Ah, my fırst Turkish kiss. İ gave him some baseball cards for his daughters and as we said good-bye, he kissed me on both cheeks. (Just twice, not three times, Jill.) İt was very innocent. İ felt his stubble on my cheeks. İ stood there dazed while he kissed my wife too. Who knew that a cardboard Scott Kamieniecki could get me such action?
That was really the only thing memorable from yesterday owing to fatigue from the previous night`s bus ride. We are now in Egirdir, still in central Turkey more or less, but a little further southwest. It`s a pretty town on a big lake. Today we hopped in a taxi (spelled taksı here – İ love it) with a chatty British couple and journeyed to two somewhat nearby national parks. First was Kovada Lake National Park. We wandered around the eponymous lake and ogled the beautiful mountains in a setting reminiscent of British Columbia.
Our other destination, Yazili Canyon was by far the more memorable. The drive itself was an event, as the road swerved through ever-higher mountain passes, with scraggly pine trees piercing the jagged marble slopes like ancient needles. The majesty of the mountains reminded me of many of California`s wonders. The canyon itself was particularly beautiful and smelled even better. How do İ begin to attempt to describe ıt? A strong pine and cedar fragrance with a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg, perhaps? Regardless, I don`t ever recall being so beguiled by an odor.
We hiked along the rushing stream for a while until we could no longer resisted the temptation to go swimming. All thoughts of a strenuous hike were quickly dismissed as we frolicked like careless schoolchildren in the gorgeous blue-green water. It was simply a blast.
İ will catch you up on the proceeding days quickly as İ am growing quickly tired of this Turkish keyboard. (Apostrophes are the most challenging. `i`s aren`t too far behind.) We recuperated two more days in Goreme – lots of sleeping with modest helpings of hiking, cave exploration and the Olympics thrown in. İ was also the impromptu guest of honor at a Turkish family`s picnic. No kisses were offered however.