Thursday, 26 February 2015

First Signs Of Spring Here In Turkey

We have been told by many people here in Turkey that we have experienced one of the coldest winters for over 50 years.  So it has been nice to have an odd day or two of warm sunshine over the last couple of weeks which has enabled some signs of Spring to start to appear.

The beach looks lovely in the early Spring Sunshine.

A couple of cats had found a warm spot, with a good vantage point, to soak up some of the sunshine.

The vivid yellow of the Buttercup reflecting the sunshine.

A Honey Bee with its already laden legs, was busy collecting pollen from a Rocket plant that had gone to seed.

A Skimmia Japonica full of bright red berries.

Some of the more sheltered Cherry Trees have some blossom on them.

Many of the Pine trees, already laden with pine cones are producing new ones, these ones were the size of walnuts....

along with their flowers which are swelling, getting ready to cover everything with their fine green pollen.

I spotted a Peregrine Falcon flying over the garden.

The Almond Trees have been full of blossom for some weeks now and are still looking good.

A small Japanese Quince plant in a friends garden has some flowers on it before the leaves appear.

A female Chaffinch was stretching its wings whilst perched in the late afternoon sunshine.

The Primrose Jasmine is full of flower.

A Pied Wagtail seemed to be on a mission.

There is a Little Owl that spends a lot of time around our friends house, living some of the time in their chimney.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Christmas Eve 'Kuşadası Style'

Up until last year, living in Turkey, especially over the Christmas season, suited me just fine, here you celebrate Christmas as much or as little as you want.  However after spending our first Christmas back in the UK after 8 years, I have to say that I really enjoyed it, all be it that it was a bit overwhelming at times.  So this year I wanted it to feel a bit more like Christmas, so we purchased a small artificial tree for our house and have had Radio 2 playing in the background most days, which made it feel very much like Christmas.

Our little Father Christmas, which was the first Christmas decoration we purchased 28 years ago, took pride of place on the top.

Then to top it on Christmas Eve we went into Kuşadası to the Christmas Party laid on by the Belediye (local council) at the Setur Marina Shopping Centre on the seafront.

The walk down to the seafront felt very festive with the lights draped across the road and a slight nip in the air.  One big difference was how quite the shops were considering it was Christmas Eve!

The sea was very calm so the lights reflecting on it from the shopping centre looked beautiful.

Blue lights were very much the theme which I think always looks nice and seemed fitting for a seafront location.

There is a walk way along the flat roof of the shopping centre so we went up there so we could look down on the area of the party.  For 'One Night Only' it resembled an outdoor nightclub.

A boat made out of blue lights, very nautical.

By the time we arrived the children had already been visited by Father Christmas who had been giving out presents along with a clown who had been creating animals with balloons.  All of this had been accompanied by the playing of Christmas Carols.  We had arrived just in time to see the main act the singer and guitarist 'Sercan and his band Legends'.

Sercan is a resident singer and guitarist who has been entertaining the locals and tourists for over 12 years.  During the summer season he can be found playing at 'Planet Yucca' in the centre of town and during the winter he usually has a band with him playing at 'Nicci Port Bar and Restaurant'.  This winter he has the band Legend with him which is a new line up consisting of Batın Kuşdemir - keyboards, Yiğit Danışan - base guitar, Ibrahim Yonca Akpullukcu - saxaphone and Ekin Ulusay - drums.

As well as the band playing there were stalls dotted around offering mulled wine and food, which you could either enjoy stood around anyone of the fire drums dotted around or at one of the may tables.