Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Egirdir, Isparta, and Fethiye - Summer Installment #2

The next day, we drove to Turkey's Lake District. Egirdir is Turkey's 2nd largest freshwater lake. We drove out onto a little peninsula to sit at a restaurant and eat fried fish. Each town in Turkey is known for one food item and everyone knows it: Amasya is apples, Isparta is rosewater, and Egirdir is fried fish. Similar-looking to Flathead lake, but not as cozy and welcoming as Big Fork (the pastel-painted high rises kind of kill that cute laketown feel upon first driving in).

After Egirdir, we drove through the most fertile part of Turkey, where most of the produce is grown. We stopped at a local farmer's market along the road to buy fresh apricots, almonds, cherries, and thyme.

We drove through Turkey's most fertile agriculture area, and stopped by a few farmers' stands to by shelled almonds, fresh apricots, cherries, and thyme.

We stayed in Isparta that night, the largest town in the District. It was in Isparta that we got lots of male attention for parallel parking, we drank tea and played backgammon in an alcohol-less "bar," and we heard about Michael Jackson's death from a hotel consierge with bad English and even worse teeth.

That night's stop was Fethiye, a favorite resort town on the Turquoise Coast inhabited by many Brits and ex-pats/

When we reached Fethiye, we followed signs for Koya Koyu: a ghost village from the population exchange followind WWI, in which the Greeks living in Turkey were exchanged for the Turks living in Greece in a preventative measure against further bloodshed. An old church with paths of black and white pebbles and sunlight streaming in were made more beautiful by the fact that no one has tried to renovate this site since its inhabitants left.

Dinner was one of my best Turkish meal experiences yet: squash flowers stuffed with cinnamon and rice, and chicken rolled in almonds and oranges- set to the backdrop of the abandoned village and alpine glow.

That night, we stayed with my friends Annie and Mark, who have relocated from Ankara to Fethiye with their baby girl, Annalisa. We had a yummy English breakfast the next morning (what a treat), and by midafternoon, met up with Stacy and Liam and the Bluecruise gang to board our yacht for the next four days' adventure!

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