Friday, May 27, 2011

Beypazarı - A Slice of Loveliness.

This week's quest for beauty took us to a little town called Beypazarı, about 100km from our home in Ankara.  It's famous for silverware, carrots and soda water...  an odd mix.  But we went for the Ottoman architecture, the cobblestone streets and the museums showcasing traditional Ottoman homes.

It was a beautiful day.  A true spring day.  I spent the entire car ride gazing out at the colourful wildflowers covering every hilltop, field and valley.   The entire countryside was in bloom.  Even the mounds of forgotten construction waste, camouflaged under a cloak of springtime colour, had become beautiful.  Man Oh Man, I love this time of year!

Being a weekday and early in the season, the town was virtually empty of tourists.  In fact, besides one primary school field group, I think we were the only non-locals.  Which, of course, suited us fine.

We found a park in the centre of town and headed straight to the nearest restaurant to quench our thirst with a couple of schooners of cold and frothy ayran (plain yoghurt shaken with water and a little salt).  Yummy!

The next hour or so was spent happily wandering around town, checking out the museums and taking pictures of the restored houses.  Since there were no tourists, it didn't take long to see everything we wanted to see.  So by lunchtime we were ready to head out to nearby Inözü valley for some lunch.

We found a sweet garden restaurant in the valley right on the riverbank and enjoyed a couple of hours eating, relaxing, and playing with Kaya.  While we were there we found out from one of the waiters that there was apparently a lovely big lake about 30km away.   With only half the day gone we decided to check it out.

Karagöl (Black lake) is a deep crater lake surrounded by a lovely forrest of pine trees.  Even though it had started raining before we arrived, the whole atmosphere by the lake was so peaceful and calming.  We had a cup of tea from our thermos in the car, took in the view, and leisurely (and a little reluctantly because it was still drizzling) started on our way back home.

Here are a few pictures journaling our day.  I hope they give you a bit of a feel for the loveliness of our day.

The moment we stepped out of the car, Ky went up to this old lady to show her his tool box. 

In a lovely restaurant, awaiting our ayran.

Restaurant decor.

Kaya begging for a sugar cube he discovered on the table before we had a chance to hide the container ...  the begging didn't work by the way.
Helping "Teyze" (auntie) unpack her stock for the restaurant.

Testing out his ironing skills on the table.

An exmple of some of the Ottoman houses.

Cobblestone lane.

Mosque minaret.

Neighbourhood life.

More neighbourhood life.

Contemplating whether or not he could climb this pole ... he decided against it.

Intriguing caves in the rocking cliffs above the restaurant in Inozu valley.

Look at the expression on that little boy!  It's like, "Ahh mum, another photo?  C'mon!"

For a second we thought this was the beautiful lake we'd been told about ... it wasn't.

This is the lake we came to see.

A self-conscious pose in front of the lake...

An old truck adding some character to the forrest.

Another lake view.

Scepticism? Suspicion? What is that espression?

A manly pose by the truck.