Today we are off with the schools hiking club to the top of Yamanlar Dağı. It is located only about 20km (12mile) from Karşıyaka center, Izmir. We can see this mountain from our apartment. Many locals simply drive up a well maintained windy mountain road to this crater lake called Karagöl (meaning "Black Lake"). It is a very popular picnic destination and on Sundays the picnic tables and parking lots are full.
This of course is not the route of the hiking club. We drove around the mountain and approached from the north face. Finding the country road which turned into the dirt road that ended at a washed out bridge we could drive no further, and we were off on foot. This is a fantastic hike that winds up the hill through a variety of vegetation, spring blooms and the most amazing lichen formations on rich iron rocks.
Once we reached the top we found civilization and enjoyed a picnic by the lake. Before our descent we stopped into the quaint cafe for tea and shared our desserts. On the trek down I notice an large spinal bone section of an animal. The kids and I inspected it and decided it was a ram. Sure enough another kid found the head. They all thought it was gross I took it home and it is now hanging in our flat.