Saturday, 24 September 2011

Breakfast in Turkey

We had said we would eat in a lot of the time when we went to Kalkan. We also said we'd take a leisurely stroll into town in the evenings when we wanted to go out. But... that never happened!
Every day Suleyman would arrive in his taxi to pick us up from our holiday home at Meltem apartments in Kalamar bay and take us to the top of the old town in Kalkan - usually just as the light was fading and the air starting to cool a little. He's a great guy. Friendly and helpful in just the right measure and Dave's 'best friend' for the holiday.

"Had we been up into the mountains?" he asked one day. Well, no we hadn't. The heat, the lure of the sea, the pool and Kalkan had kept us content. Suleyman wasn't having this though.
"Tomorrow, I pick you up in the morning and you come to my house - up the mountain - and have Turkish breafast with my family. Ok?" How could we refuse - and why would we want to?

So it was that one beautiful, clear Sunday morning we set off with Suleyman up through the higher reaches of Kalkan, past the hotels and villas, past the banks and the bus station until we had left it all behind and were winding up the narrowing roads to Suleyman's mountainside home.
When he was a boy, he told us, he had travelled this route with donkey and cart. Kalkan had been a village with farming and fishing being the main lifestyle. Now, many of the Kalkanerrs live up above the town where it is cooler and quieter. They work flat out all summer and then have time in the winter to continue building and improving their homes, whilst maybe engaged in a little olive pressing or the like.

Suleyman's family were all smiles, waiting to greet us as we pulled in at his large home, just perched on the edge of the mountain. His little girl, though clearly delighted to have her daddy back, was trying to drag him back to his taxi.
"I've promised we'll go to the beach today", Suleyman explained. Time off work, to spend with family is very limited and precious in the summer.
Suleyman showed us to the veranda that ran the whole width of the house, where we were to eat our Turkish breakfast.
There are views and views, but these ones were stunning. A panorama of turquoise blue Kalkan bay, framed by Olive trees, grape vines and bougainvillea. How amazing to wake up to this each morning...
But back to breakfast! Suleyman's wife and older daughter had spread the table with a real feast. There were plates of cheese, eggs, olives and tomatoes, watermelon and honey, jam and bread: not straight from the supermarket, like my traditional English though - all the jams and honey were home made and the olives had been picked from the family's own olive groves.
To drink we had cay, Turkish tea. Two stacked kettles are used to make this. One contains the strong brewed tea and the other has boiling water to dilute it to taste. That's the important bit - drinking it at the strength you enjoy.
The breakfast was utterly delicious and the hospitality shown by Suleyman's family was fantastic.

With Suleyman's young daughter proudly counting up to ten in English we headed back to Kalkan in our friend's taxi. Already our holiday seems like a much too distant dream, but with memories like this one, I know we'll be back. We can't stay away from our friends too long!

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