INLAND TURKEY IN SPRING, IN LIKE A LION AND OUT LIKE A LAMB.
Alert: Sorry for the big delay but my plans obviously changed after the ghastly events here with the earthquakes. On finally deciding to come I had a few other hiccups. My Turcel phone decided that it wasn’t working after me topping it up with a data package, well it worked but just for one day. It’s crazy we have spent literally hours on the phone trying to find out why they are insisting that I set up an account over three months ago the idiots! Also, yesterday, when I was writing this, Google decided something more had to be paid on my email so I had that drama too as I kinda need emails for tickets etc. Also, I was told my photo limit was full so I couldn’t store pics. I spent hours trying to resolve it all and had no luck. Other bits threw me off so I sulked a bit, drank beer and got nowhere. I’ll fix it on my return to London but as we know travel always throws a few curved balls to check your mettle!
Springtime in Turkiye is a beautiful thing, especially when you’re escaping a dreary down-in-the-mouth London. It’s full of little lambkins and alpine flowers, olive trees as far as you can see and the soft green fuzz of fresh grass. Water can be heard along the way gurgling in the mountain streams. The villages are stirring after the short but sharp winter and life starts new and fresh. This is the time most tourists don’t see and indeed it is a very different land from the parched land in the summertime.
My usual preparations of cleaning and tidying my place in Soho left me clear-headed and ready to travel. I was heading for a village inland from Izmir, having managed to book a little chalet at an extensive lodge in the foot lands.
It is fed by fresh mountain springs that they have utilised by adding a water mill and creating fountains, waterfalls and a fish pond and boasts a busy restaurant (yes those fish are destined for the table) and is a meeting place for the local farmers. It is indeed a sanctuary in winter and a hotspot in summer and I became part of the family with the rest of the regulars despite speaking no Turkish.
I wanted to climb the path to the little village nestled in the hills above as it was a beautiful clear morning and I wanted some of that beautiful fresh air after the London smog and poisoned skies thanks to the chemtrails. I also need to clear a slight hangover from my welcome party the night before. So off I trotted up the hill to say hello to the villagers and the occasional very barky dogs. It’s a lovely village I will cover at another time.
In the next few days, I would revisit lovely Selcuk again and see mountains covered with camomile and have a very different more chilled trip than I usually do. There would be two solid days of rain at the weekend that allowed me to sit by the log fire at the lodge and drink copious cups of their excellent tea and read a book while thunder growled around the fog-laden mountain tops above me. I would start to have banter with my new ‘family’ despite the language barrier and using a bit of our phone app translators with often hysterical results. (I can’t even begin to understand how such oddly pornographic or just insane sentences come back to you!)
MUSEUM IN TIRE (PRONOUNCED ‘TEE-RAY ‘)
From their literature:
“Tire City Museum
Tire City Museum which is in the centre of Tire, was established in 2014 within the municipality of Tire. The tire city museum, which was built in 1955 and used as the tire municipality service building for many years, Thanks to the donations from the people of Tire and everywhere, it has a rich inventory and has become one of the important visiting points of the city.
Ethnographic artefacts, which shed light on the last two centuries of Tire, have made Tire city museum one of the important museums in the Aegean region.
In addition, the most striking feature of the museum is that it has a special area created with traditional handicraft masters and represents the “Living Museum” mission.”
“Tire is an ancient settlement that has hosted many civilizations throughout its thousands of years of history. In Tire, which showed the success of being a religious and commercial centre before and after the Turkish domination, the historical buildings that are the reflection of this situation have been able to resist time and many of them have survived to the present day with all their glory.
Tire has also buildings that have been from the antique times, especially from the Turkish dominance, also after the 14th century they constructed inns, Turkish baths, molsem seminaries, külliye(complexes), caravanserais, bedestens, basars, water taps and mansion, which make the Tire a unique and historical city.”
Don’t ask me what some of those words are!!!!!
The owner of Degirmen Restaurant took me under his wing yesterday and drove me into Tire to have a quick shop then meet up and have a look around by car. I was exultant to find an organic shop for coconut oil (cold-pressed organic) Essential oils and honey from various flowers. The prices are incredible after ripoff London and in good old-fashioned packaging with no bells and whistles. Herbal remedies and supplements were also on show.
I then had a quick look at the old town and although not market day it has a huge selection of cheapo shops in the labyrinth of small streets so sourced a few bits for future purchases. Then a drove to the top of the mountain for a great view of the town and even an old shepherdess with her small flock of sheep at the very top. After we passed a few of the ancient hammams in the narrow streets of the old Jewish Quarter with its pretty buildings and finally the museum which was the cherry on the cake.
The museum is a lovely mixture of ethnological artefacts with eccentric tableaus involving dummies suitably attired for their particular crafts, and also a living museum with weavers of fabrics, rugs, reed and rope, along with a barber and a quilting specialist.
Showcases of various metalwork including locks and keys and a plethora of weird and wonderful bits from the past entranced me. There was even a mobster-style car alongside a mock-up of a marble interior of a hammam and its accoutrements.
The lovely manager Emily was very helpful and speaks excellent English. This is a beautifully curated museum. Sadly because my stupid email AND my Turkish phone aren’t working I could post a great photo of us both there.