Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just a Perfect Day!

Wednesday was my perfect day. Metin works part-time in what he calls the Limon bahcesi (Lemon garden)  or sometimes he calls it the Istanbul garden because the owners are from İstanbul. It is about 10 minutes walk from our site. He invited me to come and sit in their garden as the owners were away and they have no objection if İ come with him . It is a natural garden and runs down to the sea.

The real reason he invited me is that he knows English Gent is driving me mad. He sits beside me at the pool everyday and rattles on. Now İ can talk for İreland but this guy takes the biscuit. He is dying of loneliness since his wife died and doesn't know what to do with himself. He rushed into business with a Turkish guy and has encountered many problems on a steep learning curve. As a result he is the authority on all things Turkish and none of it is good. İ have been his life coach for the summer and crave some breathing space.

Take your pick. Quiet oases to sit and take in the view.

The view.

I was recovering from the news from home. Our beautiful 15 year old cat died on Monday. I can't begin to describe how that makes me feel. It is probably a blessing for her as she had been ill The Grand Old Lady with the Colgate Smile  and Steamed Cat but I will miss her plonking herself on my keyboard and demanding attention. The thought of another poolside session was just too much so I jumped at the offer.

Cat and tortoise have decided to ignore each other after an initial investigation

There are several stray cats on the property and part of Metin's job is to feed them. When I arrived there was two beauties eating and Metin was sitting at a table reading the paper. I can see this is an onerous job!! I joined him but was soon startled by a strange bang, bang noise. I looked around and was told not to worry it was two tortoises making whoppee. I had to investigate, this was a first for me and boy, was it noisy!
Caught in flagrante delicto!
We then went to the lower garden. Metin had placed a chaise longue in the shade for me right in front of a deck in the sea. He read the paper and then set to work. He is building a small stone jetty out to the deck. He was diving for rocks and then rolling them into the shore and gradually building up the existing pier.

The perfect resting place!

Metin's rubber shoes are waiting for him. The seabed is rocky

Metin dives to look for stones............

....locates one...........

............rolls it along the seabed.............

.............time to get that stone out..............

Building up the jetty

Our own private deck.

 While Metin was working I had a wander around the garden.There was an abundance of fruit trees, pomegranate, lemon , orange, mandarin, figs and then there were grapes climbing all over the second house in the garden.

A  gate leads into the garden

One of the many paths winding its way through.

The empty house, the cats sleep in a room here in the winter, a mattress and an oil filled radiator have been provided for them.

Metin picks grapes for our picnic.

The mandarins will ripen in October

The lemons will soon ripen.

Figs, I thought these only came in fig roll biscuits:-)

 Not all the figs were at ground level but they were juicy and ripe.

Quince (reminds me of "The Owl and the Pussycat")

If Metin ever leaves his job he has been offered a permanent home here but of course that will come at a price. In addition to the fruit trees mentioned, there are grapefruit trees. The grapefruit are unlike the ones İ know,  long in shape rather than round. Most of the fruits are not ripe at the moment and so are green.

The grapefruit will swell in shape but still retain this basic shape.


We should not forget the flowers growing randomly in the garden.

Gone to seed?

After my garden exploration it was definitely time to get wet. Metin continued to work while I dived in off the deck. Pure bliss. The water was crystal clear, I could see my toes. I had a good swim. There is a hotel nearby and I swam to their deck and turned round. The smell of lunch cooking on the hotel terrace made me hungry.

I wouldn't have minded a trip on one of these!

Metin was also feeling the hunger pangs so he hopped on his motorbike and bought kofte, meatballs served in bread with salad and the toasted like panini. This was followed with fresh figs and grapes from the garden.

Metin went back to work and I was left in blissful silence....actually not true, the cicadas were kicking up a mighty racket, but compared to English Gent rehashing the same old complaints it was as good as blissful silence.

Metin also catches up with his reading when he gets a chance. His newspapers await.

 I spent the rest of the afternoon alternately reading and swimming and I might have even caught a few zzzzz's. Five o'clock and I headed home, tired but extremely relaxed. What a perfect way to spend the day.

A view of Türkbükü Bay on the walk home.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Morning Is Not The Only Thing That Has Broken!

Not my intended Friday post but I thought I'd share this with you anyway. It is my last morning in Türkbükü.  I fly back to Dublin tomorrow morning which means leaving here at an ungodly hour. İ woke up in time to catch the sunrise, so İ hopped out of bed and set out with my camera. İ don't want to waste a precious minute today.

