We have had an excellent day. On a personal level, the money we need to complete the purchase of this place is now where it needs to be. The phrase ‘up to four working days’ struck fear into Hilary’s heart, but, as we hoped, it ended up being a lot quicker than that.
A friend took us to Tire market. She really knows her way around (and many of the artisans who work there) so we had a bit of an insider’s view. We were not convinced that the fruit and veg was significantly cheaper than it was here in Selçuk on Saturday (the only way it could be much cheaper is if they paid you to take the food away) but we got dried fruit and nuts at real bargain prices. The dates recommended turned out to be superb – better than any we have ever eaten and they were 5 lira a kilo. The mixed nibbles were significantly cheaper than they are in Selçuk, fresher and crispier and containing a far lower proportion of pumpkin seeds. We drank tea whilst watching a demonstration of how felt is made. There are some wonderful fabrics created by felting onto silk. Some of it is very beautiful, some too bright for our taste. Today we were not buying but, possibly, sometime in the future. We then saw a stall with re-purposed old fabrics, beautifully embroidered and finished with oya (needle lace). Also whole lengths of lace edging and trim – all very beautiful and done by hand. We were given tea and some very delicious homemade bread stuffed with various green stuff gathered wild. When we are ready for a ‘best’ table cloth, we shall return.
The wool stall was a real revelation. This is where they sell yarn by the kilo – either unlabelled or mislabelled. There are huge amounts of it on the stall – much of it highly desirable. Hilary could not resist some very fine purple yarn – probably 100% wool with a proportion of mohair. She has 500 gm of it and is not yet sure what to make with it. Maybe some gloves and a lacy scarf.
We went round the restored hamam – there are a couple of weavers in it making very beautiful cloth – this was the fabric which Hilary found most tempting. We saw the ruined caravanserai. We went for lunch. Lunch was delicious. No choices. Sheeps yoghurt, pickles, salads, smokey aubergine and Tire kofte. Followed by white cheese in mulberry jam. Utterly delicious and ridiculously cheap. One of the salads contained those big white beans we’ve been looking for everywhere in Selçuk and failed to find. They sold us a kilo, so we picked up a litre storage jar on the way back to the car.
After lunch Hilary bought pyjamas in view of the cold nights we are experiencing. It was down to 2 degrees when we woke up this morning. It was also misty. The drive to and from Tire was spectacular with the misty mountains, golden fields and a variety of wild birds.