Day 5: Cesme
(Stray cat at the Cesme Castle.)
At 6:00 AM I walked down the hill towards the Aegean and was reminded upon arrival that not all coastline has a beach. I wanted to walk on a beach. I`d dressed in shorts and a sleeveless shirt because this was a beach area, only to find the other women walking had all limbs covered and their heads wrapped. Why was it so hard for me to get the dress code right?
Rather than continuing on a sidewalk, I checked the map then doubled back past my hotel: there was a beach with sand a ten minute walk in the other direction. I walked quickly along the desolate landscape; this was a different kind of beauty. I drank it in as I walked past tomato farms and small cinder block houses with rocks holding the tin roofs on.
I reached the top of the ridge where I could see the water, hello water!, and checked the time. How could I have nine minutes left to walk? I checked my map settings. Car. My map settings were set to car; when i changed the setting to walking, i had another 40 minutes to go. Sigh.
I turned back and let my GPS guide me along a different route to the right that would be 2 minutes faster. There were old rock walls along this dirt road and intense thorn bushes. It's endlessly exciting to be in a place that is different from any place I've been before. I took a photo of the stone wall. I took an artsy photo of the thorn bushes. Oh, look. A cinder block house. It looked abandoned, but you never know. I made a video to show how there was nothing around the house and at the end I stopped and stared. There was something with the small windows. Bars. The windows all had bars on them.
I stood staring. Why would a house way out here have bars on the windows? I got "goosebumps" on my arms and legs. Raising chickens, I thought. That's just a big barn. The bars are so the chickens can't escape. My goose bumps grew and a caught a little chill. No, The roof was terra cotta, better than the other shacks I'd passed. It wasn't a barn.
Jail. It really looked like a jail. Way out here. Maybe someone is in there. I desperately wanted to go inside and check. Maybe someone in there needed water. What if it were a holding cell for young girls who were trafficked? What if? What if.I stood there staring. I should go in.
But, I couldn't. I walked away slowly. I didn't understand trespassing laws in Turkey which is why I didn't help myself to a ripe tomato from the farms I passed. I really wanted a tomato, but I wouldn't cross the line.
I couldn't go in the jail. I had to walk away. I walked slowly at first, then faster and wondered if it was a good idea for me to walk out here alone. I tried to tune in to the beauty around me, but my rose-colored glasses had darkened. I made it back to the hotel, turned on the air conditioning and lay on my bed for hours.
I was famished and went to look for breakfast but couldn't find the buffet. I watched as a young couple sat at a table. Nope, no food for them, either. A few minutes later I peeked out again and their table was filled with food. It can be a challenge when you don't know the rules. I sat at a table next to the olive trees and after about 10 minutes, breakfast arrived.
An omelet. Cream with honey. Ricotta with blackberry jam. Apricot jam. Cherry jam. Cucumbers and peppers. Sliced tomatoes and white Turkish cheese,
The Turkish have a saying I'd just read, "Eat sweet. Speak sweetly." So I ate the cherries out of the jam and all of the sweets before I tackled the rest. Yes, I ate sweetly.
Later I walked into town wearing my Russian peasant outfit that kept my arms and legs mostly covered and found that the yacht crowd wore expensive clothes with lots of skin. Really? I ordered a cay at a cafe before I realized they were playing old American songs. The disco song, "Stayin' Alive" was followed by the song, Killing me softly." Yes, the universe has a sense of humor.
I took a taxi back to my hotel paradise, Ciftlik Butik Otel, where they played Turkish music as the sun set. It was a perfect sunset.