Kalehan, Kindred Spirits!

August 08, 2007


A Turkish boy from Italy, a French girl, a half Egyptian-half German homeschooled boy, a Danish family and more made a little girl from California’s stay in Selcuk very special. It is really the people who make such a difference on a trip and we were all very pleased to meet such nice people here.

We seemed to have an instant connection with Aija (I am not sure if the spelling is correct) who is the owner and her son. They get a lot of guests from France and other areas of Europe where the young kids are less prone to speak English and since he goes to an American School in Italy, he was missing that aspect of play and connection. Mozart had been running into mostly non English speaking kids too and was ripe for a fun playmate. The two of them were quickly inseparable every moment we were at the hotel and were very cute to watch together.

Kids would come and go, but they had the most time together and would miss each other when the other one was not around. Aija invited us to visit with them in Italy in the fall when we pass that way on our journey back to Spain and we will do our best to do that as it seems rare and special when kids seem to have such a strong attraction and compatibility.

Some people have told me that they did not care for their time in Selcuk outside of Ephesus and the sites, but because of the people, beauty and comfort at Hotel Kalehan, we found it to be one of our favorite places. Again, it felt like we were staying with a friend instead of a hotel. Walking around Sirince with them, visiting with them over meals, having them call us on our cell and wait up for us when we got home much later at night from a day trip, discussing areas where we both have lived, watching the kids together at the pool or on the piano and more brought us closer together.

While we were there, we did an interview with a Turkish journalist and Aija did the translation. They were intrigued by our unusual journey as it is not a family choice that one sees too often, although many people think about doing it. Aija does a lot of travel and moving, so she was well aware of some of the logistics that need to be handled, although traveling by RV does solve many things as it is like taking your house with you.

American tourism has been down in Turkey since 9-11 which seems such a shame since it is such a wonderful country. I told them that most Americans are fearful to come to Turkey and even we thought it might be very exotic before coming and had some concerns about bringing a child. Luckily, we had heard nothing but endless praise from Americans and Europeans who had visited Turkey. Now we too think it is a “must see” country for everyone’s list, a real bargain (so important with a shrinking dollar), fabulous for kids and the best hospitality that we have found so far.

On our last days at the Kalehan, we met an interesting traveling family that was driving from Egypt to Germany. They do this every summer, only go different routes each year as the mother is German and the father is Egyptian and they find it an exciting way to visit her family in Germany. They had an English
(as well as German and Egyptian) speaking boy in the same age range, so soon we had three musketeers and they got along great and had lots of fun.

We got talking to the parents as so often happens when you have kids and found out that they home school both their kids in a very interesting way in Egypt. So now we are planning on taking a side trip to their area near a beach a few hours from Cairo when we do the Egyptian phase of our trip.

When you are on the road, it seems the world is full of interesting people. Mozart tends to stick to almost all girls when in California or her Spain base, so I am glad the road and limited selection teaches her how to make friends with all ages and genders.

We really enjoyed the food at the Kalehan too and most of it was organic. We were especially fond of the Turkey specialties and Mozart and I repeatedly got a stuffed vegetable platter (grape leaves, peppers filled with rice etc) that we ordered several times and the home made olives. The buffet breakfasts were yummy and sometimes Mozart got to eat with her friend which seemed very grown up to her to have her own table in a restaurant with a buddy.

The custom in Turkey is to serve fish with the head on and one of Mozart’s  favorite moments was being able to play a little biology exploring on my discarded head of a delicious fish. Efes is the Turkish word for Ephesus and also the name of the most popular beer in Turkey. DaVinci sometimes likes to have a beer with his meal when it is hot and I always got a kick out of the name.

Once again we found a lovely home away from home and we will not forget the joys and people at Hotel Kalehan who touched our hearts and made our stay special.













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Samuel Peterson

The post is very nice & interesting, your blog is very good, and I like it very much.


I recently found your blog and am quite enjoying it. Last September we traveled with our 12yo daughter to Selcuk as part of our tour in Ephesus and said that we would someday return to explore that area more. Our Tourguide Fatma and Dennis were wonderful and gave us a more personal tour of the area which included a meal at Selçuk Köftecisi which was excellent. Thank you for sharing your life and journeys with us!


Lisa - So glad that you found us! Sounds like a wonderful trip. Thanks for the reminder of our wonderful time here!

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