Friday, December 24, 2010

Home, Sweet Kaş -or- Everyone Needs a Break from Traveling

Posted by Melissa

Kaş harbor
October 10, 2010
After many weeks of traveling we have reached Kaş, the little town on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey, that will be home for the next three weeks.  If you've been following us for a while, you already know, we like to travel slowly. We generally like to stay a minimum of about 3 days in any place and prefer about a week or so when possible.

Even with such slow travel, we knew we wanted to break it up with a longer term stay. We feel that we are better able to meet local residents and get to know the culture when we really slow down. As budget travelers we also appreciate the lower costs of longer term stays such as one week holiday rentals or longer term apartment rentals.

After considering many small towns, we chose Kaş. We found and rented our apartment on a visit here a week earlier and are now very excited to be arriving at our new home! This time we arrive by bus and get a different view than our earlier visit by boat.

It is near the end of the season and the town center is not as busy as it would be in mid-summer.
Restaurants on town square
Restaurants on town square
Our apartment is above a jewelry store on a street of small shops, just up from the harbor. That's us on the left side of the street - the green balcony!
Uzuncarsi Street
Our landlord's shop with fabulous silver jewelry - some of his own design, some Ottoman style, some imported. I'm not much of a shopper, but I did find a beautiful Ottoman design pendant I just couldn't live without.  Stop in if you are ever in town and please tell Coskin (pronounced Josh for short) that Melissa and Thane say "Hi."
Ah, home . . . .
Our front balcony looks over the shops and cobblestone street below.

My own kitchen!!!! - A refrigerator, 4 burner stove and a WASHING MACHINE!!!! It will be such a treat to wash our clothes in a machine after weeks of bathroom sinks. We even tried washing them in the shower a couple of times. You know, dump dirty clothes in shower, drizzle shampoo on clothes, stomp naked on clothes until feet and clothes are both clean. A washing machine is just so civilized!

We also have a lovely patio at the back of the apartment. Oh, there's Thane using the "small broom." We've seen these brooms all over Turkey. Lots of people, young and old, uses them. The first time we noticed them was in a store. We thought the handles must be sold separately, but no, they are used just as they come, sans handle. We asked a couple of people about them and were met with blank stares. "What's wrong with the brooms??" I think I'll stick with a long handled broom myself.

The peaceful view from our rear deck. Ah, curl up on the cushioned bench, read a book, and watch the light change on the hill as the sun goes down. I LOVE traveling slowly....

The small street behind our house. Quaint isn't it? That's what we thought too. . . before we discovered that the bar on the right, with the little stone walls, plays loud American disco every night. They start at about 10 or 11 in the evening and go until 2 or 3 in the morning. Did I mention "LOUD"? It's summer and we sleep with the windows open. Since there is nothing that we can do about the music, we change our schedule to match theirs. We have no where to be early in the morning, so we stay up quite late every night, although not always until they are done playing. I even discover that, after a few days, I am able to sleep through the music. I've always been a light sleeper who needs quiet to sleep. I am delighted to find that I can change!

After unpacking our meager bags (we travel with one backpack each which includes our clothes, books, shoes, and bathroom stuff plus a small daypack each for computers) we head out to do a little grocery shopping. Kaş has a couple of supermarkets that are similar to American markets, although considerably smaller. We also discover there is a weekly market where we can buy spices,
Spices at Kaş weekly market
fresh produce, honey, eggs, olive oil, clothes, DVDs, shoes and . . .
Kaş weekly market - with the handle-less broom
every metal gadget that a man could want that is related to cooking over wood. Wood fired samovars (you saw one if you read my blog about our picnic with Ahmet), round gözleme pans, wire flip baskets - perfect for cooking chicken wings. Shiny metal objects and fire - every man's dream!
Kaş weekly market
One of the fun parts of shopping in a new country is seeing all the things you can't identify - here's one. This seems to be a fruit, it was about 5" long with bright red, juicy seeds. Anyone know what it is? We sure don't.

Here's another interesting item - Our butter comes packaged like this.  It has a clear plastic lid that covers the butter when not in use.
Turkish Butter
The shopping is finished and we have our first home cooked (well, maybe I should say "cooked by me") meal in weeks. It is all cooked Turkish style (we really love Turkish food!). Green beans cooked with tomatoes and onions, but no water. Rice cooked with orzo and plenty of butter. A loaf of bread, fresh from the bakery and costing about 50 cents! And a Chicken Stew, so thick it goes on the plate. Yum. Happy us. . .

Now a glass of wine and a game of backgammon on our little front balcony overlooking our new home town. The shops stay open until about midnight. Soft breezes, voices drifting up from the shoppers below, the sounds of dice rolled and backgammen pieces slapped down on the wooden game board, glasses clinking at the bar across the street, sweet life. Sweet indeed.
Evening on Uzuncarsi Street
Up Next:  More adventures in Kaş (we stay for 3 weeks)

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