Fluttering over Icmeler on the top of an hill is a large flag of Turkey.
It is possible to walk up to the flag although the way is rocky and covered in gorse.
The access point is not far from Tommys Bar at the back of the village.
Views from the flag are wonderfull,you can see fantastic views of the bay and town.
I was 69 and the wife 65 when we did the climb but I must stress you must be fit and take plenty of water with You.
Wear strong shoes or trainers and trousers if possible,I wore shorts and my legs got cut with the gorse.
If you take a boat trip from Icmeler going away from Marmaris, you will be impressed with the craggy, foreboding cliffs and hills very close to the shore that are typical of all Aegean coastlines including many Greek islands.
Who would have thought there is a way over them through the trees that cling tenaceously to the mountain?
The walk is a bit challenging, both physically and (slightly) from a self reliance point of view. I could do it though with nothing more than a few scratches on the legs. I'm 50 next year and not extraordinarily active, so I'm sure all you young bucks would knock it off in an hour or two.
I took a taxi (buses do the route too) from Icmeler to Turunc. Before you get to Turunc - and at least 100m above the sea (many thanks) - get off at the Lorymer apartments. Walk along the road towards them and take the first right, past the tennis courts. At the end of the road go into the woods.
The big arrow on the tree does not indicate where you go. The path goes straight on, rather implausibly into the woods.
For the next 3 hours, you must follow a path that is waymarked with red or green paint blobs or arrows, but the path is not well defined and I lost it 3 times. Not as bad as it sounds, as twice was within 100m of the start. Still, you need to keep calm when you are in the middle of nowhere - not exactly a long way from civilization, but on top of a cliff. Woods look the same from all angles.
A couple of areas are hard work with steepish climbing, but I managed fine physically.
I did it in early June, starting at 9am. Soaked in sweat at the end. I would certainly not recommend it in August when the temperature will reach 40 degrees. Take water, wear proper shoes (if dry decent trainers will do).
Delightful solitude. Beautiful views.
Two Icmeler people told me afterwards that there are wild boars up there. The only other mammal I saw was a goat.
As I sit here in Derbyshire on a cold wet and windy night feeling a sense of excitement and trepidation as I look foreword to my holiday in May.
i wonder what is the attraction in Icmeler for me?
Is it the early morning walks along the promenade were the smell of jasmine is still in the air,the sea is like a mill pond hardly any movement except for the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore,the sea still resting before she receives her daily guests to enjoy her watersports.
Or is it the early morning walk up into the old village were the distinctive smell of hot earth wafts the air,changing to the smell of newly baked bread as I pass the bakers shop near the mosque.
Walking round this tranquil scene horses,goats,hens and geese busy themselves feeding,and in the background can be heard the incessant rhythmic sound of the crickets.
May be dinner time spent under the wellcoming shade of the trees at the Erdem cafe on the promenade were a few beers and a tuna sandwich is taken while watching the world pass by.
Could it be when Icmeler dresses up for the evening,with her flashing lights and inviting bars,when she opens up her heart for us all to enjoy.
One ingredient not to be missed from my thoughts is the friendlyness and hospitality of the Turkish and Kurdish people who during our visits make us so wellcome.
I know it doesnt do for us all to like the same things and my memories will be different from yours,everyone has moments they remember which make repeat visits compulsive.
The thoughts of someone feeling meloncholy on a winters night.
They are but memories now,
Those walks along the promenade and taking lunch at the Erdem.
The boat trips were we visited the cave,fed the fish at the fish farm and swam from the boat into cristal clear waters.
Only memories now of the jeep safari when we visited the waterfall,walked out to sea on the sandbank at Oranihya and got involved in endless water fights with fellow jeepers.
My lonely walks in the early morning around the village, no one for company but the hens ,goats and numerous birds singing their morning song,with the rhythmic beat of the crickets in the background.
The smell of the land and off the bakers shop, so distinctive.
Nights spent in the restaurents and bars, enjoying a meal and a few drinks with friends, singing and dancing and watching the shows are all but fading memories.
The winter will be long and cold but as long as we can hang onto our memories the time will soon pass till we again return to our magical place.