But typical me, it couldn't be straightforward. This evening a New Zealand couple İ have never met are coming to stay for a week. İ have registered our place here for home swop as we plan to visit Norway next summer. But more about that in a later post. İ've been frantically cleaning to have the place in good shape when they arrive and create a good impression. This morning as İ was pulling up one of the bedroom shutters the cord snapped. I can only hope Metin can work wonders!

Morning is not the only thing that has broken!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Seven Deadly Links

My Seven Deadly Links

My thanks to both Penelope Pennie James of Don't hang Up and Joy Page Manuel of Catharis for landing me in this predicament.  What predicament you might ask? They tagged me for the #My 7  Deadly Links challenge. I have to choose seven of my posts under 7 specific categories, and then nominate four more victims.

Now that sounds as if I view this as a negative exercise. It most definitely isn't.  I am honoured to be chosen. I belong to Personal Bloggers are Us . This is a group of seriously good writers. I slipped in by the back door, wondering sometimes what I'm doing here. So to be in such company is daunting but I reckon they need someone for light relief now and then.....you know, like my Dad used to read our comics when sitting on the loo. That's me, the light relief, but as I say all God's creatures got a place in the choir!

So  to my seven posts.

My Most Beautiful post. This has to be one of my photo posts. It was harder to narrow down than I thought. I was caught between the historical richness of Turkey and lushness of the Irish countryside. In the end it was a tie between two posts one situated in Cappadocia, the other in the county they call "The Kingdom." Killarney, Co. Kerry  in the south west of Ireland. I chose Killarney one because of the beauty of the countryside. It is just such a pity we have to get so much rain to produce the 40 shades of green.

My Most Popular post is Photo Safari Goreme This was one of the first posts I wrote. It was part of a series I wrote for Turkish Living Forum about our holiday to Cappadocia and Mardin. I was encouraged to write a blog in case the forum ever crashed and I lost my posts. The rest is history. While this post has the highest number of page views it has no comments. I think it is mainly viewed by those planning to travel to this region.

My Most Controversial post! Hmmm. I don't do controversial. But I have to choose something.  So I chose my recent post Culture Clash Trouble in Paradise. This is about the the differences in how different cultures treat the "staff" here in Turkey. Being friendly  with them is frowned upon. I was told who I should not be friends with or who should not be allowed to stay in my home as it was not helpful to the running of our complex. Notice this is framed in the negative.  It was a controversial subject for me, rather than being a controversial post.

My Most Helpful post. Again a challenge. I'm beginning to think the focus of my blog is too narrow:-) Many have read the blog as a reference of where to visit and to stay when touring Turkey.  In this sense a help. In the early days my blog recieved very few comments but the post that I consider to be most helpful is Irish Tourist Visa for a Turkish National.  The whole visa process is a nightmare and this post outlined the steps and difficulties in acquiring a visa if you are the holder of a Turkish passport.

My Surprising Successful post?  Uninvited Guest. I'm not sure if it was the title of this post, uninvited guests...we've all had them, the mental image of me sitting on the loo with my feet up staring at the scorpion or the idea of the look of fear on a young man's face as he received an urgent summons to my bedroom that  caught people's fancy.

 A Post that Didn't get the Attention it Deserved. There are so many to choose from :-) But I like this one. Warning - Directions in Middle Age.html.  It kind of sums up where I am right now.

The Post I'm Most Proud Of. Strangely enough this is the hardest one to choose for me. I began writing the blog for family and friends to follow my adventures in Turkey, because, believe me, everyday there is something to make you smile, the only other option is to scream with temper. Turkey is not a place for the faint hearted, for those who cannot go with the flow. But the blog evolved into a little more. People tell me I'm artistic and creative but I don't see that. I know I'm an ideas person and I love a new challenge. But once I've given birth to the idea and got it started I like to leave it to someone else to rear. My blog posts are a bit similar. Once they are written I move on. Probably because I don't see myself as a writer. So for this challenge I have given this a lot of thought. I chose Istanbul Day 1. This post is what my blog is all about, the adventures of a crazy girl. I hope you enjoy my selection.

Now for my nominations, if they wish to take up the challenge.

 I would like to nominate Lucy Patterson of Life Through Lucylastica's Lense Her blog is in her own words her random ramblings and personal observations  inspired by life around her. She has also been hosting "Chooseday Choons

I would also like to nominate Josie of Josie Speaks Up Josie has moved on to new pastures but this might be a nice way to celebrate the end of one blog and hopefully the beginning of another.

