You may remember from an earlier blog where we went hiking to Nazarcoy with Fahriye. Well, lucky us, she also runs the high school hiking club at our school. She invited us to join the hiking club on their latest adventure. We met the students at school early Saturday morning. There were only 12 students in attendance, normally a group of 30. There was testing the following week so many students stayed home to study. We drove 30 minutes outside of Izmir proper and jumped off the bus onto a quaint city square. Here we drank tea and rested before the long hike. When it was time to go we walked out of town down a street that produced less and less houses until we were in the woods. In Turkey, there really are not hiking paths and you end up following goat/shepherd trails or hunting paths.
This hike was a combination of both. It took us 2 and half hours to reach the top of Cihanbegendi Tepesi. To see the top of Cihanbegendi Tepesi, see the picture to the right. A couple of times we had to blow a whistle to warn both hunters and the wild boars that we were coming. Once we reached the peak we rested and enjoyed our sack lunches. The view from the top was great. we could almost see all of Izmir and could hear the tinkering of goat bells far below in the valley. The students were great! They were talkative, playful and interested in their surroundings. After lunch we began our two hour decent back to town. Once in town we enjoyed more tea and snacks and headed back to school. It was a great day. Its hard to believe how much hiking we have done here compared to Seattle, were there is so much hiking (and with clearly marked paths). The next hiking trip with the club is to a place called Goat Castle in February. check back for details. Thanks for reading our blog and looking at the pictures.