Monday, October 4, 2010

Hike to Kayakoy

We arrived in Hisaronu Saturday October 2. The bus ride was about 5 hours but wasn’t bad because we were on a big techno bus so we had lots of entertainment and comfortable seats. The windows on the bus are huge as well so you can see everything and you see some strange things. We’re in the middle of nowhere and at the side of the road is a man at a table with stuffed donkeys. The donkeys fill the table and line the road in small plastic bags. What?

At any rate, finding the apartment here was a real chore. We paraded up and down the street with our bags until even the other tourists were starting to ask if we needed help. We did eventually find the place but not before I began to wonder if perhaps it didn’t really exist at all. On arrival, however, we were not disappointed. This is a two bedroom apartment with a living room, dining room, kitchen and two bedrooms. It is on the second floor and has two lovely balconies overlooking the town and surrounding mountains. Rhys commented that it felt like he’d come home. After nine weeks of staying in small box rooms, this really did feel fabulous.

Today we went on a hike recommended in the notes at the apartment. It was a 12km walk much to Julia’s dismay and horror. The trail was not easy to follow as it really didn’t look like a trail at all but with the directions clutched in our hot, sweaty paws and all four of us looking out for the trail markers, we managed to find our way through. Look at the picture. Can YOU see the trail?? We only became lost one time when I swear the trail marker was actually about ten metres away from where the REAL trail lay. I think some local had moved the rock.

After about two hours, we came upon a ghost town called Kayakoy. It was really cool. There were tons of buildings. The story is that back in 1923 there was an agreement between the Greek and Turkish governments that all the Greek people living in Turkey would be sent back to Greece and all the Turkish people living in Greece would be sent back to Turkey. The town of Kayakoy was filled with Greek people. They left and the Turkish people were supposed to come to fill the empty houses. According to the Turks, the Greek government would not give the Turkish people who were being sent back a fair amount of money for the houses they were leaving in Greece. Therefore, there was some difficulty with the returning Turkish people and the houses of Kayakoy were never filled. Personally, after looking at the homes, it seemed to Tom and I that the Greeks who were leaving probably hadn’t been all that excited and fairly ripped their homes apart as they left. There are large holes in the buildings, no paint or other remnants on walls, no rooves, nothing. It kind of reminded me of the whole Musqueam fiasco out at UBC some years back.

We crawled through the town looking at the churches, roads and houses until we came to a lovely little garden restaurant where we had a drink and sit. After regenerating our batteries, we climbed to the top of the town and headed to the blue lagoon. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The views down to the lagoon were pretty spectacular but the beach itself was packed with umbrellas and sunbeds so it wasn’t all that beautiful. What was quite beautiful was the sky. The mountains around the lagoon have perfect winds for paragliding and the paragliders were out in force. The sky was absolutely filled with the colourful sails. People could go tandem or alone. It looked so peaceful and fun. It cost about $75 per person to try it. Yet another thing Julia will want to do when she returns to Turkey.

7 comments:

Steve said...

Glad Turkey is going well. Is it still reasonably affordable? Most of the places you have gone so far sound fabulous and I even recall my visit there 20 years ago. Your comments about the buses reminds me of my surprise as well. We don't normally consider bus travel an option in North America, but the Turkish buses were quite a nice way to travel.

maryanncart said...

Loved reading about this. Julia's whims are beginning to sound a tad like her grandmother's? Perhaps it's a genetic thing. Looking forward to your next blog. Lots of love to all, Mom

Rhonda Staples said...

Hey Holly, have YOU tried a Hookah??!! Just wondering.....and curious as to what it would be like.

Holly said...

We haven't tried Hookah yet. We looked at it, checked it out on the Internet and then chickened out. We still want to try it but we'll wait until we can recline on cushions in a decadent manner. It's all about the pictures...
Holly

maryanncart said...

Dang...I had purchased a hookah for your xmas present and thought we could sit around on pillows in the English cottages toking up!

Steve said...

Tom, I see you sampling the Turkish beer. A bit daring! A few steps up on the Egyptian beer though.

Tom said...

Steve
Efes beer, the most common Turkish beer is a lot like Molson. Marmara is a little smoother. Tuborg is the import along with Miller Genuine Draft. Go figure? I have had my fill of Efes and still have 10 days of Turkey left. Tom