Saturday, May 06, 2006

Another top day in Turkey

On Saturday we had an ambitious plan of touring and driving. We set off fairly early (for us) after a trip to a local ATM and some shopping, and snack purchases. We next had an intense conference with Nazmi about our route and some suggestions about a place for lunch. We took off in the two Ford Focuses with Paul driving the lead car and Jane driving the following car. The route took us along mostly two lane roads with the occaisional double lane road or passing lane. The Turkish drivers drove a routine 100 = 120 km per hour and Paul and Jane kept up with them! Still we got passed frequently. Quite amazing.

So we went to the three ruins, which I will correctly spell later, but our favorite spot we reached at 3 p.m. after a long drive around Lake Bofa = Heriakiles. Set in some amazing rocky hill with fantastic forms and pinkish and yellow stones was a little village of people raising a few cows, goats, donkeys, making honey etc. all along this huge lake with a few ruins from 3 thousand years ago. We had a late lunch at the Agora Pension, recommended by Nazmi. A beautiful setting with tons of roses, honeysuckle, morning glories. . .

We sketched at the Temple of Apollo and visited with some brave village boys. The ladies of the village saw blood in the water and hauled out thier crocheted work, beads and soap. We bought a few things and tried to stop, but even after we climbed up to the Temple they pursued us, goods in hand!

As the sun began to set we realized that we had better get back to Selchuck while we had light, so our brave drivers got us back in an hour and a half of steady driving.

We got back to a wonderful dinner with Nebi, Bernadette, and all of us. It was particularly special as we had three wonderful musicians to play Turkish music. This was very intimate and Nebi knew all the songs. It was great to see Savash, Erdahl and Nazmi enjoy the music as much if not more than the rest of us. They gathered around the table and sang along with the musicians and clapped and eventually almost everyone started dancing. It was raucous, wonderful, alive and seemed to demonstrate how warm and close the Turkish people are with each other and how welcoming they are to visitors. It was indescribably special.

More later perhaps as everyone is awake now, and I must have my last great breakfast here watching the storks feed their babies and visiting with our friends.

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