J and I ramble about quite a lot – we ramble up and down mountains – we ramble up and down backways and trackways – sometimes we ramble in circles whilst rambling up and down. Rambling is fun! It is also intriguing!

Let me explain; in 15 years of wandering around this beautiful country of Turkey we have come across countless examples of that which intrigues us. We have found what intrigues us near habitation and we have found examples to intrigue us miles from any habitation. We’ve found them near rivers and ruins; near pathways and fields; we’ve even found them on the tops of snowy mountains! In fact, hand on heart, I can’t think of a single ramble where we have not found at least one of them and we really are intrigued by this phenomenon.

Now, behind the impatient tutting I’m hearing from you, and the ‘Oh! For gawd’s sake will you get to the point!’ mutterings under your breath – you have to admit that you’re intrigued, too. So I’ll reveal this intriguing mystery in the hopes that someone out there can give me the answer or reason ‘why?’

lone lost shoe


Not shoes as in pairs of shoes – there are never pairs of shoes – just shoes! Wherever we go we find single shoes lying abandoned; often in the most unlikely places. Has anyone else seen this strange manifestation? I mean, it can’t be just us, can it?

Actually, there is a double intrigue here; first the abandoned shoes all over the place; and then there’s the question that I keep asking myself, I even wake up at night asking myself this question – ‘Didn’t they notice?’ I mean, there they are, half way up or down a rocky, thorny mountainside and the fact that a shoe has gone missing from their foot has completely passed them by! If a horse loses a shoe it pretty soon lets you know; if I lose a shoe I’m hopping about on one foot right away! Yet there are thousands of Turks out there who get back home from doing whatever it is they were doing, go to kick off their shoes and . . . ‘Allah hallah! İnanılmaz!’ (‘My God!’ they say, ‘Unbelievable!’) And I’m intrigued!

Abandoned shoe


abandoned shoe
Abandoned - the sequal!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

21 thoughts on “Intriguing!

  1. Now that is really intriguing. And here I am fretting about intrigues at the Vatican and you need to solve the Mystery of the One-Shoed Turks! My mother always gets irritated with me when I tell my tale of my first childhood memory– losing my pretty red buckle shoe. When I was three-years-old and we were living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, my mother let my older sister Gwen and me sit out on the front stoop after dinner. One evening I was proudly wearing my new red buckle shoes. When my mother came call us to come in, I only had one red buckle shoe on. When she asked me where it had gone, I didn’t know. We hunted all around the stoop and did not find it. I remember my mother getting quite irritated with me about it. To this day I do not know what happened to my one little red buckle shoe. Maybe I have some Turkish blood in me.

    1. Annie, if I knew you better I’d say ‘Smart-arse!’ but as I don’t I’ll be polite and say ‘You clever thing, you!’ 😀

  2. 🙂 I may have the answer to this!… I believe its foxes, twice near us in Billericay I
    have seen foxes trotting down the street with a shoe in their mouth, I was also a
    victim, last summer I left a pair of sandals by the back door the next morning ther
    was one ..but then it could be a phenomenon of Billericay foxes 😉

    1. Hmmmm! ‘Billericay foxes’ – not sure about this one, especially out in the sticks – if they show a whisker near habitation they get blasted by an armoury of twelve gauge shotguns! Good try, six out of ten 😀

  3. Same here Alan – in all the years I’ve been a wandering, there’s always been the “one odd shoe” mystery. Understandably on the beach, there is always a selection of washed up flip flops (never a pair of course). Creatures pinching them seems the obvious answer as we know our Turkish brothers and sisters leave all the shoes they possess outside the door (usually leaving such a mountain of them when entering the house as a visitor you have to jump over them) until “Anne” of course has a tidy up in which case, they are still left outside but more in an orderly line.

    1. Looks like I might be getting out-voted here; either that or it’s another conspiracy 😀 Mind you, I’m starting to be swayed!

  4. Ahh, Carol Davies has got in before me with her suggestion. In our little area where we live, it’s a heaven for street dogs of the puppy variety. As the good people of Turkey never enter the house with their shoes on, they leave them by the door and the puppy has a brand new toy! 🙂

    1. Just had a thought – (it still happens) if it really is animals, and we accept that our neighbours are nobodies fools, Why do they still leave their shoes out after all these years of foxy feevin’? Go on, you lot, answer that!

  5. When you solve the mystery of the missong shoes, can you solve the mystery of the missing socks the disappear in the washing machine?@Alan – Your comment

    1. you need to speak with J about this as she does most of the washing machine things – but it seems to be pretty universal, they go walkabout for a few days and then mysteriously reappear in a place you know you’ve checked!

  6. I really find those shoes intriguing. In my opinion, maybe there is someone who thought that walking with one shoe will increase his chance of not slipping. Maybe the shoes got damaged. Who knows?

    1. Hi Meredith! Welcome to Archers – you could have a point, or maybe having one leg shorter/longer than the other helps with walking around the mountain slopes ;-D

  7. Loved this post! A friend once started a blog and one of her first posts was the mystery of the traveling shoes! We never know where our shoes may end up!

    1. ‘This boot was made for walking,
      and that’s just what it’ll do.
      One of these days this boot
      is gonna walk away from you!’ Tra-la-tra-la.

  8. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find this post funny. 🙂 Yeah, totally intriguing how come the owners of those shoes didn’t even notice they already lose a pair of their shoes. Haha! 🙂

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