Sirence – a Turkish village on a mountain. So here is the reason we came to Turkey and took a tour which included Ephesus, to visit an authentic Turkish Village and eat at one of their homes. This was really interesting AND the best meal I had the whole trip. We first went to Artemis, a restaurant and museum where we drank Turkish coffee (if you are not used to strong dark coffee, you may be up for days). At the bottom of the coffee is a sludge which we were instructed to leave in the glass, than turn over. This was so the fortune teller could read our sludge. It was the typical fortune teller reading with very general statements and nothing earth shattering but it was fun. There were vendors around the area and I was able to purchase some unique items…a really cool oil and vinegar carafe (the vinegar is in the center in a grape-like holder and the oil goes in another spout in the same carafe and surrounds the vinegar) and a soft leather bag that converts to a backpack. If you go, bargain with everyone, they do not think twice about it and I did not pay full price for anything.
From Artemis we walked to the house where we were to have lunch. I did not take any pictures of the inside I can show you as I was in a group and realized later I only had group shots (out of respect for the group I did not want to post their picture without their consent). We entered through an outdoor courtyard. From there we entered a second entrance and climbed the stairs to a living room/dining room area. Because there was no air conditioning I expected we would boil, this was not the case. My guess is that stone home are cooler – the windows were open and offered a gentle cool breeze.
The meal was laid out in front of us, my kind of fare – salad, stuffed grapes leaves, a soup with tiny meatballs, bread, a potato dish, and wine. The vegetables tasted like the cook went and picked them from her garden! The soup meatballs were moist and flavorful. The grape leaves were stuffed with rice. We were told that the Turkish diet included many vegetables. (On the way to the Village the guide had pointed out the agriculture of the area). We heard the call to prayer and I believe our host disappeared for a few minutes. I found myself wishing Christians had a siren that went off that reminded us (or rather me) to pray.
After this sumptuous meal we dispersed to go shopping in the small stands in the middle of the village. We bought soap, face masks, ornaments and other products. Unfortunately, time passed quickly and we had to meet our van for the ride back to our cruise ship. My daughter and I were surprised at how much we enjoyed visiting Turkey.
We realized that during the planning of the trip we had both been a little apprehensive of Turkey’s proximity to some troubled areas. I reasoned we were far enough away from those countries in the port of Kudasi. The tour guide did address our apprehensions and validated that because of their location the Turkish people have been vulnerable to conflict.
However, by the end of the tour, we were happy we visited Turkey and both felt we would return if we had the chance.