Our morning was off to a bumpy start……..it seems since the Covid shutdown, many of the regular tour guides are no longer working. They moved on to other endeavors or just gave up the ghost altogether. Many of the original excursions were curtailed and new places with guides had to be found. Our ship was just half full, with under 300 passengers, and many of us were old-timers on this ship and cruise line. So, we had an expectation, you might say. This morning our guide joined the twenty or so passengers, who had signed up for a tour of a traditional Sirince Greek Orthodox village, about 20 minutes away. He told us that the restaurant we were supposed to be visiting would not be open until the late afternoon, and since it was 0800 he had decided to take us to a different village to kill some time. Ok, a village is a village, so off we went. We drove and drove and drove and the roads got smaller and smaller, the little farm houses became nearly non-existent and the terrain became barren, except for the scrub. He told us how he had been a tour guide for 25 years, but was new to this tour. I had the feeling he had come out of retirement. For today’s village, he had decided to take us to his village, because he knew it so well and it was further away than intended to give the restaurant more time to prepare. We drove for nearly two hours and I can’t say we saw much along the way either. He told us about his family, and that he was Jewish and had lived in the village of Tire, his entire life. We finally got there and the bus pulled up to the curb and we were told to get out. We would see the town museum first. Here we are!
and this was the town museum…….Tire Museum is in a building in the former City Hall of Tire. It was built in 1955, but when the new municipal building was built, this building was restored and opened as the Tire City Museum in 2014.
The museum was small, but held a lot of stuff. And it, was not air-conditioned. I must add, our bus was not cooling properly as well and many of us had taken to fanning ourselves as the day got hotter and hotter. But we walked on trying to be as attentive as possible, as the guide went on and on about his family and their role in Tire.
The museum was set up in little booths, revealing what the folks of Tire had done for a living and photos of the folks that had donated the pieces. Some had been photographers……
There was a big display and several rooms on the Jewish Community and their importance in the village. Our guide also told us, that just about all of them left after WWII and moved to Israel, including his family. There are only 17,000 Jews left in Turkey, most of them in Istanbul or the village of Tire. I was really surprised to find a Jewish person in Turkey. one of the many things I learned on this vaca.
But, at one time they were the bedrock of this community. His father had been the tailer in town and had one of the shops on Ataturk Street, the main street in town. Many of these photos in this booth were his family.
Someone had owned a nice fancy car as well……..
Some folks were rope-makers and weavers……
Here was the loom I had been looking for!
and the lacemakers room……
The kitchens always get my attention…..those tables are really low to the ground.
There is the men’s side of the kitchen too……..like at home, they like to do the grilling.
The doctors office……a little tidbit to offer here. (Today, in Tire, there are 18 students per teacher and 500 patients per doctor)
Many from the ship were really, ready to hear about something else and voiced their displeasure with the museum and the heat. So, the guide took the hint and decided to walk us through the town to see the architecture. I knew the natives were getting restless and very, very unhappy. The village has tried to maintain their past, but still move into the future. It looked like some of the historic buildings had been demolished part way, when someone said, “No don’t do that, we want to preserve that!” But, it was too late, a new eatery, jewelry, or shoe shop had been tucked into the bottom.
We finally reached the town plaza at the top of the hill, which was part of the old town square, where all the old market shopping had once been. There was a nice little shop for a cool drink and a little garden shop as well. But, by coincidence, the guide’s old middle school teacher showed up and we were asked if it would be ok for him to show us some wares, he now sold. He spoke no English and most of the items were plaster of Paris items that looked like they may have been made by the school children. One of the women, from our group, jumped up and said she’d had enough! We were all shocked, but I was not surprised they were disappointed, only that they were so mad about it. They wanted the bus to come get them, now! I felt bad for the guide, as I thought he had tried to make this village a very personal and off the beaten track experience we would not often get. He tried to explain more about the village, but for the most part had been tuned out. I did learn that at one time there were nine Turkish Baths here, but today only one. Do only men go to those? I didn’t get a chance to ask. Why were there so many Turkish Baths in one small village? Answer……After the 15th century, Tire became a retreat, where palace personnel, including members of the Harem, were sent for their retirement!
Since the street was very narrow, the bus could not go down it, so we went back down the street to meet up again at the museum. Along the way, the guide tried to keep his composure and placate the unhappy guests. I tried to get as many “Door Photos” as I could.
This is the new municipal building……
and one more store front that I really liked.
Well, we are back on the bus and the unhappy woman in our group has called the Cruise Line management to complain……..we are now headed to the restaurant, as it is now open. Maybe, that will cheer her up. I will keep you posted! See you on Saturday from Turkey! Cady
PS I’ve included this post for Thursday Doors. Follow our leader, Dan, at No Facilities, to see doors from all over the world, or to add your doors too, look HERE!
14 Comments Add yours
Not surprisingly, we haven’t been to Tire…but we did go to Sirince for the day while we were staying in Selcuk. Hope you liked it as much as we did.
I felt quite bad for the driver, at least you have him face by listening and making the village sound very interesting, shame it was so hot
Shame about the dissatisfieds but ther will always be some
This was truly the first time we have had any problems on an excursion. But, it was an eye opener and didn’t end there! Cady
LikeLiked by 1 person
More to come?😯
Well, this village, too, is part of Turkey culture. I can imagine sitting in front of one those little shops to enjoy a delicacy and a cup of coffee. With lots of goat milk!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’m so glad we went here! All around it made for an exciting day! I learned so much on this cruise……..Cady
I can imagine the heat being a problem, but I loved the displays you shared from in the museum. I’m not sure what the cruise line can do about such conditions. I hope things got better with and after dinner (but from your comments, I’m not sure they did). Thanks for enduring the heat and sharing your photos.
This cruise line did plenty as you will read in next post….. Can’t wait to see the new logo! Cady
LikeLiked by 1 person
This was refreshing to me. People just back from a cruise never tell of disappointing events. This was very real, yet told sympathetically. Kudos to you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Anne, I was thoughtful about telling this story. We have never had a problem of any kind on the cruises before this….and we have taken several cruises, all with this cruise line, over the years. We now would be hesitant to travel with any other cruise line, because we have always been treated with only the best. I think Covid has put a damper on many of the stops, as the cruise lines have been hindered in their excursions and getting the guides they had previously. We also noticed that at none of our stops, on our month long cruise, were the ships tender used. They used the ports tenders and the local people, probably to provide more jobs for the locals. Cady
I’m glad to know cruise experiences are mostly excellent.