Sometimes, amidst all of the chaos of work, crowds, wild traffic, and bureaucracy, I forget how peaceful Turkey can be. Our Swedish friend, who we met in Stockholm last year, has a summer house in Altınoluk and kindly invited us out for the weekend, which we gladly accepted.
Altınoluk is a lovely village on the Aegean coast, near Edremit. We spent most of our time enjoying the wonderful weather and taking long walks throughout the village and olive groves.
We happened to run into some of her relatives (her husband was Turkish) on our daily walk, who invited us in for coffee. One of the things I so greatly admire about Turkish culture is the hospitality and sense of community.
After a nice chat, we went down to the local fishery for lunch, where we indulged in some freshly caught sardines. They were delicious.
Much to my delight, we followed up our lunch with a visit to the local pazar. I bought some delicious olives to snack on, as well as a couple of pretty summer dresses.
Without a doubt, the best part of the weekend was sitting out on the patio drinking coffee and exchanging stories. I learned so much about what Turkey was like in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s (which was fascinating) and about traveling through Europe in general. When the sun started to set, we exchanged the cups of coffee for glasses of wine and talked late into the night. I felt refreshed in a way I haven’t felt in quite a long time and realized I haven’t been taking enough time for myself lately. Some good company, village charm, and fresh air were exactly what I needed.