NOTE: Additions to the text in red were added during the report compilation, for the website.
NOTE: Sharon's comments will be in {curly brackets}.


Sunday, November 30, 2008. Two More Islands, then Back to Tara and Cihan's Home in Golcuk. Part 1 of Day 14 of 21

Happy Birthday to the 0.27% of the world's population born on this day. Do you know if you get 30 random people together, the chances that two will have the same birthday is, uh, very high?

We wake up and begin packing. After a quick breakfast, Cihan has arranged for a shuttle to pick us up at the hotel and take us down the hill to the military entrance. We will leave our luggage there, except for backpacks while we hit the other islands.

Cihan wants to take a picture of the four of us, so he sets up the tripod and we shoot this, on our balcony, from their balcony. {Now, you must know that Cihan sets up the camera on their balcony, hits the timer button and JUMPS over the balcony to get into the picture. Oh, youth!}



The plan is to take a shuttle to the next major island over, Burgaz (blue line in the map below), tour it a little, then another shuttle to the last major island, Kinali (yellow line), tour it a bit and have lunch. Then we'll take a shuttle from there back to Burgaz and back to Heybeli (dotted black line). Cihan will call the military post entrance ahead of time, and arrange for someone to bring our luggage down to the dock. Cihan and I will jump off the boat, grab the four pieces of luggage, hop back on the boat, and continue on to Buyuk (still the dotted black line, since it's the same boat), where we'll catch a final small shuttle to the mainland (dotted purple line). Finally we'll take the fast feribot from the mainland across the bay to Yalova (dotted orange line) and catch the bus back to Golcuk. {Whew! Thank God Cihan and Tara are used to the shuttle systems here, buses, trams, big ferries, small ferries. We'd never make it on our own, the timing has to be perfect or you end up waiting for the next shuttle, or in the worst case here, staying on an island until the next day.}


Follow the Bouncing Travelers

The shuttle to Burgazada picks us up, and we're off.


Gulls rest on a small uninhabited island we must circumvent. That's the island of Burgaz in the background, with about a dozen antennas on top of the hill.


By 10:32 am, we are on our third island of the trip, Burgazada, or Burgaz Island. The next boat out is at 12:50 so we have not quite 2 1/2 hours to explore.


A typical tag in the ear of a typical dog.

We start walking up the street. There are cats everywhere. And dogs with colored tags in their ear to indicate that this is a dog known to the island, and not to worry about it. {The cats and dogs here are not just "tolerated", they seem to be the town dogs and cats and places we see food left out for them, (Remember the "Bob" dog food bag?} I'm guessing they do a good job of keeping mice and rats in check.}


A policeman demonstrates his method of transportation, though we also see police cars.

We head up the hill, where we see more cats. As opposed to meerkats. Cihan is looking downhill and says, "Here comes a beautiful Husky." Then he turns back uphill. The dog seizes the opportunity, walks up to Cihan, does the 3-legged stance, and pees right on Cihan's pantleg. What a fart!


The rascal himself. "What scary eyes you have," I think, to the dog.

The solution to such a problem is to dilute it with water, so Sharon and Cihan pour water on the affected areas, and we move on.


Signs all over the island say beware of dogs, but they all seem friendly or at least uninterested. Not counting the Huskies.

We walk up the hill and come to a cross street, then turn left. I am drawn to a brick wall with a design that makes you try to figure out the characters on the bricks, but it turns out to be only a design. I love the design.


I like the designs on the bricks in this wall. I keep trying to make them be a word, using an unusual font.

We can see about twenty crows on the street eating bits of something. A few house sparrows, aka English sparrows chirp and bounced around a couple of trees. We hear a song, and Sharon says, "What's that? Do English sparrows sing like that?" "They can," I say, putting on my I-know-about-birds hat. Then the European robin shows himself as he repeats the song. "Or maybe not," I say, tailing off the volume. Wait... What?

Time out for a story I've told before, but maybe you haven't heard it. This summer, we had our annual camping weekend with relatives from Southern California. We met at the campground in Sequoia National Park this year. A couple was there who were friends with Sharon's nephew Tom, and they had a son there, maybe a freshman or sophomore in high school. He was very intelligent, but would often drift off and daydream when somebody was giving instructions on how to play a game or would be telling a story. He'd come out of his daydream, realize what was going on, and say, "Wait." Then a pause of about a second. Then "What?" After he did it three or four times, that became the theme of the weekend, and everybody started saying it. I told this story to Tara and Cihan earlier this weekend, and guess what, it became the theme for this weekend too. It is proper goofiness and great fun.

But back to our trip.

We continue on, Sharon petting a black and white cat which was rubbing its back on a fence when we came up to it.

Nice kedi, nice kedi.

Cihan spots a man selling different kinds of bread and he buys a couple. One kind is a breadstick and the other is sort of like the wafer cookies I buy occasionally, with three flavors of filling in the package - chocolate, strawberry and I'll say vanilla. Anyway, they are both good (especially the cookie thing).

We check out a Greek Orthodox church, here since forever, and it's a beautiful old building.


The dome of the Greek Orthodox church

A lady comes in and starts talking in Turkish. Cihan translates as she tells the story of the beginning of this . She seems to be talking straight to me. {She tells us about Saint Theo (something - Theophocles?). How he was a priest here and the King at the time wanted him to honor him in some way, (bow down, I think) but Theo said that he honored God, not Man. So the King threw him in a pit (she showed us a room behind a locked door that she said was the location of the pit. He was in there for (I think) 15 years and they would throw him a fish each day. Then the King died and he was let out and later became sainted.}


It's a Gorgeous Day


Sharon lights a candle.

We exit and double back the way we came, but continue on instead of retracing our steps down the hill. Cihan is looking for a place they have been to that serves tea. We get great views of the water, and of the houses on the road.


I enjoyed unique ceramic tile address markers.

We come to the tea place which is a hotel set aside as a perk for teachers who can come here to stay, and go up the circular marble stairs to get to it. We order tea and rest a bit, using the rest rooms before we leave. When it's my turn, I walk over towards the WC sign, stop in front of the first door, look up, and hear a double, emphatic, "No!" coming from my right. I look over and see two serving girls looking at me. Sharon later says she was one of the "nay" sayers. They were afraid I couldn't recognize the outline of a person wearing a dress as representing the ladies toilet. {He then turns to the left toward the correct door and we all say "Yes"}

We make our way down towards the dock, clicking off more photos along the way.


A random faceted glass brick design fascinates me.


Two streets angled together, creating a thin wedge, on which was built a house, with a garden right on the point.


The elegant ironwork of this door held my eye, with the sea visible through the door.

We decide to take the 12:50 to another new island - Kinali, or Kinaliada, and we head down towards the water, passing this mosque on the way.


We look inside the mosque and are dazzled by the blue and turquoise. {This nitch in the room shows the direction of Mecca in which the people face to pray.}


The angle of the sun plays elegantly on the bottom of the top of the minaret.

It is a little cool, and gulls like to sit on top of the metal deflectors on chimneys of houses where fires burn in the fireplaces. We continue on down to the dock to buy our gettone, or tokens. I recall that they're 1.40 lira, or about a buck each.

This is the end of the Report 11, Day 14, Part 1 of 2. It is continued on Report 12, Day 14, Part 2 of 2.


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