Last month Bülent’s parents invited us up to Akçakoca for the weekend. One of their friends lent them their restored village home for the weekend. Akçakoca is only about a four hour drive from Ankara. It really is a nice drive, after about two hours the dry Anatolian plains give way to pine covered mountains and then the green coastal area. After we got there we stopped for some tasty köfte. It was an absolute hole in the wall, and was so good!
The mosque in the center of Akçakoca has fairly unusual architecture and is very attractive.
The house itself was lovely, an old restored village house. It was on a hill, surrounded by a hazelnut orchard, and mountains, with a view of the town center.
There was an vegetable garden and a myriad of fruits trees; apple, pear, quince and pomegranates. The sun warmed grapes were so delicious. They tasted exactly like the Concord grapes that grew wild in New Hampshire.
Akçakoca is a working fishing town. Being right on the Black Sea affords the town beautiful views and fresh fish.
When we woke up the morning we left, the weather was rainy and cloudy, but still lovely. We decided to take a walk while it was merely misting rather than pouring
This area of the Black Sea is known for its hazelnut orchards. As far as the eye could see, the hazelnut trees covered the hills and mountains, only the flat plains were used for other agricultural cultivation, usually corn, a special type of cabbage (Laz Lahanasi) and other types of typical produce.
Bülent was a trouper when I dragged him along on our walk. He would have happily slept a little longer until breakfast, but was amenable for the pre-breakfast walk I prodded him into.
While it was grey and rainy, it was still green and gorgeous. When you live in Ankara, any chance for proximity to greenery excites you.
It was a beautiful weekend. We had a lovely visit with his parents, and a great time in the village. Sometimes living in a city is difficult for me. Growing up on a dirt road in the woods in New Hampshire is a far cry from the grey concrete and brown arid lands of middle Anatolia. So visiting this haven of hazelnuts, driving on narrow dirt roads, smelling the moist perfumed air really reminded me of home—which really was lovely.