The nights are drawing in,the clocks go back on Sunday and the weather is going to get colder.
I have just put the central heating on,switched the gas fire onto mark 7 and made myselfe a cup of coffee and I am curled upon the settee surrounded by our photographs of our holidays in Turkey.
As I look through the photos I have to smile as memories are brought back to life,is that me jumping off the top deck of that boat into the sea?
and am I the one dancing on the bar?,the red eyes must be the flash and nothing to do with the alcohol.
Thank you Mr Kodac for a wonderfull invention.
The resorts will be quiet now,no more tractor train or roadsweeper.
The mosquitos will all be asleep ,their bellies full of our blood extracted from us while we slept, waiting for us all to return next year.
All the Wasps will be dead by now, killed by all our little children treading on the blighters.
Cockerels will still be crowing in the villages,but no tourist slumbers will he disturb for a while.
My goat lady will still be having a running battle with her flock every day
as she tends them through the winter.
All the sunbeds and brollies have all been put away, the cafes along the promenades closed, the sea will still be lapping the shore but no longer will children be giggling and screaming as the fish nibble their toes.
The wind will be blowing through our favourite bars, now stripped of all its sound equipment, decor and furniture, singing and laughing just an echo now among the rafters.
I for one am waiting for the rebirth of all my happy things,wont be long till next May.
Pass me some more photos darling.
Music may go off at midnight in Icmeler, but music of a differant kind starts, as soon as the sun begins to rise.
Up in the Old Village cockerels crow at the start of this new day,
Strutting around their harem of cackling hens,I suppose maybe disscusing with each other the routine of the coming day as their broods of chickens scratch away at the baked earth.
Sheep and goats call to each other, while the pidgeons sit on the rooftops of the small village houses cooing and canoodling to each other
and in the background is the constant rhythmic beat of the crickets.
A small brush fire is burning at one of the farms while this old lady clears the grass and small bushes off her land the smoke gently spiralling into the warm air stinging the nostrils as I walk past.
The early morning walk over I head back towards the town and as I get near to the centre I am brought back to reallity by the beating from one of the bars selling early morning breakfasts, the song,
Deeper in The Night
I keep giving myselfe reasons to stay in the Old Village
The tranquill atmosphere in the morning.
The Dark skies at night when the stars stand out like little jewels.
Why cant we live two lives.
Then again maybe I do.
40 minutes from Icmeler you will find these Lycean Tombs on the way to Akyaka.
Having stood for thousands of years, through mans obsession to go faster and to get to places quicker by the building of a new road and bridges, these tombs in just 9 short months are now having to be supported by metal poles and wooden nogs.
A lesson must be learnt from this.
Fed up with just lying in the sun I decided to stroll round the roads of the Old Village.
Strolling with my friend on the road running parrallel to the dried up river bed we observed a line of well over 100 goats being shepherded along this dried up watercourse by an old lady,nearly bent double with age and carrying a long stick to control her flock.
She seemed to be wanting her herd to leave the river bed and climb a slipway onto the road were we were standing, the goats duly obliged, a very large shaggy haired goat led the way,followed by goats of all shapes and sizes,big, small,long haired, shorthaired.
On reaching the road each goat seemed to aquire a mind of its own and each goat as it arrived on the road went its seperate way.
The main attraction seemed to be climbing the nearby trees to get to the succulent leaves,or jumping into the local farmers field and consuming his produce.
This old lady by this time had herselfe reached the road and on seeing the destruction being caused by her flock started to hurl bricks and stones and all manner of objects at her beasts.
The animals fell into line obviously they had felt the wrath of this frail figure before.
An orderly line again was established until as they were walking past us one of the baby goats decided it would like to join our little group walking round the village.
A tourent of Turkish words was aimed at this poor goat as was also this very large stick she was carrying, it missed my friend and I by inches,the small animal got back into line,not sure what to do we also thought our best bet was to join this line of obedient animals.
By this time quite a few tourists were watching this unfolding drama,most of them in hysterical laughter.
The goats dissapeared up the road,the old ladies rantings getting quieter.
I thought to myselfe, I have been priviliged to have observed a part of a working day in the life of a local herdswoman,this is what makes our holidays in Turkey what they are,