Out and About with Stan and Hilda

I feel I should first make some introductions, I am Hilda (well I'm not really) but I have always fancied writing something under an assumed name. My husband is Stan but as I am sure you have already realised he inst either, although I do think Stan rather suits him.!!
We have lived in Kusadasi for a few years now and thought we would share some of our favorite and not so favorite places with you, the first one is one of the favorites. Guzelcamli, I think it means Beautiful Pine Grove, which was once no doubt very apt and all tough there are not many pine groves left in the village.
Situated about 20km south of Kusadasi at the foot of the Samsun mountains the village is easily reached by local dolmus, motorbike or car. It is right next to the Millipark, a National Park and home to some beautiful if somewhat stony coves, stunning scenery and an abundance of native birds and wildlife. Not to mention a liberal sprinkling of quite daunting men in a variety of smart uniforms.
The village was for many years a Greek settlement and you can still see the Greek influence in many of the older buildings, the older residents can clearly remember this time and seem to regard their Greek neighbors on the nearby Island of Samos rather fondly.
Modern Guzelcamlik is a town of two seasons. In winter it resembles a ghost town all week, (Like South Shields on a rainy day) only coming to life on Mondays (Market Day) . Yet in summer it is a bustling busy place, its streets thronged with tourists both Turkish and foreign, cafes overflow into the streets and everywhere people are engaged in their favorite activity, namely that of watching everybody else. The local men sit playing backgammon and drinking cay.
Our favorite place in the village has to be the harbour (liman). The first time we found it by one of those happy accidents that just seem to happen, when you are driving around with now particular destination in mind. It reminds us of some of those quaint little harbours like Sandsend and Staithes, you know the ones that are always on the postcards. I expect it is basically the same as its been for the last hundred years or so. Its full of small brightly coloured wooden fishing boats, they seem to have a crew of one or maybe two people, they leave the harbour with huge piles of nets on the deck to the sound of ancient engines that cough and splutter into life after protracted urging from the owners and assistance from various onlookers who always seem to be experts in any field they are observing. Later they return to much calling and shouting from those ashore asking as to the size and quality of their catch. If you have ever looked out to sea at night and seen lots of small lights twinkling against the dark water, this is the Guzelcamli fleet catching breakfast. They seem to catch a huge variety of fish some familiar to us but many we have never seen before. The catch is carried off the boats where to the delighted hoards of local cats it is gutted and washed and then immediately put up for sale in the local fish market, an impressive lean-to with a spotless display area. Customers appear from nowhere and the catch never seems to last long.
Apart from the fishing boats the harbour is also home to one or two trip boats and a small handful of pleasure craft. It is a super place to moor up for the night and very cheap. There is a good restaurant right on the harbour front and a dolmus service links the harbour with the village center. For those of you of a nautical nature its coordinates are 37 42 48 N and 27 13 40 E.
The village council has recently dredged the harbour and improved the surrounds. That was an interesting day.There we were parked up, doors open and thermos in hand, the first bucket load bought up a selection of anchors, the second a Migros trolley. As the bucket went down for the third time lots of shouting and running about ensued, i t seems that the bucket had caught on some of the many mooring lines that criss cross the harbour, resulting in several of the boats starting to move together as if by magic. After vast amounts of yelling and arm waving the lines were finally untangled. There is a little cafe selling tea and another open in summer selling ice cream and soft drinks as well as the more upmarket restaurant mentioned earlier.
The great thing about the harbour is that there is always something going on, mending nets, repainting boats, fixing mechanical things, its just never dull. You think you have been there half an hour or so and look at your watch to discover that you have actually been 3 or 4 hours. Time just stands still.
There are (apparently) plans to enlarge the harbour and build a large leisure marina to bring more business to the area, when this may happen is anyones guess, but I do hope they don't destroy its character and charm.
Look out for out and about in future issues

Sunny Seasider

Life is so precious
Thank you for sharing this an enjoyable read. I too can sit for hours on the harbours just watching the busy ness of the boats coming and going about their business, and just watch the world go by, it's a very relaxing way to wile away the day. I


A lovely read and thank you for sharing " Stan and Hilda " - love your assumed name LOL!!!! Reminds me of days gone by in Corrie LOL!!!!

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