We were enjoying the Lake District so much we decided to stop at Lake Beysehir instead of going directly to Konya. In hindsight I wish we would have either stayed one night longer in Egirdir to explore Isparta or gone directly to Konya. Beysehir has an interesting old section that deserved more time than we gave it. And the rural part of the lake that we biked past is beautiful. Lots of ruins to see in the area too. However, had we not planned to stop in Beysehir we might not have taken the slower, very beautiful mountain roads.
We quickly left the Egirdir behind.
We had two maps with us and between the two maps and the two of us, we managed to get ourselves from Egirdir to Beysehir.
It was just stunning. (This is a real photo; just the part closest to us was cropped a bit.)
I wish I could take photos over Randal’s shoulder, while we ride along but the movement makes the pictures blurry. We could have stopped dozens of times along the way to take photos, but our goal was to get to Beysehir…..Wish we had stopped more along the way. We were at a high enough elevation that Randal needed his jacket and I added a layer underneath mine. But this was not the coldest ride we experienced.
Thursday Market day
We left the tall mountains behind and began making our way to Lake Beysehir. We passed through a few tiny towns with road signs that challenged our map skills and Turkish language skills. This town was a bit larger so the location of a Thursday Market. We stopped and walked around a bit to rest our seats and stretch our legs. At first everyone was really shy, but then some moms encouraged their children to practice speaking English saying “hello” and “where are you from?” Then Randal bought some olives and I bought a mix of raisins and some kind of nutty tasting small puffy things. Randal didn’t have enough small change to pay for his olives so motioned for the seller to hold the bag and he would come back. The seller motioned to Randal to take the olives and then come back later with the 1 TL that was still owed. It was also market day back in Egirdir and as we biked away we saw the vendors setting up their stalls. Thursday is also market day in Marmaris, Mugla and Icemeler too. I don’t know why Thursday is chosen other than Friday is the Muslim holy day so maybe provisions had to be bought the day before. Now Sunday is the “closing” day though many shops remain open.
I went over to rub his ears and neck and he seemed to enjoy it.
We have seen burro carts other places. And we saw two “cowboys” riding along the road on horses earlier that day. We saw shepherds with their flocks and women herding their cows through the town. Turkey is definitely a mix of the old and new.
It goes “BOOM!”
That’s all we know. I made a sound like “boom” and then pretended to be a bird and flapped my wings. The men sitting around the display agreed with the “boom” part but I’m not sure about the birds. Somehow the idea of fish came across I’m not sure if the boom scares birds out of the fields or attracts fish.
The market town.
Where is everyone? Maybe at the market. This road had actually been blocked off but we were motioned through. We passed an empty lot where men were dancing and music was playing, but we just waved and kept going. It looked like a scene from Zorba the Greek…
The “bad road” part.
It really wasn’t so bad. In rain, that would be a different story. We just went slowly. I grip Randal with my legs and hold on. It is a bit like riding a horse. Randal has to do the tricky driving to keep us out of holes and away from bigger rocks. Now we want a bigger bike so this kind of “off-road” riding, and the steep mountain climbs will be easier and safer. We really are hooked on motorbike travel.
A traffic jam with the only 3 motorized vehicles for miles around.
This truck was coming one way and there was a car behind us. Both stopped and we scooted between the two. The drivers of the vehicles rolled down their windows and had a chat. This actually was a pretty active road construction site and there were several yellow earth movers working to build the new road.
The dirt road was “the village road” and here we have rejoined the main road that takes you to Lake Beysehir. These cows knew where they were going. They were big and had horns but just ignored us as we went by.
It seemed forever before we actually saw the lake making me wonder if we’d taken a wrong turn on the unmarked dirt roads. But there had been no other choices really.
The lakeshore was rugged and lovely and it would have been easy to spend the day walking along through the fields surrounding the lake. But we’d brought no picnic so had to keep going along to Beysehir.
Beyaz Park Hotel
It was “the” listing from Lonely Planet. When we arrived in Beysehir, it was about 2 pm and we were hungry. Randal wanted a beer with lunch to wash away the dirt road, so we walked around until we found a restaurant that served beer. (Easy to find beer on the coast, but harder inland where religion has more importance.) I noticed the restaurant was located in Beyaz Park. I asked our waiter about the hotel and turns out we were sitting right next to it! We ate a huge lunch because we didn’t know how to order. I ordered some yogurt not realizing that it was also served with some of the vegetables we had ordered. And I heard eggplant when they meant egg so we had a sort of crustless quiche instead of aubergine which is what eggplant is always called and Randal had ordered beans and then a meat dish…Way, way too much food. We skipped dinner altogether and just had some tea and cookies in our room.
In the photo of our hotel you can see a row of solar panels and hot water tanks on the roof. Solar panels heating the water of the roof tanks are seen everywhere in Turkey. We did have plenty of hot water so it was a “hair washing” afternoon for me while Randal used the computer in the hotel lobby. Eventually the wifi worked in the room too.
We had no AC, but we did have a balcony and lots of windows and the nights were cool enough to need a blanket.
The hotel is old and in need of a face lift, but it was clean enough and cheap enough and it had wifi…. Breakfast wasn’t so great, the first time that has happened in Turkey. And after skipping dinner that was too bad!
We did seem some of Beysehir during our afternoon walk.
Historic water regulator taken from the canal side.
When the water was rushing through we could hear it in our hotel room which overlooked the canal.
Beysehir Lake is 1015 meters above sea level. Water is drained from the lake and used to irrigate the Konya Plain, Turkey’s “Bread Basket.” This is the canal side of the lake.
“Konya Governor Ferid Pasa of Alonya had this bridge built to Anatolia-Ottoman consortium between 1908 and 1914. The bridge is built in regulator-dam system. The length of it is 40.70 meters and 6.35 meters. There are fifteen arches over bridge located on fourteen columns on its Westside. The bridge is one of the symbols of the city with its monumental beauty.” From information on a huge billboard in the old part of town.
The lake side…not little and cute like Egirdir.
Agriculture is a main industry in Turkey.
This mosque was in the center of the new part of town.
I love the black and white design and the Turkish carpet over the door. I’ll have to find out why that is done. It was the first time we saw that, though we saw it again in Konya. I think, from what I have learned about the prayer ritual, that each red section of the carpet is a “prayer carpet” for the men who come to pray.
Next email, Old Beysehir and the Esrefoglu Camii.