Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lazy Days and Good Times in Kaş

October 2010
It was easy to feel at home in Kaş. We quickly settled into a routine that included almost daily trips to shop (the bakery for fresh bread, the green grocer for produce, and the supermarket for most everything else) and usually a couple of walks through town. There were so many little details that we enjoyed discovering, such as these two brightly decorated floors.
Porch steps decorated with tile bits
Tile floor in store on across from our apartment
or ancient windows into dusty yards.
Side street window in Kaş
and of course the street cats and dogs. We discovered that there are LOTS of street animals everywhere we went in Turkey. Most are well behaved, although when several dogs get together, it can be a bit dicey. The cats, in particular, seem to hang around outdoor cafes waiting for scraps. Of course, I found them hard to resist, and generally shared a bit of my meal with them. There seems to be quite a few places were people feed them as we would stumble upon little old ladies or little old men with bags of stale bread or, my favorite, this little feeding station in a stone wall right next to the King's Tomb at the top of our street.
Cat in a box - Kaş
This sweet little kitten was very hard to put down!
Can you tell that I love cats?
This one loved to sneak into our apartment through the open windows and doors.  It's a bit disconcerting though in the middle of the night to hear the thud when he jumps through the window into the living room.  It took us a while to get used to our new family member's nocturnal comings and goings. 
Cat on our apartment balcony
One of the things I like best about travel is discovering the differences, as well as the similarities, between cultures. One difference was the prevalence of motorcycles and motor scooters throughout Turkey. This guy is a great example as he appears to be heading off to work on his motorcycle. Someone told us that cars are VERY expensive in Turkey with substantial taxes levied. So much so that many people choose to go without a car and use alternate transportation including bikes and the fabulous bus system.
Heading to work
So of course, I began looking for the perfect scooter for me. I think this one will do just fine!
Is this one perfect for me?
Another difference seems to be the pace of life. Storekeepers have time during the day to enjoy life a bit, to relax and visit with each other.  We found store clerks and owners drinking tea, playing tavla and just generally visiting with each other on the stoops in front of the stores whenever they had a quiet moment in the store. 
Seline in white blouse and purple skirt
and yet another difference - small stores such as this one (Thane's favorite) are found every couple of blocks and each seems to stock an amazing array of items.  This one stayed open very late for any after hours urgent needs like almonds, chocolate or beer.

Every street in town offered a new vignette. This old boat is in front of a restaurant a block or two from our apartment.

This lady was carrying on an animated conversation with the older gentleman below.

We wondered what the chair was for. Is he going to climb up? is she going to climb down? I hope they are eloping!
I know- it's blurry, but I loved this scene
One of Thane's favorites was this hard worker who appears to be changing the curb color from white to yellow. Will he be ticketing the white van when he is finished?

Of course not everyday is perfect for strolling through town. We had some mighty storms roll through. Our little balcony proved to be the perfect vantage point to wait out some of the rain storms.

Our balcony also gave us a great view of the goings on in town such as this wedding which we witnessed from above.

When we decided to head downstairs to get a closer look we were promptly offered some of the delicious food being served. Just one more example of Turkish hospitality.

And best of all, our friendly landlord Coskun, his sweet wife Selin and lovely daughter Nadine.
Nadine and Coskun - Photo taken from Coskun's facebook pics
Selin - on her birthday
They were all so kind and made us feel welcome. We celebrated Selin's birthday at a local bar

with THREE delicious, home made desserts and

good new friends, Michael, ıtır, and Muge.

It would be so easy to slip into a life in this lovely town.  We plan to return when we can and we make good use of facebook in the meantime to keep in touch with our friends from Kaş.

Up next:  Our final days in Kaş including a massive celebration of Republic day and a end of season street party/BBQ/Potluck that Coskun organizes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Doors of Kaş

Mid October 2010

Today I give you a simple photo essay. I was enchanted by the doors in Kaş. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Our back door which opens from the small street behind our apartment.

This door is on the second floor of a building that no longer has a roof or what must have been a balcony at one time.  Careful, that first step is a doozy!

The dive shop behind our apartment

Front door on a building that has been mostly torn down to make way for big, modern building

These photos were taken during our stay in Kaş, Oct. 10 to Nov. 2, 2010.

Up next: Daily life in Kaş, some of the things that made this place special for us.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tombs and Trails of Kaş

Posted by Melissa
Mid October 2010

After settling in our new apartment, it was time to explore the town.  We immediately noticed the large number of rock cut tombs in the area.  Modern Kaş was built atop the remains of the ancient Lycian city of  Habesos or Habesa, built in the 4th century BC.  It is one of the oldest settlements in the region of Lycia.  The Greeks later called it Antiphellos. Phellos, the Greek word for 'stony place' was a perfect choice!

This tomb, called Krai Mezari (King's Tomb), is right at the top of our street. It was carved from a single block and has eight lines of script in the Lycian language which have yet to be deciphered. The lid of the sarcophagus contains four lion heads, two on each side.
Krai Mezari (King's Tomb)
Other tombs are scattered throughout town.  This one has a house built right on top of it!

This one is carved into the hillside a few blocks from our apartment, near the edge of town.

I guess when you have so many tombs around, they just don't seem as special as they might if they were discovered in, oh I don't know, maybe Grass Valley!  This tomb is in a dusty area used as the parking lot for the weekly market.

As we were exploring town one day, this little lady motioned for us to follow her.  She took us down a little street, past a snarling dog, through rocks and brush and then to this tomb.  Amazing. 

And then to this one.  Of course, she requested a little compensation for her efforts which we were very happy to pay.  We would not have found these on our own.

We discovered this tomb overlooking the harbor at the edge of town.

After a few days exploring in town it was time for a bigger hike.  We headed out to the Lycian Way, a 509 kilometer trail that extends Fethiye to Antalya.  I think just a few miles will do for us today.

To get to the trail, we hiked south out of town, down to this little beach and back up the other side.

Through oak forests that remind me a bit of California.

And up through some homes built above the beach.  Thane loved this sign!  I wonder if they get many clients stopping in after hiking the trail.  I'll have to keep this in mind for the way back out!

It took a while, but we finally found the trail.

And a guide!  This little guy found us before we found the trail.  He stuck with us for the entire hike.  He seemed to know the trail very well and encouraged us to to follow him whenever we came to a fork in the trail.  We eventually decided to trust him and he did us right!

We passed this house a couple of miles into our hike.  With no road nearby, it appears that they have to hike in just as we did.  The lady of the house was standing on the back patio washing dishes and waved a hello to us.  It seemed like a history book photo come alive!

Another day found us heading north out of town, hiking around a peninsula of newer, very upscale homes over looking the Greek Island of Meis.  Although it is only a 20 minute ferry ride from Kaş, and we were there for three weeks, we somehow didn't find the time to visit. We attended a couple of parties with the mayor of Meis and he chided us for our oversight.  I guess we'll just have to go back!

Our next hike had a nice surprise for us - a torrential downpour.  We ducked under cover to try to wait out the storm.  When Thane pointed the camera at me I thought he was just playing around.  Nope, he captured a soaking, tired, me giving him a "what are you doing?" look. 
Time to head back to the apartment for some hot tea and a warm shower!

Up Next:  More about Kaş, the people, the doors, the festivities!