As we walked up the cobbled street, we looked over tiled roofs at the surrounding vineyards and apple orchards of the ancient village of Sirince. It is just 8 km from Selcuk, up a very steep and winding road and we had taken the local dolmus (small bus) to get there. We had come late in the day as we wanted to see it after the tour busses have gone and the local character of the village returns to its more natural state.
We meandered up and down the ancient narrow streets of this village that was first settled by the Greeks and then the Ephesian Christians who came to these hills after the Selcuk conquest in the 10th century. It is known for its wine and most particularly their apple wine which we wanted to sample along with dinner here and the beauty of the area.
Behind the more touristy main street, we saw typical village life of goats with bells in pens behind the house, chickens roaming free and a very primitive outside kitchen. In the Greek exchange of 1924, Muslims settled here and one sees the traditional dress of a rural Turkey farming community of scarves and flowered baggy pants on the women. One gets used to the charm of nothing matching and I even ended up buying a pair of the comfortable pants in basic black.
We bargained in the market with the friendly people for a little belly dancing costume that Mozart wanted and one of the famous handmade Kapadocia dolls (that we had missed getting there) which are very cute. We figured we could use the costume for Halloween this year along with the mask that she got in Venice. I started looking for a big cotton purse as we were starting to gather too many things for our very limited baggage and I wanted something that I could at least use later in another context that could also fold up easily.
As the sun set, we sipped the local wine at Artemes, a terraced restaurant that was once an old school house, now restored. We enjoyed the golden hued views of the village and the vineyards as we had dinner there. Mozart gave us a sample of made up flamenco dancing in the twilight, dressed in her new belly dancing costume with her new doll, expressing her joy.
Our friends from Kalehan joined us after dinner and we walked around the village at night searching for an old church, while Mozart and her new best friend played along the narrow night streets as we walked. We met the famous old man who makes spoons by whittling and talked to him for a while as our friend translated for us. We stopped in at a few interesting pottery shops and one where lamps were made from gourds.
It made for a nice outing and we chatted away on the way home in the dark. We were glad to get to our quarters, our home away from home, and hit the sack in our cozy air conditioned room. We drifted into dreams, thinking about all the things that we had seen this day and all our days in this fascinating country.