Tag Archives: Ayvalık

Dadia Forest

Gibrena-walking-downSome people may have gathered we went to Greece for a few days.  Our first stop in Greece after a leisurely ride north via Ayvalik and Canakkale was Dadia.  Dadia is a small village to the south of Soufli (nearest cash machine) with a couple of eateries and hotels.  More on those later. Our reason for going to Dadia Forest was to see birds of prey.  It is one of only Egyptian-Vulturetwo mainland sites in Europe where it is possible to see Black Vultures and Gryphon Vultures.  It is also very good for other large raptors.  As such the forest is carefully managed and the birds protected.  Just outside the village of Dadia is the visitor centre www.dadia-np.gr from where it is possible to get up to date information on the forest, details of walking trails and more. walking-to-the-hideOn our first day we took a walk up to the hide by one trail, and back by another, both clearly marked, rated as easy, and very pleasant.  On our walk up we saw Buzzards and a Gryphon Vulture in flight.  We spent ages up at the hide, there was an Egyptian Vulture, a Black Kite and an eagle, almost certainly Lesser Spotted Eagle,  Schoolchildren were being brought into the hide, given access to telescopes, given the eco drill in Greek, noisy at times but the hide is well away from the birds and none were bothered.  When the children were not there we got to use the telescopes. One or second day we took the harder trails, one up to Gibrena Peak and anotherGibrena-peak down.  These were graded as medium as indeed they turned out to be.  We were good and followed the rules, left our details and walking plans at the visitor centre, checked back in with them on return.  Again both trails we were marked and easy to follow, giving great views at times.  There was lots of wild flowers, would have been more a month or so earlier, something to maybe bear in mind for the future.  Near the peak we came across an eagle sat in a small tree, unfortunately it did not hang around for photographs.  We would recommend decent walking shoes for the climb to Gibrena Peak which Ashley did not have so took the risk with sport sandals, the only real risk being snakes, and well, not really a big risk. Back to Dadia village.  The village appears to have two hotels, but one seemed closed.  The other is next to the visitor centre www.forestinn.eu It is a lovely place, we think it used to be part of the visitor centre, but is now being run privately.  Our room was lovely, and we spent ages sat on the sunny balcony watching Hoopoes flying back and forth.  One morning when we were leaving the accommodation block to get breakfast there was a Sparrow Hawk in the garden, though most of the time it was populated by Swallows.  Breakfast was good.  The cafeteria also provided us with a steady supply of frappe, the occasional beer and did some snacks and ice cream.  Sitting in the café garden, at times a vulture passed overhead and further in the distance there were storks in flight. At the time we were there the hotel was not doing meals, but there are a couple of eateries in the village, one inexpensive Taverna, and a take out souvlaki place that needless to say did excellent take out souvlaki.  Being Greece, neither opens much before 9pm, so we relaxed in the hotel garden and had another beer. It is a lovely place, we will go again.

Stone Houses

DSCN4010We have just got home from a short stay in Ayvalık.  Despite our recent ‘discovery’ of Datça, Ayvalık remains one of our favourite haunts for a quick gettaway.  On this occasion we stayed in a very charming hotel on Cunda (Alibey) island.  Which is not, actually, quite an island, being connected to the mainland by a bridge and a causeway.

Our hotel was on a cobbled street (yes, we did get the bike up and down it safely) surrounded by beautiful stone houses in various states of renovation.

We did look, very seriously, at moving to Ayvalık.  It is a wonderful place with loads of advantages and, in the end, we decided on Selçuk.  We think we made the right decision, but we do like to visit Ayvalık from time to time – to eat fish, drink beer and wander round the wonderful market.

And now we’ve found we left the little bag with the mouse, camera leads and phone charger etc. at the hotel…  At least we cannot find it.  This is not a habit we need to get into.

Free as a bird, wet as a whale

We have just returned from a short trip to Ayvalık.  We had a fantastic time doing holiday things – sightseeing, shopping, eating balık and drinking rakı and beer.  We had a birthday and an anniversary to celebrate…

But the ride there was a reminder of just how much fun you can have on a motorcycle.  We misinterpreted the weather forecast which threatened ‘a few showers’.  We went through two ‘showers’.  There were no drops of rain, there were great long spears of rain.  Within seconds we were both soaked to the skin and had to stop as Ashley couldn’t see the road ahead.  The first stop was by the side of the road near the Torbalı turnoff.  No shelter there – but plenty of spray from passing trucks.  The second stop was by the toll station at Izmir.  There, at least, we found some shelter and the company of a couple of very pleasant Turkish bikers.

When the rain slackened we headed off in saturated clothes and made Ayvalık in good time, a little later than anticipated as we’d been stopped by rain for more than an hour in total.  With the exception of footware and feet, by the time we arrived, we were pretty well dry.  The clothes in the barrel bag were not – though they soon dried out in our hotel room.  Fortunately the notebook, important paperwork, cameras and mobile phones survived the downpours.

The road north of Izmir, from Izmir to Aliağa is probably one of the least pretty roads in Turkey, note to selves, we need to find an alternative route.  Suggestions from anyone in the know are welcome.

Ayvalık more than made up for the uninspiring and wet journey.  It never ceases to amaze us how soon the discomfort of being soaked to the skin is forgotten once the sun comes out again.  Well the sun, excellent food, beer and rakı, and views like this.  We’ll do the rest of the photos later.