When we go to the Aegean coast we travel by train. Arriving back in the morning, I wake up and I see home. Gone are the olive trees, the pink laurels, the dark green hills and the deep blue sea. What I see outside the window is endless rounded hills, huge, smooth, yellow, and topped with the highest sky I have ever seen. That's when I know I'm home.
It is beautiful. But living in a semi-arid region, nearly desertic, but not quite, you get to miss two things. One is water, the other is wood. There are a few lakes and marshes around Ankara, a salt lake, a river, riddled with nasty chemicals, but you always get the feeling that the sea is far away. And the air is dry, so dry you can't breath at night. And it hardly ever rains.
And trees? Well, there are some planted on campus, very nice ones too, but you can tell they don't belong. They're not old or gnarled. They have to be looked after, cherished, lest they die. Which sometimes they do. (What do they put in the ground?!)
So when I go South to Cappadocia for our regular short breaks, I always look out for valleys in which there is an actual river. And I point my camera at it, and I click and click so that I have something for my eyes to feast, and to rest, when the Anatolian plain gets to be too much.
Here are a few from my last trip.
These are from the valley of Ilhara. I took these pictures while the others were visiting a church. I love carved and painted stone as much as any one in this family, but I knew that I would need to bring back some of that wood and water home with me.