I have to take a few moments to describe Kas in a little more detail, having gotten to know it a bit more since my first post on this area. First, at least in October, it's a wonderful mix of locals and tourists, and the locals we've dealt with have all been very friendly (so have the tourists, for that matter). Here are a few highlights:
|Hand-decorated Turkish bowls|
Shopping. There's lots of nontourist commerce being done (hey, we both got haircuts today--mine was $15 and John's was only $7, and they were pretty decent!), but the tourists wandering the streets are catered to by shops selling the standard Turkish tourist goods: handpainted ceramics, colorful glass lamps, pashminas in all colors, Turkish cotton towels and wraps, leather goods, and of course the ubiquitous carpets.
But there's little hard sell here--shopowners sit comfortably outside their shops, often sipping tea from little glasses, but for the most part they don't try to entice you to enter. If you do want to look at their wares, they're ready to sell, of course, and when you ask how much something is, they'll offer a higher price than the item is worth. It's Turkey, after all, and bargaining seems to be part of the culture. We're not that great at bargaining but usually can get the price down at least a bit. Today, for example, I bought two pashminas that were priced at 35 Turkish lira each (about $17) but got a "special price" for me only, 20 TL (about $11) each. These beautiful silk and cashmere pieces were definitely worth more to me than that, so I think I came out on top of that bargain. Since we're on such a long trip and our bags are carry-on size, we have really limited the shopping. But scarves take up so little room! I see more in my future.
|Our home away from home|
Eating. We've cooked at the villa many nights (or should I say John has cooked at the villa)--mostly chicken and lamb, which are readily available at the meat market and are good quality, and pasta, along with lots of great fruit and vegetables from the produce shops and Friday market. But we have loved the small cafes in Kas, our favorite being Cafe Mola for the best fresh, minty lemonade I've ever tasted as well as crepes, omelets, gozleme (kind of like a Turkish quesadilla), and a fantastic chicken sandwich that I can't stop ordering. The owner/cook is a lovely person who always has a warm greeting for us.
|Fresh lemonade with mint and ice chips|
|Pomegranates grow on trees!|
|Pide -- a new favorite|
|Lamb kebabs, fried bread, and yoghurt--I skipped the bread|
Beaches. If you love pebble beaches, you'll love Kas. They actually have two advantages: they help keep the water crystal clear, and many tourists don't like them. Laying on them is like having your own personal hot stone massage. Bring beach shoes.
|Kaputas beach--looks like sand but mostly pebbles|
One beach we went to, Kaputas, was about a 20-minute drive west of Kas, at the base of a steep gorge. About 200 steps down (and back up), but since I've been in step training, starting with Panarea, it was no problem! There's some sand there but it's all pebbles as you get near (and into) the water. Gorgeous. Tomorrow we're going to try Patara, a long sandy beach reputed to be one of the best in the world, about 20 minutes beyond Kaputas.
|The cook prepares the green beans for lunch|
|This 85-year-old woman rowed across the bay to sell us scarves--we bought, of course|
|Rod, Gillian, and John on our sun pads|
I could go on and on about this great place, but suffice it to say that we loved every day we spent here. And we are very grateful to Cherry and Alan, who made this beautiful stay possible. Tesekkur ederim!
|We'll miss the constantly changing cast of cats!|