Next is Anne Dickens of The Day After Yesterday Her blog will make you laugh out loud at her humorous look at life after moving from London to the depths of the Oxfordshire countryside.

Last but by no means least Corinne of Everyday Gyaan Corinne is a source of constant inspiration to many people.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trouble in Paradise: The Sequel

We have all been waiting for the site meeting. It is important for all of us, but especially for Ali. He is ready to leave, in fact he is adamant that if the site manager remains, he will have his bags packed in the morning. The rest of the house owners don't want him to go. However at the same time they feel, that apart from her superior attitude, Site Manager has done a good job during the year.

It is impossible to tell which way English Gent will jump. While saying he wants Ali to stay he also exaggerates how little Ali was on site during the year. He seems to play two sides of the fence. Hotel owner is normally in constant touch with Ali but now has been strangely mute.

I have the mandate vote of  Absent Landlord. He wants everyone to grow up, shake hands and sort it out.
Two days before the meeting I have coffee with Ankara Lady. We are of like minds. I get a chance to say what I think. The biggest issue for me is that I am often here on my own and I feel secure knowing that Ali is about. The slightest problem and he will help me sort it out. Ankara Lady feels exactly the same. She also informs me Hotel Owner and her family want him to stay. I felt confident of the outcome of the meeting.

At last it was Sunday evening.  The meeting was held in English Gent's house. I arrived early and Site Manager and her husband  American Spy was there. As a tenant he should not have been present. She began to translate her report for the two of us before the others arrived. Next to arrive was Deserted Wife. She came to represent her landlord, Absent Landlord but I explained I was doing this. She really wanted to represent her own views. She had no mandate nor had she spoken to Absent Landlord.  Ankara Lady and her husband arrived next. Finally, Hotel Owner and her two sons arrived. Ali was with them. Immediately Site Manager bridled. Ali should not be at the meeting she said but either no-one heard or no-one heeded her.

The meeting began uneventfully. A meeting Chairperson was elected.  The formalities were dealt with. Site Manager, Ali and English Gent were thanked for their work for the Site during the year. Next on the agenda was the election for the Site Manager for the coming year. It was after this the sparks began to fly.

Everyone wanted Site Manager to remain. She wanted persuading. I knew that if she stayed Ali would go. I was now extremely worried. As she required persuading Hotel Owners sons were proposed,  No. 1 son lives in Istanbul, No. 2 son is very busy. It was proposed that they could help present Site Manager. She says that first everyone should know what was involved. This led to a discussion about Ali.

Site Manager tells Hotel Owner Ali should not be present. She has a point but he has been present at all the meetings in the past. He overhears her and his tension, which has been building up over the past few weeks explodes and he shouts at her that if she doesn't want him there he will leave. Others try to calm him but he storms out.

Oh Oh! Unhelpful to his own case. I translate for English Gent. American Spy, speaks very disparagingly about Ali. English Gent asks him why is he American Spy at the meeting. If Ali should not be at the meeting of house owners why is he there? What is his role? He is merely a tenant. American Spy gets very heated. According to him Ali has threatened his wife.This is a question of semantics. During an argument he threatened to leave, probably if he didn't get his own way. Is this threatening her or is it a statement of fact?  It is certainly not a personal threat.

English gent is now on his feet yelling at American Spy. He tells him he is a Jew who grew up in the 40's. He better than anyone should know what it is like to have people despise and look down on you. How can he do the same to the "peasant Ali"

American Spy is now roaring back at English Gent.  Deserted Wife is trying to calm American Spy. I'm trying to calm English Gent and eventually order is restored.

The discussion goes back to the necessity for a  workers contract. Amazingly, No.2 Son is speaking for Ali. He asks everyone how long a normal working day should be. Everyone replies 8 hours, his point was that we would need 3 men to do Ali's job. So he should have a contract and be allowed to work outside the site.

Site Manager quotes all kinds of problems from social security if he has an accident while working outside the site. She says he can't go, if he has an accident welding, rock climbing, riding his motor bike etc. there would be penalties for the site. Why did we send him to work outside? He is not covered. I wonder if this includes walking their dog!

Ankara Lady's husband spoke very well all through the meeting. If what Site Manager said was the case no-one would ever work. It also highlighted the need for a contract which would make it clear when he was on his own time and when he was on site time.

In the meantime Ali reappeared below the terrace where we were sitting. He was obviously upset. I looked at Ankara Lady and she gave me the nod to go to him. I was followed by No.2 son. We spoke to Ali and calmed him down. he rejoined the meeting and the discussion continued with regard to a working contract. Site Manager was resisting. Hotel Owner, who had shot this down when I proposed it 2 years previously, was coming round. The writing was on the wall.

