Everything is much greener in May. The weather, whilst still sunny for the main part, can also be unpredictable with sudden storms and wind and rain. Everywhere is quiet and the roads are a pleasure to drive along. The village looks its best at this time of year and there is a leisurely atmosphere and an air of contentment that can be lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Food is never scarce in a village like Tavakli. Everything from vegetables to milk, butter to soap is always in abundance in this village community. There is a small bakkal ( shop ) in the village but since everyone grows their own produce you won’t find many vegetables or meat products on offer. The local bakkal provides for those manufactured goods or items that you might be hard pressed to make at home.
A typical breakfast here might consist of olives, home made bread, various vegetables, goats cheese, jams, egg and plenty of tea. The food tastes far better than anything you are likely to pick up at the supermarket and it is all home grown too.
On the way up to the main village viewpoint even the cows were sleepy and relaxed. There are some breathtaking views of the coast just 5 minutes walk from where we live.
This is a view of the main centre of the village. There are two main shops, a barber and two tea houses. A regular minibus service runs through the nearby villages on a regular route to the main town of Ezine.
We stopped in Tavakli for 10 days this time and will be back in September at the end of the summer season. Everywhere will still be greener than most places in Turkey since the season is a little shorter here and without the intense heat that you get in the med.
Bozcaada is a small Turkish island in the province of Çanakkale in the Aegean Sea. It has a population of around 2,500 which swells enormously in the summer season as tourists and Turkish citizens with homes on the island arrive for the summer holidays.
The main income in Bozcaada is tourism but it is also known for its wine production and fishing. The island is shaped in a rough triangle and covers around 39 km2 or approx 15 square miles. It is situated close to the entrance of the Dardenelles opposite Troy and a local ferry service from Geyikli provides an hourly service during the busy summer months and a frequent service during the winter season. The crossing takes around half and hour.
The buildings on Bozcaada are generally of very good quality and the island has quite a varied terrain with several very good beaches. There is only one town in Bozcaada which you arrive in directly by ferry. The rest of the island is rural with hilly terrain and suitable for livestock such as goats and sheep as well as agriculture in the from of wheat fields, vineyards and olive trees. There is even a pine forest on the Western side of the island.
This was orginally a Greek settlement hence the name Tenedos. The island even gets a mention in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. During the period of the Ottoman Empire the island was used as a navy base and it was the first island to become Turkish in the Aegean Sea in 1455. The island has a chequered history of ownership and was a British supply base during the Gallipoli Campaign. Following World War I the island was formally handed over to Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne to the new Turkish Republic in 1923.
Bozcaada Castle is one of the first things you see when you visit the island. Situated by the harbour it is an impressive structure with a history dating back to the Phoenicians. During Ottoman times Fatih Sultan Mehmet had the castle reconstructed and this is waht you see today. The Koprulu Mehmed Pasha Mosque from the 17th century is well worth a visit as is the Museum and its collection of artifacts and everyday items from Bozcaada.
Find out about the history of the island and the efforts of collector M Hakan Gureney to conserve the unique treasures of this beautiful little Aegean gem off the Turkish coast. ( www.bozcaadamuzesi.net ) Grape Harvest Festivities take place on the island on 26-27th July. Bozcaada is famous for its red poppies which are used to produce jams. The island is self sufficient in its energy requirements through the use of wind turbines.
Every Wednesday there is a large and busy market on the island which sells fresh local food produce, clothes and household items.