Uncategorized, Wanderings

Lake Eğirdir – an overlooked gem

Yesterday J and I slipped away from Okçular for a few days, the heat and the torpor were getting to us so it was off to the mountains for a change of scenery and temperature. We’d originally planned to be up north staying around Safranbolu and Amasra but it just wasn’t working out with our ‘son’ and his bureaucratic duties so, we decided to head for the Turkish Lakes and one of our favorite locations of Eğirdir and its surrounds.

This is a familiar route to us but it still managed a surprise; when we got to Isparta there was a real ‘Burası Türkiye!’ moment. The by-pass is a long, straight dual-carriageway with two wide lanes and a wide hard shoulder in either direction; yesterday it was reduced to one narrow passage each way with masses of cars parked down the fast outside lane and double parked on the hard shoulder. There is a huge military complex on one side and it appears that this was a family visiting day so for a couple of kilometres there were families set up under the trees on the beautiful central reservation – there were barbies going and teapots brewing as thousands of people picnicked. An amazing sight; I didn’t have the bottle to stop and hold up all the traffic so my pic is only of the tail end of the show.

Once we were through and on our way it’s just a gentle haul to the top of the pass before the first glimpse of this wonderful Lake Eğirdir comes into view – the blue sky contrasts with the khaki mountains and the brilliant emerald green of the water. Our destination on the causeway linked island is in plain view with only the Monaco Grand Prix Stock Car Circuit in the middle of town to be negotiated!

For those looking to visit Eğirdir there are numerous choices for accommodation depending on the season. We have had some interesting discussions about how long it will take to dry out the room and bedding to assurances that if we are taking the room they will change the bedding! Always ask to see the room; try the taps and flush the loo is my advice! Experience has led us to the Mavi Göl University Training Hotel which is very clean, cheap but gets full at weekends and during holidays, and to the Merci Butik Otel with its greenhouse style restaurant on the roof, standards have slipped a bit of late but it’s still pretty OK.

Dining out of an evening time by the water’s edge as dusk settles and the moon rises is a delightful and unforgettable experience; again, choose carefully and ask to see the offerings or, better still, dine where there are plenty of Turks tucking in! Last evening we were entertained by great swarms of swifts putting on an aerial ballet for us, copulating ducks, a malignant cat and a horse that wandered down to the lake to drink.



Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü


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