Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mount Erciyes

Mount Erciyes is a massive stratovolcano located 25 km to the south of Kayseri in Turkey. Erciyes is the highest mountain in Central Anatloia (that's another name for Turkey.) The volcano is heavily eroded, but may have erupted as recently as 253 BC. Mount Erciyes is home to the Erciyes Ski Resort.

This is where we went this weekend!

One of the great things about living where we do is the diversity of the climates. Within an hour we can be at the beach. Within two in the snow. JB and I discussed this. Neither of our little men had ever seen snow. What a travesy being as we are just a few hours away.

So we spoke with the ITT people here who help you travel. They suggested a ski resort only 3.5 hours away. We booked it. We took off on Saturday morning. We left Scrubs under our neighbor Elissa's watchful eye. It was the first time we had ever left him at the house by himself over night. He had a lot to prove.

We arrived at our hotel around 12pm on Saturday. JB sent me in to do the talking. This is our role in Turkey. He drives. I talk to people in Turkish. It's a pretty fair trade. We came in, had a delicious lunch, and then went up to our room to don all the loaner snow gear our friend Angelica had loaned us from Noah's years in Alaska.

The boys were so excited. Here they are in the elevator. Isaac is telling me all about the snow he is going to play in. Elijah is trying to figure out how to put this hat on his head.

And here are the boys in the lobby. They are so excited to go out in the snow:

It was VERY cold. Too cold to stay out for too long, especially with one son (i.e. Isaac) who only wanted to wear his hats the way he wanted to wear then. (Too much skin exposed to last too long.) He loved to pick up pieces of snow and throw them at us. That was his favorite thing to do!

Elijah's favorite thing to do was have JB throw him into the snow! He loved it. Isaac wasn't as crazy about it (I think it had to do with lack of control.) But Elijah loved it. The snow was a few feet deep. So much to play in (but too loose to make a snowman with).

I do believe that driving 3.5 hours was worth seeing this look:

The boys were quite upset when it was time to go in despite the fact that they were freezing. It's hard to believe that just 3.5 hours away from our home in Adana, the weather can be this cold when we barely need a jacket outside our home.

Here is Elijah, wet and rosey cheeked from his time outside:

After our first romp in the snow, we took naps, and then enjoyed a delicious Turkish dinner upstairs in the restaurant with tons of skiers. These were fairly affluent Turks, and they all seemed to speak good English. (Although I still tried to use Turkish wheenver I could.)

I got into a conversation with one man about Turkish. He said that learning a foreign lanugage for a Turk is easy since no language is as difficult as learning Turkish. He said that the sentence structure can only be understood by the top grammar teachers. Amen to that! They flip-flop all of their sentences so that they say the verb first. It's terribly hard to do. I told him that I had learned that if I could just get 2-3 words and string them together, most Turks appeared to know what I was talking about. He said that was exactly right and that I should strive to do that and not attempt to understand what I was doing. Ha!

Since I am feeling the "six month hump" of being away from America for so long, I have been looking for positives in our life here. One thing that is such a blessing to me is how the restaurants will cater a meal here to the boys' needs. They gladly made fruit plates for them instead of the usual fare at meals. This is so helpful and so kind for my fruit-loving boys.

I am also glad that I am not too picky. JB will eat anything, and while I am a bit more particular, I, too, can usually make a meal out of whatever is given. The food was delicious but there were not choices. Here is your soup. Here is your appetizer. Here is your meal. Here is your dessert. How hard a time this would be for most Americans. No choices! Egads. (And, if you don't like it, you can just run across the street to a fast-food restaurant. Those aren't even close to on every corner.

We watched a little Toy Story in our room before hitting the hay. We got up in the morning on Sunday and went outside for another snow romp. Then, it was off to a typical Turkish buffet breakfast before we hit the road and headed home. (More on Turkish breafkasts in an upcoming post.)

JB and I were expecting a few inches of snow. So a dozen feet or so was quite a surprise. And quite an experience. It was well worth the 3.5 hour drive. And Scrubs was a gem while we were gone! (Although he has started taking stuffed animals from a basket I had covered with a blanket and scattering them throughout the house.)

This is the first time I have been back in the snow since I left Minnesota in 2007! Never thought I'd drive to see it but my little boys made it well worth it.


Anonymous said...

I may have told you this before? but after our first 3 years in Indonesia out in Ambon (no grocery stores,cept little storefronts where you pointed to a can of whatever and said you want that (and there was only one choice)...the rest was the market...I got in a Jewel and by the time i got to the choices of cheeses after choices of cereals and laundry soap i was literally shaking...and my friend with me had to say, "here Jan -you want this one. Here Jan, you want this one..."...I still pick very small, uncomplicated stores -Aldi's and Trader Joes cover my knees and i get that shaky feeling in places like Costco's still! :)Tante Jan

TAV said...

LOVE the snow pictures!!!

Rachel and Hans said...

Looks like a ton of fun!!