Since it was a lovely sunny day we took a walk up to Şirince to see what was going on for the apocalypse party. High up on the ridge it was icy in places, but we were wrapped up warm and the semi frozen ground was easier to walk on than the patches of mud. This is a route we have done a few times, but we managed to find views we had missed before and we timed it rather well, arriving above the village at around the time when the sun starts to return. The village looked peaceful enough from high above but could hear horns being blown and a great deal of human noise.
Nearer to the village we could make out the TV vans and the rest of the media circus. When we finally entered the village it was packed with people, mostly local tourists who presumably, like us, had headed there to see what was going on. We heard one man telling a journalist that he had come from Istanbul, so ‘local’ is a relative term. Some of the interviewees may have been famous – we are not good at recognising celebrities. Our neighbour assures us that Tom Cruise will be staying at her house… It was a bit busier than a regular Sunday in summer, plus there were loads of media with big cameras, loads of police, jandarma, emergency services, and surprisingly few cars.
We did not stay, headed for the dolmuş stop – which had moved and got a very full dolmuş back into Selçuk. We saw a couple of roadblocks on the way down, most private cars were not being allowed access. A car park had been created in Selçuk and most people were being made to use it and take the dolmuş. We think that only villagers, hotel guests, and the media were being allowed to take private vehicles up.
Solstice is over, the sun is now coming back. Nothing much happened. We guess tonight there will be a party up in Şirince, the villagers make wine and have produced a special fortified version for the event. We hear that the police have now stopped letting people up the road to Şirince, our friends in Zirve Dağcilik were turned back despite having organised their trip some weeks ago. Arrangements had to be changed several times to fit in with Jandarma requirements and, in the end, they were not able to go. We were asked how we got there – we explained that we had walked the back way (starting out well before noon). Şirince is a small village and can only take so many, it must be full up there. We guess there will be some apocalyptic hangovers in the morning.