5 a.m. bed
Just 2 hours sleep and a cockeral starts to crow. I remember lying in bed listening to it crow over and over thinking - that doesn't sound Turkish at all. Then I could hear the distant echoes of a family tearing themselves out of bed, baby crying, dog barking, husband shouting, wife arguing back. You couldn't mistake what was going on even though you couldn't understand a word of what was being said. Their life was being conducted in the open air, maybe on a balcony or on a patio but certainly not in the privacy of their home. I heard the distant, haunting chants of the nearby mosque and immediately had a sense of being in a very foreign land.
The sun started to stream through the cracks of the dark oak french doors to the room we had been allocated. Even though it was the crack of dawn that sun was felt very very warm.
I dozed for another hour or so but I was getting too warm in the room and my throat was parched. Why on earth did we .... oh what the hell - no point crying over spilt milk (or three quarters of a bottle of Jamesons.) I could hear the chinking of dishes and cutlery so slipped on a baggy t shirt and went to survey my surroundings. Nothing prepared me for the absolute charm and beauty of this old Turkish Villa.
I had pushed open the wooden french windows and stepped onto a stunning veranda which overlooked orange and pomegranite trees. The branches of these trees provided a shaded canopy over an al fresco eating area below. There were walkways around the garden and a narrow winding pathway down to a deep blue swimming pool. I fell in love with the place
Stretching over the railings of the veranda I could see through the branches of the tree that the houseman, who I later found out was a young Turkish boy called Zekkee, was laying the tables for what I presumed was to be our breakfast. He had a full beige robe on and was covered from the neck down in cotton. On his head was a neat little circle crowning his wellgroomed sleak brown wavy hair. The smell of coffee was so inviting that when I saw him make his way back towards the building I crept down the wrought iron steps to get myself a pre-breakfast pick me up.
Carefully pouring myself a large mug of the hot black liquid I sneaked back up the staircase. When safely back on the balcony I sat and sipped this welcome brew thinking about the week ahead and trying to weigh up our situation through my malt -whisky induced hangover.
So - we had assumed we would be staying in a hotel - and, I must admit, when we left the lights of the town last night and started winding up the darker unlit paths I felt just a little anxious. We really didn't know where we were, we had only just met the two British lads who had collected us from the airport - we really were laying ourselves open to all sorts of scams or shady dealings.
But now as the coffee started working its magic I realised that we could not have a complaint about our room, or the house we were staying in. It was absolutely delightful. It felt so Turkish and so gloriously authentic that it seemed to add to the excitement of what we were hopefully about to do...
Buy our very own house in Turkey.
But for now this was our Turkish Home for 1 week in May.
Its funny but my story began in Antique Villa in May 2004.
Now in 2010 I have found the villa on sale for a mere 500,000 euros!
Worth every penny I would say!
Oh how I wish I could afford to buy it myself.