Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008 Eğirdir

Egirdir is a small town of not many people. This was unlucky for us because one of the most dramatic game of the Eurocup where Turkey was involved was played here, and Turkey won, and people did spill out into the streets, but there just weren’t many people to spill out so when David, Kelly, and I walked around, other than the five or six cars driving and honking around, we were the only other people making noise. Still, it was fun.

So. Egirdir. Within the city itself there isn’t much; there’s a mosque with Seljuk designs, and right next to the mosque there’s the market that would garner the money to support the renovations and everything else about the mosque. Before we went off exploring though, we desperately needed some sustenance so we walked around looking for a nice restaurant. Having found one, we ate and then went back to our hostel, the Lale Pension. Nice place again. Having arrived, we went and swam in the lake right next to our hostel and it was BEAUTIFUL. Mere words do not and cannot explain it. It was clear and amazingly it got deep really quick, but since we were all together none of us had much fear.

After swimming around a bit, we went back up to the hostel and bathed and dried and clothed ourselves, and then we went out exploring. There was an old Seljuk castle really close to our hostel so we walked up and down that for a while, then we walked more into the city and looked at a mosque and the market. Egirdir is known for its rose-y products be they shampoos, soaps, Turkish delights, perfumes, and many other things, so Sarah bought loads of boxes of Turkish delights. They were delicious. After the market, we went to the island right next to Egirdir. It’s connected by a bridge so we walked over that and went to a restaurant and had good dinner. It was delicious.

The next morning we woke up to have a nature day. This day we first went to a different part of the lake and walked around a bit of that, and then we went to the actual place of nature where we also swam. The second place was on the King’s Road so we got to walk on that enormous roadway that connected not only empires as if that isn’t enough but continents in general so I felt really important. It was also nice to be walking along that because we saw some Greek stuff on the walls of the road. Having walked around we found a nice little cove with its own waterfall and a really nice little pool into which we jumped off a normal wall, a 15-foot rock, and some of us did the 30-foot rock right next to the 15-foot rock. None of us have any idea how deep the pool is or what’s down below at the bottom of the pool. We had a really great time though. Having swum ourselves witless, we went up to where the profs were and had a discussion about tourism in Turkey.

It really is an interesting topic because of what the Tourism people of Turkey deem to be important and marketable to people. Places like Sultanahmet, Aya Sofya, Ephesus and others like that teem with tourists but in places like the nature walk we took in Egirdir have almost no tourists at all. How much of a balance is that? Plus there’s also the question of the damage that could be done by tourists, especially to a fragile place like the nature in Egirdir. As wonderful as the added income of tourists could be, there’s no real guarantee that the income the tourists would bring would be worth the toll and stress on the environment itself.

After our discussion we went back to our hostel and had dinner and packed our stuff because in the morning, our travels would be starting again.

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