Kapıkırı, in south-western Turkey, is a small very unspoilt village nestling amongst ancient ruins and huge boulders strewn violently everywhere by a mighty earthquake thousands of years ago. In times long-gone, it was known as Heraclea and it lies beside the glorious stretch of water called Lake Bafa/ Bafa Gölü, Latmus in Hellenistic times. I think it’s one of the most charming villages I have ever visited in Turkey.
If you want to experience a small piece of heaven, you simply must visit this village, preferably now or else September-October.The fields were bursting with spring flowers, birdsong filled the air, the hills were the soft grey green of the ancient olive groves. The lake and that area generally are home to around 20,000 varieties of water bird, I have just learnt. It is where you will find eco-tourism in the form of trekking and walking. Not too much, it’s still early days. There are cave paintings high up in the hills and of course there is enough history and archaeology to satisfy any enthusiast not to mention photographers and artists.
I have just had the most fabulous weekend with my old friend in Selçuk who knows this village well. On Sunday when we went, the temperature rose to an unseasonal but most welcome 25 degrees and it felt good.
Nadire was so warm and hospitable, she made me and our other friend Karen feel instantly at home. She is obviously a very resourceful lady – well, all village women have to be really, but there was something about her that made you trust her instinctively. She has 4 grown-up children, one of whom, a girl, is an accountant. They’ve all done well and she is a grandmother several times over.
After serving us çay, Nadire took us on a walk to discover more of the ancient city and to enjoy more of the glorious views:
I bought honey from Nadire and Mehmet‘s bees – it’s pine honey and quite delicious, as pure as you can get. I think it was 30TL per kilo. I also bought 250g of her very own flaked red pepper which has a unique taste. She explained that she makes it from green peppers that she dries till they turn red. Then she mixes some salt and olive oil into them and pounds it all with her mortar and pestle. It tastes wonderful sprinkled over beyaz peynir/white cheese for breakfast which is when I tend to use it most.
And here is a picture of where we paid our final visit: it was to her 80 year old neighbours who have a spectacular position overlooking the lake and mountains. In summer after attaching netting around the sides to keep away the insects, the yellow platform is where these spry old 80 year-olds sleep!