Monday, July 2. Would have been Mom's 90th Birthday. Day 8 of 15. TUFON'S ART STUDIO. DRIVE TO ISPARTA. ON TO LAKE EGIDIR.

We have breakfast, and have a look at Cihan's and Tara's rings. Then we check out and pack our stuff into the trunk. I can't see how he does it, but Cihan manages to get almost all his, Tara's, plus Bob and Carrie's luggage into the trunk of their Ford Mondeo. And all four of them in the car itself. We take Metin and Canan, their luggage plus ours, and we are all off.

Cihan leads us to Tufan's Art Studio, and inside we see the most wondrous things. In his office are four ceramic birds on long legs. On the wall fly a dozen ceramic birds across a sky of blue. Next to it is a picture of a village, along a lake. I get Tufan to stop beside his four birds, then everybody present holds the long picture of Tufan with about twenty of his birds.

Back in the entry room, the light pours in through glass walls and a single bird is beautiful there. We head on to Isparta and I love this drive through the mountains to get there. We enjoy Metin and Canan's company and have some lively conversations in Turk-lish and Eng-ish. A couple of hours later, we pull up in front of Kemal and Aysel's house to rest, have some water and tea and just relax.

Then Kemal takes us to a great little restaurant for lunch, where Aysel and Tara discuss things of interest. After lunch, Cihan and Tara and the rest of us take off for some shopping, where lots of Turkish Lira are exchanged for gold jewelry and other great things.

Then, leaving Metin and Canan behind, we head for Lake Egirdir, about 45 minutes away, in a beautiful drive. Kemal and Aysel will come up tomorrow.

We check into our hotel, the Blue Lake, or in Turkish, Mavigolu. Cihan has arranged for Sharon and me to have a suite, as well as Bob and Carrie. With lots of room, we unpack key things from our luggage, as we'll be here for the next two nights.

I catch up on uploading photos to the laptop, then take a nap. This is very therapeutic. When dinnertime comes, a storm is brewing and we decide to eat light in the upstairs dining room. Now the cool thing about this hotel is that it is run by students in a hotel management university, so the price is excellent, and the "kids" very friendly and eager to please.

Many of us go simply for tomato soup. The Turkish version is a little spicy, but it's just exactly what I want. My insides are still recovering, though I'm definitely getting better.

Back to the room, I crash. Tomorrow will be fishing on the lake. Kemal has told us to expect much bigger fish than those we caught in the Mediterranean.

No birding today.

Life Birds Today: 0
Life Birds for the Trip: Remains at 8.

Upgrades Today: 0
Upgrades for the Trip: Remains at 4.

Trip Birds Today: 0
Trip Birds Total: Remains at 49.

NOTE to Birders: No birding or bird reports till Wednesday, July 4th.

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