Spring in Turkey is magical as we keep discovering. We’ve just got back from a week there with George’s brother in law Ian who is a keen birdwatcher , and also very well informed about botany, ancient sites and ancient history.
The date we picked caused a panic – 29th April. When we found a suitable flight on that date which suited the three of us we booked. A week or two later we realised that it was the same day as the Royal Wedding, a day I had planned to be glued to the tv. Obviously we couldn’t change without vast expense, so I had a brainwave. My family had clubbed together to give me an ipad for Christmas. This was the time it was going to come into its own. I could watch iplayer, you tube etc. and see everything when we got to Kalkan in the late afternoon. I set off feeling pretty smug – we didn’t even pack our laptop which we usually take for George’s tennis court lighting business, feeling pretty sure that we could cope with everything from the ipad.
As we started to go through Security, I felt rising panic. Where was the ipad? Safely at home plugged in for a last minute charge in the bedroom, that’s where! I didn’t live it down all week! We unpacked, sat on the balcony for our first drink watching the sunset, hoping Ian was impressed, and then went into Kalkan for a first meal, and chose Doy Doy which we love. I was thrilled when about 10 o’clock their large tv screen came on with the wedding highlights. They sweetly served my pudding at the bar, and I sat and watched it – happy lady again.
We followed son Giles and his wife Bukky out there for their first stay in the apartment and Giles installed a film centre for us a library of films to view, and a DVD. It is a wonderful addition to our facilities, and very easy to use.
We spent a week showing Ian the sights and sites. He had a telescope which we took in the boot. The car is a very good hide, and although the quantity of birds was a little disappointing, we saw quite a variety. One memorable afternoon when we were round the pool, a flock of about 40 or 50 bee eaters visited the area, and were flying around us for about an hour. Wonderful colours, wonderful flight patterns, unmistakeable sounds. They were definitely the birds I hadn’t been able to totally identify up in the hills the previous time we were over.
For those who are interested these are the birds we saw:
Great White Egret, White Stork, Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Stilt, Audouin's Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Eurasian Turtle-Dove, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blue Rock-Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Common Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Black-eared Wheatear, Great Tit, Rock Nuthatch, Woodchat Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, European Goldfinch, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Black-headed Bunting, and Corn Bunting
Once again we drove to Ucagiz, had lunch on the quay and took a boat over Kekova, the sunken city. There is about 8 miles of hilly countryside leading from Kas to Ucagiz, mostly scrub, it is where we saw the roller and three kestrels, and we stopped to watch a small group of people making charcoal, (see the photographs). It was absolutely fascinating, and it seemed that no kiln was involved, but the whole huge mound of burning wood was covered with earth and just smouldered. They walked round it putting out any small fires which ignited with a spray of water. These are the memories you take away with you.
I took out a small Dualit mixer/blender/chopper, which was a great help. We try and eat in once a day, even though the restaurants are very tempting, and some very cheap, and I usually cook as much in the Mediterranean manner as possible. The greengrocer we use is superb, and for £5 you can buy about two carrier bags of everything, mostly seasonal produce, bursting at the seams. Bread although it looks wonderful is a bit disappointing, but I think that perhaps I haven’t yet found the right bakers. Their flat bread is more interesting.
This was my first holiday with my new Kindle, and a much lighter case! Whilst it is overall a great gadget to have, there is a lot frustrating about it. Your choice of books is still limited, and until the pages are marked it will not really feel like a book, but I enjoyed having it.
During the winter the apartments have been painted, the railings round the pool and balustrades, and everything looked wonderful.
We loved it so much we’ve booked to go back for 10 days in two week’s time. Bookings are excellent this year, and we haven’t a great deal of availability left during the summer, but hope to go again in September or October, when the sea is at its warmest and the nights are still balmy. This time I shall make sure we have the ipad, and have downloaded an app in readiness of the night sky for easy identification of stars and constellations.