Girls just want to have fun

This week I went on a night out with my friend Jane, she had a wild night planned for me at a talk in her local second hand book store in Clevedon. Given that I have been on quite a few dodgy outings with Jane over the years I must admit I was a bit dubious about this latest excursion. Several years ago she dragged me along to a cosmetic event, but instead of getting lots of freebies we were listening to a talk about the best lip salve to use in the arctic circle. As we weren’t planning a trip to the North pole, we made a run for it at coffee break and didn’t look back.

As the book store is so quaint and I’m planning to do a creative writing course there in January I though I’d better support it. The speaker was a local historian called David Milner and he gave a talk about local men who served in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He had some very interesting tales but the one that stood out for me was the tale of Joel Fisher. He came from Weston Super Mare in Somerset and returned there after the Battle of Waterloo and opened a pub with his wife. All seemed well in their lives until they started taking in lodgers, the rent started disappearing and Joel blamed his wife. One night after a violent argument he took an iron bar bludgeoned her over the head, not convinced the job was done he then went down to the kitchen and returned with a knife and slit her throat. His hanging was a public event and nearly 5000 people turned out to watch his demise. Many locals had said that when Joel had returned from the war he didn’t seem the same and acted erratically, according to our speaker this could have been the earliest reference to battle fatigue or as it’s now referred to as post traumatic stress disorder.

The whole talk was very good and David was obviously very knowledgeable about local history and I’ll probably go to more of his talks in the future.

The moral of this story….. trust Jane’s judgement and go with the flow.

Just passing through

Another story from my recent visit to the Marmaris area of Turkey.

A lot of the time when visiting places of interest that we read about in brochures, we drive straight through other lovely places without stopping on the way. When we decided to visit the ancient site of Amos we also made a conscious decision to stop off at any little village or town that took our fancy. After travelling down a very steep and winding road through the Taurus mountains we came across the little seaside village of Turunç.  The area was a continuous settlement from Helen to Byzantine times and from then on it’s been inhabited by many living off the the sea and the abundance of natural resources such as wild herbs and agriculture.

Now it is a pretty holiday destination, boasting beautiful clear waters, apartment hotels and a small but perfectly formed beach. It is still a working fishing village and has a food market every Monday. Dotted around the mountains there are blue boxes everywhere collecting pollen to make pine honey that is sold locally.

Our next trip to the ancient site of Cnidos took us through the town of Datça, we stopped there on the way back home. The town itself is not much to write home about and if you woke up there after arriving on a night flight you would think the travel agency was having a laugh sending you there on holiday. But after walking around a bit more we discovered a pretty harbour, 3 small beaches with beautifully clear water and a cake shop that serves the most lovely carrot cake. The Datça area boasts 9 villages scattered around the peninsula with lots of little bays and coves. It is also possible to take a ferry to Bodrum and the Greek island of Rhodes from the harbour. On the outskirts of the town there are a collection of old windmills, most of them are derelict but a couple have been renovated to make very quirky houses.

Our last port of call didn’t involve a stop off on route to another place, it was my last but one day so we just wanted to go for a drive somewhere. On the map I spotted what looked like a beach called Amazon, we followed a long winding road and ended up eventually at nothing really but a couple of wooden boating platforms. So we carried on around a dirt track that ran along the coast until it ended at the most beautiful bay in the Gökova National Park. There can be found the Amazon Club, a costly but interesting holiday centre with the best private beach.

There is still so much to see in the area and I can’t wait to explore some more, I’m planning another trip to see my hubby in May before I get stuck into the return to nursing course.

You can check out my posts on Amos and Cnidos here, History galore and Cnidos or Knidos whatever you prefer

History galore

I love history, particularly ancient history and Turkey is rich in it. We were spoilt for choice in the area and managed to cover a great distance in our old convertible, even though the petrol gauge was broken and we never really knew how much petrol we had, so we had to carry a can full in the boot just in case we ran out in the middle of nowhere.

Our first port of call was Amos, a small hillside city near the village of Turunc. After a bracing and heart quickening hike upwards we were rewarded with the most spectacular views of the coastline, sea and mountains, it was truly breathtaking. All that remains of the city itself was the city wall, the amphitheatre and odd bits of stone such as statue plinths.

It’s thought that the city dates back to the Hellenistic period of history, 300 to 50 BC, and was inhabited until the Byzantine period. The amphitheatre would have seated 1300 people in it’s hey day, the first 4 rows are still almost intact and the orchestra area and stage are still well preserved.

It’s uncertain but historians believe the name from the Greek word αµµᴏҁ meaning sand.

For our next historical visit the next day we wanted to see the middle age castle at Hisaronu. But after finding the village and the beach that led to the castle road, we were disappointed to find out that the road leading up to the castle was blocked and we couldn’t go and see it.

Not to be put off we carried on around the bay and saw the sight known as Kiz Kumu, maidens sand. According to legend the daughter of the Bybassos king tried to escape from pirates but couldn’t swim so she filled her skirts with sand and put it in the water so she could cross the bay, but it got dark and she ran out of sand and drowned.

The remains of the ancient city of Bybassos can be seen on top of the island in the bay.

It was an amazing sight and we had a great day, the only downside was the daylight robbery at the marina club that charged us 26 lira for 2 teas and 2 coffees!!!!

Next stop Cnidos…..