The season has well and truly started here in Kalkan. I think for me the clearest sign that another Summer season is under way is when the boats go back into the water. Having been in dry dock all Winter for essential maintenance, there is one day, usually around the beginning of May, when a crane appears on the harbor and one by one the boats are lowered into the water. Soon after that it's time for my first boat trip of the year.
Another sure sign that we are ready to welcome owners and guests back to LaVanta, is the opening of our Club House restaurant and Bar. This was particularly exciting this year as we are working with new partners. Debbie and Erhan are running The Papatya Cafe @ LaVanta and its all looking good. They have invested significantly in creating exactly the right ambience and creating menus that are perfect for this location. By day guests can enjoy stunning views whilst sipping on a smoothie and by night it transforms into something altogether more sophisticated as guests enjoy one of Erhan's wonderful cocktails under the twinkling lights.
Anyone who has visited a half decent 'gastro pub' in the UK in recent years will have seen the appearance of fish finger sandwiches on the menu - for many of us a throw back to our school days. But the fish finger sandwich fades into total insignificance when compared to Turkey's much beloved Balık Ekmek.
If you have been to Istanbul and headed down to the Galata Bridge on the Bosphorus you will have seen numerous street vendors serving up these tasty fish sandwiches to local and tourists alike, all times of day and night. Last time I was in Istanbul it was a must have for me but unfortunately they do not seem to have made an appearance in Kalkan.
As I sit and write it's a lovely Spring-like day. The sky is blue and shimmering on a lovely calm sea and as it's been like this for a few days perhaps I can finally start to believe that the long Winter days are finally over. Or am I being a tad over-ambitious with this statement? Should I stick to that old adage of never casting a clout until May is out?
When people are considering purchasing a home at LaVanta, one of the questions I am asked on a regular basis is, 'What's the weather like in Winter?'. Until now I have always been able to answer quite honestly that we have very mild Winters here in Kalkan. Anyone who has stayed over the Winter months will be able to tell you of Christmas or New Years days spent sitting in the sunshine, on he harbor sipping something cold and fizzy - heaven! In the past we have always said that we can usually count on good weather until December and if we are going to have any bad weather it will usually be between January and March when we may see a few storms.
Frank Sinatra once sang that "It's very nice to go traveling, but it's oh so nice to come home"
Well I've just done my bit of traveling for the year - my annual trip back to the UK to see my family, so hardly adventurous or exotic, but a much needed fix of family and friends. It made me ask myself where is home? We are told that home is where the heart is and that is so true. But when you heart is divided between two different lives in two different countries its never easy. When I go back to Manchester I always say I'm going home. But when I leave I know for sure that I am coming home! Goodbyes are never easy and I am always somewhat emotional when I say farewell to my nearest and dearest in the UK, but as the plane descends a strange sort of peace settles as I know I am truly at home in Turkey
Wow! It's been cold this week in Kalkan. And when I say cold I mean cold, as in a weather front all the way from Siberia. When you you live here all year round you get used to waking up 95% of the time to bright blue skies and at worst moderate temperatures. It's one of those questions that we are always asked - "So what's it like in Winter?" Most of the time we can say in all honesty that it's nice. Nice in that sitting on the harbor in a T-shirt and sunglasses, sipping a glass of wine sort of way!
But when the weather turns you certainly know about it. The weather reports on the TV news often show snowy scenes from the East and even from Istanbul, but we tend to miss the worst of the weather. But last week was probably the coldest I have ever known it in the four years I have lived here. It was -1 when I drove up to work and never picked up. The water in the children's pool froze over, the water in the taps froze........that's cold
Yes it's that time of year again where so many of us around the world gather together with family and friends to celebrate Christmas
It's a little bit different here in Kalkan to the Christmas's that so many of you know. All over Europe and certainly in the UK, the build up to Christmas starts in earnest in October, with the shops and stores full of festive goodies and we are bombarded with advertisements across all the media for this years must have gift. But in Turkey Christmas isn't acknowledged as an official holiday - we celebrate our main holiday at Bayram. So life simply goes on....in so many ways it;s just another day. The diggers will still be digging, the kids will be at school and the shops will be open as normal
This time of year it's the annual olive harvest. We are blessed here at LaVanta to be surrounded by hundreds of gnarly old olive trees - they are in the gardens, in the communal areas and all over our land. Our development has been carefully planned to protect all of the olive trees as we build.
But as Autumn advances the trees are heavily laden with their green, purple and black fruits and its time to start picking them so that we have a ready supply of olive oil and olives for eating. Before I came out here, I had given little thought to how these things happen - I mean you just go and buy a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the supermarket don't you?
This time last week was just another day. I nice day as I recall, with lovely blue skies and everyone was just going about their business. As always people were taking advantage of the good weather to stroll along the harbour and maybe enjoy lunch and a few drinks at one of their favorite harbourside restaurants
None of us could have guessed that overnight, disaster would strike. But it did and with a vengeance!
It's a funny time of year and unpredictable has to be the word that describes the weather at this time of year. We are often asked, by people looking for some late sunshine, what is the weather like in October. And why not - it's half term holidays and lots of our guests want to grab a flight and enjoy a final week at LaVanta. Well sometimes they get lucky and have a week of glorious sunshine with temperatures well into the mid 20's......and sometimes they are plain unlucky, as happened to our guests a couple of weeks ago
Just as the start of every new season creeps up on us, so the tell tale signs that another season is drawing to a close start to appear. The traffic on the streets lessens, the demographic of the people wandering enjoying the natural beauty of the old town subtly changes and one by one the restaurants and bars start to close for the Winter