Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Turkey Diaries : Kayakoy.

It is probably just over an hour from Dalyan to Kayakoy but lack of roads signs meant we took the longer route through mountains and through Fethiye.We were lucky to find a little sign on a side road in Fethiye that announced,
" Kayakoy this way." The narrow country roads,steep drops and fast Turkish drivers were a bit scary and made me so glad I was not driving.

Hale Eralp, I felt as if I had known her for years and she made me laugh.
Kayakoy really doesn't have a centre just restaurants dotted here and there and of course the Ghost Village itself. After passing by the villa we were renting a few times we eventually saw it in the distance. It was situated up a flight of about twenty steps from the road and very secluded. We were met by the owner a local artist called Hale who was very welcoming and when we saw the food she had left in our fridge we realised just how welcoming she was.
Fruit,vegs,cheese,bread,beer,wine and even chocolate and ice cream it was as if she knew our taste so well.She had even prepared some Turkish dishes for our lunch. I was going to like it here.
All over the villa were examples of Hale's work, every piece of furniture and every painting done loving at hers hands, she is one of those people who HAS to paint. Hale showed us her many canvases with her varies styles of painting and I thought how much like a writer an artist is, always trying to experiment with different styles and being that bit afraid of showing your work to anyone but still seeking and being thankful for approval. Before we left we exchanged gifts, I gave Hale a hand painted glass plate and she gave me a leather bound journal,without knowing that I love to write, an absolutely spot on gift, so if you're reading this Hale, thank you so much.
Some of Hale's paintings

Top two are upstairs living area with no walls

This house is unique and so is Kayakoy. At the villa it was peaceful except for a rooster who crowed when ever he felt like it and the gentle tweeting sounds coming from Hale's aviary. The Mosque was very close as you can see in my new header photo it also has loudspeakers and the call to prayer at 5:30 am did give you a fright until you got used to it. The Imam who announces the call to prayer was also the pool cleaner and even picked us up in his car one night we were going to his friend's restaurant.
The Ghost Village which attracts tourists during the day was occupied by the Greek people until the population exchange in 1923 when the had to leave and return to Greece. The village was never used by the Turkish people and was damaged by an earthquake in the fifties, the ruins are what is left of a whole community. When I read about it I was prompted to write a flash fiction story The Promise
Ghost village from the villa.
We didn't walk right through the ghost village,it was built on a very steep hill  and it was too hot to do any exercise. I thought the story of what happened was more poignant than actually walking through old ruined buildings. Louis De Bernieres book, Birds Without Wings, is said to be about Kayakoy, which although I've started reading it I am finding it a bit of a slog.
 One of the restaurants we ate in is set right at the base of the village, the ruins are lit up at night and you feel you are right in the middle of them. A bird had even built her nest in a large bush and was feeding her chicks while we were having dinner completely unfazed by everyone in the restaurant.

We had such a lovely week here,it was far too short,it is six minutes by car from Hisaronu and about twenty minutes from Oludeniz so there is no need to ever be bored, in fact we have booked another villa for next September for two weeks and can't wait to be back in Kayakoy again.

I heard little bells tinkling from these little goats at the bottom of the steps to the villa

Just me being arty.

Some of the lovely flowers surrounding us.



  1. What a wonderful hostess Hale is!! I am really enjoying your trip to Turkey. I hope there's more to come! I know that the country is huge and you probably didn't get way far to the east, but I am utterly fascinated with the Noah's Ark/Ararat thing.

  2. Yes there's lots of photos still to come. I felt as if I had known Hale for a long time,she's very funny too. No never been near Mount Ararat think it's too near Iran border for me.

  3. Those are such beautiful flowers. I find ruins fascinating and they make me wonder so much about the life of the people who lived during the time they were in use. It seems like you're having so much fun, I can't wait to see more of Turkey. :)

    P.S. Papa is Preacher would like to cordially invite you to our very first Link Up party beginning tomorrow (Thursday) at 9:30 a.m. going 'till Tuesday. Please see this post for more info:
    We'd really be honored to see you there!

  4. Hi Larissa, yes I agree ruins are fascinating and walking in other people's footsteps. I'll pop over to your blog to see what the link up is,thanks x

  5. Love reading this - though probably more accurately 'love with a tinge of envy'. It seems such a beautiful country, with so much history. I feel there is a book in her somewhere...yes?

  6. Thanks Carol,yes you should visit Turkey, cheaper than the rest of Europe too. I'll leave the book writing to cleverer people than me! Lol

  7. Colour me jealous! What lovely photos - the colours are so vibrant!

  8. Thanks Talli,I now love taking photos,maybe santa will bring me a really great camera,lol!!!

  9. You have me so interested in Turkey that I've actually started looking into how costly it would be to visit from the US. Appreciate getting a glimpse into of that village, The lady- Hale is a very talented artist, her pictures look quite colorful!
    ps I put my tag post up today come see what i haven't done....

  10. Lol!! I should be working for their tourist board. Inside her part of the house is amazing with all her artwork.

  11. Oh wow, some wonderful pictures and Hale sounds like a wonderful lady. What a gorgeous villa. A real find to meet someone so welcoming. I too feel a wee bit envious, looks like a fabulous holiday. But you deserved it :)


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