Monday, October 31, 2011

Republic Day

Hasanlar Baraji Dam
Yiğilca, Turkey
To commemorate the official celebration of the republic, the Turkish Republic that is, we decided to frolic in the Turkish countryside. I am always up for a good frolic, you know. Tas, Victoria (a dear friend who lives in Duzce and is from Belgium and works at a pajama factory!!) and I headed out of Duzce, up into the mountains and vast bumpy dirt roads which take you to all kinds of places that aren't on any kind of map. We began our exploration with a very simple idea: a dessert picnic. I love picnics and dessert, so why not? We drove through rolling green hills with tiny villages tucked into the mountainsides with desserts piled into the backseat.  In the countryside, the sign up a spiraling minaret always signals a nearby town. We stopped at a nearby dam, famous for its scenic views and sprawling lakeside fishing shores for a good photo-op (photo top left). It was stunning, with the fall colors oozing into the countryside, highlighting every last drop of beauty before the winter steals it away into its whiteness. After an hour of discovering new berries clinging onto the last of the branches and photo shoots at every which-way angle, we got back in the car and chugged along towards the next big city. Our tummies had started to rumble and luckily, just as we noted our empty tummies, a mosque appeared! A town was close... we drove into the city center greeted with red and white flags strung in the center, signaling the celebration of the freedom of the republic. The town was quite small, so we stopped near the supermarket and asked a local man in the grocery store where the best restaurant in town was. True to Turkish hospitality, he warmly welcomed us to Turkey and personally escorted us across town to the restaurant and bid us happy Republic Day. We ate a delicious lunch of assorted meats and dishes, typically Turkish of course and kept warm by sitting next to the coal burning stove, which was placed smack dab in the middle of the restaurant. We inquired about some scenic locals and discovered a nearby waterfall where we could have our picnic! The roads there were lush, and full of houses with chickens clucking in the front yard, little boys hauling wood from one neighbor's house to the other and kids playing in the streets. A few bridges and a windy road later, we found ourselves at the foothills of the waterfall.
Saklikent Selsasi (the Saklikent Waterfall)
The most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen, the autumn colors were screaming to be photographed. If I have ever seen a natural movie set, it was here. I felt like I was in a movie, or witnessing some kind of fairy land. When I was a little girl, I used to imagine a place where the fairies of NeverNever Land go- this was what I pictured. Several waterfalls run together into crystal clear pools of water, branching off into baby waterfalls that flow into clear streams. We hiked around the waterfalls, munched on desserts and deciding that our return was eminent because of its loveliness. The greens, yellows and reds made me want pumpkin pie, a pumpkin spice latte and a good ole Macy's day parade. This is my first true fall outside of Florida and I feel inspired by the colors of of the season. I wish you all were here to take in the magnificence I am lucky enough to witness. 

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