Ankara Lady and her husband are very well respected. Because the proposal was coming from them it was being well received. I said very little because I could see how the land was lying. I'm looked upon, by the resisters, as the foreigner who stirred up this mess. None of this would be happening except for me. I had disturbed the status quo.

 If looks could kill American Spy had fried me to a frizzle 10 times over by now. He tried to inform the meeting that this wasn't England or Ireland and we couldn't apply those standards here. It's Turkey and we must apply Turkish standards. This is coming from him, American Spy, who has lived here for many years with a Turkish wife and still has only about 2 words of Turkish!  My answer? We are in Turkey but we live in a multi-national site, Turks, Irish, English and American. Surely we can all make adjustments, meet in the middle, work within the existing system to allow someone to improve their standard of living.

The die was cast, the contract will be drawn up. All that was left to be decided was who would be the new Site Manager. To cut a long story short. No. 1 son will be aided by No. 2 son and English Gent. Site Manager will look after the accounts and of course I must know give her a new name. How about The B**** formerly known as S.M. or Ms. Hoity Toity?

I may have lost the goodwill of the Site Manager and Hotel Owner but it has been worth it. Two years after I originally requested a caretakers work contract it is now about to be a reality. It couldn't have been done without the backing of Ankara Lady and her Husband. The view is that I'm a foreigner and I'm just trying to impose European standards in their place. The truth is they don't want their comfortable lives upset. As a house owner, I'm 1/9 of the caretakers employer and I will not be responsible for almost slave conditions.

It has been a difficult summer. I am the middle ground. Because I speak both English and Turkish, I have been the sounding board for all sides. I have been arguing Ali's case in particular with English Gent. I have had a long conversations with Ankara Lady, who luckily for me, sees the situation in the same way as I do. It seems to have been the only topic of conversation for the past five weeks and I'm so tired of it.

Has it been worth it.?
Yes, yes and yes again. I now have to fit in a summers relaxation into the next 10 days. This day fortnight the kids, and me of course, are back in school.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Back Troubles and TLC?

It's been a funny old week. One thing for sure, my body is falling apart! Tuesday I turned to reach for something on the kitchen counter when my back went. I don't know what happened as I certainly wasn't overstretching. I think it just went into spasm.
I used to have a similiar problem, it occurs most frequently when I'm teaching the smaller children and am constantly bending down to talk to them or work with them. In recent years, I've learned to bring them up to my desk or to get right down on my knees instead of bending.

Anyway, after my usual breakfast with Metin, I walked very gingerly back to the house and decided a couple of hours bed rest was in order. I did some breathing exercises to relax the back but wasn't having much luck. The next thing there was a knock at the door, well actually two knocks, by the time I got downstairs. It was Tuğce, a young Turkish girl I have been helping to learn English and also to swim. İ explained what had happened and no lessons today.

I then hobbled back to bed, I even contemplated lying on the floor. At times like this it would be so helpful to live in a bungalow! I rang Metin and told him the promised dinner that evening would not be forthcoming, İ was not cooking today.

My friend Gülsüm rang to invite me to dinner. Unfortunately İ was not in a position to accept. What do you know, half an hour later another knock on the door. 'Meals on Wheels' had arrived. Gülsüm had arrived to feed me. Seeing the difficulty İ had standing up or sitting down she immediately offered to bring me to the doctor. I told her İ would be fine. rest and drugs would do the trick. In the meantime back up those stairs.

A little later Metin rang. The penny had dropped. English Gent had seen my terrace door open but there had been no sign of me all day. He was asking everyone if they had seen me. Metin said İ had rung him to change our evening plans. He thought İ had gone to Gülsüms. Peter insisted that if İ had gone İ would have closed the terrace door as usual. Hence the phone call. Then the lecture, 'Why hadn't İ said İ was hurt, Was İ ok? What did İ need?  Get the picture? Guess why İ didn't say anything? Then he informed me he was coming. But I could hear rapid Turkish in the background. Ankara Lady. Did İ have any painkillers etc.

 Thing was İ wasn't in acute pain just moving about was difficult. İ told Metin if he was coming to use the spare key. I couldn't face the stairs again. Then İ was told it was Ankara Lady that was coming. I just had time to thank the Lord I had spent the last week giving the house a really good clean. Probably why my back decided to act up. It is allergic to housework!

