Prosecards from the Edge (of a Continent)

A running commentary on my life in Izmir, Turkey...and other thoughts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Lycian Way - Day 2

Raucous birdsong greets me when I wake. P. has already left, no doubt off creeping through bushes on some ornithographical outing. It is tempting to lie there snuggled between the warm sheets, without moving, but the world is out there, waiting to be greeted. I climb out of bed into the chill air, and I am outdoors, into the forest, beginning the ascent up the pine-covered hill behind our cottage.

The hike is steep but rewarding – I emerge onto a ridge where cliffs drop off below me to the sea. Behind me rises Mt. Olympus, snow-capped and majestic. I can feel the tranquility permeating my skin and filling my being. There is a trail along this ridge, and I follow it as far as I can. At times it is terrifyingly narrow, the drop to the rocks below disconcertingly far and steep, but it is a beautiful feeling to be so close to so much beauty. As if I am on top of the world…

Back at the ranch later, we breakfast, make the rounds of the facilities, greet the horses and their foals with their spindly legs and broom tails, then, feeling drowsy already, though it is only a little past noon, head back to bed for a two-hour nap. Isn’t that what vacation is for?

Awakening later, we begin to plan our next move. Olympus is the proposed destination. We decide on one more night at Sundance, and then Olympus the following day. In the evening, we go for a walk that leads us to the main road, then get the idea of going to Olympus for a quick look-around and reserving a place to stay for the following night. We manage to catch a minibus along the main road as far as the turnoff to Olympus, but we are told that there will be no more busses descending the mountain to Olympus that day. On foot it would be at least an hour and a half walk, and dark is fast approaching, so we decide to hang out at this quaint roadside stop, where headscarved ladies make fantastic otlu gözleme* and the view of the setting sun floating down into the valley below is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Then it’s a bus back to Sundance and another tranquil night in the woods where I am lulled to sleep by the secretive hooting of owls.

* Turkish version of a quesadilla: dough rolled out thinly and grilled on a convex iron griddle (heated from beneath with charcoal), filled with salty cheese, hot pepper and wild greens, then folded and flipped on the other side. And, in this case, brushed with melted butter. Yum.


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