Saturday, 23 October 2010

A holiday in Turkey

Yes, a holiday in Turkey -- but regrettably not one in which I participated! Recently my wife Jane went on holiday to the remote Bozborun peninsula in Turkey, with Rosemary, one of our old friends. I couldn't go because I didn't have enough remaining leave entitlement from work. The holiday was actually a competition prize. Many of you will know that Jane runs a magazine called The Competition Grapevine,  and is a leading light of the "Comper" fraternity. In the course of her research for the magazine she enters LOADS of competitions herself -- and wins a fair few as well. For some reason, her speciality seems to be winning holidays, and we have reached the stage where we consider it to be a pretty poor show if she doesn't win at least one holiday a year! You can read about one such trip (to Vancouver, Canada) in my blogpost called "Granville Market" [24 Sept].

Jane's prize was sponsored by The Sunday Times and Exclusive Escapes . It included flights, transfers, half-board accommodation in the luxury Golden Key Bordubet spa hotel, and a full-day excursion - all for two people. By all accounts the holiday was absolutely brilliant - so much so that Jane insists that we must go there together next year.

Of course I was mostly interested to hear about what Jane and Rosemary had had to eat /drink, and whether they had seen any items of horticultural interest. Jane was well aware of this, and took some relevant photos for me.

Apparently the food was wonderful, and very plentiful (a 5-course dinner every night seems to have been the norm). Even at breakfast they served five different types of local cheese...

A small part of the breakfast buffet

In the hotel grounds there was a vegetable garden and an orchard, producing ingredients for the hotel kitchen, a vineyard with 11 types of dessert grapes, as well as beehives for making the hotel's own honey. There was also a trout pool, though that wouldn't appeal to me since I don't eat fish! Here's a shot of a part of the garden, showing Lavender, grape-vines and citrus trees.

A part of the hotel garden
On a couple of occasions the hotel laid on a barbecue dinner, serving various meat and fish offerings, supplemented by freshly-made traditional flat-breads - the local equivalent of the tortilla or the pizza, I suppose.

Jane learning how to make flatbreads

One day there was an excursion to see a carpet-factory, where they demonstrated the whole process, from the extraction of silk from the cocoon, right up to the hand-knotting of the carpets.

Washing the silk cocoons

Hand-spinning silk

Hand-knotting and weaving a carpet

Another stop on the excursion itinerary took in a tiny cottage-industry factory extracting essential oils from herbs and flowers -- such as thyme, sage, rose, gardenia etc. (No pictures of the 'factory' unfortunately, but here's one of the delightfully "no-frills" style product).

Thyme oil and "Anais" perfume

The proprietor of the essential oils factory had a rather fine garden of his own, growing things like beans, peppers and chillis.


So, as you can see, although I didn't actually go on this holiday, I did derive a considerable amount of pleasure from hearing about all the delightful things to be found in Turkey -- so I will probably offer no resistance at all to Jane's plan that we should go there together next year...

1 comment:

  1. Mark, I finally stopped painting and blogging long enough to look over your blog and I like it very much! It is interesting and full of pictures. Thanks for signing onto mine. Happy gardening and happy blogging!


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