The Wood family have been visiting Turkey for many years. Martin described it as “a wonderful country, with wonderful people” and his aim on the night was to give members “a flavour of what‘s there to be seen”

Last Wednesday (25 April 2018) club members were fed Turkish Delight as our own Martin Wood entertained us with tales and images of his extensive travels around Turkey.

The Wood family have been visiting Turkey for many years. Martin described it as “a wonderful country with wonderful people” and his aim on the night was to give members “a flavour of what‘s there to be seen”.

Back in 2007 the Woods decided to buy “a place” in Turkey and decided on some accommodation in Hisaronu. This is a tourist resort village in the Fethiye district and is situated at the western end of the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. (As Turkey is a huge country this is a very long way from the Syrian border.)

The first half of Martin’s talk covered Hisaronu and the surrounding area.

He started by showing images of the house, immediate surroundings (including the pool and jacuzzi!) and the village itself. He then moved on to Fethiye, the local town of about 50,000 residents (plus tourists) about 12 kilometres away. Images included the harbour, the fish market, the boat building yards, the market (“fruit and veg are very cheap”), the amphitheatre, and the rock tombs (including the Tomb of Amyntas) carved into the cliffs overlooking the town.
Another local attraction is Babadag Mountain, which is 1,200 metres high and provides world-class paragliding, and we were treated to dramatic images of this sport.

Also near Hisaronu is the ghost village of Kayakoy. The village was deserted in 1923 when Kemal Ataturk (the founder of modern Turkey) agreed on a population exchange with Greece. Greek Christians were deported from Turkey and Muslim Turks were expelled from Greece. However, the returning Turks did not want to settle in Kayakoy and so it was left empty. Today around 500 houses remain as picturesque ruins and Martin had plenty of shots of atmospheric buildings and streets.

Martin also showed us pictures of other local places of interest including Oludeniz, Cold Water Bay, Saklikent Gorge (a spectacular deep canyon with soaring weather-sculpted walls) and the Lycian cities of Cadianda (ruins, including an amphitheatre, in woodland), Pinara (ruins, again including an amphitheatre, cliff tombs and goats), Sidyma (more ruins), Tlos (fortress and tombs), Xanthos (ruins including tombs on pillars), Patara (birthplace of St Nicholas, aka Father Christmas), Myra (rock-cut tombs, lovely carvings, an amphitheatre and the church of St Nicholas, which was the original burial place of St Nicholas), Olympos (ruins, including tombs and temples, and the Chimera – natural everlasting flames emerging from the ground).

The second half of Martin’s talk – “the road trip part” – dealt with trips to rather more distant parts of Turkey.

The first of these was Istanbul with images of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the fish market, the Grand Bazaar, the Princess’s Tower (aka the Maiden’s Tower), and the Bosphorus.

Then, from Izmir, there were images of the Clock Tower, the Agora of Smyrna, the Asansor and a railway museum. From Antalya, we had images of the river and waterfalls, the Mosque, ruins, boats and the wonderful Theatre of Aspendos. From Lake Egirdir it was images of the causeway and caves. Then we had images around the village of Sirince. Ephesus gave us images of the marvellous ruins of (among others) the Library of Celsus, the Temples of Artemis and Hadrian and the amphitheatre – as well as some Roman toilets. From Pamukkale, it was images of the spectacular natural calcium formations, the thermal springs and the Roman pool, plus nearby Laodicea on the Lycus with two amphitheatres.

The breath-taking region of Cappadocia produced wondrous images of churches and underground cities carved into the tufa rock (compacted volcanic ash) in a spectacular semi-arid landscape eroded into fantastical fairy-chimneys and other weird rock formations – plus hot-air balloons overhead!

Martin finished with a few shots of the Greek islands of Meis (just off the Turkish coast) and Rhodes (including the harbour where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood).

Martin is an experienced photographer and a great travel agent for Turkey. His (numerous) images and informed narrative brought us some of the many wonders of a remarkable country with a fascinating history. There were all sorts of ancient ruins and astounding natural phenomena, together with some more contemporary scenes, in this excellent, comprehensively illustrated travelogue. Martin’s commentary and photography were much enjoyed by the assembled members who certainly got “a flavour of what‘s there to be seen”.