three beaches in the world, and home to the caretta turtles.

    The strong wind swirling the fine sand, the historic ruins in the distance, the large German families braving the forces of nature and still able to laugh were too depressing to stay there.

    We met a couple from Chicago at Myra and a young man mesmerized by a single structure at Patara, watching a specific section continuously like a pantomimist at Montmartre in Paris. We talked of the families and life of telemen and wife and two year old daughter. we argued about the sound Eser made when chewing gum, and somehow made it first to Letoon where parts of three temples stood so that we could pay our respects to Artemis, Apollo and Leto, and then to Kayakoy, past Fethiye. We had to be very careful at the temple for Leto, because she is known to have transformed a whole population in that very area to frogs.

    Let's see what cey has to say, as per suggestion by Bokhara2.

    otherchelebi on Oct 9, 10 at 9:28pm

    Hello! This is the other celebi's daughter Ceylan.
    I and my father both enjoy traveling but we express our joy in being able to travel in very different ways.
    He likes to share his memories with others, most likely to not lose them and also to help others in finding paradise in every place. I am more conservative with my memories and findings.
    This trip has come the closest to changing my mind; it has been wonderful not only because of the places we have visited but also because of the people.
    Telemen's house in Ucagiz makes you want to be a part time fisherman ( to enjoy all the fish you cannot get or would be very expensive in Istanbul) and part time bed& breakfast owner ( to be able to meet different people and have a serene life with little kittens playing everywhere).
    Villa Rhapsody in Kayakoy makes you feel at home with the luxuries of having good food and a bar that tempts you to get a dirty martini, a glass of whisky or both.
    Cinaralti Pansion is placed in the middle of the most beautiful Turkish village i have ever seen,including a delicious meal.

    otherchelebi on Oct 9, 10 at 10:16pm

    Reading what she wrote, you would think that she is a little angel. Well, she has no appreciation of examplary parental guidance, or terrific planning, or painstaking preparation of even a 5-6 day trip, suitable for a travelogue, with cats, dogs, fish, Russian tourists, high waves, a bee having the time of its life with Ceylan thrown in.

    We are now at Cinaralti Pansiyon (B&B) at Birgi, having bidden farewell to my Dutch internet friend from trip advisor, Villa Rhapsody and Atilla, her husband whom she calls a clown. They were very pleasant and hospitable people and gave us two books as presents and found us a one kilo jar of honeydew for a ridiculously cheap price from a neighbor.
    a triple room at Villa Rhapsody 110TL with a scrumptious breakfast including bacon and fried egg on toast. good dinner with bottle of reasonably good wine 135TL.

    We were late leaving Fethiye, having visited Gemiler bay, where it was still rather windy and a cool 23 degrees. The female contingent decided not to swim but get their feet wet on the beach, where a lecherous bee decided to make some indelicate propositions to Cey, who did a strange tribal dance which she must have learned from his half Italian/half Irish, American husband.
    The photographs of this short episode will be available, together with other photos of the trip hopefully within a few days of our returning home on the 11th of October.

    Fethiye to Birgi can be done by three different routes. Two of them require major mountain crossings. One of these does not appear on a standard tourist highway map of Turkey.
    Guess which one we took, after finding our Shell petrol station from which we get 97 Octane without paying immediately through the Vehicle Recognition System.

    The mountain crossing was 70 kilometers and i really and truely had no idea that it would take us all of one hour fifty minutes. we only met three cars, one minibus, one small truck, six tractors, two donkeys, four cows and four horses on the road. None of them paid any attention to us. We also felt ucky that only one of the hideous looking small kids, a possible four year old, threw a stone at us while we were driving through a village.

    lack of signs sent us towards the other mountain crossing in the reverse direction through a village called "Almond", well actually its Turkish equivalent. Later we asked if we could buy some almonds, they said, "It's just a name, they grow chestnuts there.".

    We discovered our mistake after 10 kilometers and drove directly into the weekly market in Odemis town, popoulation 77,128. Neither us nor the stall owners were in a mood to become lifelong friends during the twenty minutes or so during which we very succesfully restrained ourselves from honking the car horn, or even a mouth horn.

