For the last few days of our trip, Maggie, Janet, and I are ensconced at the Otel Gumusluk a few feet from the ocean. After arriving Sunday, we had a short walk along the beach to the Club Gumusluk for dinner as the sun set over Rabbit Island and the bay.
Along the beach the kabak lanterns adorned with pretty patterns and lights were lit as the sun sank lower in the sky to the delight of patrons of the Club’s ringside seats.
We ordered a modest dinner of cold meze appetisers and were presented with a dessert and a beautiful tray of flowers, lights, chocolate, with a heavily watered-down shot of liqueur gratis by waiter Orhan, a small man about 25 years old, who took a real shine to Maggie.
The finale to the evening was the beautiful flower blossoms scattered randomly onto the table.
Our hotel is about one hundred meters from the beach; just in front of us is this empty lot with a beached fishing boat ready and waiting for some dedicated soul to refurbish it.
Our breakfast feast takes place in this tarp-covered open air dining room.
The beach here is very pleasant, gently curved and somewhat narrow with coarse grey sand and warm water. Tides here are practically non-existent, only varying by about two feet from high to low.
Lots of energetic people were out on the water swimming, kayaking, and wind surfing.
On our second evening we walked along the harbour checking out all the fish restaurants while being importuned by waiters as we passed, whispering the names of fish in our ears.
Some of the restaurants are beautifully decorated. All have the same menu, variations on the theme of fish.
We chose the last restaurant on the strip; the food was ok but not great. (In retrospect, it was actually not very good and too much money for what we had. Also, unlike at Club Gumusluk and a few of the other beach spots, it had no soft felt blankets on the backs of chairs for patrons who get cold in the evening … like me). The waiter took the photo below and somehow managed to change the camera setting to sepia – oh well.
However, I did enjoy the prawns cooked right at our table even though they were a bit tough.
I really love all the great kabak gourd decorations. Each of them has a design poked out in little holes through which the LED lights inside shine.
Below are a few photos of our hotel; this place is really wonderful, the weather is 30 degrees, blue sky, and sun with a gentle breeze blowing off the sea – heavenly.
Tuesday, after a long and lazy breakfast at the ranch, Janet and I walked from the Hotel Gumusluk up to the Gumusluk Academy, a wander that took us along the back roads that parallel the sea, past the old Myndos Gate and then up through mandarin fields and houses to the hillside site of the Academy. Just below the Academy property a bunch of new concrete villas are being constructed, slightly obstructing what had been the beautiful view out over the valley I had had from my room five years ago. These beasts were resting in the shade of a mandarin tree as we cruised by.
After a walk of about 45 minutes we arrived at the Academy, located on a hill above the village with an expansive view laid out in front of us. No one was visible around the place but we did see evidence of new artwork in the form of three clay sculptures which looked like a memorial to the victims of the Soma mine disaster.
The people I had known from my visit were no longer there but we met the grounds keeper Mehmet and his wife as we walked along one of the driveways; I tried to explain who I was but am not sure he understood. In any case, we were given permission to look around and poked our noses into several of the buildings, none of which seemed to be occupied at the moment.
The building housing the kitchen and dining room had been refurished and looked great; all the rest were more or less as I remembered them.
Lots of frogs were jumping in the pond near the theatre and several were floating lazily on top of the water, sunning themselves.
We headed back down to hill and decided to pop into the Paradise Garden apartments just down the road from the Hotel Gumusluk, checking it out to see if it were a spot that possibly Maggie might want to return to one of these days, since obviously Turkey is the place for her. Although we had just wanted to have a little look around the place, the owner insisted that we come and see inside one of the apartments, seated us in the shade, and brought us water and a coffee. He spoke almost no English so we had an amusing and protracted pseudo-conversation in which I looked up word after word in my little Turkish phrasebook to compose sentences, a process that took so long that I am sure he had forgotten what the first word was by the time I uttered the last. His wife brought out the reservation book and they were ready to sign us up right then and there.
The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing by the pool, with a little lap swimming interspersed with a little glass of wine drinking.
Another night, another dinner, this time back at the Club Gumusluk, which, unlike the rest of the restaurants on the beach, had lots of patrons. There was no room in the main part of the restaurant so they seated us at a table on the beach, right at the water’s edge. Once again Orhan was super attentive, bringing us, on the house, three different desserts and a tray with chocolates and amaretto shots, all gratis, while he tried to persuade Maggie to go to the Halicarnas discoteque in Bodrum with him. Maggie didn’t bite this evening but we still have two nights left …
Only one day left here in paradise before I return to the cold cloudiness of Vancouver, apparently not yet in summer. Yesterday the three of us walked up to the Gumusluk Market and emerged laden with bags of goodies, including pots and pans and clothing.
After a hard few hours bargaining, a stop at the village teahouse was in order.
This place is so beautiful – I will be very sorry to leave.