The Hills are Alive

Spring in Turkey is always a magical time of the year, nature-wise. The hills seem to blossom overnight with all manner of flamboyant and exotic flora blanketing the usually arid scrub. It is a brief respite before the unforgiving sun burns the landscape back to its usual two-tone hue of dull green and ochre. To take advantage of the display we took a pleasing stroll into the old köy of Sandima set in the foothills above Yalıkavak. The village is derelict save for a pretty house renovated by a local artist and a couple of centenarians. Sandima was abandoned when the villagers exchanged subsistence farming for the more lucrative trade of sponge diving. Thus Yalıkavak was born and Sandima left to decay into peaceful, overgrown oblivion. Nowadays most sponge gathering has stopped and the local economy is dependent on tourism (and the steady supply of gullible girls for the local gigolos).

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