The charming little Cumalikizik Village

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Bursa,
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 5 (late morning)

Temperature:   8 degrees
Weather:   cool, grey & blue sky                         

Leaving Bursa, Harun drove the motor coach on a countryside road for a good twenty minute before finally arriving at the charming Cumalikizik Village.  Popular for its traditional wooden houses and narrow cobblestone streets, Daghan explained to us that since the filming of a television soap opera several years ago, this small village had become a very popular tourist destination.  I could see why!  

Stepping out of the motor coach, we were the only ones around.  No other tour bus had arrived which in a way, was better for us. We had the entire place all to ourselves!   Woohoo.   However, since it was still early in the morning, it was kind of a disappointment to see most of the exterior's merchandise tables empty except only for a few ones which had homemade jam and spices on them.  Oh well!  I said to myself…. can’t have everything!

As we wandered around the small cobblestone streets, some local ladies dressed in their Turkish colorful clothes greeted the group by inviting us all for a cup of hot tea in their old general store kind of looking shack.  It was quite obvious that they knew Daghan from his previous tours to this location.

In the room, a middle-aged woman was sitting on a bench in front of a dark wood burning stove.  She was browning homemade bread for some of us to eat.  Her colorful scarf hid most of her sun damaged skin and she kept looking down refusing to be photographed.  However, her approval was given for pictures taken sideways.  Looking around the room, various homemade jam jars were stocked on shelves just waiting to be purchased by some of us.   

Since the village was built on a hill, I made my way along its narrow cobblestone zigzagging streets stopping occasionally with Michel to chat with the few locals encountered or to decide which path to take that would lead us way up to the top of the hill.  I was happy just to be walking even though it was a little bit chilly.  Spring was in the air; I could feel it, I could smell it and let me tell you, it was a fantastic feeling.

The top of the hill was eventually reached where I was rewarded with a fantastic view of several snow-capped mountains without having any obstructions in front of me.  I wasn’t alone though.  I had the company of another person from the group, Michel having been lost somewhere along the way!   So where was Michel!  Probably lost due to a wrong turn….him with his short-cuts!  Ha Ha Ha

Going down the hill, well that was another story as I couldn’t remember the streets taken previously but rest assured because generally, what goes up, must come down….and with this in mind, I went downhill…..

Going down another pathway, it allowed me to see even more beautiful old wooden homes, some of which smoke from their wood burning fireplace could be seen coming out of their chimneys.    The small village had its authentic smell, its authentic charm…… and of course, its pleasant people.  Looking around, it felt as if technology had not evolved. These people were still living a good one hundred years behind.  

At the entrance of the village, an old cemetery appeared quite interesting.  There was something about it that attracted me to walk towards it and pass through the tall iron gates.  Looking at the old crooked tombstones, some of which laid flat on the ground as if forgotten with time, I wandered freely, curious about the village’s ancestors.  The grass was quite high while a few budding flowers desperately tried to pierce through the small patches of snow.

It was 10:00am when we left Cumalikizik encountering along the way several tour buses that had just arrived.  Good timing!   Harun drove the motor coach through series of beautiful mountain ranges where snow still covered their summits as well as the ground.   Along the way, many cities, towns and villages were also driven through where I started a pastime of taking pictures of every mosque seen, and let me tell you, there were many!   I totally enjoyed watching the various scenery and landscape from the comfort of my seat.  I was glued to the window!   And yes, I know…. I’m repeating myself again….

Two hours later, a stop was made at a shopping mall.  It was lunch time and we were in a city called Eskisehir, meaning Old City in Turkish.  We followed Daghan to the food courts located on the second level of the mall.  There, he explained to us the various dishes and prices as well as giving us his recommendations.  

Looking around the food court, there was a Burger King and other western fast food restaurants, however, I settled for Turkish soup again, bread and fries as well as Michel.   The price for both of us was quite reasonable….in other words, quite cheap being around 10 Turkish Lira (around 6.00 CDN).   Teasingly, I told Michel that by spending less on lunches, I would have more money to buy myself a nice piece of gold jewellery worth at least $3,000.00 CDN.  His quick response to this was that he much preferred to eat more!  We had an hour of leisure to eat, walk around and even stretch before continuing on with our day’s itinerary!

Monique   :-)

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