Sandy being watched knitting
My friend Sandy set up a group in Fethiye for those that like to stitch…its called stitch and bitch, but they all seem to get on pretty well to me! I found out, not being a member,(though I have been known to knit) that they were planning a trip to my friend Brea’s home stay/Pension, ‘ Sidyma Homes’ ,which is in the historic hamlet of Sidyma (see ref below).
brea in one of her home stay rooms
Brea, who is a Canadian born , now a Turkish citizen, lives in this remote location and is making a living with her friend and neighbor, Fatma, running this home stay and also co operating with others in the village who have vacant rooms.She also used to have 87 dairy goats, and made basic soft cheese (chevre). Not the most easy life this intrepid Montreal woman has chosen, however she has created eautiful home stay in this tiny poor community and is full of new ideas too. I hope one day to be able to do a joint holiday there, but it is remote and is frequented mainly by trekkers , who are discovering The Lycian way .
Fatima making friends
I managed to get a place on one of the two mini buses and we set out to this obscure village in the mountains. The plan was to exchange skills with the local women who were going to show us their dyeing ,weaving and embroidery techniques. Most of the women brought their knitting with them also.
The Home stay from Heaven!
Finding the place was not too easy, as the phone signal kept cutting out, but we arrived in good time, for a walk before lunch. Some chose to go and see the workshops instead, but I chose to go and see the historic Hellenistic and Roman ruins with some others.Our guide was an 8 year old who spoke no English, but knew where to take us, although we did have to tell him to slow down as most of us were middle aged and upwards,and we must have seemed truly ancient to him! He also wanted us to climb over things to avoid a tied up village dog, which he was obviously scared of, but we preferred that option to a likely accident! So he knocked on the owners door and they came out and held it ,whilst we all trooped past.
Suddenly as we reached the site ,his older friends arrived and he went into abit of a sulk,as he feared they would take the lead and he would loose his tip. We stuck with him though, reassuring him he was our ‘patron’, they tagged along too, but he remained in charge.
We arrived back in time for a splendid home cooked 3 course lunch, consisting of a delicious Tarhana soup, followed by chicken and mushroom stew , aubergine side dishes, grated carrots with yogurt and garlic and a chocolate pudding and Turkish coffee to finish.
After lunch we lazily sat soaking up the wonderful surroundings. Along with the others who had been on the walk I went to look at the Turkish villagers work and saw the detailed embroidered scarves and them dyeing and spinning the sheep’s wool to make rugs and bags I brought a lovely shoulder hand woven bag for a few TL.
me having a go at weaving
Others chose to sit drinking cay and knit and chat, the Turkish women were as interested in their designs,as we were theirs. A couple of our party spoke good Turkish, but those that didn’t still managed to communicate their enthusiasm .
chatting with new friends
lady embroidering a scarf
Finally it was time to depart and good byes were exchanged. I ,as usual managed to leave a cardigan I had shed earlier and only realized when I was boarding the bus. The little boys were already on their way with my discarded garment and yet more goodbyes were said!
We left the villagers to reclaim the peace of their village. We hope that more excursions of this nature can happen again with other groups,as its a very different experience for most who are visitors to Turkey, or even live in the resorts around.
Do contact me or Brea direct if you would like a visit organized. facebook/sidyma.homes (Brea also speaks fluent French, spanish and Turkish)
View from the terrace