Saturday, May 24, 2014


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April 27th, we eat our typical ship breakfast which consists of chopped fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, bread and always some delicious entre which is sausage and egg omelet. Three dishes of honey, the one on the far right is a specialty of the area, pine honey.

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Our captain has moved us to the Bay of Gemiler where we are boated over to this rickety landing and load into a van for an inland ride to Kayakoy, a Greek ghost town.

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To our surprise, our first view of Kayakoy is a thriving touristy town, the Moslem side of town with inviting outdoor tables, shops.

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A camel ride is unfortunately not on our agenda. I think because we are 13 and the camel outfitters have one, or two, or in this case three animals. Dang!

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It is a busy place, but Usla does not tarry.

pigeon cote
He did stop and have us guess what this structure is?  A pigeon cote. I love the outdoor fireplaces and the greenery covering everything.

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Our first glimpse of the Greek ruin and the vegetation covered steps that will lead us to the top of the abandoned half of Kayakoy. Anatolian Greeks inhabited this half of the city of 600 houses. During the 1920′s, the entire population was relocated to Greece in the aftermath of the Turkish War of Independence, a tragic reminder of how politics can affect human lives.

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Usla took this picture of us as we climbed the main path up the hill to the top of the city.

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Looking back, we can see the town spread out below us. The Greeks had the best view it seems to me. But this isn’t the very top of the city.

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Most of the group continued on to  the very top while a few of us rested just below.

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This is Usla’s photo of the whole town. A little red dot, right side, about a third of the way from the bottom, is Lenny and I’m sitting next to him in less visible clothing. An Imam was chanting a funeral which sounds very different from the call to prayer. I had no glasses and didn’t remember how to set my camera for a movie and missed the beautiful prayer that echoed up the hillside. You can double click this photo to make it larger.

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A community meeting place, almost intact.

Water cistern
This fat addition to this building is a cistern. Makes me wonder at the work it must have taken to get water up that hill.

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Most of the buildings are single story with some exceptions like this one. You can see the dual chimney’s, one for each floor.

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I am also reminded of how much work to build these stone buildings on a steep hillside, brick by brick, stone by stone in a time when no machines could help your labor. A donkey and cart and determination.

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This little stairway really struck my emotions, right next to the pathway. I had a fleeting image of two children sitting on their little patio talking to neighbors as they passed the house.

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Restoration of this place is just beginning. Usla told us that on one tour from Greece, he heard several older people talking. The voices from the past are haunting: “I used to live here, this was our house.  Our neighbor Mrs. so and so, remember her?  She lived there.” So sad. These women were children when they were forced to leave their homes and all they worked to build and turned into refugee’s with their belongings on their backs.

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And at the Church, another voice. “Do you remember father so-in-so? I can’t imagine the horror of being forced to evacuate my home and my neighborhood and all I hold dear.

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One house is intact enough to enter and is maintained by a young man who sells olive pit jewelry. I bought a necklace and matching earrings from him but didn’t take his picture.

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This little corner is where people washed up from a basin on a shelf. The dirty water could then be emptied
out the hole to the outside.

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A picture of the family that lived here was donated and hangs on the wall.

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A typical fireplace. You can see flecks of blue paint. People here painted the color blue around their windows and doors  because it was said to keep bugs away. From the many pictures I took you’d think I’d managed one with the blue paint?  Nope.

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An ancient well that served both communities of Kayakoy, who lived in peace as Moslem and Christian for over a hundred years before the war.

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In many ways, life is still simple and unchanged. The shepherd’s goats range wild. This little kid was crying, unsure of its footing.

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The buck urged them on and saw his kids to safety.

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All kids are curious doncha know. I have a soft spot for goats because Owen’s mom raised dairy goats when she was in 4-H.

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We raised chickens, too. Aren’t they beauties?

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We appreciated the wild flowers blooming all over the hillside, giving it a living softness against the cold stone.  We tasted carob from off a tree and smelled thyme, sage, and bay trees.

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Leaving town, we had only 15 minutes to look around.

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I loved these cloth lamps with a bell to sound in the breeze. I can imagine the soft glow of an evening meal outside. Hmm!
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At Zuzu Art, a woman makes very unique copper and crystal jewelry. I bought some, hurriedly. She told me, “Not cheap, I use Swarovoski crystals.”

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We hike down to Soguk Su Cove, where our Gulet is waiting for us for lunch. I could never remember the name of our Gulet so I took this picture, Sadri Usta.

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We took free time instead of motoring over to an Island with ancient churches and a monastery. Everyone seemed to think we’d had enough ruins for a day. Plus, we are all aware this is our last night on the gulet. I like scotch and they had just enough in the bottle for one drink per night. The boat will replenish its stores at Fethiye.

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I knew that if I was ever to swim in the Mediterranean, it was now or never. Captain Faisal and Mehnehten boated us to this beautiful beach for a swim. I packed my camera in a plastic bag and got this one photo. The stony beach was rough on our feet making it hard to walk. I finally got to swim a couple laps around the shallows and all too soon, we signaled for a return trip. Aha! A small epiphany.

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