On Sunday a friend phoned us and offered us a trip to Eski Doğanbey. We’d heard a lot about this village and, a few years ago, we even almost walked there, but we’d never actually been.
We started off with a fish dinner in an excellent but top secret location then our friend drove us to the village. Once a Greek Village, it was taken over by returning Turks at the time of the exchange of populations. Most of these people (and their descendants) have moved to the towns, or into the new village and the houses (which need a great deal of maintenance) fell into disrepair. Many of them have now been restored to an extraordinarily high standard and we were fortunate to be able to see inside some of them. Lovely though they are, they are clearly designed for summer living and, off season the whole village was practically deserted.
We rounded our visit off with a visit to the Milli Park Information Centre where, after viewing the stuffed animals (sadly dusty as they are not in cases) we were shown a film about the history and wildlife of the area.
We now know the Turkish for long legged buzzard Kızıl Şahin (we see a great many of those but had not been able to give the Turkish name for them). There were cultivated iris in many of the beautifully kept gardens but wild iris growing up through paving and gravel everywhere…