'Burası Türkiye!' 'This is Turkey!'

Magnificence Of The Mountains

‘Never stop wondering, never stop wandering.’ – William Morris, English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist.

‘RAJA’* stopped for a moment, stood still and gazed up at the mountain as it loomed darkly above the tree-line, its sides streaked by great, fat fingers of snow that were slowly dissolving into torrents of melt-water under the relentless rays of the June sun.


(Richard Field)

Away to the north west the storm clouds were building. Towering billows of blackness laced with great, jagged streaks of lightning, boiled their way towards us. We had got this far, there was no turning back! This was the stuff of ‘Boy’s Own Annual’!

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Amazing – the light was just beautiful

J and I had tried on several occasions to find our way to Kartal Gölü – Eagle Lake that lies at about 1800mts (5900 feet) on the north slope of Sandras Mountain. Washed out tracks had stopped us a long way short every time. So, when dear friend Ahmet suggested we try again, we jumped at the chance of an extra shoulder to the wheel should I get our trusty but much abused Doblo stuck. In fact, as we had another friend, Richard stopping over on his mammoth motorcycle journey through Europe, Turkey and the ‘Stans’, there’d be two extra shoulders if push came to grunt!

This is a pictorial account of our trip. It is also probably the only time in history when three socialists and an anarchist – comrades, have set off on a journey together and actually arrived at a destination without falling out, fighting or splitting off and forming another faction! This gives me hope!

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The early stages were easy with plenty of time to admire the world a thousand metres below and for Richard to practice his fuzzy-foto technique.


This is the land of beautiful lakes, upland meadows, flowers galore, 1000+ year old trees and majestic views:

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(Richard Field)

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Muscari aucheri

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unidentified Orobanche

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the border between Muğla and Denizli provinces

1280 year old black pine1280 year old Black Pine (says forester’s plaque)


it’s a surreal landscape

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kartal lake048Crocus biflorus

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Corydalis erdelii

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Colchicum szovitsii

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Scilla bifolia

We were forced to stop by washed out tracks about 2kms from our objective and had to hoof it to the lake.


J making a point about fitness


first views of Kartal Gölü – Eagle Lake


(Richard Field)


(Richard Field)


snow-melt amidst the Scilla bifolia


life and the world in perspective

What we had was a great adventure as we ground and maneuvered our way across loose scree and washed-away tracks. The glorious views and freshness of the air were only trumped by the feeling of electricity lurking in the dark storm clouds. As we turned our back on Eagle Lake the heavens opened and the clouds engulfed us – our timing had been perfect, we could not have asked for more – even getting soaked through felt part of the joy of being in such a remote and beautiful place. There is a gathering of nomadic herders some time in August so I guess we might have to suffer the journey all over again!

” ‘I went a little farther,’ he said, ‘then still a little farther — till I had gone so far that I don’t know how I’ll ever get back…’ ” Joseph Conrad The Heart Of Darkness [p.78]

‘There is so much here that I cannot capture on camera, and what I do barely does justice to the beauty of it all. The scenery I passed through yesterday and this morning was staggering. It simply took my breath away.’ Richard Field travelling through Turkey

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

* RAJA is an acronym for Richard, Ahmet, J and me.

18 thoughts on “Magnificence Of The Mountains

  1. Hi Alan. Absolutely stunning. You must find a publisher and do the book of your life in Turkey. What a life. Best wishes. Mary

  2. Yes you could do what Mary says and write a book on your life in Turkey it would be very interesting and a great read. What a day out you had it’s like another world up there, can’t believe it’s June with all the snow, and the flowers you found were lovely a day out worth doing and I’m sure your be up there again soon.

    1. what, apart from sew your jeans, fix broken stuff, sort you computer, wait while you proof-read everything, laugh at your jokes you mean? ;-D

  3. We have to say, this is one of the most impressive trip you’ve taken. How fabulous to be up there with the eagles. And yes, the landscape is so wild looking. We really hope you make that trip in August, even if you need to recruit more socialists. You know, just for survival’s sake, you can’t have a split. Who’s going to push the car when it gets stuck?

  4. Alan & Janet,

    Thank you! What a magnificent posting! I especially like the flower photography.

    So there is a beyond beyond the beyond! 🙂 I miss you guys, and miss Turkey. Thank you, RAJA, for your wonderful photography and words! 🙂 I notice that Richard has a larger vocabulary that I have when I encounter the beauty of Turkey… mine is limited to “Wow!” So, Wow!

    1. Hi Ed, lovely to hear from you! Wow! will do just fine. Richard was supposed to be long gone from Turkey but he is enjoying it so much he has only made it to Şanliurfa so far.

  5. Alan, these pictures are absolutely spectacular. Oh, how I wish I could have been with all of you on that adventure. The trees, the flowers, the landscape — and you do not see any sign of human beings (yippee!)– it is truly magnificent. And I am glad you had to walk the last 2k to the lake, it wouldn’t be the same without that last hoofing part.

    1. I think that that much abused word ‘Awesome!’ fits the bill here (or rather, there) – the feeling of the smallness of people was overwhelming. Had to take the car in and get all the wheels rebalanced afterwards.

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