She couldn't have been nicer. She brought anti-inflammatory jel and painkillers with her. I was one step ahead of her,  while on the horizontal of course. İ'm a veteran now. İn the past year İ've had rotator cuff tendonitis in both shoulders, and a frozen shoulder at the same time. More recently, my knee has been giving me jip. And İ'm only 53:-(((((

 İ was well supplied with anti-inflammatories, tablets and jel, and of course Nurofen plus. She insisted on applying the jel. My impressions of this gentle lady have now changed forever. Don't ever cross this woman. She has hands of steel. She applied the jel and starting rubbing it in gently. İt was so nice but İ was being lulled into a sense of false security. Then she began to massage the painful area. By the time she was finished, İ was biting my lip. My head firmly buried in the pillow to prevent me disgracing myself. Ankara Lady, offered to bring me food. İ assured her İ had been well supplied. She left only when sure İ was well looked after.

As she left İ began to feel very sorry for myself. İ'm so selfish. İ have 'only' two weeks holidays left and İ resented being laid up for whatever small part of that time. I have things to do and places to go! The eyes were definitely watering when Metin appeared at the door, flowers in his hand and apologies for not realising earlier I might be in difficulties. That really made the tears flow. At home, İ'm the caregiver. İ can't afford to have a meltdown. Too many people depend on me to be strong. Here it is the opposite. Here İ am the one that is looked after and fussed over.

İ have been pampered and cosseted by my friends for the past four days. Tuğçe,s Mam has even text to see if İ am alright and if she can do anything for me. İ have not had to cook until today. My meals have been delivered. Now I have almost completely recovered. Yesterday İ swam slowly for half an hour and today İ went to yoga for some gentle stretching. There is only one thing left that must heal.

The bruise, the size of a plate, that Ankara Lady's tender ministrations bequeathed me!
She was mortified when she saw it. İ told her not to worry, İ got better quickly because of her massage but İ will never cross her in the future. She tried to kill me. She contends it was a very gentle massage, it is my tender white skin that is not used to being massaged.

 Judge for yourself!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning in Amarsa.

I had planned my early morning walk around Amasra. As Hubbie and Sis-in-Law wanted to sleep, Metin decided to escort me. I don't need an escort. Ever since I got over the initial feeling of foreigness when I first came here on my own, I have felt totally safe walking around by myself.  I'm not foolish and wander round after dark but in the daytime people fall over themselves to be helpful. But Metin shares the same love of photography that I do. He is also used to being up early, hence the offer to be my escort.

Early morning view of hte beach where we swam yesterday. It looks so nice in the distance,
 I usually tap on his door about 07.30 and we set out. I often lose him on the way. He is a man and a lot more practical about taking photos than I am, one shot of anything is enough. He takes photos as mementoes rather than trying to capture exactly what he sees. We gave him a small Canon Powershot camera three years ago for his thirtieth birthday and it goes everywhere with him. It takes surprisingly good photos and of course he has a "good eye"

Mouth of the Bay

This morning to my surprise there was a light tap on our door at 07.00am. I got up quietly not to disturb Hubbie and sure enough there was Metin outside the door. I thought he had come to collect me for our walk. He was dressed but looked the worse for the wear. He wanted to know if we had any water in our room. He had been horribly sick throughout the night and was now totally dehydrated. He had been waiting until he thought I would be awake.

We have always said he is like our son and this morning certainly proved it. He was like a little boy at our door looking for his Mammy to come and make it all better. I got him back to his room, went out and bought him a large bottle of water and gave him Motilium tablets to settle his stomach. Then to his embarrasment and relief I sorted out the mess in his bathroom. We were facing a four hour drive back to Ankara and then the flight to Bodrum. What a nightmare for him.

Ten minutes after the "magic tablet he was feeling better and insisting he was well enough to go for a walk. I told him he was crazy and to rest up until we had to check out. But no, as usual mammies know nothing and He-Man would feel better if he got some fresh air.

This is my favourite time of the day for walking and the town looked better in the early morning sunshine.  No crowds, just some of the traders setting up shop. Unfortunately the cleaners still hadn't been to work.
 We made our way to the castle and I could see that He-Man was beginning to flag. I wanted to go back to the hotel but he told me he would sit and rest and I could come back for him.

Metin begins to flag.
He sat near an old lady. I asked permission to take her photo and then I head off. When I came back they were both waiting for me, with a hundred questions. This lady was a throwback to a different era. We chatted, and Metin and herself discussed changes in language over the years.

