This was a complicated walk, though not all of it was walking. We set off from Selçuk at 8:30 in the morning and drove to Pinar Köyu where we stopped for breakfast of gözleme, domates ve zeytin. It was a fairly brief stop and soon we were back on our buses for the drive to Çomakdağ köyu where we ended up staying for longer than I think was originally intended.
First we climbed up with some other people, above the village where there was a fantastic view.
We were back in the village at the appointed time, but everyone else was behind by half an hour then we went strolling off with a gentleman from the village who showed us several traditional houses (many of them somewhat ruined), his pygmy cows and an olive barrel. He ended up taking us home for lunch. Which was delicious but had to be cut short as the buses were revving up and we were keeping them waiting.
Our next stop was Euromos – we’ve been there before and our visit was all too brief as we were running late. It’s a really impressive site and I would love to go back on our own, with more time to explore (and less people….. There were 75 in our group!)
We drove onwards towards Bafa Lake where we finally got our walk! Only about 7 Km the Yediler Manastriri and back.
And finally, onto the beach at Heraklia (no time to explore the ancient city) where we watched a beautiful sunset and enjoyed an ice cold beer with friends.
It took a couple of hours to drive back to Selçuk. A very full day, but extremely worthwhile
We were in the UK and Ireland in February then, in April, at Hilary’s father’s 90th birthday party in London. Pretty well as soon as we got back we took of on the ferry to Kavala, hired a car (with some difficulty, as it was a Sunday and everywhere was shut) and drove straight to Lake Kerkini.
Kerkini village is a delightful place. On this occasion there was a (very well behaved) school party staying in the hotel so we were treated to three nights in a beautifully restored house. Beers were taken at our favourite bar in the village and meals at the Oikoperigitis where our friend Vasilis is a guide.
On our first day we traveled around the lake, visiting favourite places and taking photographs of birds. The next day we went up to the monastery, above which is a small reservoir where we were lucky enough to see a black kite perched, motionless in a tree for about twenty minutes. We went on to a spot near the Bulgarian border where rollers are often found but we can’t honestly say that we found any. It was only a short drive on some extremely good roads. We did see a very long line of trucks waiting to cross the border.
We also went out on Vasilis’ boat. This is always a magical experience and different every time. This year the level of the lake has been kept low to avoid flooding of the villages. This has not been a totally good thing for the wildlife. We were not able to enter the drowned forest (which is, sadly, slowly dying) though we did get quite close.
It was, of course, perfect biking weather (we left the bike at home). But the next part of the trip was very windy so we were, eventually, glad of the hired car.
On Sunday we went walking in Pamucak wetlands. This is about 20 minutes by Dolmuş from Selçuk and a place of stunning natural beauty. It seems to be constantly under threat from industrial waste, development and tourism but, for the moment, it remains protected. Jeep ‘safaris’ and quad bikes run through it as well as horse back tours. None of those happening at the moment, though we did see a couple of guys working out quad bike routes.
We were fortunate to see three adult and two sub adult flamingos. They pass here (stopping off for lunch) on their migration to places further north.
The asphodel is flowering right now – well, beginning to flower in our area. We saw black bees gathering the pollen. And butterflies. We saw quite a few butterflies and two large tortoises, quite awake. We heard a lot of frogs. We saw buzzards and larks (lots of larks) and sparrows, goldfinches and masses of magpies. Not to mention the Kentish plovers.
Today we saw storks flying high and several swallows. So spring is definitely in swing here in Selçuk.
We may publish flocks of corvids sitting on buildings, in trees, on wall, watching humans and muttering nevermore….. But we can do most of that here at home in Selcuk with the vast flock of jackdaws. Oh and a shower scene, or am I getting fiction and film mixed up?
Poe and Hitchcock aside……
We will say more on Kerkini soon, but for now, the bird photos.
After what has been a cold March, cold in the UK, then cold here, the weather is finally warming up. The storks have arrived, the first of the swallows have arrived, but as the say, one Swallow does not make spring.
So, on the first warm and sunny day, we decided to take a stroll around some of the local archaeological sites. Ephesus on a Sunday is never going to be empty, but it is nice to stroll through, laugh at some of the tours and, well we have Muze Kart so it costs nothing.
The Artemis Temple is now as deeply flooded as it ever gets. There are a few guys selling post cards, guide books, and dodgy coins. Mostly it is a quiet place, the tours rarely stop and those which do move on pretty quickly. So we were left with the geese, the turtles, frogs, a snake, storks, and a visiting heron.
Confirmed by a friend and others as a Night Heron, this one clearly did not know is was early afternoon.
The day after our roof was finished we went walking with Zirve. There are many ways to walk from the Kuşadası road up to Meryemana. Some of them are easy. This one wasn’t. We were aching for days afterwards.
It was, however, a very good walk in perfect weather. We cooked and ate suçuk but we didn’t actually get as far as Meryemana. This walk was done on 25th January and we saw some early wildflowers.
That would definitely be my picture of the month for January!
I am really not sure why we have gone so quiet. February seemed to disappear down the back of the sofa. We didn’t do much except try to get out to the shops between showers of rain. I guess it’s winter. We did mean to get away this year but an unexpected trip to London in December meant that, by the time we got round to looking at possibilities, everything was either rainy or too expensive.
We have just got back from a more scheduled trip to see family in the UK and friends in Ireland. But, whilst we work out what to do with the blog and process more photographs, here are some of the camel wrestling in Selçuk back on the third Sunday of January. It was a glorious sunny day – quite warm – and the crowds were out and cooking, eating, drinking, playing music and dancing on the tables. The photos, sadly, lack the sounds and smells which are very much a part of the experience. We hope they convey some of the atmosphere.
On Sunday we went walking with the Zirve club again.
We started out with breakfast in the village then headed out along forest roads. The walk was easy – all forest roads, no scrambling or climbing and not very steep. About 15 Km in total.
It is not every year that we get to see autumn colour here in Turkey. On Sunday it was spectacular. The oriental plane trees are blazing orange and the wild pears trees are bright yellow in the sunlight. All this against a backdrop of pine trees and soft autumn light as we walked through the gorge.
The autumn flowers are blooming – we saw dandelions, cyclamen, crocii and daisies mostly. Also a huge variety of mushrooms.
After the obligatory stop to cook sucuk over open fires, we turned around and walked back. Stopping off at Değirmendere Şelale, a beauty spot obviously popular with local people (several of whom were enjoying a picnic when our rather large group arrived).
Of course we took a lot of photos….