Tulips and History of Turkey Tour 2014
April 14th - 23rd, 2014


April 17. Thursday. Istanbul - Assos
The city of Istanbul is ablaze in colour, even the boulevards and highways are spotted with plant material…very pretty. On the way to Troy, we could not get enough of the countryside, dotted with fields of wildflowers, winter wheat, canola, sunflowers starting to grow. Turkey is the 4th largest producer of olive oil in the world. We stopped at a local grower to get a feel of what it is like to grow. This is a co-op and all growers grow for the city here. They are guaranteed work which keep them and the village they live in alive. Here they grew begonias and marigolds for the cities many flower beds. They also grow tulips but those had just been cut back for the bulbs. The women of the co-op are the ones who plant up all the flats with the men doing the harder work. They use peat moss only and fertilize with manure water…They are very proud of their profitable co-op and we were very happy to meet such generous local people doing what they love. They also grew winter wheat with either the government or private mills buying all they produce. Fields of canola greeted us as we drove to Troy from the ferry, we were the last vehicle on! When we got there it was raining but like all gardeners we were prepared, donned our rain gear and off we went to explore. Way bigger than what I thought and so much history here. We drove on to Assos where we would spend the night Down the steep seaward side of the hill at the water's edge is the hamlet called Iskele (meaning Dock or Wharf), with old stone houses now serving as inns, pensions and restaurants.. A fishing village started by the Greeks and so picturesque it was wonderful. Just like walking around a village in Greece, even the cats were here. We all sat around the fireplace enjoying time together before eating one of the best meals ever…it used to be a fishing village but now it is mostly a resort area for tourists and thank goodness because if they did not come these people would likely not have much income at all. We all loved it, had great sleeps too as it was so quiet snuggled in rooms with 3 foot wide stone walls. Wonder how Aristotle slept – he lived here 348 – 345 BC. It was also visited by St. Paul.


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