Our morning companion, skivving off work!
The next thing we heard a mobile phone was ringing. The old lady reached up under her jumper, and there  on a belt, in it's own leather pouch was her mobile phone. She had a quick look and switched it off.  Metin, being Turkish, had to know the ins and outs of everything asked who was ringing her. She said it was her family back at their pansyion. They wanted her back to work. She carried on with the chat. The phone rang again. Once more she reached under her jumper and switched it off. She didn't move from her perch on the wall until we moved off.

Metin was flagging visibly. When we got back to the hotel the power was still off so he had to walk up 4 flights of stairs. Got him safely to his room and told him to sleep. There were no arguments this time.
I met up with the others downstairs. We thought breakfast was in a room off reception. When we got there, it turns out it was on the terrace .....on the fifth floor and the electricity was still out. It was a lot of stairs. I had been up and down them like a yo-yo.

I told them about Metin. Sis-in-Law, while genuinely feeling concerned for him, was grateful that in the restaurant the previous evening when handed her plate with sea bass, she politely passed it on to Metin. She took the second plate. If not, she might have been the one in the bathroom all night!

We had to check out at eleven, the electricty was back, so we didn't have to haul the bags down the stairs. I went to pay the bill, but the machine for processing the Visa card was still not working. So it  was out the door to look for the nearest ATM. Luckily it was working. I'm sure Metin didn't fancy washing dishes for the next week and neither did we.

We settled our bill and made our way back over the mountains to Ankara. From there it was a short flight back to Bodrum. A short but very interesting trip.
Goodbye to Amasra

Where next you may ask? I feel Gallipoli calling, but that will be next year.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Once again I headed out at 07.30 for my early morning walk. I took the same path down to the canyon but carried on further than yesterday. As I crossed the second bridge I was greeted with a cacophony of sound. I was being serenaded. What a nice start to the day, the others miss so much by sleeping in.

Leaving Safranbolu, we decided it would be a pity to visit the Black Sea Region and not see the sea. So we set off for Amasra. The drive was beautiful, the road wound its way through wooded mountains, so of course we had to have a photostop.

On ariving in Bartin we decided to follow the brown sign to Imkumu. The brown signs usually denote areas of historical interest. Again, we made our way up and down mountains. There was no place to pull in for photos, but suddenly a bay opened up in front of us, we had arrived. It was a beautiful long sandy beach, very much a family resort. Instead of a prevalence of sunbeds and parasols, people were sitting on carpets. The women were dressed in bikinis and bhurkinis, they were swimming in full dress and in swimsuits.

We dipped our feet in and had a walk along the beach. Hubbie was hiding from the sun as usual. It hates him with a vengence. If he as much as shows his nose it is burned in two minutes flat. As for using sun cream, no way! It's slawmy messy stuff. It's much better to hide.

After the walk we joined Sean for an ice-cream and a coffee and decided we better head on our way. Amasra is supposed to be beautiful, with an old castle. If Imkumu is anything to go by we are in for a treat. Once more we went up and down and up and down mountains. Some of the hairpins are not for the faint hearted. I've been planning to go to Norway next summer but these roads are really putting me off the idea.

We arrived in Amasra. I wanted to turn the car around and head back for Imkumu. There was very little beach and what little there was was covered in sunbeds, so there was no beach to be seen. It was crowded hot and noisy and we still had to find a hotel. We asked at tourist information, to be told everywhere was very busy and we'd be lucky to find three rooms.

We set out to look ourselves and Metin managed to find a hotel with three rooms though there was a good deal of discussion about the type of rooms and whether there should be double or single beds. I heard the main receptionist tell her colleague that European couples always want single beds. I just wanted any bed. We were hot and sticky.

We decided to go for a swim. The beach wasn't five minutes from the hotel. We opted to go to the smaller beach, it wasn't as crowded. It was man-made. The sand was black and coarse.

There was rubbish everywhere including in the sea. However, we still decided to swim. The sea was full of baby jellyfish. I was not a happy camper.

Has Hubbie become Arabic? No, he is just hiding from the sun!
Later that evening, we decided to go to the Canli balik restaurant.

It had been recommended by several people. We all had fish, Hubbie had bream, Metin and Breda sea bass and I had whitebait. The salad was beautifully presented.

The setting was beautiful, we were beside the sea, we just had to ignore the empty bottles in the water. Ducks sat beside us, waiting for some tidbits and of course they got them.

We rounded off the evening with a wander through the town, we passed the castle walls and I promised myself another photographic tour early in the morning before breakfast. Metin planS to join me, Hubbie and Sis-in-Law plan to sleep.