    Came to lovely Birgi just before dark. The very wise owner of the B&B who is also a chesnut producer, with hands turned totally green-black from handling fresh walnuts, welcomed us. Soon we had another life story to compare to Telemen the fisherman's and Atilla the playboy who was tamed by a Dutch lady.

    had a special meal of an earthenware casserole stew, chickpea pilav, fried potatoes, eggplant and sweet green pepper with garlic yoghurt and a huge salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. We had bought our own wine, Doluca DLC, from which i had only one glass. The ladies opened the second bottle, it is 10:15, bedtime for me, leaving them to view for the umpteenth time old videos and photos stored on Eser's laptop. Eser is training little Ceylan in the Turkish tradition of drinking , becoming nostalgic, first laughing and then crying. goodnight.

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    suffrock on Oct 10, 10 at 12:27am

    I just discovered this report and have joined your audience. I'm enjoying this one especially since some of the places you're going are on our itinerary for our trip next summer. I'm looking forward to the next installment!

    otherchelebi on Oct 10, 10 at 8:45am

    Welcome, annhig, 309pbg and suffrock.

    Just before breakfast. The owner stopped snoring when eser made too much noise on the veranda where the carpenter son will bring our breakfast soon. he lives in Odemis 6 kilometers down the hill but comes up to help father in the mornings and evenings. i wonder if it is the soil?

    Sunny day. Will visit the 1876 built Cakiraga mansion, and the
    fourteenth century mosque. The little town is under Unesco protection, and all the past municipalities since the early 1980s have worked hard in having the townspeople to restore and repair their homes. all major street fron houses are like their originals of 7-800 years ago and the restorations are now moving to the back streets.

    This is a very modern and progressive town and it was a pleasure to discuss politics with the owner.

    after the local sightseeing and buying olive oil from one of the two factories at the exit from the town, we will head towards Lydian civilization. Golcuk-Bozdag-Sardis next.

    Bokhara2 on Oct 10, 10 at 11:33am

    Very interesting & entertaining to have your parallel input, Ceylan - thank you.

    Seems as if your darling daughter's doing very well despite having,"no appreciation of examplary parental guidance, or terrific planning, or painstaking preparation ...", Otherchelebi ;)

    pat_woolford on Oct 10, 10 at 3:55pm

    Nice stuff, chelebi, great to read. I was in your lovely country a few months ago, (I'm Australian) whilst not having more than 3 weeks there enjoyed every minute, but wish it was far longer . Could you please tell me how you grow the best tomatoes in the entire world??

    otherchelebi on Oct 10, 10 at 9:56pm

    hello pat from rather far away. i am glad you were here.
    i am afraid I cannot divulge the secret of our tomatoes. Actually it is not because i do not wish to, but a witch put this spell on us upon her escape from Salem, so that one cannot eat good tomatoes in america and all other English speaking places, and we become dumb the moment we try to tell how we do it, so that you cannot ever eat good tomatoes. Sorry about that, but it is one of those things you learn to live with. (That is probably why there are so many dumb Turks, but that is another story.)

    The day started with blue skies and 15 degrees. The mansion was built earlier than the 1870s but i forgot the exact date. It has very intricate wood work, looks like the kind of doll house a bavarian prince would have had built for his daughter.
    Unfortunately,the first restoration had possibly not involved structural works, and the building was sagging and declared out of bounds. However, feeding the caretakers cats from our mobile stash gave him the great idea that Ceylan, who weighed little could actually enter the building and climb up to the second and third floors without causing any further collape.

    i think she has some very rare photos of the mansion, which she may be able to tranform into an article and hopefully publish somewhere.

    We then drove to the Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey mosque, where the imam took charge of the ladies and gave them a thorough run down on the history of not only the mosque but some of movable objects in the mosque which were stolen a number of times and always recovered, the last one being in 1993 when it was sold to a museum in England, recognized by a very rare visitor to Birgi and brought back.

    We then checked the single textile stand across the square, to buy half of the duvet cover sets on display, with the stall owner explaining how the villagers spend weeks to embroider them, while trying to hide the "Made in PRC" stickers.

    Next, we bought two 5 liter containers of 0.3 acidity olive oil for only 60TL from the factory i had tried before. Ceylan complained again because by this time half of the back seat had enough junk already, the trunk being totally full.

    Little did she know that just past the skiing and hiking resort town of Bozdag, there were stalls of lcal produce where her dad was going to by 5 kilos of fresh pinto beans, a 5 kilo sack of baby potatoes, 2 kilos aubergines, 2 kilos of chesnuts, 2 kilos of cucumbers, and a kilo of mixed hot and sweet green peppers of different sizes. added to the three kilos of fresh walnuts we bought from Mehmet poyraz, the owner of Cinaralti pansiyon in Birgi, we probably can set our own stall in istanbul.

