Monday, July 26, 2010

Morning Coffee Break turned into Major Road Trip

We are staying in Yahsi, a little seaside village of Bodrum.  Around here, every corner you turn is a new thrill, all the different bays have a different taste, a different feel to them; I have been planning to discover the other provinces in the area since I got here.  This morning I decided to take the opportunity of taking my mother-in-law out for coffee to go exploring. I put her in the passenger seat, started a commentary about our surroundings and began to drive.  There is road work going on between Bodrum and Ortakent and in order to avoid this I started to use the back-roads through Bitez, but I am not as familiar with the back roads for someone who is taking short cuts should be, ended up farther ahead of my intersection and didn't even realize it until I got into Bodrum.  I started off with the intention of going to Gundogan, but we found ourselves half way to the airport, totally north of the peninsula, on the road to Torba.  This turned out to be a pleasant surprise since the landscape around Torba is really beautiful and it's not as developed as other areas;  we could smell the pines surrounding us.

We past Torba and headed towards GolTurkbuku, this area has recently become very popular so I wasn't sure what to expect. All I know about Turkbuku is that it is the hangout of all Istanbul society and most of the big name hotels, restaurants or clubs have opened beaches and clubs here. So it was a big surprise to follow the signs for GolTurkbuku and find ourselves in a little village with humble guesthouses and motels.  I started driving into every little street I could find that headed in the direction of the water to find us a tea-garden or a cafe.  None of the narrow streets near the water had any available parking and the closest teahouse was quite a distance.  I finally found a large parking lot that belonged to a hotel, parked my car, helped my mother-in-law out of the car and headed straight for the tables set out in front of the yard.  When we questioned the parking attendant, we found out that we were actually in Golkoy and Turkbuku was the next bay over; the two municipalities together was called GolTurkbuku.  

The boats lined up before us advertised moonlight tours of different bays and coves.  There were small hotels and beaches lined up all along the shoreline.

We sat in the shade with a wonderful breeze and enjoyed our Turkish Coffee while watching the little bay and the people suntanning or swimming.  The sea seemed to be very clean and clear.  The combination name had me confused at first but now I realized that all the fuss must've been about Turkbuku.  Golkoy seemed like a lovely area, luckily, not spoiled yet, by overdeveloping.  After coffee, we took off to see if we could find Turkbuku.  The roads here have no logic to them, you go up and down hills and not necessarily end up where your sense of direction tells you to expect to end up but that's the beauty of driving around in such a place.  Getting lost is so much fun, you get to see all kinds of little streets and cute houses you would not normally get to see.  I really liked driving around the streets of Golkoy and taking photographs.  My only suggestion to anyone interested in coming here is to get in a vehicle and drive around, get lost and enjoy, you never know what will turn up around the next corner.

There were so many lovely homes with beatiful flowers on their doorsteps, I wasn't sure what to capture.  I am afraid the time of day and my Blackberry couldn't do justice to the essence of this charming place.

Finally, we made it to the main road and found our way into Turkbuku in a couple of minutes.  We drove down toward the shore to find the main pedestrian street by the water; it was open to cars at the time but we were informed that it would be closed in ten minutes, at noon.  It was getting hot out and I wanted to get my mother-in-law back home, this turned out to be just a scouting trip - we had to come back another time to explore Turkbuku.  Just as we were turning around I got a call from home, asking for tomatoes and lemons; fortunately today the bazaar was setup in Turkbuku. 

I ran in and out but not before taking a couple of pictures and buying a wooden spoon from a mobile vendor. He was calling out that he had the best 'Simsir Kasik' (Boxtree Spoon) I asked him about his spoons and why they were so expensive and he insured me that there was no way anything could happen to these best quality spoons.  I told him I could get them for 1 Lira in Istanbul while he was asking for 5.  With a huff, he finally pulled one out, stuck it in my bag and said 'Here you go, take it and go.'  I gave him all the change I had in my pocket and we said goodbye.  I have a thing for wooden spoons, I refuse to cook with anything else; I put this one in my suitcase as soon as I got home.  It is flat and suppose to be used to stir 'pilav' (Rice).  I will have to try it out to see if it really is as good as he says, because stirring 'pilav' is a risky business, it can get sticky.

We made our way back driving from Turkbuku to Yalikavak and then home to Yahsi again.  It was a nice road trip I hope to repeat again, hopefully this time using the shorter route so we will have more time to enjoy the view.

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