A travel moment in Turkey

Turkey - a country that conjures up images of luscious ladies belly dancing, kebabs and good quality 'designer' copies of handbags and jeans. However Kayakoy epitomised everything good about the old traditional Turkey- and this is where we were staying for a fortnight. And so on one sunny morning, we set off, water bottles in hand, sunhats jammed on our heads to protect us from the fierce sun and took the high trek through Kaya village and up into the old ruins. We took a side path which led from the road, thus visiting some of the houses that were 'off the beaten track'. An eerie silence prevailed as we slowly and carefully walked into small houses where Greeks had lived and then left in 1923. No-one had lived in the houses since and the village is now a protected area. We gaped at the large chimneys built into the grounds of the house and yawning wide into the open sky. We tried to explain to our 12 year old son why the Turkish people had not wanted to stay in these homes. We photographed the old school house, the many little churches and we tried to imagine life here in these hazy hills. The day became warmer and our pace slowed. To hurry would have been sacrilege. The stonework was beautiful, the land wild and the views were amazing. As we walked, we practised the little bits of Turkish language we had learned over the holiday. Turning into a house, my son stepped back in horror as he came face to face with three camels and their owner who were having a late morning nap. Quietly we turned away, not even daring to photograph that wonderful moment. As we left the hillside and made our way onto even higher ground, my husband stopped dead and asked us to wait. "What's wrong?" we asked. "Nothing - just a large lizard" came his jovial reply.
"It's a snake isn't it?" I trembled.
"Erm...yes, rather black and long" he replied. He turned to see the two of us scurrying down the hill - a not so perfect end to a rather special day!

D Oxley

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