As I promised in my previous post, A Birthday Dress from Ayna in Selimiye, Turkey, I want to give you a one-day glimpse at Selimiye this quaint little Mediterranean town nestled in a bay that looks like a lake.
We visited Selimiye years ago on one of our Blue Voyages on our favorite boat, Karina. This is our second trip. We are visiting my friend Aysun. Also, I am finally returning the keys for her apartment in Istanbul that I have been staying at in the last three months.
This time we are arriving by land in my friend Nurgun’s car.
We talk and drive through winding roads and arrive at this magnificent bay surrounded with rolling hills and rocky mountains. The color of the sea is cobalt blue shimmering under the sun. The hills are gray-purple shadows behind a curtain of haze.
Aysun is waiting for us, I am sure, proudly to show her town. I would be too if I were her. It is beautiful here. Since the bay is so secluded, the water is calm. You can see the bottom of the sea, fish swimming around. If it is not that salty, I would drink it! (Like my friend Dilek said when she was walking by the seashore at Gundogan in Bodrum).
After our swim from the dock of the Luna Begonvil Hotel and devouring delicious stuffed mussels and cold Efes beer (ranked 12th in the world market). We get ready for our evening walk to Aysun’s boutique, Ayna.
On the way, we have to stop many times. Aysun greets everyone ages from 1 to 100 (Selimiye village residents live very long! Wouldn’t you?).
We walk the entire shore of Selimiye which takes about thirty minutes watching people eating at the restaurants set up right by the water or over the docks. We pass by cute pensions covered with purple and red bougainvillea, village houses with their vegetable gardens greeting the sea, pots of bright flowers dotting the idyllic landscape. We finally arrive at our dinner spot: the famous Sardunya Fish Restaurant. Aysun knows the owners. Both, husband and wife dote on our table along with our own waiter. They suggest we eat lagos (one of my favorite fishes: big flaky moist white morsels melts in your mouth). We order several meze dishes including the local seasonal greens cooked in local extra virgin olive oil, fried calamari, grilled octopus, and salad. People stop by our table to say hi to Aysun.
Then, this fellow comes with a bag filled with toys that light up with brilliant colors. Aysun greets him with his name, Huseyin. We want to buy four hand-held fans with lit blades for our grand kids. Huseyin does not have four. We give him the money for four. He says he will drop them by Aysun’s house early in the morning. No problem. Neither he nor us are running anywhere from this beautiful village. Instead, he shows up twenty minutes later with four fans.
Next morning, I wake up before even the cat is up. I quietly close the door behind me and walk down to the beach. A beautiful sunrise greets me. I keep taking pictures to capture the best moment. But, they are all best moments. Aysun’s neighbor, Aunt Omurlu, walks by with a bunch of zucchini flowers in her hand as if that is a bridal bouquet. A fish jumps in the water. Several fishermen boats take off to catch the town’s daily need for fish.
I walk back home. They are all up. And we put our bathing suits on and walk to the beach to greet the sun in the water. After a good refreshing swim (I still do not take a shower after this swim as I did the day before), we walk back home. Aysun buys a just-baked homemade bread from the Aunt Omurlu’s daughter-in-law.
We prepare a breakfast feast together on Aysun’s porch. We eat Aysun’s delicious bergamot jam and try ten different cheeses. I am still awaiting Aysun’s special recipe for the bergamot jam, so for now you can use the recipe from “Seasonal Cook in Turkey” blog
Aysun gives a small jar of her jam to us which we finish the next day.
Sadly, we say goodbye to our friends to go back to Bodrum.