    Lunch was at Salihli at a nice looking woodfire meatball place, where we fed bread crumbs to two peacocks and two roosters, one of which, a white and grey one, had long white feathers sticking out abot 3 -4 inches to the sides from his feet. The meatballs were not that exciting at all.

    The drive became rather tiring for a while until Eser gave me a mint blast gum, which almost removed all my caps and canal jobs.

    But before all this we did visit Sardis with its gymnasium and synagogue restored beautifully by a Harvard team, and my favorite temple, the temple for Artemis.

    I am writing from our house at darka, in Iznik. It was a very tiring day because eser and Ceylan decided that their joint weight would definitely be more than mine and started ganging up on me. I will write about aizanoi, the roads, the last citizen of Lydia having possibly died since last December, our cold dinner at home and the trip back to istanbul which we will attempt tomorrow, possibly under some rain.

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    After Sardis, we passed through Kula and then turned North before Usak, to Gediz and then cavdarhisar to view the temple of Zeus built on a more ancient temple for Kybele the earth goddess, the Roman baths and the theatre with the stadium, at Aizanoi.

    The roads were single lane or divided highways with quite a bit of road works so our average speed was not higher than 70-80 k/hr.

    The meatballs at Salihli had unfortunate effects on some members of our party, of the kind usually attributed to beans.
    It is very difficult to expect ladies to admit to things and not frame others.

    Unfortunately, we came to an open vegetable stand just 10 k before driving into Iznik, taking the exit for Mekece from the Pamukova-Bilecik highway. It was dark by that time but the enterprising farmer had lights and some reasonably good tomatoes and excellent apples. Ceylan in the back seat, already under risk of an avalanch of produce from previous stops at roadside stalls was probably considering the advantages and disadvantages of patricide. No electra complex in this family.

    Dinner was two different kinds of bread, village sourdough and walnut, fresh from a bakery in iznik, two kinds of goat cheese we had bought at Bozdag, good feta, kasar and cream cheese from itimat dairy store, tomatoe-cucumber-green pepper salad, sun dried beef (pastirma) sausage (sucuk) and village butter, at our warm home, where the heating had been turned on by the security people after our call.

    Again there were no thanks for the warm home, the provisions and the two feral cats who came to visit and ask for their protection money.

    This morning, we visited Pasha, the guard dog at the Southwest corner of the compound, to feed him, and then gave all our remaining bread to the rabbits, roosters and Turkeys which are kept by the compound management. Ceylan discovered that rabbits would actually climb on your lap and let you pet them as long as you continue feeding them. Not very true for daughters, i must say.

    She must have been inured to all the hardship of having a crazy father and riding squeezed in a corner of the backseat, because she did not complain any more when i stopped at Kofteci Yusuf and bought five pounds of ground beef, 5 pounds of lamb front leg and three pounds of filet, before arriving at Yalova to board the ferry boat back to Istanbul.

    I am not sure any of us are wiser or more rested or calmer, but we did enjoy all of it. We saw a great deal in just a few days, met nice people, prayed to lots of deities at exotic temples. We felt warm, swam, and then cold. We braved winds, high mountain passes on narrow tracks, ate lots of fresh salads and vegetables and the occasional white and red meat and fish. and we even saw some of the former inhabitants of letoon, who waited fruitlessly for princes to come and kiss them.

    The only sad note was that the broom shop of the broom maker, grandpa Bahtiyar, at God Sayer village between Bozdag and Salihli seemed to be permanently closed. We will remember him from the photos we took when we passed that way in december, 2009.

    The following are some of the links from the last december trip:

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    Ann, It disappeared for many who never checked into Fodor's Lounge and was not available to visitors to the Turkey Forums when they looked for trip reports on Turkey.

    There were some questions on the locations like Ucagiz, Kas, Myra, kekova, etc. which people could not resolve.

    Of'course, it could also be just senility for those of us who do not like to use the dreade word that starts with an A and an L and a Z. -:)

    I hope you will make it here soon before I forget about cooking also. -:)

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    OC - you know that i wasn't being critical, just puzzled. Thank you for the explanation.

    Turkey seems at least temporarily to have disappeared from our news coverage - how are things after the election?

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