Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Turkey Diaries 2013 - Fiery Skies, A Ghost Village and Chickens

It's 7am and I can tell by the  smell in the living room that it's been raining overnight. I go outside and inhale. It's a wet,musty smell of damp soil. The earth in the vegetable garden where the fig trees grow has turned a dark red colour from it's soaking. There are patches of mist everywhere.The rain must have came and went  during the night because it's mostly dried up. I hope the clouds blow away soon. 
As I sit at the table on the porch writing this the sun is rising in the east, fighting it's way above the thick cloud. The sky appears to be on fire as it is bathed in fiery red.  I hope the sun breaks through and we have a good day ahead.

I look over at the ruins of the ghost village which were once inhabited by Greek people who were forced to leave and settle in Greece during the population exchange of 1923  and my mind starts to wander, thinking about the people who lived just a stones throw away from where I am seated. The houses are all built on a very steep hill and every house was positioned so it would have the same view of the valley below, could you imagine planners doing that today? The people who lived there must have been very fit climbing up and down to get to shops and their homes. At the uppermost point is a church I can't begin to imagine how exhausted they would be going to Sunday services. 
I took this with a zoom.
The steepness of the village is part of the reason I haven't walked through it yet. The temperature has stayed around 37degs and I don't think I'm capable of even a few hundred yards uphill. My husband is of the mindset that the houses are just derelict buildings and not worth seeing. I would still like to visit but as the local council are starting to renovate some of them including the church it might be more interesting to visit when that has been done, but it will still be a trek uphill.
You can just see the church at the top and from the other side there are many more houses and a steeper climb.

The clouds are being blown away

                                                             Learning to love chickens

A few weeks before leaving for Kayakoy I read an online review about the villa, " The owner comes everyday to clean the pool and look after his free range chickens that run around the garden." What? I didn't sign up for this,chickens! I didn't know how I cope and breathe a sigh of relief that my daughter will not be with us as she has a bird phobia especially with the kind that don't fly and just flutter.
The first and last time I was anywhere near chickens was when I was nineteen and being interviewed for a job as a children's nanny. The interview took place in a large stately home in Dumfries and I had to stay there overnight. I was shown around the large gardens. The children had ponies,rabbits and guinea pigs. The mother took me into a large barn and when she opened the door I saw what seemed like hundreds of chickens all fluttering and clucking. I listened to the mother with my eyes wide and my heart in my mouth as she explained that part of my job would be to clean out the hen house assisted by two young children as she wanted them to be involved in everything. If she had offered my a small fortune I still would have refused the job, children, yes, chickens, no.

Back to my chickens in Turkey. There are ten in total. What amazes me is that they are all so different. Mr Rooster is magnificent as he struts up and down definitely in charge. His plumage is brown,green,yellow,orange and many shades inbetween. Some of the girlies are white,some black and some spotted. A young black  cockerel makes up the family. Over the two weeks we have been here he has grown, his feathers are becoming more colourful and his tail feathers are curling like his fathers. I wonder when he will find his voice? Don't believe that cockerels only crow in the morning, that just isn't true. Cockerels crow morning,noon and night,in fact every hour of the day. They crow in reply to other neighbourhood cockerels and they crow just because they can,well wouldn't you?

I told them to get in line for a photo,but they're shy.


Have you ever watched a cockerel as he crows? He throws back his tiny head,looks like he is taking a deep breathe, throws his head forwards and forces the sound out with every ounce of energy he can muster. That is why his crow is very, very loud, especially when you're sunbathing by the pool and he is by your side.

The chickens run about in a gang, when you see one you know the others are lurking just around the corner. They tour the garden scratching the ground for tasty snacks. Sometimes when we leave the villa in the early evening they are sitting on the wall just outside the gate, the gang leader and his followers,checking us out.

The boss!
The gang.

I think she's quite an old lady.

We've even seen them jump into the fruit trees and knock the fruit down to peck at. 
Mr Rooster and his fan club have a good life here. The cats don't seem to bother with them and there are no foxes here, an idyllic life.

I thought this chicked looked very refined but she wouldn't stand still.

I never thought I would be so amused by chickens or that I would spend so long watching them and indeed writing about them. My only problem with having chickens would be that I would treat them as pets and I'm so glad I won't be here when they meet their inevitable end.  I will miss this when we're home in Scotland.  

I'm not the best at taking a video but here is a little trip around the garden and pool with the cockerel crowing just for you.
p.s blogger went a bit mad today and it kept changing my type at the start and won't let me change it back.


  1. Oh silly me! Here it is! I should have clicked on the whole post. As I said on your Book blog, Anne, this is a really lovely post. I feel as if you are chatting to me and musing aloud. Really lovely. The chickens are wonderful and I also love watching them being busy and chattering away. I like your memories too and in fact everything about this post and these diaries. It makes me want to go there even more! You should write your own memoirs about your 25 years of visiting Turkey. It would make a lovely book.

  2. What a lovely post - and what fun these chickens are! Not so sure I love the roosters at four in the morning, though maybe I should be used to them - have heard them often on my travels.

    Do keep writing about Turkey - it's obviously a very special place for you.

  3. I always enjoy your travel posts Anne. Good luck with those chickens and enjoy the sun! Look forward to hearing more about your trip.

  4. I've never been around many chickens that I can recall, although my aunt's neighbour had some when I was little. I love your travels in Turkey.

  5. Thanks JoJo.I don't know when the next time will be when I'll see any chickens apart from the supermarket.

  6. Thanks Anita,the holiday was in Sept these are just diaries I wrote when I was there enjoying it.

  7. Yes I bet you've heard them often Jo.

  8. Thanks Val that's lovely of you to say. I'm glad you're enjoying them.

  9. I've blogged out a great red-sun picture too except there are no chickens around. It's a good job there are no foxes there. Our neighbour used to have rescue chickens from the farm. She couldn't say no and ended up with over 20. Whenever they went away - and they often did - they'd ask us to feed them. It terrified me that one morning we'd go in to carnage. Sadly the fox got them in the end but not while we were looking after them thankfully.

  10. Awesome blog!!!

    Can we follow each other via gfc bloglovin and G+?


  11. Oh foxes are so bad here,my friend lost her rabbit to one.

  12. Anne, I've not been doing much blog reading over last few months so catching up with it all ;)

    What gorgeous pictures. Chickens are funny aren't they, we had some at a camp site we stayed on once.

    A really wonderful and descriptive account of your holiday.


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