We are starting off from Tire, Turkey. If you read my previous post, you know the cruise travelers are worked up! I am hoping lunch can put some smiles back on their faces, as it affects everyone on the bus. The bus is whisper quiet as we move along the barren roads. We drive on and on again and finally turn off the main highway to a gravel road at this sign. It is really the only sign I have seen on this road……..
When we come to this sign, we turn onto a dirt road that takes us into the scrub. Where are we? Just two more kilometers to go!
We arrive at what looks like a garden center in then middle of nowhere!
We follow the dirt path through all the flowers, trees and vines……….
and spot the dining room! The tables are set outside. I notice, as I will all during our trip, that one side is for us, the other side for the locals. Are we too loud, too rude, too American/European? Or, are they just being polite and don’t wish to disturb us?
The restaurant is very large, but how does anybody, but the locals, find this place? The family, who owns the restaurant, lives here as well.
There are rows upon rows of garden……….They must sell plants as well, I would think…….
And there were some really big trees here! This is the Turkish side of the restaurant………..
You can see the terrain behind the house ………..nary a big tree in sight! Someone likes to garden!
There were parakeets in cages…….I felt so bad for the birds!
They quickly began to serve our food……first the salad and meze. The word meze originated from the Turkish word meaning snack or appetizer. That Turkish word originated from the Persian word Mazzah or Mazzeh, which translates as taste or relish. Now, all you need to know about Mezes, ha ha!
There are vegetarian, meat, or fish mezes. Groups of dishes arrive at your table about four or five at a time. There is a set pattern to the dishes. Usually, olives, Tahini, salad and yogurt will be followed by vegetable or egg dishes. Then small plates of meat or fish arrive before the main dish of whole fish, stews or grilled meats. Each restaurant will offer their own specialty. As so much food is offered, it is not expected that every dish be finished, but shared at will and served at ease. We were served our first salad plates with white wine, and the food just kept on coming! We were served individually, rather than from a communal table. First, we had the relish plates, which would have been plenty of food. It was followed by salad and the largest loaf of bread I have ever seen!
Then came the grilled meat dishes…..which looked oh, so yummy! And, all the vegetables and fruits were soooooooo fresh!
Here is a close up of the giant pieces of bread……….
I wish I could tell you how I enjoyed the afternoon at the garden restaurant. But, just as we received the meat dishes, a million flies descended on everything on that table. I have never seen so many flies and they came in one big swoosh. It was Biblical, like the locusts had come. We were all stunned and needless to say that ended the lunch immediately and we returned to the bus. That resulted in another call to cruise management (who carries that number around with them? Well, one woman in our group apparently)……….the guide asked how many wanted to go on to another stop on our excursion and only two folks raised their hands. The bus departed and when we came to the first big village, two private cars were waiting for us. One car carried officials, who inspected the air conditioning on our bus and the other car was sent to pick up the two passengers and the guide, who wanted to continue on the excursion. The remaining folks on the bus went directly back to the ship! What a day!
I hope you will excuse me for adding more than six photos and adding this to a “Six On Saturday” post as well. But, I wanted you to see this garden restaurant and to tell the entire story! See you next time in another spot! Cady
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PS We had so many different types of bread in Turkey I will be doing a post featuring their Breads!