Friday, July 23, 2010

Breakfast at Gumusluk

I guess I must’ve read about it in a book at some point… having breakfast in Gumusluk… wherever I got the idea, this has been a picture I have been carrying around in my mind for the longest time.  It doesn’t sound like an impossible task but I was never able to realize this in our past trips to the area.  We would be staying in a different section of Bodrum and usually come by in the evenings for dinner or to have tea at the teahouse in the town square,  something that is mentioned in most guidebooks.  I don’t know how many times we came by here for these, but never in the morning for breakfast. 

There is something that appeals to me about early mornings.  Every city or town has a special feel in the morning that distinguishes it from all the rest like no other time of day; whenever I travel I love to get up early to experience that mood which I feel is especially mine to discover.  It’s usually me and the locals that are up and about at such hours; I love the smells and the sounds that can be deciphered more clearly and give the place its essence. 

When I left for my summer vacation, the first goal I had in mind was to give myself a time-off from the chaos of my mind that tends to go into overdrive as soon as I wake up… aka… sleep late.  This has been working out quite nicely and I have been waking up at hours I can’t seem to recall waking up at, maybe ever.  Unfortunately, the season being what it is and the heat during the day limiting our activities has made it a little difficult for me to get to some of the places I had planned on going to.  Gumusluk was on the top of my list of places I wanted to visit and I finally realized my only chance might be if I get up early enough in the morning. 

I first came to Gumusluk more than twenty years ago, with my husband-to-be and the impression it has left on me is still unaltered; this has to be one of cutest little villages I know of anywhere.  At the time, it was just a couple of seafood restaurants situated around a little cove, a teahouse in the town square and a few shops. Today it is a lot more restaurants, gourmet cafes, art studios and beach clubs but the same charming atmosphere still prevails.  It is reached by driving through, olive groves, orchards, small villages and quaint dwellings for about fifteen minutes from the main road between Bodrum and Turgutreis, following the signs for Gumusluk or Myndos.  It is the end of the road and you have to park your car here and walk around on foot to enjoy all that Gumusluk has to offer. 

Just as I was getting ready for bed last night, I remembered that I still hadn’t been to Gumusluk and going to breakfast there would be my new experience of the week (on any kind of trip outside of my regular dwelling, I always try to do at least one new thing that I had never tried before) So, I got up at 7.30 this morning and was on my way in ten minutes.  I hadn’t been driving since I came here and I was a little intimidated at first but after the first couple of kilometers I was humming to the tunes of Radio Kos from across the sea (you can see the Greek Island Kos very clearly from our balcony.)  Even though I could make out most of the songs, listening to a radio announcer talking in a foreign language gave the whole experience an exotic edge.  

I finally arrived in Gumusluk and drove to the left of the parking lot in the middle of town and found a shady parking spot behind one of the restaurants.  I was so excited that I had to restrain myself from jumping out of my car and running.  What greeted me when I made it to the main street was better than I could’ve imagined.   I found myself in an old fashioned teagarden – these are similar to a bar or café in the town square of an old European town.  I walked around for a little bit and noticed that there were a lot of little cafes that offered breakfast.  The original teagarden I saw was the most appealing so I went back there and found myself a table right by the water and ordered my first glass of tea.  Turkish tea is brewed in a special kettle that sits atop a kettle of boiling water and it is drunk out of small, dainty glasses.  The whole ritual of having Turkish tea is one of my favorites, I love the afternoon tea as well as the tea we have with our breakfast.  There were a lot of wonderful smells permeating the air but all of them are made with flour so that was a pleasure I couldn’t enjoy this morning. 

There was a slight breeze that was running through the air and I could sit and listen to the lapping waves while I watched the colorful boats docked in the little cove.  I sat there for about two hours and enjoyed the morning.  Around 9.30 little by little people started to fill the tables around me and I realized it was time for me to go, the magical hour was over.  Just as I was leaving I noticed a woman preparing her fruit juice stand and recognized her from last year.  We chatted for a bit about how business was and the restaurants in the area and then I had to leave.  The ride back was just as enjoyable as the ride going in.  I had done one of the things I had always wanted to do, enjoyed it immensely and decided that I absolutely had to come back here with my husband the next time.  There indeed is something special about having breakfast at Gumusluk; I hope to repeat the experience as often as possible this next week.

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