Back Roads and Tracks – to Ulu Dağ and İznik

Taking the less used pathway from A to B; getting out of the car and venturing into the unknown usually brings rewards far beyond the anxiety of arriving on time or the risk of wondering exactly where you are. There is only one road to Ulu Dağ, so it doesn’t really count as a back road; getting out of the car and wandering off along animal tracks into the forest does.

Some Snail!

In a similar spirit, J and I went many miles out of our way to take a back road on our journey from Bursa to İznik. I don’t know if wild flowers and wild snails turn you on, but they certainly do me! The forests of Ulu Dağ are splendid, in direct contrast to the ghastly ski resort at the top. If this is Turkey’s premier ski resort it is a bloody disgrace! Getting off the road led to the discovery of thousands of Fritillaria pontica, three different crocus, scilla, great swathes of Muscari latifolium and a number of, as yet, unidentified flowers along with one of the finest snails it has been my privilege to meet!

'you forriners is a rum old lot!'

Turning off on to a back road to İznik we drove through countryside festooned with wild dog rose; met an old man, his son and grandson who farm pears and peppers. The old fellow was amazed that I wanted to photograph ‘weeds’ and told his son that foreigners were very odd (or words to that effect). Stopping to find a bush for a pee, led to the discovery of beautiful clumps of Iris germanicus and a solitary Orchis lactea.

Fritillaria pontica




white violets
blue violets
unidentified - yet
yellow crocus
white crocus


Muscari latifolium


Orchis lactea



Enough, already!

Alan Fenn, İznik

17 thoughts on “Back Roads and Tracks – to Ulu Dağ and İznik

  1. I’ve just been reading that snail slime is the new skin rejuvenator. If that’s your left hand in the picture, it should be looking 10 years younger than your right hand now.

    1. . . these withered, old mitts could do with something! I did suggest taking the beastie home to await the arrival of a friend who is a mollusc expert (see below) – J went ape! If she’d known about this therapy angle she might have been less hostile!

    1. thank you, M! It was magnificent – J insisted that after the photo op that it was put back EXACTLY where it came from. Quite right Too!

    1. Thank you! Too many to put up on the post, and too knackered from walking to write much – having a lovely trip!

    1. Thanks Donald, and welcome to Archers. Turkey is a nature lovers dream with open access and incredible bio-diversity. Hope you keep commenting 😀

  2. Alan, I think you should know that someone is impersonating you and using your blog name!

    Your writing is so evocative and your photos so beautiful, you can’t possibly be the mouth on a stick that leaves comments on my blog.


    1. Oh dear! Now I feel ashamed – I thought you liked a bit of banter! I’ll behave myself from here on and let my sensitive side shine through 😀

  3. @Alan@Alan – Your comment Hi Alan great post and love the photos I think the orange one may be
    Geum coccineum can’t see the leaves to well so not 100% 🙂

    1. Hi Carol, thanks for that. I do have a reference with me, and plenty of shots of each; just been too knackered to spend the time. When I get home I’ll settle in and then let you know. Could have put up loads more pics – ho-hum!

    1. . . as the art mistress said to the horticulturalist! ‘Wot a Wopper!’ might also fit the dil – sorry, bill!

    1. Thanks Carol, and welcome to Archers! Not sure, a friend who knows a thing or two about molluscs thinks its a rather large common garden snail, which is edible by the way.

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