I'd been checking my guidebook for a stopover somewhere between Pamukkale in the west and Cappadoccia in central Anatolia.
The book mentioned the sleepy lakeside town of Egirdir as a pretty, if slightly unexciting, option.
To tell the truth the name put me off a little - it sounded like it belonged in Middle Earth - but it was nicely positioned halfway to Cappadoccia, and didn't sound like it would be thronging with tour groups. So, I decided to visit for a day or two and see how things went.
The landscape for most of the 3 hour bus ride was unchanging; rolling grasslands fringed by mountains under an empty blue sky
|Typical Anatolian landscape|
Finally, the bus crested some hills and the lake Egirdir Golu was suddenly revealed below.
|Looking down on Lake Egirdir|
|Terrace of Charley Pensiyon|
It was mid-afternoon by this time so I went for a walk. There is a very small tear-shaped island, called Green Island, just offshore from Egirdir town. A narrow causeway connects the island to the mainland. I wandered across to the island taking photos every 5 paces or so.
That evening back at the pensiyon I met a seemingly average Essex boy called Jason.
"Fancy a fag?"
"No ta, gave up two years ago this week."
"Nice. Wish I could. Had hypnosis once and give up for 9 months."
"No nasty side-effects, then?"
"Some good ones actually. Now I can eat broccoli and cauliflower."
"Since I was a kid I could only eat peas. Vegetables, I mean. Meat's no problem."
"You get tired of ordering burgers and saying 'No onions, no lettuce, no gherkin, no tomatoes' everytime. I mean, really?"
I noticed a shudder when he said tomatoes.
"Don't like tomatoes, then?"
"Fuck no, can't stand 'em. Had a sandwich with a hidden tomato in it once and threw up for three hours!"
"You must be allergic."
"Nope. Just can't fucking stand 'em. Think it's the texture...", BIG shudder.
"Oh yeah, well after that I could eat broccoli and cauliflower. And I stopped the fags for 9 months till I broke up with the missus, then I was back on it."
A little later...
"What d'you do?"
"No, just opened my own agency. Here's my card."
"Wow. Here on business?"
"No, just a holiday."
"How'd you get into it?"
"My mate's business partner did a runner and he asked me to find him. So I did."
"Was it difficult?"
"Asked around. Got a tip he might be in Torquay. Went down there and hung around the pubs. Spotted him. Followed him to where he was staying. Job done."
"Really enjoyed it, actually. That's why I opened the company."
We got drunk and ended up best of mates.
Next day I took a hike up the hill to look down on the lake. Walked through some farms, took some pictures of cute baby farm animals.
|Last sunset in Egirdir|